Charles Pendelton
       2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 32 (1970) pt 1


As I recall, it was around three O'clock on a warm Friday afternoon, August 21st. I didn't go to
school today for whatever reason and was upstairs in my room playing with my new G.I. Joe
action figure. Having decided to venture downstairs, I reached into the dish drain for a glass
and pulled out the tallest one. I then opened the fridge and carefully poured myself some Hi-C.

Then something piqued my interest. I heard a noise outside, and went over to the window to
see what it was. As I looked through the old ruffled curtains, I saw a female figure bringing her
belongings into the old Llavarano house. It was kind of hard for me to make out just what it was
she was doing, so I put on my shoes and a neatly folded tee shirt and went over to investigate.

As I closed the outside door, I paused to take a deep breath of fresh air from atop the steps.
I then went down and across
the street. Since there was no sidewalk on this side of the street,
I walked past an accumulation of road gravel where a disfigured mulberry tree grew. As horrible
as it looked, it bore the sweetest white berries I have ever tasted! Following a multicolored path
of slate would lead me to the back door entrance. I rapped my knuckles firmly against the hollow
sounding door, and the echoing frailty of loose windows reverberated throughout the house.

There was no answer, and so I assumed no one was home. As I began walking back the
same way I came, I heard a shuffling movement on the other side of the house followed
by the sound of an empty metal pail being placed on concrete. I continued to walk until
I reached the street, I followed the noise and she turned just in time to see me coming.

"Hello there," she said to me, waving politely as I came near. "Hello," I replied as well
before approaching her and introducing myself. It was a beautiful day and as the gentle wind
touched her hair, I could tell she was unequivocally the most beautiful woman I had ever seen
in my short lifetime. Standing at a little over five feet, she had
a Mediterranean complexion
which seemed to intensify her
jet black hair. With a red sequin blouse perfectly accentuating
every part of her amber skin, I immediately noticed she had the most adorable little beauty
mark right below her left eye. As I stood before her looking up, I began to feel a bit woozy.

Now bear in mind that I was only six years old at the time, but had several cousins
who were continually changing boyfriends, and I was always around.

I struggled terribly and almost couldn't say it, but I did and the words flowed out
perfectly! "Has anyone ever told you, you have the most
beautiful brown eyes?"
I said it as sincere as possible, but it came out sounding overly romantic.

She immediately started to laugh before crouching down to where I stood,
and with a warm smile said to me in return, "You have to be careful what
you say to a lady; I might fall in love with you."
Upon hearing those
words, I simply melted like a bar of warm butter in a roaring fire. Maybe
it was the closeness of her face or the way her lips moved, but whatever
it was, it must have been too much for my brain to process, so I fainted.


                                                                              Pg 161

Instinctively she grabbed hold of my shoulders before I hit the ground. As everything
slowly came back into focus, I found myself looking up at her with loving adulation
and said, "you caught me!" I then felt very embarrassed and think I may have even
blushed. There was a long pause before I denoted a hint of worry in her eyes and
that alarmed me. "As long as you're okay," she said in a discerning voice. "Maybe
you should go now, I have a lot of unpacking to do." Harmony spoke while averting
her glance from me, and it seemed as if she was deliberately trying to avoid making
eye contact. When she peeked, I smiled graciously before waving goodbye. Tripping
over the curb set me barreling into my mothers pink hydrangeas! Clumsy oaf, I told
myself, before looking over my shoulder to see if the new neighbor saw what had
just occurred. No, she was busy doing something around the side and missed it.
Whew! Let's see if I can make it to the backyard without breaking something. All
day, I could only fantasize about being older, and she, being madly in love with me!

But the fact is I was still a child. Of course, I knew what I wanted, and
being very mature for my age gave me an incentive to go the extra mile!

Not that it could have mattered in the least, because I was still suffering

from nightmares and still thought monsters lived under the bed. If I can't
protect myself, I thought, then how could I protect the fair maiden?

