Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 36

                  The puzzle of perception

John decided we should go into the backyard for a spell, so I sat on the bench while he
lay in his synthetic recliner. Gazing about the yard was strange for everything around
me was now unrelated to itself, as if every object was meant to be viewed separately.

I looked up at the black painted railing that had been set into the brick steps which led
from the kitchen to the backyard. From there I saw, quite naturally, the illusory image
of four fish in animated form displaying themselves to me. They then appeared to look
like Chinese scissors. The stygian rail painted a silhouette against the house, much
to the likes of a nocturnal shadow which had been burned into the air.

This was partially due to the configuration of the wrought iron itself, which in an
odd kind of way, seemed to resemble origami that had been abandoned by a child
in the flower of her youth, somewhere in the latter half of the eighteenth century.

The bricks going down the steps were distorted in the sense that the top row was very
far away, as if seen through the reverse end of binoculars. While the bottom was simply
one big fat line that converged to form an elephant’s toe. Clumsy and foolish were these
bricks that seemed so content to be immersed in contrived animation.

They would go as far as to puff themselves out
in disguise to look like overstated piano keys.

The white picket fence, however, I found to be threatening and
could not look at it for fear of something dreadful happening.

Why was this?

It felt like Halloween night with a stalker on the prowl. He had crossed
an unseen border that separated science from mythology and was now,
somewhere in the vicinity of our neighborhood lurking about. Something  
got out, I thought. Keep it under control or panic will set in.

I felt like I had developed a keen sense of intuition, and
it was now warning me that I was in extreme danger.

For some undefinable reason, I was unable to eradicate
this omnipresent feeling of doom that had taken hold of me.
I tried to remove it from my conscious mind by playing the
‘psychology game,’ but found even that would not work.

A tiny creature hatched in my brain
and took
form through a pinhole in my awareness.

I found it very difficult to fathom that something so
innocuous as a fence had just manufactured
a killer.

Wait, he's in the house!

As I further analyzed the problem, I soon came to realize that my mind had,
in fact, turned on me. I was now an unwilling participant in a melodramatic
horror movie, and the emotions of terror I was currently experiencing were
to such a degree, I felt I may soon be in need of medical assistance.

I knew it was nothing more than a simple case of mind over matter,
but I just couldn't arrest it. Most of all, I needed to remain calm and
vigilant, if I was going to beat this thing.

I didn't know how the human brain operated,
but I should have. It was my only mistake.

                                                                               Pg 256

How unnerving was this feeling that someone was behind me, and at any given moment
I was going to get japped! Then to my relief, I would spin around to find no one there.

Every time this happened,
I anticipated a theater full of people on the edge of their seats!

They were watching me from the big sky screen, so I could only sense their eyes
upon me. I tried to act cool, because I knew they were watching and that helped
a bit, but when I looked about, it felt as though I were awaiting a massacre.


The last thing I needed, was to come down from this trip in a state of terror.

Then, not only would I  have to worry about a flashback for the next seven years,
but also, the dreaded fear of it returning if ever I should become paranoid from
smoking pot. There was no doubt about it, I had to come down from this high
with a yearning to take it again, because the alternative was madness.

I then thought of a movie I saw last year, and decided, since I had an
audience to become someone else. Slowly, I began to emulate a man
known as Snake Plissken. A man incapable of fear. As I moved around
the yard with a renewed sense of confidence, I could feel the tension
building. With fists clenched and motor skills like a sensei, I was ready.

There was nothing out there as far as the eye could see,
but a schizophrenic emotion run amok.

I was experiencing the fear as though it were relevant,
and underneath it all, I was
becoming very much concerned.

In my foolish quest to tinker with unbridled power
and use it for
my own advantage, it seems I have encountered a small glitch.

From out of nowhere a little girl with
a very sincere voice spoke aloud in my head.

“It's only a fence”
“Are you afraid of the big bad wolf?”

She then went on to comfort me with words such as
“Think of flowers in a field or water. Water helps.”

