The Secret Animal

bamboo rad crop - mod 3 cmcRichard Devroe became fascinated with little things when he was four years old and his parents died.  His Aunt Rebecca told him to sit quietly in the entryway of the house before the memorial service, and all he knew was that his mother and father had gone up into the air in an airplane and disappeared.  Sitting in a hard, dark chair, he vaguely construed the scene as one of waiting for his parents’ return despite what his aunt had told him.  She had said that they were “never coming back,” but waiting here alone like this, Richard began to take that as meaning that they were somehow invisible now, that they would come back but he might not know it.

He tried to recall his parents’ faces and hands.  He could almost conjure up the feeling of being spoken to and touched in a comforting way, not like now with Aunt Becca, whose perfunctory affection only momentarily reeled him in from wherever he was drifting.  His parents’ presence had always put him solidly in place in the world.  Now there was nothing but this chair drifting in a narrow room, and the experience of his own yearning to be elsewhere, where they were.  While the clock on the wall behind him clicked off an eternity of seconds, he stared at a shaft of sunlight that came in through the window in the door and made a small golden pool of light on the floor near him.  If his parents were invisible, they must be even smaller than the dancing motes of dust in that shaft of light.  Then Richard Devroe tried to wish himself as small as things would be if they were never coming back but nonetheless returned.

Though Aunt Rebecca was not cruel, she was extremely high-strung and self-involved and could thus be brutally dismissive, and she considered child-rearing a process of enforcing quiet, polite behavior.  Thus, in the months that followed Richard’s moment of enlightenment, he had plenty of time to meditate solemnly on modes of existence unavailable to the untrained eye.  Continue reading

The Couple

Two people, time, places, police . . .

Even before _________ and _________ were seated at _________, they started _________. The ________ focused on _________, but they both knew the real issue was _________. _________ claimed that _________, a claim that _________ considered to be totally _________ because _________ had actually _________. “Why do you always _________,” __________ said. And _________ replied by pointing out that _________ was the one who always _________. _________ could never resist adding that _________ was a _________.

As usual, they were getting _________, and people nearby were _________. But what did they care? As far as they were concerned, they were _________, and other people were just _________. They never thought of themselves separately or together as _________, which, of course, was part of the problem whenever they _________.

The year before _________ had been in _________ for _________. During that time, _________ had _________, and _________ had never forgiven _________ for _________. In fact, _________ thought that _________ could not be punished enough for _________ and started _________ every time they _________. “Don’t think you can go on _________ me,” _________ said almost daily. “I wish I were still _________ so you would just _________ about this and let me _________.” “Fat chance,” _________ would always say.

And so they had reached a kind of _________ when _________ found out that _____ had _________. The thought of this was so _________ that _________ could not _________ and instead of _________ proceeded to _________ at every opportunity, and such opportunities abounded because _________ simply refused to _________.

At night, _________ often dreamed that _________ and awoke to discover that _________. Of course, _________ thought that ________ was responsible for _________, and was in fact haunted by _________ own failure to _________ when the chance arose.

Early, too early, in the morning, _________ sat in the _________ looking out at the vast _________ and thinking ________ had really _________ things up this time. And so it was that things got out of _________ so much that _________ began to devise _________ plans to ________ with _________ even though, as everybody knows, _________ would never be _________, and any attempt to _________ would only _________ the _________.

Later on, but not later enough, when _________ was being _________ by the police in a rather _________ manner, _________ would put on a _________ face and assert that _________ was in fact _________ and had been attempting to _________ the _________ when it _________. Of course, _________ didn’t believe that _________ had _________, but played along with the _________ hoping for a _________ that was never _________. And never would be.

Mind the Blanks 2

. . . a story to play with–the story emerges from what the reader’s mind does with the blanks when the reader is reading. No rules–it’s playtime.

Preface to the First Edition

Some ________ are more _______ than others. Take, for instance, the ________. Seldom ________ in more ________climes, various species of ________—the ________, the ________, the ________ among them—thrive from ________to ________.

One day ________ brought ________up in a most unusual context. We were discussing ________ when ________ suddenly began wondering aloud if ________ still _______ on the ________ river. I said, “Well, of course,” but ________ drolly said, “Don’t be too sure.” and then explained that ________ often ________ when ________.

________ told me that in the past ten years, ________, several ________ had ________ in ________. The situation had become so ________ that the government of ________ had mandated that ________. Notwithstanding a few ________, the local populace responded with ________, going so far as to ________ lesser-known ________ in both summer and winter. The effect this had on the ________ population was ________, and ________ were hastily called in to ________.

While ________ was telling me this, I had been ________. I started to ________ but thought better of it. “Surely you don’t mean that ________ ________,” I said. “Oh yes,” ________ said; “They even ________ ________ .”

When ________ left ________that day, I felt ________, but I shrugged it off as my usual ________. But that night I dreamed I was in ________, surrounded by ________ and pleading with ________ to ________ while ________ ________. I awoke so ________ and ________ that I couldn’t ________, and I spent the rest of the night ________.

The next morning I began to ________, and by the following week I had gone to ________ where I was greeted with ________ and began the ________ journey, a record of which now ________ before you.