Boomerang

Photo by Heather Rowland.

Written to "Last Night I Woke the F*ck Up," by Job Bellion.

  Dedicated to Chase and Cole Flinders.

She wore an old tank top that had been white once upon a time ago.  Her underwear was the same.  Somewhat white. Somewhat old. Extremely comfortable and comforting.  Her hair was long and straggly.  It was so thick that she had decided for a cut with bangs to keep the hair from her eyes without too much fuss.  As long as she could see what was right in front of her, her hair could tangle however it wanted to. The night was coming on strong.  She felt the fatigue in her body, but she also felt her un-hushed mind pressing on her weary head.  Some of the worst nights came from an over exhausted body attached to a wound up mind.  She could feel it might be one of those nights.

All night preparations had been taken care of.  Her teeth were brushed. Her hair combed and cleaned.  Her fish fed.  She entered her room and closed the door behind her.  She looked up at her ready made bed and was happy she had decided to fold the covers back to where they belonged earlier that morning.  She took a long stare at the blankets and then switched off the lights.  

She was alone.

For a second, she relied on the carpet she felt underneath her toes.  She reached out in faith and memory until she felt the covers underneath her fingers. She trusted her bed, and let her body roll on top of it as she did every night when she turned off the lights.

She laid there.

Sprawled. Tired. 

She laid there.

Stretched out. Anxious.

She laid there.

Aching. Restless.

She laid there.

She turned to look at her little clock that stood on her nightstand with a pair of her earrings, a portrait of her family, and a candle that smelled like blood oranges.  Her eyes darted back to her clock suddenly. Smoke was puffing out of the device.  She raised her head in alarm. She sat up on top of her bed with her legs curled under her (since one never ever lets one’s legs hang off the bed at night in the dark).  That’s just asking for lurking monsters to reach out and take you from the very spot where you’re supposed to let your guard down for eight hours or so.  She leaned forward to observe her smoking clock when she realized that it wasn’t actually smoking, but steaming.  Like a teapot, it trembled as it became louder as the pressure of the clock’s steam increased.  She reached out to touch the clock, turn it off perhaps, but even before she touched it, she could feel an immense heat coming off of the peculiarly behaving object.  

Just as it seemed the clock could handle no more pressure, it stopped abruptly.  The girl held her breath for a moment. Nothing happened. She exhaled with her entire body, letting her shoulders fall gently back to her sides. And then the clock exploded.  The girl went flying into the air so fast, she might have been a flash.  Then, everything slowed down to impossible speeds.  She looked around curiously at the feathers from her pillows floating about her like large ruffled snowflakes falling at a fantastically slow pace.  She reached out and touched one of her dirty socks, one of the coils from her now-deceased clock, newly melted and cooled wax from her blood orange candle.  The photograph of her family had been de-framed and was still smoldering on one edge of the photograph.  A purple bra floated past her with the rest of her week’s laundry that had been thrust from her hamper from the strange alarm clock explosion.  The fish aquarium was still oddly in tact with the fish swimming inside indifferently. She felt like she were the one in an aquarium, floating aimlessly about until something would happen.

What a strange dream I am having, she thought.

Then time caught up.  The force of the explosion was brought back to real time and the young straggly-haired girl was thrown against her bedroom wall with the rest of the debris from her room.  She fell to the floor.  Her mouth wanted to moan in pain but she had no air to moan with. Instead, her stomach moaned from the inside.  It asked, “Why so much pain without death?”  After clambering around like a lost sea urchin, she stood up.  She stumbled to the door to escape the chaos of her bedroom.

Just before she turned the doorknob, she heard a familiar click.  It was the sound the lock made when she locked the door...which was strange because she hadn't locked the door.  She quickly turned the brass doorknob which was still hot from the explosion, but as she expected, it was locked.  In a panic and sudden anger, she yanked at the door knob. She pounded on the wooden door with the crusty white paint flaking off from the force of her fists.  So fixated on damaging the door with the physical force and, perhaps noise, of her body, that she didn’t even notice the large green blankets from her bed creeping up on her in a horrendous blob form.  Finally she had realized that she wasn’t alone.  She froze and then spun around slowly to look up to see a giant heaping pile of blankets lurking over her in such a malicious silence she had no doubt it had come to swallow her whole and devour any soul that was left in her body.

The monster lifted what must have been its arm and let it fall.  The girl dove away onto the floor, missing the blanket of an arm coming down upon her by mere inches.  Her survival instincts had kicked in, and suddenly after an evening of staying up and worrying about paying rent, that pimple forming on her face, and when she should go buy running shoes with more arch support, she was only focused on one thing:

Living.

She snatched a roll of ashy toilet paper and started running around the monster in circles, winding him up with Angel Soft’s Ultra thick toilet paper.  After only about ten circles, she had become dizzy and the monster only needed to flex his cloth-like biceps to break out of her poor idea of an attack.   Her vision was still shaky from her circles and she fell to the floor.  The monster approached once again.  She frantically reached around, grabbing onto a lamp.  She threw the lamp (the one she had once bought as a romantic light to help her set the mood a many few months ago) as a spear into the blanket monster.  It struck him.  He cowered down in pain, but then his material skin swallowed it whole and spat it out from the other end.