So sweet and kind was this child of nature who I remembered from the
craquelure painting of my youth. There was an alarm clock on a long
table in a room where the child was now standing, nothing else. The clock
seemed as though it were trying to go off, but couldn't for it was swelling fast
and in an uneven manner. I knew now that the clock was going to explode.

Wanting no harm done to the girl, I took hold of the situation and transported
her to a train leaving for an unknown destination. She waved to me with her
arm out the window, but was semi obscured by the fog. She spoke only a few
words, until I could no longer hear her voice. I was now becoming teary-eyed
as I thought of that painting, and all that was lost in the realm of time. 

                                                                               Pg 257

In my mind, she smiled as a young girl would smile, but I could also
that she really didn't want to go. She had to, for the sake of all
things well.
The train rolled off into the distance, and all that was
left behind were thick
layers of a hazy mist.

She was safe, and would live her long-forgotten days in peace.

I then realized to my surprise, I had taken control of the situation.
The girl who appeared to me briefly showed me that. “Thank you,”
I muttered to the rustling of tree branches, as if speaking through
an opening in Heaven's gate. Perhaps, it was to somehow reach
the withered old lady
, the innocent child became. How grateful
was I,
to the physiological axioms which define biology.

What it all boils down to is that is we are nothing more than flesh and blood
people. Living and toiling because someone wished to create us. I am sure
our parents were faced with many options, as were the people of society
before us. However, as we came to be, they provided love and care.

I then remembered where I saw that fence.

It was in a low budget horror film I had seen a while back.
I tried to remember the name, but it would
not come to me.

Ever notice when the lights are adjusted in a certain way
and the music
starts creeping in, you can
almost sense the fear while you are watching?
Even if no one is there and
nothing will ever happen. In other words,
sometimes the anticipation is
greater than the outcome. If you can find
what's causing the fear, the fear
will go away. So long as it's only fear
and not two arms reaching out at you.

Of the present time, there was nothing to consume me, and I was once
again relieved. The world had relaxed and I slipped out of its grasp to
establish myself in obscurity. Where colors are dull grey, and second
chances are that perfect shade of blue an artist will never find.

A problem can only be solved by finding its solution, but to lose a child or
loved one, the issue may never be resolved and may drive people to commit
unspeakable acts. Those internal wounds affect the heart by shocking the
subconscious mind into believing that nothing will ever be the same again.

As for me, I no longer wished to be a participant in this life, but merely
an observer, for in my heart, I knew I would never be able to find any
resolve in that one particular area of my aforementioned past

I looked down at the weeds in the yard nearby, and it felt like I was
in Missouri. Why Missouri, I'll never know, but that's what I felt,
so I'm not going to lie to you. Never at any time, did an object
materialize in front of me, nor did anyone just magically appear.
Only the very aspect of the environment had changed.

I was looking through eyes that weren't my own;
I was gaining a different perspective.

All things were relative in the order that they were now being processed.

I knew the consequences of my actions and the results that would follow for
any discriminating behavior on my part, whether it be lewd or mischievous,
violent or anarchic, or any other form of wrong doing, for that matter. Wherefore,
I would expect the same from any individual under the present circumstance.

Be aware of your surroundings.
Know your enemies.
Raise no sword.

These are the four basic rules of the game. Follow them,
and you should traipse through the wonderment unscathed.
Caution was the key, and slowly, I got myself out of a very
tense and alarming situation.

                                                                               Pg 258


Reviews for chapter 36

Ann Schloss - Drugs are so bad

Jane Mercer - As a psychology major, would you mind terribly if I picked your brain?
That was a joke, but it sounds like I want to dissect you!

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PG 256) Connected by Anne Siems -

PG 256) The leg of the elephant that is reflected in gavel roses
by Agim Meta -

PG 256) Oforia by David Ho

PG 257) Blanar
by Waldo Retamales -

PG 257) Nearer my God to thee
by Jack Kevorkian -

PG 257) Bakemono
by Neil Bruce -

PG 257) War by numbers
by Shepard Fairey -

PG 258) Paralysis
by Jack Kevorkian -

PG 258) Je ne sais quoi by Alessandro Fantini

PG 258) Corkey ascending to the heavens
by Mark Ryden -