Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kimmydon Week 11 Entry: Imagine Following


Picture 1Picture 2

Kimmydon's Choice: Both

Imagine Following

I followed the signs, I obeyed the rules, that was why my life was so dull, so mundane. When I was supposed to stop, I stopped. When they asked me to slow down, I slowed down. But nothing could rein in the imagination that ran away with me.

Why was the limit 55? Why couldn't I turn from this lane? Well, actually the answer to those were obvious. What I really wanted to know was what was around the corner, where did the kids go after school? Would the detour take me somewhere new?

I obeyed the signs. Daddy had instructed me well. Momma was the rule-breaker. She was the one who learned hidden truths, loved a man who shouldn't be able to love her back,and bore a child that by all rights, should have killed her.

Did I mention, I love my Mom? Not that I don't love Dad. He's great! He knows everything I want to say before I say it. He answers my questions before I ask them. He's the perfect teacher and confident. But he doesn't break rules. The only time I know of him really trying was when he tried to kill himself because he thought Mom was dead. Even then, he asked first. Can you believe that? He asked if he could kill himself. My Dad....

Anyway... This sign was new. This place was pretty new to me. We'd been in the big house near Forks as long as I could remember, staying close to Grandpa Charlie.

He's another one for the rules. He's a police officer, so he makes sure everyone follows them. Still, I catch a gleam in his eye and know Momma didn't get all her rule-breaking ways from Renee. I don't call her grandma only because I've never met her, and never will. Another rule. Too dangerous for Renee. Sigh. Well, I have Grandmother and Grandfather and Grandpa Charlie, so I suppose I can live with that.

The sign is a simple arrow. Not a traffic sign, it is painted on the road in chalk. I look around. Momma and Daddy don't like me wandering on my own. I spy Jacob in the trees though, a red-brown furry shadow. Okay, I'm not alone. I will follow the arrow.

It leads to another arrow, this one also not on a sign. It's a piece of posterboard. It wants me to make a left. I watch for traffic and skip along. It leads me to a park. I start scanning for another arrow, a sign, something. I find it at the end of the block. It's small, and it's floating in the air. How strange. I reach for it and a small slip of paper comes off the silk thread. I tug slightly and can finally follow it to where it is tied to an overhanging branch. The breeze made it seem to fly. I unroll the paper and find a tiny pillow mint inside, pink.

"Eat me," the paper reads.

I laugh, thinking about Alice in Wonderland. Will this make me big or small? Big I hope. I've had enough of being small. I pop the mint in my mouth and turn the paper over.

"Oak tree," the back reads.

I look around the park for the only oak in it. I don't see Jacob anymore, but I don't worry. At the bottom of the Oak is a tiny door. I look down at myself, hoping I've started to shrink. I haven't. My feet are still size six and my legs are still twenty seven inches long. I will not fit through that door.

I lay at the foot of the tree with my face near the tiny window opening, peeping in. It's dark inside and I don't see anything. Is it a trick? Did someone just put a door here? Or is this really a rabbit hole, leading to Wonderland?

I decide to knock. That's polite; it's what Grandmother Esme would want me to do.

"It's unlocked," a voice answers. It is very quiet. I only hear it because my hearing is better than human. I put my finger tips to the knob, trying to grasp the tiny thing. I managed to turn the handle and open the door.

I see bark. Frowning, I rise, leaving the door open.

"Come in if you're coming! Otherwise, shut the door!" The voice is louder now, nearer.

"I don't fit," I answer.

"Didn't you eat it?" the voice asks.

"I did! But I'm not a normal person."

A tiny head peeps out the door. It appears to be a woman, four inches tall, with a long red braid down her back. "I'll say you're not. Look at you, shining in the light like a vampire. Come in, come in."

"But..." The woman turns, tossing something over her shoulder. The door grows to my size. Or I shrink. I'm not sure which. I think the door gets bigger, because she doesn't.

"What's your name, bloodsucker?" she asks cheerfully. She doesn't say it like Jacob; she says it like Daddy would say, "love." I step through the door into a room. But if this is a house, it has no roof. Still, there is light, furniture, walls. It looks like a house.

"Renesmee," I answer properly. "But I'm usually called..."

"Renesmee, lovely name. Now, drink this." She hands me a cup that is as small as the doorknob was and very hard to hold. "My name is Marikana. I have a shortened name, too, but I don't hold with that nonsense. Your Momma named you Renesmee for a reason, just like mine named me Marikana. Let's keep our full names, shall we?"

