Stories Inspired by Google Earth (http://9-eyes.com/)
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
Bartholomew is a moose. For years, he lived with his fellow moose brethren in a commune on the northern-most tip of Wainwright. However, he was never completely happy. Stories had reached his commune of an adventurous moose, known only as Bullwinkle, who traveled around the world with a squirrel named Rocky. Bartholomew always felt a deep kinship with Bullwinkle, as they both were cursed at birth with obscure names that began with B. Sometimes, that is all that a moose needs.
As a baby moose, Bartholomew was different. While the other moose frolicked in meadows and searched for tasty wood shavings, Bartholomew hunted for a friendly talking squirrel who was interested in becoming his sidekick. Unfortunately, friendly talking squirrels with aspirations of adventuring with moose were in short supply in Wainwright.
Thus, one morning, Bartholomew decided to take matters into his own hands and leave his beloved commune. After a hearty breakfast of twigs and roots, he said a tearful goodbye to his friends and galloped down the road, certain that he would soon find his very own Rocky.
The cabin sat right beside the lake, and there was a beach. We spent many hours building ‘toad stools’ over our feet. We really thought that a frog might come live in them, but what else could you expect from an 8 year old. The was never any fear of sunburn or skin cancer, or so I remember. It was just a fun day at the lake with my sisters and a bag of 10 Jiffy burgers for $1.00. Talk about ‘Where’s the beef!’ I guess there were adults around, but who was paying attention to that? The pier jutted out about 20 feet into the ‘deep’ water and if you jumped from there we could just doggie paddle enough to reach the diving platform. We scurried up the ladder and jumped right back in, over and over. Why is it we never got tired?
What was that? It scratched across my back. Deep arm swings thru the water to get away. Then, there it is again. Why is my back hurting? Paddle,paddle, faster and faster. I can feel the sand on my big toe. Paddle harder. Big splashes as I rise into the air and my feet take hold. Run, run out the water. Why is everyone laughing? What? Just a little brim fish pecking at my mole! Doesn’t matter to me. I will not go back in.
I took a millisecond to assess the situation. I’ve grown comfortable with the apparent simplicity of barriers created by the human species to limit the movement of a superior life. I looked closer at the design and imagined my hair follicles brushing against the oval-shaped iron bars, smoothing my way with ease. My nose touched the cold surface. I thought about the nerves that just told my brain to synthesize the size of the portal. Then I focused more closely and pondered the microscopic makeup of each of my cells. I imagined the complex cellular city at work, and contemplated the wonder of my brain that allowed me to instantly assess the size of the opening. I thought about the veins just under the surface of my skin. I thought about my heart pumping oxygenated blood through those veins as I jumped through the opening. I thought about my lungs, and how I would need to factor in the expansion of my body as the air inflated and deflated my body.
Then I flexed my body. I pondered the miraculous effort that humans made to build this simple barrier. I created a thought — my brain processed the subconscious instruction and translated it into a task for my body — my nervous system delivered that task to my legs- and my legs performed perfectly. There is no barrier that can stop me.
“This will never work, this will never work…” he mutters to himself, shoulders hunched and hands pressed deep in his pockets. He barrels through the pedestrian traffic on 1st Avenue, staring at the city horizon. In his left hand, his phone is crushed silently in his fist until the knuckles stretch the fabric of his black jeans. He picks up his pace as the light on 43rd street turns yellow: “no time, I have no time!” On the other side, a woman gasps as he rushes past her, swinging her bag of cereal and apples to the side to clear a path. Her head jerks back ogre-like to flash upon him a parting odious glare.
The phone rings, just as he reaches the next street corner. He fumbles to extract it, slamming it against his cheek. A pause on the other end, and then, “she made it.” Suddenly, uncontrollably, his hands shoot straight up, his neck locks backward, and he roars at the sky above New York. The phone takes wing.
It’s September, my favorite time of year, and my wife and I are, once again, headed the Caribbean. We look forward to this every year: the beautiful Caribbean Sea, the tasty, salty food, and the sun. I look over at my wife but she is too tired to speak. We’ve been traveling for days with no sleep and little food. When we were younger it was not a problem but now, I can feel the weight of our travels upon her. I try to think of something, anything that I can do to make it easier for her but I can’t give her rest and I don’t have any food. She looks thin to me. Frail. But there is something else strange about her. I can’t tell what it is. “Just a few more miles,” I say. I know I can keep going, but I can tell that every minute is painful to her. My heart feels heavy and I start to regret our decision to leave home at all. After a while, I can see the beautiful coast line ahead. I look over to my wife to tell her the good news but she is not there. She is 50 feet below me and falling fast. I go after her. We catch a breeze from the East and coast down; riding the wind like a surfer rides the waves. But the breeze doesn’t last and eventually it is up to her to break her fall. Her body hits the water and as she rises to the surface I can see the slick, slippery substance coating her tiny frame. I realize that this is the end for her and the impact of the realization shocks my chest. I look down at my own feathers, only to find the same greasy substance. In the crystal clear water below us, I can see fish.