Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Memory of a Memory?

     I've been reading the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft on the recommendation of a co-worker. Until now I had no idea my books could be classified as horror stories. I've learned a lot from reading!
     One story in particular 'The Reaminator' brought to mind an episode from my elementary school years long forgotten. I didn't like science class all that much, but our fifth grade teacher, Mr. Cashman, made science more interesting to me. One of our class assignments was to enter the school Science Fair. This was something I always shied away from, but as this assignment made it mandatory there was no escape. Our first step of the assignment was to write a project plan for his review. We were to include a list of the materials we would need. Mine resulted in me having to meet with Mr. Cashman after class.
     My list of required materials included two mice, a pump, plastic tubing with insertion needles, glass beakers, hypodermic needles, copper wires, a dry cell battery and liquid nitrogen. I think of all the items, the liquid nitrogen was the reason for this meeting.
     "Let's discuss your experiment."
     "Okay."
     "Tell me what exactly you plan to do."
     "I'm going to drain the blood from the mice as I pump liquid nitrogen into them to freeze them. Then I'm going to put them in our freezer at home for a week. Then I'm going to pump out the liquid nitrogen and pump the mouse blood back in and then shock them back to life with a charge from the battery."
     "I see. Have you discussed this with your parents?"
     "No. I can't let my Mom know I've put mice in her freezer."
     "How do you plan to buy the the hypodermic needles and the rest of it?"
     "They sell needles at the drug store for diabetics, so I figured they'd be easy to get. The rest I thought you could get."
     "I don't think I can buy liquid nitrogen for you?"
     "Oh. I thought teachers could get stuff normal people can't."
     "Maybe you should come up with a different project."
     "I like this one. I'll just make posters with drawings of how the experiment would go."

     I made three posters which I taped together as a triptych which illustrated the procedures. I didn't win a prize, but I did get an honorable mention. Some people thought I had stolen the idea from some story or comic book I must have read. The truth is, I didn't like to read when I was younger, not even comic books. There was nothing like this on television in the early 1960's. I operated purely from my own imagination.
     Then again, I might have been remembering something I experienced in a future life time.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lucid Rescue 5

“Mascara?” The unexpected voice startled her causing her to drop the tube into the sink. “No mascara, Daphne. I’ve told you that before. You are a natural beauty. Hold on to your innocent looks for as long as you can, Sweetheart.That’s how Daddy loves you.”
“But I’m not innocent, am I, Sweetheart?” She didn't anticipate the slap that knocked her head into the medicine cabinet mirror. Her face caught the corner of it causing a small bloody gash.
“Great! Now see what you made me do? You can’t come to the party looking like that! You’ll have to stay here and stay in your room. I’ll go alone.” Her father slammed the bathroom door as he left.
Daphne gazed into the mirror fascinated by the power of a little trail of blood. She wondered if perhaps she had just discovered her best weapon of defense. She carefully washed her face with soap and water before applying a cotton ball of alcohol to the cut and applying a bandage. The stinging was mild and didn't last very long. She could live with it.
Daphne turned out the light and walked over to her bed and got under the covers. With visions of cuts and dragons floating around in her head, she certainly had a lot to dream about. She closed her eyes and smiled as she imagined having a scar above her left eyebrow. For starters.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lucid Rescue 4

