An Unusual Day: Chapter 1: “As any other beginning”

3 11 2015

Here’s the first chapter of a story I’ve been working on recently.

Chapter 1:

Chad sat in class again.  He was in his usual chair, with the usual teacher droning on rapidly about the importance of a parabola… So I guess that was something new and different.  As the clock turned at the usual time, class was dismissed as usual. And, as usual, Chad got up, grabbed the bag he’d been carrying around since the beginning, and went home taking his usual route.  Chad passed by a friend – or rather – a casual acquaintance. Politely, Chad stopped and had a usual conversation with them.  “How’s it going?” “Good, how’s yours?” “Fine. Well, I’ll see you around.” “Cool.”  As Chad began to continue peddling down the road of identical brick apartments, it struck him:  He didn’t even know his friends name.  Nor what they were studying, or their age, or if they had pets.  Quickly though, Chad shook of this feeling and refocused on the important things; like where he was going.  Without much thought, Chad pulled out his house key and opened his door.

Once inside, he saw everything in its ordinary place: the bed where he usually slept; the kitchen where he usually didn’t make food; The coffee maker still filled with the usual amount of now cold coffee that he made that morning; and his desk with the usual amount of past-due homework that he generally avoided.

“Being normal is for normal people… I don’t think that’s you.”  The voice startled Chad.  Did he say that out loud? It didn’t sound like his own voice, but it was exactly what he was thinking.  On any regular day, Chad would have closed the door behind him.  But today was anything but normal.  In fact, it was so unusual that Chad wasn’t even paying attention to it.  Again the voice spoke up.  “Lovely day isn’t it? And before you say ‘I suppose so’, I want ask a follow up: is that really going to be your answer?” Chad spun around, startled because someone had interrupted his pattern.

In the doorway, stood a small, slender girl who just happened to have the most unusual wings.  They were shaped like a dragonfly but were almost see through, and seemed to glow in the evening sunlight.  “Well…” Chad thought at first “…it is October, maybe trick-or-treating is early this year.” The little girl fluttered her spritely wings and hovered up through the doorway, and up to Chads face.  She got so close that he could feel the warmth of her breath on his cheeks.  She stared at him intently for a moment.  He looked back confused and a little shocked at what was happening.  “You… don’t recognize me.” She quietly stuttered, as she floated to the ground.  “I… I’m sorry, I don’t know how I could…” Chad tried to sound apologetic as he closed his eyes tightly and shook his head.  “What in the world did I take today?” Chad said out loud as he tried to recall any medications that would cause this unusual hallucination.  The little fairy girl looked down at her left arm.  On the inside of it was what looked like a drawing of a signature; Chad’s signature in fact.  “But… you… made me.” The girl whimpered.

In a flash, Chad’s memory recalled a drawing he made back in high school between the margins of some history homework.  Not nearly as pretty as the girl before him, but he recognized her immediately.

He remembered that she was much older than she looked.  He remembered that she liked to have fun and always looked for two sides to every story.  He remembered that she lived in the forest by herself.  He remembered that she had a story to tell.  And lastly he remembered that she wasn’t real.

The breeze swung in through the open door and the door started tapping against the back wall.  It tapped against the wall like a knock at the door.  Chad looked down in front of him.  He was standing on the usual floor, still wearing his usual shoes.  The fridge started humming in its usual, loud, irritating way.  He should really get that fixed.

“Why?” Chad wondered.  He’d never noticed the fridge before.  How do fridges even work? Wait, no… He had homework to do.  And dinner – probably pizza again.  His imagination was getting away from him it seemed.  His parents and teachers always said that it could be a serious problem.

Chad spent the rest of the evening trying to shake the weird feelings that brought him back to his childhood.  His fingers twitched as he jotted down numbers for math and words for English.  He fought back the urge to be distracted.  Curves and lines flashed through his mind, as he tried to fill in the lines on his pages with prefabricated words and numbers that would prove that he could think normally like every other usual person.  Then the thought hit Chad faster than he could keep it from coming to him: What was her name?

Page after page, book after book, note after note, Chad continued furiously through his work for the evening.  Each time his mind shifted subjects he struggled to direct it towards his next assignment.  Every gap in thoughts presented him with a vortex of possibilities, each time being suppressed with what he assumed was a desire to succeed at his current task.

He rocked back in his chair, pushing himself away from his desk.  He had indeed succeeded.  He felt normal again.  Just after midnight and the requirements for life as he knew it were over for the day.  He could finally go to sleep.  But he didn’t.  His mind was not done with himself.  Something was missing.  What was it? A missed assignment from one of his teachers? A phone call he was avoiding to make? Pizza? What was it?  In his mind he drew a puzzle with each task of the day filling in the missing pieces as he tried to figure out what it was.  “I’ve done what was asked of me,” he thought.  “I’ve filled my basic needs.  What more is there?”  Chad never figured out what it was as he eventually found he was more tired than he’d originally thought.  In the last moments between the real world and the one only in his own sleeping unconscious he remembered one final thought: “It was a lovely day.”

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