All along it was a lie, that made life worth living…
I remember… So many recollections wither and die, while others remain as vivid and full, as the day in bloom. Yes, I remember… I remember a girl, and her name was Shay. Red curls spiraled down porcelain cheeks, while green eyes wandered astray. She so often was perceived in this way. Quiet… introverted… as if captivated by a hidden curiosity, dream like and surreal. And most often, somewhere far away. As you would guess, she didn’t speak much, but she talked to me.
After school we would meet down by a creek, that ran along an old chapel with trees growing out the windows. In the front of this chapel, the flowers still bloomed. But what was buried in the rear nothing ever grew. Mere headstones bleaching in the sun. She once told me her grandmother was buried there, and that her ghost would sometimes wait for her. Together they would go picking flowers around the chapel, until her grandma felt too tired and needed to rest. She would then meet me by the creek, and together we would pluck the daisies and watch as the stream softly carried the peddles away.
Many times she was scolded for telling tall tales. The trouble was, I think she believed in them.
One day she did not come through the modest graveyard, to cross the bridge I had made for her; using old tires strapped to 2x4s. Rather she crept up behind me, carrying a bundle of the strangest blue flowers I had ever seen. When I asked where she had found them, the story she had told me was even stranger. She pointed to a field behind us and said, “Just beyond the fields of rye.” She said that she wandered through it and found a whole patch of them in the clearing.
Never seeing anything like these flowers before, she quickly started picking them. It was then from a hidden stairwell in the ground, that a manlike creature with copper skin emerged. Disgruntled, he demanded compensation for the blue violets she had reaped. But Shay was no more afraid of him, than any other of her daydreams. In fact she found him quite humorous, and as a joke, she leaned over and kissed him upon the brow, then chuckled as she ran away.
I decided then, to tell her what I thought of her tall tales. I had for so long pretended to believe her out of friendship, but now I beginning to worry; as her stories grew more and more outlandish. I felt as if she was slipping away from the real world, and sinking deeper into someplace that would get her locked up for sure.
She said nothing as I explained. She merely nodded a little with a long face, while plucking the petals from the violets. Soon she grew disheartened, and did not wish to hear anymore. Tossing what flowers remained, she announced that she was going home and ran across the makeshift bridge.
I tried to get her to come back, but she wasn’t hearing it. Before disappearing behind the chapel, I heard her shout to one of the headstones, “You were right about him, Grandma! He’s just like all the rest!”
I let a couple of days go by, in hopes she would cool off. But her detachment from me and the rest of the world only widened. In school, she didn’t even seem to recognize me anymore. She simply walked from class to class with this distant stare. After a couple weeks, she stopped showing up at all. Prompting one of her teachers as to why, was when I first heard her name associated with the term, schizophrenia.
Passing her house every day, I noticed she had taken a liking to staring out her bedroom window, which was the lofty attic overlooking the neighborhood. Once I jokingly called out to her, “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!” But she was not amused. I tried to get her to come to the door, but her mother said that she was ill. Once the door was shut, the old lady next door, remarked while sweeping her porch, “Poor girl… seen her just the other day. I don’t think she’s eating… seems like she just… wasting away.”
Truth be told, I wasn’t faring well without her. And the thought that I had in someway betrayed her, weighed heavy on my heart. I spent the following afternoons wandering the field… searching for that infamous flower patch. I figured that if I were to find it, then I could tell her everything about it. Surely then, she would trust me again. And if all it was, was some psychotic delusion, so be it. I didn’t have very many friends… none like her. And if she was a schizophrenic, then I wanted to be one as well. I would follow her anywhere… even beyond the thresholds of sanity.
It was on one such afternoon, that I did in fact come to a clearing. But there was no flower patch, nor secret stairwell. Simply a barren lot of dead grass. From behind I voice came, “Go home.” I turned to find Shay with an unwelcoming look upon her face. Her eyes seemed sunken. Her close hung loosely over a thin frame. And her hair looked stringy, as if she had not showered in days.