Daphne didn’t know what she had hoped the dragon would do for her. Her desire to learn to fly distracted her from asking any other questions. She stopped when she was halfway home. Protection. Protection was the main thing she wanted from the dragon. When she turned to look back, the dragon had left.
Filled with sadness and dread she continued on her way to her tower home. When she reached her street, Daphne caught a glimpse of her reflection a window of a passing car. She was surprised she was still in her nightgown and barefoot.
The next moment she felt a puff of warm air on her neck. The blended odors of cigar and scotch signalled the presence of her father in her room. Any hope of rescue by a dragon was obliterated by a hand searching under her gown. Her father was about to use her again and she was powerless to stop him. Daphne wished she had asked the dragon’s name as though she believed he would hear her cry out.
Her eyes rolled open as she turned away from her father. A red light in the corner of the room  excited her at first with the impression it was the dragon until she recalled his emerald eyes. Her father was running the camera again.
So he’s expecting a performance Daphne thought to herself as tears flowed into her pillow.
“Sleeping Beauty, it’s time you woke up. Wake up, my darling,” her father hissed into her ear. “Maybe this will open your eyes.” A finger penetrated her and yes her eyes sprang open in pain.
“Daddy! Please don’t.”
“I’m not Daddy. I’m Prince Valiant come to wake the sleeping princess.”
“Daddy―”
“No, Prince Valiant. Stick to the story, darling! This will be our best film yet if you’ll play along.”
“I don’t want to! Let me go. I want to get up.”
Her father’s finger stabbed her deeper while his other hand gripped her throat. “You can get up after the princess is awake and Prince Valiant is satisfied! Now get into character like a good girl.”
“I have to go to the bathroom. I think I’m going to be sick.”
“Like I said, you don’t leave until the prince has been rewarded for waking Sleeping Beauty.”
The girl throat emitted a sound that said she wasn’t faking. Daphne was about to be sick. He father released his grip. The girl made it to the toilet just in time.
“Be sure to brush your teeth and use some mouthwash before you come back here. I’m resetting the camera. No one’s going to enjoy that little scene. Daphne, are you alright?”
Daphne flushed the toilet and washed her face with cold water. “I’m brushing my teeth.” Actually she was scouring her bathroom for something she could use to end this ordeal, for good.
The make-up tray on top of the flushbox offered a possibility. Mascara.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lucid Rescue 3

“What do you want to know about flying?”
“Can I fly?”
“Of course you can. Anyone can, although flying is more difficult for humans.”
“Why?”
“Well, have you tried to fly, Daphne?”
“No. I’m too scared of falling.”
“See what I mean? Humans are afraid. They want to get away from something or some one so fear shackles them to the ground.”
“I want to get away.”
“Where do you want to get away to?”
“I don’t care, just away from where I am.”
“In that case, my dear, you’ll have to depend on your feet.”
“Why can’t I fly away?”
“If all you want to do is get away, you have to walk. It’s a rule. You could run, I suppose, but I think you would tire quickly.”
“But why can’t I fly? Wouldn't flying be quicker and easier?”
“Of course if you had somewhere specific to go. Otherwise, it’s the foot trail for you. People do call what you want to do running away. Tell me why you want to run away from home.”
“I can’t.”
“Daphne, I realize asking a woman’s age is considered rude, but I’m curious. How old are you?”
“I’m fifteen.”
“Fifteen? I thought you’re a young woman of twenty or twenty-one.”
“Mother says I matured early. Otherwise she doesn't speak to me much.”
“Did you argue with your mother?”
“No. No argument. No fight. Nothing. She just stopped having anything to do with me. My mother hates me.” Daphne began to weep. The dragon waited patiently for the tears to stop.
“Is your mother pretty like you?”
“I think she’s prettier. She showed me photographs of herself when she was my age. We’re practically twins. I used to love when we were matching outfits. Mother and I used to spend wonderful Saturdays together going out to lunch and shopping. Sometimes we took in a movie.” Daphne sighed heavily and blotted her eyes with her sleeve. “All that seems so long ago.”
“Why did your outings with your mother stop? Did you want to do those things with girlfriends instead?”
“No, not at all. None of this was my fault. Listen, I don’t want to talk about this anymore. You’re supposed to be telling me how wonderful flying is.
“What does your father say about the change in how you get along with your mother?”
“He says all teenage girls experience problems with their mothers. He says a natural rivalry occurs when the little girl starts looking more womanly, if you know what I mean.”
“He thinks your mother is jealous of you? You said the two of you look alike. I assume her figure is as womanly as you say as your own. Why would she be jealous of you?”
“I’m cold and want to go back inside. If you don’t want to tell me about flying,  fine. Don’t tell me, but I want to leave now.”
“Do you want me to take you home?”
“No. Thank you, but no.”
“How will you get into your room?”
“Like you said, I’ll walk.”
“Goodnight, Daphne.”
“Good-bye, Dragon.”
“Will we see each other tomorrow night?”
“Sorry. I’ll be busy. Tomorrow night is date night.”
“You have a boyfriend, Daphne?”
“No boyfriend, just my dad. He’s taking me out to dinner. He likes to call it our date night.”
“Nice that he takes you and your mother out to a restaurant.”
“Mother doesn’t come with us. Date night is for daddies and daughters only. It’s like a club. Other girls will be there with their dads.”
“Sounds like fun.”
“You’d think so, wouldn’t you? Well, good-bye.”

