Children's Stories

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5: Alan's Story - Arrival

Stephen Myer arrived at the pier in Iceland. Never in his life would he think of going back to this land where his inner darkness rooted from if it weren't to pick up his sister's corpse. Years and years that he had tried to get advantages out of his childhood history which he had learned from a long time could earn him sympathetic benefits from some so-called compassionate society people. Everything, including writing his 290-page memoir that could sum up in a few words: 'I had a rare and disturbing childhood experience and how I got through it, so you could too', went smoothly under his plan. The book was a disguise for him for the truth hidden behind of him was that he never got through the shadow his childhood left him, all the positive messages he'd written in his memoir were written just to fit into what society needed for money. The discovery of his sister's corpse was a flaw in his plan; it came to him like a speeding car which hit a vain and bald woman whose wig got thrown away during the crash. The guilt that he didn't want to admit he had in all these years got thrown into the spotlight.

A map of Iceland happened to be the one thing that Stephen Myer needed to get to the place where the police had placed his sister's corpse. He got out the map of the present day Iceland, read it for a while then started to head to the police department. Even though he grew up in Iceland, the only time he went out as he remembered was when the woman who adopted him brought him to move to London. He couldn't find the right way to the police department for a few times but managed to get there at last.

In the police department, Stephen Myer talked to an officer about the retrieving of his sister's corpse. With his eyes on the officer's lips, he acknowledged that the officer had said that the person who could be in charge of found corpses was out playing trumpet for the town's marching band and would only be back an hour later. And so, he decided to take a walk around then return to the police department after an hour. When he reached out for the door handle, the officer tapped on his shoulder saying that he had called for him a few times. Stephen Myer apologized and explained himself that he had a hearing problem: he couldn't hear at all. The officer's expression seemed a little startled. He said that it was about to snow outside then borrowed Stephen Myer a black umbrella. Stephen Myer thanked him and went out. It was snowing a little out there and the sky seemed grayish-white. Gusts of winds were blowing breezily against the snow but he wouldn't hear any of the sounds they made. The air felt crisply cool on his face. He opened the umbrella and began taking a walk to nowhere.

Consciousness was the only thing telling him where to go, but he was not conscious of where he was at. He walked and walked even more to find the fir trees around him and the stone road he walked on becoming familiar. He had been here before, although he couldn't remember when exactly.

The stone road was a one-way road, with not too much bends or curves. It was a place that would make someone wonder what would be there at the end of the road. Maybe there would be a swimming pool? A fish-meat factory? Or even a small model airplane that got left behind after it crashed onto the middle of nowhere? Perhaps a two-storey wooden house that existed from his past was most appropriate for what Stephen Myer would find at the end of the road.

And that was what Stephen Myer found at the end of the road. The wooden house that he used to live in in the old times when he was a child. The house had a garden in its front yard which didn't use to be there when he lived there thirty years ago. The environment seemed to change so much that he could hardly recognize the house from what it used to look like in the past. Snow stopped falling for a while, the sky above this house still looked dully white like it always did when Stephen Myer and his sister lived here. It seemed almost a miracle that plants in this house's garden could actually grow so healthily under the especial weather around this house.

Stephen Myer felt dazed and surprised at the same time, for his legs had brought him to the house of his most unfavorable childhood memories without himself knowing. He was more shocked, though, that the place didn't bring him any difficult feelings or anxiety as he thought it would before.

When his daze cleared up from his mind, he walked up to the front door of the house and pressed on the doorbell and wondered which sort of person the new owner of the house was like to create such changes to this house. The sound of the doorbell still sounded the same as before – merrily ringing bells like those you hear at Christmas time.

A woman of about fifty to sixty years old answered to the doorbell and came up to open the front door. She had long and already gray hair in her age and wore an interesting silver circle enclosing a star shape hanging from a handmade-like necklace piece on her neck. He began talking to the woman and merely introduced himself and mentioned the case of the corpse, which she had uncovered in the basement of this house, which the news had reported about three nights ago.

The woman whose name was Salas Raven, as if she knew that someone would come for the case one day, invited Stephen Myer into the house saying that she wanted to show him some things related to the case. Again, the inside of the house had changed so much that Stephen Myer found it hard to resemble it with the same house he lived in thirty years ago. He sat down on a sofa in the living room as Salas Raven placed a cup of tea on a table in front of the sofa for him, then she got out a brown envelope from a drawer in another room.

From the brown envelope, she got out a pile of photographs and placed them on the table as well, asking him to take a look at them. He did as she asked. The photographs showed various kitchenwares flying around inside the kitchen of this house. Dates on the photographs showed that they were taken on every year starting from five years ago on the same month and day.

She gave him an explanation on the photographs, saying that they were taken when the spirit of the corpse found in the house was cooking breakfast and making forks, knives, and plates fly around in the air, an event she noticed that occurred in the house every year on the same day.

Stephen Myer felt awed and not sure whether to believe her or not. Such photographs could be made easily with a few clicks on an image editing program in a computer. But he had another point that made him feel stranger about their conversation: he didn't tell her that the corpse found in this house had a blood relation with him, yet why would she tell him that his sister possibly still existed somewhere?

“I hope her spirit could be set free from whatever that might be keeping her here,” that was all she said and walked upstairs to her room, where in the past used to be the room of Stephen Myer's guardian.

Stephen Myer was walking down the street back to the police department. He had excused himself from Salas Raven's house when he noticed that already an hour more had passed away. He felt that what the lady told him back in the house was not totally out of nowhere, though he had never been a superstitious person when he was in London. Deep down inside of him always knew that his sister had still lived on in somewhere else.

Beginning from the moment that Stephen Myer was born, he and his sister had been sharing one world of feelings and feelings only. Through this connection, the siblings were gifted the ability that would make them feel each other's feelings at the exact same time that they were felt. Their world of feelings had only appeared in Stephen Myer's dreams after he moved to London. Every time he woke up after a dream, he would forget that he had a dream at all. This gifted ability hadn't been taken away even after the fire had taken away his sister's life.

It was still snowing hard on his way to the police department. Countless dots of snow fell onto the black umbrella which he had borrowed from the officer an hour ago. His feet were buried under inches of snow lying on the ground. Fierce wind blew from the south to his back along with snow as though pushing him to walk forward and arrive onto the further road. The whole environment seemed like a silent chaos to him. Snow seemed to be blowing at all directions. Tiny shop signs were swinging around from their hangers looking like they were about to get blown away.

He was not one man who would feel anxious in the middle of unheard chaos, even if there was a possibility that the safety of his life would be on jeopardy. For there were times when he felt that sorrow and despair had overcame fear of death when he was a child that he had wished he could meet it back then. It was not that he didn't care about his life, but if he really would die one day in an accident or right now in this snowstorm, then he would know that his time was up which would be a fact that he wanted his family to accept no matter how uncalled for it was at that time. And that was what Stephen Myer was thinking before he realized that he had arrived at the police department.

He pushed open the building's glass door. A few officers turned their heads to him and looked at him in wonder as he entered into the building from the storm outside.

“Can you believe that? A hurricane sweeping past here of all places. Never even heard of that. What's gone wrong with weather these days?” one officer watching the weather's report said out loud. No one had time to answer him as a voice on their walkie-talkies called in and reported about a family car that was being trapped in the storm. Two policemen doubled up and went out for the trapped family car, walking past Stephen Myer, and leaving the department.

“You're back. I'm relieved to see you made it through the snowstorm. Not too safe to be out in this weather we're having,” the officer who has talked to Stephen Myer earlier said to him.


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