dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Fruits of the Parallel

© Sharon Hood
Here's Sharon's latest piece. She can get them done in 60 minutes from start to finish (it takes A.T.D longer to provide a visual accompaniment than it does for her to jot the text down). Limit for all stories is 750 words. It's rather grand, calling them stories - some of them are mere flashes (hence the term 'flash fiction') and insights into snippets of isolated scenes or sketches, with no hint of a beginning, middle, or end - just a small segment from either one or all of these.
Kaydee died mid-sprint half a mile from her house, flat dead on the running track two thirds of the way through her second lap. She’d joined the local athletics club to lose weight.

She left behind no children, but both parents, two sisters, and a brother. She’d also recently started dating again after three years of being single.

The moment she died, she stood up like Patrick Swayze in the film GHOST and stared at her still body.

You’re allowed in,” she heard over her shoulder. An angel who looked like Peter Andre with a white glow gave her a remote control. “Go home and turn on the TV until it’s time. There’s a two hour wait.”

She went home, noting the ambulance quickly on the scene, and plodded upstairs to watch telly. There were pears on the telly, which she started to eat. They were the nicest foodstuff to ever touch her lips, both filling and thirst-quenching at the same time. On Channel 1, there was a hippie woman playing a harp to a live audience. On 2, it was a woman in overalls fixing a flat tyre in a garage. On 3, it was a woman in a restaurant carrying a platter of food. All three women were the same: All three women were her.

She hardly recognised herself: different clothes, different hair, different demeanours. On Channel 4, she was a child at a friend’s birthday party. On 5 she was a multi-millionaire media mogul in a suit. On 6, she was rowing a boat in the Olympic Games. In two hours, she’d only reached Channel 23. There were hundreds, thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands more.

Thankfully, Kaydee had turned at 30. Before 30, she had only guessed at the presence of God or any other kind of power, bewildered and confused at certain critical moments of her life. Grief, shame, guilt and anger had dominated her twenties, but something changed then and she actively sought any kind of higher existence on a permanent full-time basis, rather than flirting with the idea when it suited her, in times of want and need. She changed herself, BY herself, and indeed found something that had always been there, and would always be there, now that she had opened her eyes and her heart to receive it. It was not the Lord Jesus Our Saviour, she didn’t think at the time, but it could have been. The important thing was not what it was or what it wasn’t, but what it did.

On every channel she had friends and family; on every channel she was enriched. It would have been so much different, if she hadn’t altered her mindset and outlook while she had still had the time. The channels might have been dark, solemn, and glum, showing her walking the streets, destitute, weighed down not only by the pressures of the world, but more so by the mistakes and regrets of her own soul.

Life is all about choices, she thought. A maze.... a sheer labyrinth of Cat & Mouse and Snakes & Ladders. Every wrong turn rippled along the Path of Consequence.

Kaydee heard her bedroom door open. She thought it was the angel to lead her to the next place, but it was another version of herself. This other one was dressed like a goth with black lipstick on, black mascara on, and covered in tattoos. The goth Keydee spoke into an earpiece. She said: “I’ve infiltrated purgatory. When St Peter comes to collect my inferior, I’ll eliminate him too and invade Heaven.”

The ‘nastified’ edition of Kaydee dragged the saved Kaydee to the floor, picked up a pear, and rammed it into her throat. “You have so many fruits of the spirit,” the bad Kaydee shouted, “you may as well have fruits of the parallel too...right down your gob!”

Kaydee choked and suffocated as more pears were stuffed into her mouth. The evil Kaydee changed channels when she was done, to enjoy herself shooting a speedball for the first time all over again, on Channel 66, and splitting up someone’s marriage, on Channel 69. She chuckled to herself.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON EARTH....The paramedic finally brought Kaydee back to life. The girl had been technically dead for two minutes. She became a celebrity of sorts among her close circle, known as the girl who had cheated death. Absolutely everybody knew, it seemed, after a while....but, in fact, they only knew the half of it, because she was sure in the knowledge, deep in her heart, that she had died not just once....but twice.


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