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lucid Rescue 2

The dragon and the young woman sat together at the water’s edge.
“Tell me how life is in the tower and why you never go out with people your own age.”
“I’d rather you tell me, Dragon, how life is when you can fly.”
Dragon turned his head toward the lake and sighed. Water bubbled and a bit of steam rose.
Daphne was enthralled, not afraid as usual when in the presence of someone else.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lucid Rescue

A young woman sat like Rapunzel at her window watching night devour day. Fog rising from the lake brought her the promise of twilight magic. Fantasy made her a princess held captive by an overprotective father. She believed in her heart he loved her, but his sternness and strict discipline made his affection seem like another of her dreams. Nothing ever happened in her life. Nothing was permitted to happen in her life. She longed to escape into the world below her window. The fog grew denser, erasing the pagoda on the bank of the lake. Something stirred inside her. Anticipation set her senses on alert. Her eyes scanned the hazy but familiar landscape below looking for the source of her excitement. Then it happened.
A pair of brilliant emerald eyes gazed back at her through the window. The reflection of the glass blinded her to the owner of the eyes. Her room towered several stories from the ground. The outside walls were impossible to scale. Who could be looking in at her? She had to find out. She raised the pane.  She felt a puff warm breath on her face. When he said hello in a resonant baritone voice her face warmed from the inside.
“Who are, how did you, what are you standing on?”
She leaned slightly out of the window to look and snapped back as though she were supported by a bungee cord. She had dreamed of a night such as this with a visitor such as she had, but she never really thought―
The face that greeted her was attached to a body that had his feet on the ground. The dragon of her dreams found her. He would rescue her from her tower of isolation and her life would never be the same, or so she hoped.
The dragon understood it wasn't possible for the young woman to invite him inside, so he gallantly invited her out.
“Would you like to walk around the lake with me, Daphne?”
“Would I ever!”
The mist rising from the lake by now was a fog so thick it actually assisted Daphne to climb out the window. She, of course, straddled the dragon and wrapped her arms around his neck as he flew her to water bank. Daphne’s heart practically jumped out of her chest with exhilaration. He had come for her, just as she always wished.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sons of Abraham

My mission is to expose child sexual abuse by any means possible. I read about it and share that information through Twitter and Facebook. Child sexual abuse permeates nearly everything I write even when I write about synchronicity and the paranormal. Nothing stirs my blood more. Nothing surprises people more whenever they hear about an individual case in the news. Even so there is no activity to which people in general are so blind. I know. I watch. I see how passive people are in textbook situations. Their inattention to the attention strangers give their children makes me want to grab these people’s shoulders and shake them. “Put your phones away and pay attention to your children!” So I write. I write in the hopes that someone will read one of my stories and become more alert. Passivity is a difficult habit to break so I find I need to write and report and repost a lot in order to help people chip away at it.
Pope Francis recently stated that pedophilia is pervasive in families as well as in the Church. This is true. However, Church teachings and religious upbringing often provide the basis for family life, especially in conservative families. Some families still live by the standard that the man is the head of the family. His decisions are absolute and cannot be challenged. His wife and children belong to him, as does the house, the car and even the family pet. Everyone in the household must abide by the beliefs of the ‘man of the family.’
My research into abuse for my novel THE ALTERED BOYS CLUB revealed The Women’s Rights movement of the 1970’s as the catalyst for legislation against domestic violence. Spousal and child assault and battery were criminalized for the first time. So was sex with offspring. Society frowned upon incest, but didn’t deem it criminal until the 1970’s. Astounding.
The reports of child sexual abuse by priests now include abuse by ministers of other denominations as well as rabbis. Recent reports from England include charges against various celebrities and government officials. One element of child sexual abuse that hasn’t changed is the fact the perpetrator is someone the child has met, known, and trusted.
Children will override their own instincts to submit to a parent or to trust someone their parents trust. I write to break blind trust. I write to stir the blood of adults as mine has been stirred. I write with the hope someday I will be free to move on and write about something else.
We cannot continue to act as sons of Abraham blindly sacrificing the lives of children.