Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Silent Room, Part 14

Prompt from Copper: “[his] eyes were beginning to flash with lights-- spots of pink and purple, yellow, and even a few sparkling silver fireflies.”


Grenfelder wanted a nap. 

It had taken him the better part of a day… or maybe it had been days, plural… to make his way back out of the hold of the recreated fantasy world and to remember the burning paper with its strange list of items. 

In fact, had he not come across a small patch of Johnny Jump Ups with their cheery yellow and purple faces, he might never have remembered. Johnny Jump Ups had been the one bone of contention between his grandfather and his mother and the topic of many a friendly argument. She adored them and planted them everywhere she could get them to grow in their gardens at home. She had even tried to pot them up for their kitchen table once. His grandfather, however, had absolutely despised them. No mocking little dandies for him when he could have a rose of any variety instead. Even as he stared at them and watched them dissolve into a low clump of pale pink fairy roses it had begun to niggle at his brain and bring him back into an awareness of the false nature of the gardens.  He had been tired before he had started.  Now he was beyond exhausted.

Geraniums, Stone, Blue checkered... something.  He turned the list over in his mind again, looking for something, anything else.
There were no geraniums and no blue checkered anything hiding in this garden that he could find. And the stones, there was such an abundance of stones. The impossibility pressed in on in him.

He started the list of his process over again in his mind as he circled the garden again.

He had started first with the eight stones in the main path. It was definitely none of those. 

After that he'd moved on through the rest of the stones lining the pathways. It was none of those either.

Then he had moved on to the hundreds of smaller rocks and stones incorporated into the gardens. His grandfather had apparently found it necessary to incorporate every stray rock and flat stone and brick that came his way into his design plan. It made for beautiful borders, enchanting walkways, and fascinating fountains. But it also made for hard going to find just one, particular, out-of-place stone. 

Twilight was settling in now, and his eyes were beginning to flash with lights-- spots of pink and purple, yellow, and even a few sparkling silver fireflies. His hands were cut and bleeding; he was beginning to feel a bit faint from adrenaline and lack of food. 

Apparently being in a world all in your head didn't save you from the real world difficulties of not eating and running your bare hands across the surface of rock after rock. For a moment the cupboard doors from the first room hovered before his eyes, cracked open brimming with all of his favorite foods. If only he had taken to time to eat first before he had picked up that flour jar. Even now, he could leave his search in the garden and go in to the kitchen with its cheery apricot walls and freshly baked chocolate cookies. He tried to push the thought away even as his eyes drifted shut in longing. A warm chocolate chip cookie melting on his tongue, soft and gooey, the chocolate oozing...

He rounded a corner near the mermaid fountain on yet another circuit of the garden and saw with relief a bench hiding in among the lush greenery of a weeping cherry. It looked broad and solid enough to take his weight. A chance to rest. 

 With a sigh of relief he settled himself down onto the rock studded concrete bench, his foot scuffing forward against one of the paving stones making up the pathway as he sat. And promptly fell through it with a hard resounding thump. He struck his head on something in the fall. There was a haze of pain, the world narrowing in, and then everything went black.

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