That day when I looked into her eyes for the very first time, there was something so
intoxicating about them, it melted the unemotional boundaries of my infantile heart,
to expose the inner man in me! The man who had been waiting in silence to awaken!


The following day, I thought about going over there, but could not bring myself to
do it. The day after that, I didn't even have to think about it. I told my parent's I was
going outside and hurried across the street. I knocked on the wooden door but there
was no answer, so I came back a half hour later. As Harmony answered the door,
I looked up at her. There she stood in a stunning peach brocade blouse that appeared
to be encrusted with gold embroidery. Beneath the exquisitries she wore a chamois satin
lengha to match! Between the gold tikka that hung delicately from her forehead, and the
little diamond sparkle pierced into the right side of her nose, I cannot pinpoint exactly
which one was making my knees buckle! I will say however, that tiny diamond really
brought everything into perspective! I couldn't help notice her hands either, for they
were adorned with the hue of red mehndi that I thought was a permanent tattoo!
Those exotic designs which seemed to crawl up her arms left me tingling!

It felt like all the oxygen had been removed from the air, for I had never seen anything
like it before in my life! So now, I completely forget what I was going to say and just
stand there. All those well rehearsed lines gone. Everything gone. "Well," she said with
a half smile and two raised eyebrows. It was like looking into the eyes of a vision from
Heaven, and this woman needed no makeup at all for she was absolutely gorgeous.


For a brief moment, I forgot how to talk as my brain must have been rebooting! I then
said the worst thing I could have possibly said. Like an android without any hint of
expression whatsoever, I uttered the following words. "Have I told you- how beautiful
you look?"
She crouched down once again and said, "Why are you doing this to me?"
I tried to speak but nothing came out. She then grabbed my arm and squeezed it tight!
"Who put you up to this? Answer me!" But I could not talk. "Fine," she said, "be like that;
and don't come back!" "Wait," I yelled, "you don't understand!" "What don't I understand,
that you're a liar?" As she was closing the door, I said in complete desperation, "I'm so sorry,
no one told me to come here!" I could now see that she was no longer upset for her composure
had returned to normal. I then said, while trying to hold back tears, "I have no friends."

She then apologized for becoming angry with me and said that we could be friends,
only if we were completely honest with one another, and that was how it all began.

                                                                              Pg 162

That evening, as I lay me down to sleep I thought about how wonderful it was to be alive.
To have everything you need and to be living in such an inventive age was truly a blessing.
As I listened to the wind blowing outside, I grew more and more concerned with the shadows
that had begun to form inside my room. Worrying only animates them more, until you find
yourself under the covers, unsuccessfully trying to prevent a full blown panic attack!

After awhile, you find that you are somewhere else, and you have absolutely no recollection
whatsoever of anything ever happening only minutes before and your mind is finally at peace.

As I enter the land of dreams, I recall seeing only rabbits! I do not remember if they were happy,
I do remember, however, there were no people. . . Only rabbits, and I was so excited to be there

After a brief interlude, there was a disconcerting pause or should I say a moment of darkness
where everything in the world of present day seemed to shift into a different gear and I was in
a space capsule. It was all right, because I knew I was supposed to be there. The small vessel
I was in was circling Mars, preparing to make my descent into the unknown region of space
when I heard what appeared to be a ticking sound. Not like that of a bomb, but that of time. I
do not remember landing, however, I do remember wanting to exit the capsule, but could not.


I was awakened in the early morning to the sound of a huge moving truck. When I
finally got around to getting up, I looked out my window to see two men carrying
what appeared to be a large bureau into the old house. This I could not be certain
of for my view was obstructed by several tall trees. I observed them for quite some
time and rapidly began to lose interest when I realized that Harmony would not be
coming out. Was she even in there? Could she be showing them where to put the
furniture? It really didn't matter anyway, I had to go with my mom today for shoes.

Every six months or so, she would take me up to Thom McAn or Buster Brown,
and I would try on a few pairs of shoes until I found something comfortable. After
that, I would follow her around as she shopped for food and sundries at the local
A&P. Casually eying prospective items as we strolled slowly down the aisles of
the aging store, or trailed behind as she picked up some things from the drug store.

