Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 26

                  My impressive imagination

As we continued to follow each other in step, within the margins of two steel rails permanently
fastened to their mighty timber crossties, a thought entered my mind. Imagine if someone banded
together some of the best tree carvers in the states to create an arborglyph in the greenbelt? Nothing
profane as to exact wrath from the people, but rather, exquisite works of art to amaze and enthrall!

                         It didn't take long for me to get distracted and lose interest.

Looking up from where we walked, I could see over the wooded trench. The dull radiance
of white light from the back of a small parking lot could be seen covering the area. To
remain in the gully was our choosing, and during this part of our journey, no one said
word. That narrow canal of earth and steel which had been carved by man's efficiency,
guided our movements. It was a quiet walk that would take us, almost to our desired
destination. Beneath the overground where the mechanical monsters roll, we journeyed
on like mental cripples, ever cautious of the wind that could turn the tide of fate against us.

Around us now, were the most profound of all tree demons; the staghorn sumacs.
None of which had more prominent features, or were as greatly admired in this
realm. They were the ones who seemed to know the most about what was going
on here. They were also the most clever and appeared to be the sharpest of all
living trees. Like some bizarre kind of pet, they stood watching and scrutinizing
us with intrinsic faces, shrouded by an ever keen sense of logic. Faces that moved
at will. Of course, you had to be in the land of the shadow dwellers to see them!

How I desired to uproot one and bring it home! To study and take notes, and try
to comprehend. To seize the opportune moment when reality sets in, and all lines
of communication falter. Then I might be able to catch it, but for now I was only
grasping at straws. It really seemed as though they belonged in the land of mist
and fog, with the laughing mushrooms and the dancing frogs! What causes me
to see them? How can I define their expressions? Perhaps that's how The Fool
on the Hill
perceives us. Yet something was missing in the mass confusion 
that abounded in the plains of reason. I walked into a field
of ill regard, when
soon it began to dawn on me. There's just
too many of them out there panning.

I was accoladed in a forest of wonder
I became a knight who graced the earth
I was revered by all I had imagined
I made peace with a world I long hated

After the coronation, I began to think of my parents and their constant nagging.
All I ever heard upon moving out here was "hurry up, let's go. I want you in the
house early tonight! You're going to be late for school!" It was almost as if she
had somehow come out of a coma and for the next seven years, she and her new
husband made it their business to see to it that I was miserable all the time.

Could they have found out about the affair?
Is that why they implemented a curfew?

In this life, you can never rule anything out.

Parents only hear what they wish to hear, or they rebuke you. If it is not pleasing
to their ears, it is not permissible, and they dispel you as a fool. Make no mistake,
we are all fools on occasion indeed, but even fools need respect and honor if they
wish to succeed and not continue being fools. So we look up to our peers, and
they admire us for our foolishness. Hence, you are
no longer a fool, but impressive!

                                                                               Pg 125

We were coming up to a bend, when we saw the lights of Huguenot looming in
the distance. Upon hearing a strange noise, John immediately stopped and made
like a crossing guard! "Listen Charle," he said apprehensively. His eyes denoting
a connotation of fear. Like a Roman soldier, I stood at attention and surveyed the
area for any sign of disturbance. That look of death he bore signaled impending
misfortune, and so my armor was my shield! A most aggressive noise could be
heard coming from the left side of the tracks up ahead near an enclave of slippery
elm trees. It was not an ordinary sound, but rather, a very disturbing sound.

What were they chopping, I thought?

Were they lumberjacks?

I then waited patiently for another aural response,
which confirmed my earliest belief. . . Duly noted.

               Aside from the odd chopping noise, there was now also growling.
                                       Could it be a pack of wild dogs?

There have been rumors to that effect circulating for some time now, but most rumors
simply cannot be proven. For example, one rumor that has spread across this part of
Staten Island like a Category 9 wildfire since the early seventies. At one point in time,
someone decided to say that if you walk along the train tracks and a conductor sees
you, you stand a good chance of being shot with a salt gun. No, I am not making this
up, but I think John and Paul might have. They seem to be the only ones who can attest
to such an allegation. During the day, kids walking the tracks with you will scamper
to hide behind trees, and tell you to run or you might be injured by the salt gun!!!

Not once did I run, but casually walked off to the side and waited for the train to

And never has my skin burned from the sting of a salt gun. Some day I would
like to see one, if they really do exist and someone out there is able to prove it to me!

The growling sound was becoming more pronounced, and so I told John it had to be a
rabid dog. Pete told me to stop making shit up, but I could see by the look in his eyes,
the degree of his concern. Believe me when I tell you that anger mixed with fear can
have grave results. If by any chance there should be a mad dog in the vicinity, then
we are all in some very serious trouble, but that would hardly explain the chopping.

