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
fastened to their mighty timber crossties, a thought entered my mind.
Hiking up the mountainous trails of High Rock Park, and the rocky hills that
certain areas of the journey. Around a winding path and down would
take you to the
arborglyphs where trees bearing numerous messages have been
inscribed with names
and dates; hearts and flowers; caricatures of animals and people. . . etc. Being there
was like revisiting the past, and in a sense, I always found it refreshing to pan over
the scribbled text and wonder if them travelers were still among the living.

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 a word.

That narrow
canal of earth and steel that had been
carved by man's efficiency guided our movements.

It was a
quiet walk that would eventually take us to our predetermined 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 wished I could have brought one home. Just to study and take notes of
while trying to comprehend what it was that had been created. To seize the opportune
moment when reality set in, and all lines of communication falter. Then I just might
be able to catch the transition and define it. Only then would I be able to understand
how the illusion works. Indeed, I was only grasping at straws.

What causes me to see them, and how can I define their expressions?

Perhaps that is how the insane perceive us. Kind of like looking through
lenses with altered perception and registering only falsification of fact.
Confounding factors in knowledge that only act to further the cause of
one's derangement. A disruption of balance in all sectors, where the
only humane thing left to do is to separate them from society.

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, you're going to be late for
school,” (and)
“I want you in the
house early tonight.” It was almost as if they
had suddenly 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 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?

Patiently, I waited 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 brush fire since the early seventies. At one point,
someone decided to say that if you walk along the train tracks and a conductor
sees you, then you stand a good chance of being shot with a salt gun. I am not
making this up, but I think John and Paul might have. They seem to be the only
two people who can attest to such a ridiculous 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 hit by
the salt gun. They also admit they've never actually seen one.

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 was a mad dog prowling in the vicinity, then
we would all in some very serious trouble, but that would hardly explain the chopping.

I then came to the conclusion that people were there. Bad people doing very bad things,
and if we continued in the direction we were currently headed, our paths were almost
certain to intersect. I then heard what sounded like an axe to a skull, behind a muffled
cry. My mind was running circles around me, and I for the life of it all, could come to
no immediate conclusion. My first impulse was to start running, but I knew the animal
would take to me like a jaguar to a tired 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 that 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
to 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, or lash out and strike you.
They don't yell at you and make you go to school because they want you to
suffer or because it makes them feel any better.
They do it because you're a
part of them. A part of their flesh, and they want you to do
better than they
did, so you could become self-sufficient. Even if you don't want any part of it.

I thought of them wanting to send me 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
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 heavenly 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 gently blowing, yet they were unchanged.

They were somehow 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 was
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.

Unzipping my fly, I removed my flaccid organ from its zipper. Only then did I notice it was
the only thing that appeared to be functioning normally. After relieving myself, I returned it
once again to the left side of my pants. From there, 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.

With the heavenly light from above to show me the way, it wasn't long before I caught up to
them. As we approached the Huguenot train station, we
came to a unanimous decision that
we should pay our friend Richie a visit. From there we climbed a
small, thin yellow ladder
which would guide us up onto the station's platform. It was from
there, we ascended the
partially lit and decaying 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 -