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 I was just getting over a
mild case of the flu, 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.

Opening the fridge, I 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 could be. As I looked through the old ruffled curtains, I saw a female figure bringing her
belongings into the old Llavarano house. Casually, she came out and it was difficult to ascertain
what she was doing, so I put on my shoes and a neatly folded tee shirt and went over to investigate.

As I gently closed the outside door, I paused to take a deep breath of fresh air from atop the steps.
Hearing the sound of a door slamming shut, I assumed she had gone back inside again.

I then walked down and the brick stairs
. Since there was no sidewalk on that 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 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 she didn't want to be bothered. 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. “I'm Harmony.” “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, 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 with
“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.

Harmony started to laugh before crouching down, 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.

                                                The Gants - I wonder

                                                                              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, and need to get settled
in.” 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 sent me barreling head first into my mothers pink hydrangeas!

“Clumsy oaf,” I muttered to myself, before looking over my shoulder to
see if the new neighbor saw what happened. No, she was busy picking
up an object from around the side of the house, and must have missed
it. Whew! Let's see if I can make it to the backyard without stumbling
or breaking something. All day, I tried to imagine being ten years older,
and fantasized about her being madly in love with me!

                                                A Group Called Eve - Within a world of you

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 mattered in the least, because I was still suffering from
nightmares, and terrified of monsters living under the bed. If I can't
protect myself, I thought, then how could I protect the fair maiden?

The sad truth is, you can never be more mature than you can learn,
and considering I haven't learned a whole lot in life, I needed to learn fast!

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 Del Prixs - She'll be mine

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 to find her covered in the most exquisite apparel. Ever so serenely
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 hanging delicately from her forehead, and the little
diamond sparkle pierced into the right side of her nose, I could not pinpoint
exactly which one was making my knees buckle! That tiny diamond, however,
really brought everything into perspective! Like a magnet to my senses, it was
imploring me to take in all I was seeing. I couldn't help notice her hands either;
adorned with the hue of red mehndi, which 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 in a single breath. “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 undeniably gorgeous.

The Avengers - Open your eyes

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?” Harmony 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 to her 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.”

                                               The New Era - Won't you please be my friend

Harmony 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 be living in such an inventive age, with every opportunity anyone could
ever hope for 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 you are somewhere else, with no recollection of
anything happening only moments earlier and your mind is now at peace.

As I enter the land of dreams, I saw an abundance of rabbits! Happily moving about
and hopping over each other! Solely as an observer was I there, for they did not seem
to acknowledge my presence. No people were there, only rabbits, and I was so excited
to watch them! An intense feeling of peace covered me, that I did not wish to leave.

After a brief interlude, there was a disconcerting pause, or should I say, moment of darkness
where everything in the world of present day seemed to shift into a different gear, and I found
myself in a space capsule. Somehow I knew I was supposed to be there. As the small vessel
circled the moon, preparing to make its descent into the unknown region of space, I heard
what appeared to be a ticking sound. Not like that of a bomb, but that of time. I can not
remember landing, however, I do remember wanting to exit the capsule, but could not.

                                                                 The Shadow Casters - Going to the moon

I awoke in the early morning to the sound of a huge moving truck. When finally
I 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 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 down the aisles of the aging
grocery store, or trailed behind as she picked up some medicine from the pharmacy.

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 six feet!
“Holy Chrysler,I thought, “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, and couldn’t say enough good things about her. 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 Harmony keeping me 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 on the go, 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 frequently and coming back less, while mom tried to hold it
together the best she could. It almost seemed like they had become polar opposites.

It was very hard for me to imagine them ever being in love, considering how distant
they were from each other, and their usual conversations were more like business
meetings. On certain occasions, 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 weren't 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.

According to my grandmother, they absconded on a rainy Sunday night to elope.

Tying the knot behind “Sea Crest Farms” in New Jersey, because they were spirited,
young and adventurous! Forever sealing their vows before God, they created a child
in loving unity. Not knowing 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 annul;led. Whether you go to church or not, sometimes love is just
doomed from the start; and if you don’t make the attempt, then you will live to regret it.

                      But for now everything was fine, and time was moving
                    in the manner it should 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, feeling an urge to leave, I said goodbye to my cousin Patricia and
strolled over there. I knocked on the front door, and could hear gentle footsteps
approaching. Harmony quickly pulls open the door, but only enough so that she
see who was knocking. Now I, however, couldn’t see what she was wearing,
because the light was off, and so, as I entered, she flicked the light on. My mouth
went dry, as she gave me one of those slow provocative smiles which tended to
stimulate my very creative imagination!
Aside from that, she looked like a model
from another planet! I mean, what clothing store carries that fashion line?

Before me she stood, adorned in a rather risque blue cutout dress, the color of sapphire. 

The Embroidery which seemed to be needled by hand, was highlighted in lines of black velvet
trails. Whereby the material had also been infused with elegantly decorative gold markings,
followed by intense swirling patterns that almost seemed to rise up from the fabric itself!

“Aren't you forgetting something?” she asked, enhancing her stance;
as if 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!

                                                       The Optic Nerve - What's been missing                                        

                                                                              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 -