People were there! Bad people doing very bad things, and if we continued in the direction
we were currently headed, our paths would most certainly intersect! I then heard what
sounded like an axe to a skull, behind a muffled cry. My mind was now running circles
around me, and I for the life of me, could come to no immediate conclusion. My first
was to start running, but I knew the animal would take to me like a jaguar to
a gazelle come evening,
and so we went with John's idea, which was, in fact, plan two.

Since we were overcome by fear, and had no idea what it was we were up against, we
had no choice but to take a detour through the densely populated woods. Pete was ahead
of us again as usual and in no-speaking mode. “Look at Pete,” said John, aghast and out of
breath. “What about him?” I replied. “Look how far ahead of us he is! He doesn't care about
us. He's not our friend.“Only your mother and father,” I said, not wanting to talk. “I know
right,” he exclaimed in awe! As if he had just grasped something he never before knew.

“I should be honoring my parents like Chen next door, Instead, I treat my parents like
crap. My mother says one thing, and I immediately go and do something else! Why am
I like this Charlie? What's wrong with me?” I thought about the questions and realized
that instead of facilitating life's woes, the drug had, in fact, turned everything around
make everything worse than it was before we even started. I had no answer. So now
rather than speak, I could say nothing at all. It is so true. A good parent only wants
what is best for their child, but because of our foolish pride, we become insensitive.

                                             The So & So's - A rebel in every town

Now, in the hour of our discontent, we could truly see the error of our ways. I was
suddenly overwhelmed by an intense feeling of sorrow, for I finally understood where
my parents were coming from. In that moment of complete and utter awareness, I was
beside myself, as I knew wholeheartedly what they were trying so hard to do for me.

                                                                               Pg 126

Sure they could put you down and hurt your pride, I said. Or lash out and strike you,
a deep wound you're gonna take to heart! They didn't yell at us and make us go
to school because they wanted us to suffer, or because it made them feel any better.
They did it because we're part of them. Part of their flesh, and they want us to do
better than they did! Even if we don't want any part of it. Don't you get it now?

I then thought of them wanting to send me away to college and how I rebuked it.

Now I was depressed over that.
Only now was I finally able to put into place the
whole missing link to the puzzle, and it's not that I hadn't seen it before. It was
simply because pride had fallen from me, and I wanted to be loved by God.

I then said, “God loves us and we're doing everything in our power to reverse
it.” John then offered solace to stand in prayer. It was an unfeigned prayer
straight from the heart. We prayed together, but wept alone, and in my quest to
find peace, I found myself. I then looked up into the endless blanket of stars,
where God shined his love down upon us in the reverent face of the moon.

We then continued our journey onward.

Pete traipsed in a desultory manner as he led us down a dark trail.
Veering to the left and up a slight incline, we stumbled upon the tracks again.

Preparing to relieve myself, I found the phragmites at this part of the tracks to be swaying oddly.

They were blowing back slightly, yet they were unchanged! There was no return to the normal
They were falling, yet they hadn't moved at all. They were perfectly still, and yet they
were totally moving! I was completely mesmerized by this action, though my mind could not
fathom how this process worked! My brain had received the data, but somewhere along the way
a percentage of it was being lost. The one percent that could solve the equation. Or was it that
one percent which was controlling that data? This I could not figure out for the life of me!

As I unzipped my fly and removed my flaccid organ from my zipper, I noticed it was the only
thing that appeared to be functioning normally. After relieving myself, I returned it to the left
side of my pants where it slept quietly. From here, I made a beeline to the tracks and began
walking hastily. I had to catch up to those buggers who left me behind at my own request!

I was no longer afraid of the darkness, for the darkness was now my friend. With a partial
moon in the sky, and one course of action to follow, I hastened my pace, and it wasn't
long before I caught up to them. As we began to approach the Huguenot train station, we
came to a unanimous decision that we should pay Richie a visit. And so we climbed a
small, thin yellow ladder which would guide us up onto the station's platform. It was from
there, we ascended the concrete and steel lined staircase, which led us out into the street.

                                        The Sunshine Company - Back on the street again               

                                                                               Pg 127


Reviews for chapter 26

Coleen Weiner - I like the way simple sentences are transformed into works of art without even trying!
I think you have to be born with it. This is not something you can easily learn.

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PG 125) Drift Miners before and after by Tommy Craggs -

PG 125) Fate
by Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding -

PG 125) The accolade
by Edmund Blair Leighton

PG 125) The curfew
by Myne

PG 126)
Winds from the east by Judson Huss -

PG 126) Violent freedom
by Victor Safonkin

PG 126) Messenger of the Red Tower
by Leon Kubasski

PG 127) Lotus ornament
by Shepard Fairey -

PG 127) Jigsaw house by Rob Gonsalves -