“I was looking for the flower patch,” I contested. “The flowers are all gone now,” she replied, “And you should go too.” I tried to apologize, but was met with little response. “I don’t care if you don’t believe me. The Devil believes me… Yes… he believes.”
“The Devil?” I inquired, “Would he by chance be the one in the stairwell?” She did not reply. I reminded myself not to dismiss her, instead tried to change the subject; by directing it towards our happier times by the creek. I thought she was going to cave, as I drew closer, growing more confident with each step. But once I had become too close, I was greeted with her dirty, uncut nails raking down my face. I bellowed in agony as she darted off into the field. It would be the last time I would ever see her again.
It was weeks later that I saw a several police cars, along with a paramedic parked just outside her house. Though I could not see who was wheeled into the back of the ambulance, I was for certain that it was not Shay. The body beneath the blood drenched sheet was clearly that of a tall man. It did not take long for rumors about what had happened, to fly all over school.
The consensus was that Shay had killed her father. By what means, seemed utterly disturbing within itself. The official report was death by decapitation. If you are looking for a practical answer, I’m afraid there isn’t one. Only the frantic gibberish of her now institutionalized mother. It appeared that Shay’s illness had deteriorated to the point, that she had locked her bedroom door, and had not come out for days.
Her mother, whom she lived alone with, managed to jimmy the lock with a kitchen knife. But what she found at the top of the stairs, both perplexed and horrified her. For what stuck in the corner of the ceiling, was an oblong, silky white mass; big enough for a girl Shay’s size to fit in. One so absurd might suggest that, Shay herself somehow managed to spin herself into a human like cocoon. So ironic for her doctor to simply dismiss her recent behavior as, “Going through changes.”
Shay’s mother hysterical, called her father and pleaded for him to come over. Eventually he agreed, and found her chain smoking at the kitchen table. “Did you call a doctor?” He asked. “No,” she replied, lighting a cigarette of another, “I want you to see your daughter for yourself.” He went up into the attic, while she waited by the stairs. He called to her softly, but was met with only a dreadful silence. A queer churn of discuss sickened him, as he crept closer to the thing in the corner of the ceiling. As his eyes gazed deep, he noticed something stirring within. A silhouette… but it did not resemble his daughter.
Before he could utter a single word, large tentacles shot out from the cocoon, gripping him by the neck. A duet of screaming terror rang out between Shay’s father and mother, as a bug-eyed creature with a bronze complexion emerged. Its claw like mouth ripped at his throat, propelling his head, to bounce down the stairs; landing at Shay’s mother’s feet.
Silenced by fainting she fell to the floor, while the thing tore out her father’s spine, threw his neck. Satisfied she crawled out, revealing her new wasp-like figure, complete with bladed wings. She perched herself, one final time upon the windowsill; looking at the world through a hundred eyes or more. She cleaned her wings then flew off, into the open sky… in search of flowers I reason. Shay really loved flowers.
The years have past. And as the pieces of Shay’s enigma slowly come together, what disheartens me the most… is that what I longed for each and everyday, was right there all along. Yet because of my arrogance, she grew tired and flew away… never to love again. And as for this netherworld she was so fond of? My last efforts brought me there… back to the fields of rye.
I come to understand few things, regarding the nature of the less tangible. We the sane live in a reality shaped by time. And therefore, what does not have a beginning and an end, cannot be measured, weighed, nor seen. If this to be true, then its value is zero… and can occupy no space in our world. But when one loses consciousness of time, all probabilities are equal. Only then, can the world of the infinite finally be realized.
I don’t mind my body lying there in the dirt, bleeding from an open gun wound to the head. My suicide in this field was but a transition. Much like Shay’s cocoon, my body was but a nest, cloaking me while I prepared for the horizon to be soared. No, I don’t much mind it at all. For I am well-occupied, tending to this blue flower patch. After all… I am but riding the echoes, that drift like petals through the gentle current of time. Waiting for the kiss of a girl, I dearly remember. Yes I remember a girl, and her name was Shay.