Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The Rebirth of a Dragon:Chapter 11
He was falling. It was a strange experience that reminded him of Alice when she followed the white rabbit down the hole into Wonderland. The only anchor he could find was Josephine so he held onto her with both his arms because in the deep recesses of his subconscious, he just knew that if he let go of her, he would never find his way out again. After what seemed like forever, but must have been closer to seconds or minutes, Josephine said, "You can let go of me now." He looked around and saw that they were standing near a house that was surrounded by trees with a single road that lead to, what seemed to be, the middle of nowhere. The snow that he saw told him that it was deep in the winter.
After seeing a place that he knew should and did in fact exist, all of his fear seemed to vanish and he became aware of the feel of her body against his. He hastily pushed her aside in embarrassment. Seth didn't think himself to be completely hideous and had been on his share of dates, but this was still the same girl who had insulted him when they had first met and he did have some pride still left in him. He noticed that she was blushing from this encounter and to his humiliation, he felt a burning creep up his neck. She then coughed and said,"So... This is your memory. Now where is the younger you."
Right on cue, a beat-up Mercedes from the 1970s drove up. Out stepped, a man in his early thirties, Seth's parents, and a ten year-old version of Seth. Seth recalled a vague memory of spending his Christmases at his uncle's house, but his family had stopped doing that after he had turned eleven so this must have been the last time he had been here. He didn't know why, but he had a feeling that this was an important memory and that he should pay close attention.
Aleksander said, "Thank you again for picking us up from the train station, Jo-I mean Mr. Snow." Seth's uncle turned to him and said, "It's Doc Snow to you." The present Seth said, "That's right." Josephine asked, "What's right?" He replied, "Uncle John never did like dad. He had this thing against foreigners and even if he didn't, he always said that he never trusted a man who could talk his way out of anything, dance, or cook and Dad could do all those things. Every time we came here, Dad spent the entire holiday trying to get him to like him, but he was always shot down coldly." "So why did he keep coming back," asked Josephine. "He didn't. My uncle is still alive, but this is the last time that we ever visited him, but for some reason I can't remember why." Josephine said, "Don't worry. That's why we're here so let's just watch. Your memory should come back as we watch." Seth nodded and they both turned their attention back to the scene before them.
When they turned back, the ten year-old Seth was helping his dad take their things into the rooms they would be staying at. After they were done, Seth went to the living room and started reading a hard-cover Harry Potter novel on the couch. He may have been known in school for always studying, but Christmas vacation was the time where he had made a rule to never pick up a textbook and to only read stuff that was not required for school. Seth remembered that whenever he went to visit his uncle, there was no Internet or phone connection, except for one land-line, so he always brought books with him to help him deal with the remoteness of the place.
"Why do you always do that," asked Seth's uncle from the corner of the room. Kid-Seth looked up and said,"Do what?" He said, "Ever since you were three, all you do is sit there and read. Don't you ever want to do anything else?" Kid-Seth put his bookmark in the novel and closed the book before saying, "What is there to do? No-offense, but the kids who live here are all boring and there's no Internet and the T.V. here doesn't have anything fun to watch and even if it did, it doesn't work most of the time." He laughed and said, "Children are always brutally honest no matter when they were born, huh." he said it as a fact. Kid-Seth shrugged and said,"If that's all, then I'm going back to my book." His uncle put his hand on the book and said, "If I let you do that then what would be the point of this conversation. Now, look out the window and tell me what you see."
Seth craned his neck to the window behind him and said, "I see the road that leads to town, I see the forest filled with evergreen trees, I see the snow that has stopped falling and covers everything, and I see your 1976 Mercedes. As for the forest, it should be a miracle that places like this still exist considering that most of the natural wildlife in the U.S. was torn down when the Industrial Revolution started, but then again maybe it isn't so surprising since people have begun to take an interest in the environment within the last fifty years or so." Seth's Uncle muttered, "Right, I forgot that you were ten going on seventy."
Seth's Uncle John sat down and said, "You like reading those fantasy stories about wizards and magic and all that, right?" After Kid-Seth's hesitant nod, John said, "Did you know that if you were to go into the forest and you go on that path for an hour," He pointed to a hidden road that was on the right side and then continued, "but go on the left road for another hour after you see the tree with a cross slashed into it, you'll reach a place that looks a lot like that castle on the cover of your book." Kid-Seth said, "That's not true. Although there are records of some castles being built in the Americas, the really big, Gothic ones are only supposed to exist in Europe and were in Nowheresville, Maine so even if a castle like that was to exist in the U.S., why would they build it here?" Seth's Uncle John had a far away look, as if he was remembering something sad from a long time ago when he answered, "Maybe they have something to hide, but you're only interested in fictional adventures so this has nothing to do with you." Kid-Seth said, "Uncle John, I read about reverse psychology and it won't work on me."
Josephine murmured, "And I thought you were a pain in the ass now." Seth didn't quite catch that and said,"I remember now. I knew logically what he was doing, but what he told me was still in my mind. It snowed for the next few days, but after, it stopped and the weather said that it wouldn't snow for the whole day so I told my parents that I was going for a walk and I left. And then-ow! I can't remember." When Seth tried to remember further, his head felt like someone had taken a hammer and smashed it. Hard. Josephine said, "Don't stress yourself. It's weird that this isn't a memory that you remember, but it should come back as you watch so calm down and let's see what's going to happen." He asked why she was so calm and she replied, "Well, one of us has to be sane if we're both supposed to get back in one piece."
As Seth predicted, they watched Kid-Seth unable to concentrate on any of his books and spend most of his time staring out the window waiting for the snow to stop. They watched his impatience and on the third day, the signal for the T.V. started working again. Seth's mom wanted to check the weather to see if it was safe to drive into town and the aforementioned forecast came to pass. When Kid-Seth saw it, he asked his mom of he could go for a walk. His mom said, "Seth, I don't think it's safe to go alone." Kid-Seth said, "The nearest house is four miles away and town isn't for another seven. Plus the only people who come here are the sick and injured. This isn't New York and who would want to mug a kid that's out in the middle of nowhere." His mom said, "But-" Seth said, "Don't you also have to go into town with Uncle and Dad so they don't kill each other and if you do that I would still be alone." His mom smiled and said, "You really are a perceptive kid. Well, all right, but promise me that you won't get lost and if you think you've gone too far you'll come back." Kid-Seth said, "O.K. I promise."
He then turned and changed into beige thermal pants, snow boots, a white long-sleeved thermal shirt, a coat, and faux fur lined gloves that his parents had bought him back in New York, just in case he wanted to go out walking in the cold. He also brought a small backpack that he filled with a digital camera, water, and some sandwiches that his mom had made for him in case he got hungry. He then waited for ten minutes. When he saw his parents drive off with his uncle, he set off for the path that his uncle had told him about.