Today it was only the A&P. We spent most of the morning in there, and upon leaving
the store, mother was handed a receipt that stretched to a length of almost twelve feet!
                                  Holy Chrysler, a new world's record!!!

Sunday morning, I didn't see her either and the excitement soon faded. By the end of September,
however, we had become the best of friends! My mother liked Harmony too. Once in a while, mom
would relay a message for me to give to her, and when I wasn't around, the two of them would get
together and talk. One of their talks entailed me keeping her company until it was time for dinner.
Another was me having dinner with her while my parents tried to resolve unresolved issues over
dinner at an unspecified restaurant of their choice. Like CIA operatives, everything was a covert
mission with them! I only knew what was going on because Harmony told me everything they told
her not to tell me. Even though there was a fourteen year difference between my mother and
Harmony, they remained close. That was until March of 1971, when Harmony began working with
her brother that she began spending less time with my mom and more time with me. By the end
of the year, my parents were fighting about everything. My father was leaving more and more
frequently and coming back less, while mom tried to hold it together the best she could.

It was hard for me to imagine them ever being in love. They were always very distant to each
other, and their conversations were usually more like business meetings. Occasionally, I would be
ushered out of the room, and told to "go and do something," which in my brain registered as
put on the television so you don't hear them; but things were not always like this. What I've heard
from the inner circle of my family is that the two were quite the match back in the summer of '58.
When they tied the knot behind Sea Crest Farms, after eloping in the dark, because they were
young and adventurous! Forever sealing their vows before God, not knowing that it would later
equate to sealing their own fate by having my mother excommunicated from the church, and
sending my father fleeing to Mexico to have the marriage annulled! No one ever saw it coming.

                      But for now everything was fine, and time was moving in the
                   manner it normally would have for a child just beginning to live.

From what I can recall it was a chilly morning on Thursday, December 17th, 1970. I came back
from school and stayed at my aunt's house down the block. I enjoyed spending time with my
cousins, before scurrying over to see Harmony. At around Four O'clock, I felt an urge to leave,
so I said goodbye to my cousin Patricia and strolled over there. I knocked on the front door and
could hear her gentle footsteps approaching. She quickly pulled open the door, but  just enough
to see who was knocking, so I couldn't tell what she was wearing. As I entered, she gave me
one of those slow provocative smiles which tended to stimulate my very creative imagination!

"Aren't you forgetting something?" she asked, enhancing her stance;
as to be strictly posing for the attention of a well-deserved compliment.

"If I must say, you leave me breathless."
I tried to be flamboyant with words,
but wound up sounding like an idiot. Well she doubled over with laughter!!!

And that was a start!


                                                                              Pg 163


"Worthy of Publishing" reviews for this particular chapter

Peter Von Harten - This is AMAZING!!! =) I love the nostalgic feel. *rating = 5 stars*

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PG 161) Hi-C advertisement
circa 1971 -

PG 161) Mask V. transformed
by Leon Kubasski -

PG 161) Tijdzoekers
by Jacob Christian Poen de Wijs -

PG 161) Zebrocerous
by Ilene Meyer - 

PG 162) Sleeping beauty by
Scott Gustafson -

PG 162) Retrato del nino Carlos Pomar Margrand
by Antonio Maria Esquivel -

PG 162) The Inundation Of The Biesbosch In 1421 by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

PG 162) Auto erotic immolation by
Heidi Taillefer -

PG 162) Unbalanced by Karl Kwasny

PG 163) Scary night
by Wes Lowe -

PG 163) The watchers
by Nathan Spoor -

PG 163) Pushing clocks by Mark Bryan -

PG 163) Buster Brown's
Easter Parade of shoes -

PG 163) Leaving grocery in rain
by Amos Sewell -

PG 163) Untitled
by Brad Yeo

PG 163) Wedding in the Spring
by Jon Whitcomb

PG 163) Rakassa
by Anastasia Kvadrovich -