She crawled around the beast and threw her empty mason jars at the attacker.  It was strange to think that the mason jars that held her cranberry juice, her water, her trail mix were all being used to inflict pain on some foreign monster, but she didn’t have time to reflect upon what it meant to have objects that contained things that nourished her being used to defend herself against some fantastical and terrifying force that seemed set on killing her.  Like vitamin pills, the monster swallowed the jars up.  This time, she didn’t see if the jars exited the thing or not.  

She threw postcards from the friends she had made from her travels like ninja stares at the beast.  A rock carved into the shape of a heart given to her father to try and mend things between them was used as a sling shot with the stockings she bought a year ago to keep her legs warm while taking the subways alone in Manhattan.  She was tiring as was the monster.  She found the chained necklace her mother had given her when she was sent away out of the country for the first time alone.  It had been a scary day, leaving on an airplane to a foreign land without her parents or so much as an adult.  The necklace had made her feel brave then, and the courage was revived in her now.  She took the chain into her hands.  She jumped onto a chair and then leapt onto the monster from behind with lightning speed.  She held the chain in her hands and around the monster’s blanketed neck.  She pulled the chain back, beginning the strangling…if a blanket giant needed air to breathe in its fabricated lungs, it would be the beginning of a strangling, at least.  

The monster began to weaken from the pain if not the lack of oxygen.  It lost its footing and both the monster and the girl fell onto the fish aquarium, breaking the glass box and causing a wave of water to pour onto the ground like a thick blue syrup.  Though the aquarium held only a few gallons of water, the water didn’t stop.  The water kept pouring from the glass in never ending waves.  The girl looked down as the water rose to her waist with no sign of slowing down.  Realizing she would drown shook her out of a stupid panic.  The monster was shocked and slowed by the water too so in turn, she clamored over to the bed which stood just next to her window.  She unlocked the window and pulled…but it didn’t budge! Just like the door, the window was denying her escape.  

Oh no! She thought. This is the end!

A pair of large white hands appeared on the other side of the window.  They pulled at the window as well.  The girl looked up to see the face of a boy with eyes as blue as her aquarium was when it hadn’t been broken and emptied of sea animals and the little space-looking pebbles that rested on the bottom of the fish's home.  He kept pulling at the window.  She screamed for help, but the water was rising fast.  When she couldn’t pull at the window any longer, she began pounding at the window.  At this time, the monster, heavy in the water, got hold of the girl.  She was flung away from the window and seemingly into the mouth of the monster.  In all of the panic, she thought she might have loved the boy on the other side of the window, but now she would never know. 

The beast wrapped his layers around her in a whirlpool of drenched cotton.  Her screaming had stopped ever since the water had risen far above her head.  She only stared wide-eyed at the stranger through the window as she struggled under the roll of covers swallowing her up. 

The boy reached back and took out a strange object sticking out of his pocket.  It was large in his hand, made of a heavy, aged wood carved into a strange L shape.  At this point, the entire bedroom was filled with water.  He lifted the boomerang high into the air let it fall hard onto the glass.  He only marked the window. He lifted it again and let it fall again with all the force he had.  The window crunched.  Again, he lifted. Again the boomerang fell. The window cracked. The boy continued until finally the window gave in and he dropped the boomerang. The glass shattered in such a way that the window looked like a spiderweb, but the water did not push through the glass like he had expected.  The boy reached out slowly in wonder and pulled a shard of glass out of the window.  He pulled another and another, cutting his hands in the process, but the water did not leave the bedroom.  In seconds, his hands were covered in blood, and he had peeled a gaping hole large enough for him to fit through. He took a breath and then pushed his hands through the opening into the water that behaved in whatever way it wanted to it seemed.

The boy fully emerged himself into the bedroom filled to the brim with the strange water.  He thought he was floating in slow motion, weightless and timeless in her bedroom.  If he hadn’t felt the wetness, he wouldn’t have believed that he were in water at all.  However, opening up to sensation and reflecting on his body's senses wasn’t on his priority list at the moment.  He reached the volcano of blankets just in time.  All that was left of the girl was her hand and a few inches of her forearm.  Just before the monster swallowed the last of her, the boy stretched his arm out mid-swim, and clasped her hand with his.  He felt her fingers wrap around his hand, he squeezed her hand back, and then he pulled.

And slow and sure, it was as if the monster was on rewind, spitting up this mess of girl underwater.  Whether the beast wanted to or not, the boy forced him to throw her up.  The two humans swam with all of their might to the shattered window where they were able to exit through the broken glass.  And as they left the room, so did the water, spilling out of the window like a sideways waterfall.  Water flowed out as it is known to do in its normal way, and air flowed into the lungs of the two human beings as it is known to do in its normal way all the same.


Wendy laid down to go to bed like she did on any regular Tuesday night.  

She laid there.

Sprawled. Tired. 

She laid there.

Stretched out. Anxious.

She laid there.

Aching. Restless.

She laid there.

Then she looked out over to her nightstand.  Where her alarm clock once was, there was a smooth, beautifully and intricately carved boomerang resting in its place.  She turned and looked up at the ceiling.  She closed her eyes and imagined those white hands pressing against the window, pulling at the edges, banging against the glass. Those blue aquarium eyes, large and willing.

Would he come back?

 

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