I nod in agreement. I tip the small cup over my tongue and feel a pinprick where the single drop of liquid lands. I give the cup back to Marikana. As she takes it, I notice it become heavier. I am shrinking! I stop at the same height as she is.

"Thank you!" I say, grinning.

"You are quite welcome, bloodsucker. Please, tell me how you came here." She motions to her table.

I sit opposite her and fold my hands in my lap. "I followed the signs."

She nods. "Of course you did. I knew that. How did you find the signs?"

"I was looking for them. They were in plain sight."

"Yes, they've been in plain sight for ten years, yet you are the first person to knock on my door." Just then there is another knock on a different door. "Will you excuse me? That will be Lantoka. He'll want you to call him Lan." Marikana rolls her blue eyes. They are striking, no pupils, just solid blue.

"Of course," I agree, watching her move to the rectangular, purple painted door. It was a stark contrast to the rounded wooden door I had come through. It had returned to normal size, I notice when I look at it now.

A man, the same size as Marikana, stands on the other side, dressed in brown pants and a green shirt. He has long black hair that hangs straight down his back. He has the same, odd, blue eyes with no pupils.

"Ack! Forgive me, Mari, I didn't know you had company. Wait... is that?"

"A bloodsucker," she says with a smile. "I was just asking her how she found us."

"I would like to hear that as well. I'm Lan." He extends his hand and I take it. His touch is warm, warmer than Jacob's.

"I'm Renesmee." Marikana smiles as I give my full name.

"A real pleasure to meet you, Ren-nes..." he stumbles.

"Nessie," I offer.

"Nessie! Lovely, I like that. So, you found the way?" he asks, taking a seat.

"Please, make yourself at home, Lantoka." Marikana puts her hands on her hips.

"Ack! I am so sorry, Mari. Forgive me. Do you mind if I stay a little?"

She shakes her head, her braid swinging. "No. Would you like a bun?" She pulls a basket from the counter top and sets it in the middle of the table. "Help yourself, Renesmee."

"No, thank you." I've never enjoyed cooked food.

"You found the signs," Marikana repeats.

"Well, yes. On the road, and then in the window, and then the note." I still held the slip which had changed size with me.

"I see. And why did you follow an arrow on the road?"

"Well..." I couldn't answer that. I didn't really know why. "I always follow the signs."

"Always?" Lan asks.

"Nearly," I nod as I speak.

"Why?" Marikana asks.

That's a good question. "Because my father taught me to?"

"Hmmm and he taught you to look for signs that aren't signs?"

I giggle. "No. No one taught me that. I just looked for them."

"She can't stay, Mari. You must see that."

"But she found them, Lantoka; she has the right mind. She follows even when she doesn't. We haven't had anyone come in so long."

"She is a bloodsucker. She wouldn't survive here. Our food won't nourish her."

They talk as though I'm not here. "Excuse me. I can digest human food; I just don't like it." I pick up one of the buns to show them.

"She's not a full bloodsucker, see." Marikana tells Lan, trying to convince him.

"No doubt part of the reason she's here. Obviously her parents don't follow rules either." He shakes his head.

I cough on the bun. It doesn't taste right. Lan shakes his head sadly. "Thank you so much for coming to visit us, Nessie. Please come back, any time you wish." He goes to Marikana's cupboard and pulls out two cups, refilling the one I had drank from previously. "You don't mind, do you, Mari?"

She sighs. "No, I suppose not. It was a pleasure to meet you, Renesmee." She took one of the cups as Lan hands me the third. They both raise their mugs and drink. I follow their example.
Even worse than the buns, this liquid does not sit right. Everything blurs and loses colour.
I blink, adjusting to the dim light. There is colour now. The dominant one being russet brown. Jacob. "What happened?"

He chuckles. "You fell asleep under a tree. Are you okay, sweetie?"

I rub my head. "I think so. I fell asleep?" That didn't sound right. I couldn't remember what had happened after I followed the arrow though. "Under a tree?"

"Yeah. I lost you for a moment, then I found you lying under an oak tree in a park in the middle of town. I didn't want to wake you, so I carried you home."

"How long have I been asleep?"

He shrugs. "Not long. Maybe an hour?"

"An oak tree?" I look at my open hand, the paper still there. I smile and close it again, remembering at last. I will visit Marikana and Lan again one day.