a day unlike any other
A DAY UNLIKE ANY OTHER…
Once upon a time, not too long ago, lived way too many people to name who also share this very story I am about to tell you. Some lived here, and some lived there and some lived clear over there, by the river. Some stood tall, some stood short, and some stood barely at all. However, the people here in Falingsdale, along with most of the events, are all but ordinary.
One of the people I can recall was a female Indian child that went by the name of Weeponee Crooo. That little girl I knew was stranger than the world itself. She had a friend that went by the name Odys Pear. Odys was quite the quiet boy with a distant look in his eyes, almost as if he stared back through Time and Space searching among the Ages. The last child I met was Ith Minnfillion. If I was ever to be cautious of a child, it was this kid. Nevertheless, before I go any further into our story I shall introduce myself under the name D. N. Armstrong.
‘The 20th day of spring and the weather looks great this morning as some of you may be just waking up, others roll down your windows on the way into work and I, Tom Timmerman, will be back with your morning news. See you soon,’ poured from the television as Weeponee strolled through the living quarters heading to the kitchen for breakfast.
Entering the kitchen, she remembered that she had a horrible dream last night and began to recall some of its events when a little boy’s voice says ‘shake off the night Weeponee and share a bowl of cereal with me’.
Weeponee smiled and said ‘what are you having, Odys?’ He gave no response and just sat at the table staring into space. She asked again, ‘what will you be having, Mr. Pear?’ Still there was no response from Odys so Weeponee set the table with milk, orange juice and cereal and waited for Odys to snap out of it and join her.
While waiting for Odys Weeponee wondered more her dream. ‘Do you still want to go and see the Fetching Stone today if it doesn’t rain?’ asked Odys.
‘Sure.’ said Weeponee reaching for the box of Funny Flakes cereal.
‘I sure hope it doesn’t rain today,’ said Odys pouring out a bowl of his own.
‘The news guy, Timmerman Tom, said it will be rainy out today but I still think it will be okay,’ rambled Weeponee in the middle of a mouthful of funny flakes.
‘Don’t you say that Weeponee, I want sunshine and clouds,’ cried Odys.
Weeponee rolled her eyes at Odys’ selfish display and said, ‘I’ll go outside in rain or shine’. After Weeponee stated rain or shine, there was silence, save for the morning news with Tom Timmerman and the deafening crunch of some morning cereal.
A few streets away an old man reached down for the morning newspaper and hollered, ‘Ith!’ He postured rubbing his lower back and hollered once more, ‘Ith, wake up! You are supposed to go out and play this morning! Ith? Are you awake?’ yelled the old man. Upstairs, a little boy sits up in bed after his Grandfather yelling and out with a big yawn he stretched. ‘I am awake now Grandpa.’
The black-haired boy gets out of bed and makes his way to the bathroom as his Grandfather calls to him again, ‘I’ll put on some breakfast while you get around, okay?’
‘Yes! Please!’ he replied as his stomach grumbled. Ith stumbled to the bathroom and shut the door behind him.
Downstairs, the phone rang.
‘Hello?’ asked the old man after picking up the receiver, getting it half way to his ear. ‘Hello?’ he asked again awaiting a response.
‘Hello, Grandpa Minnfillion. It’s Weeponee, is Ith up yet?’
‘Yes my dear, hold on,’ he reassured. The old man sat the receiver down and walked to the edge of the steps, ‘Ith. Weeponee would like to speak to you.’
‘Tell her I will call her back Grandpa,’ yelled Ith from behind the bathroom door. The old man hobbled back down the hallway and grabbing up the receiver told Weeponee that Ith would return her call when he is dressed. A few words from her on the opposite end and then it was goodbye.
Outside of the Minnfillion residence, the winds kicked up and the trees sway.
Ith reached over and shut the bathroom window. ‘If it is going to rain, I wonder if we will still take our trip out to the Fetching Stone or if Weeponee was calling to say it was off,’ he thought to himself.
‘Ith your food is finished! You ready to eat it! Come on boy, while it’s hot!’ ordered elderly Minnfillion from the kitchen. The old man pedaled over to the table and sets down a plate set with two golden eggs, two strips of bacon and a large lump of hash brown. ‘Ith your foods is finished! Would you like something to drink with your breakfast?’ yelled the octogenarian.
‘Orange juice please!’ hollered back Ith until blue in the face. While old Minnfillion cooked, the kitchen had gotten a little smoky and he decided to crack a window. Opening it, overlooking the backyard the old man noticed a tall shadowy figure standing by the chain link fence that closed in the backyard.
‘Hello!’ bellowed the old man gorgonizing at the enormous figure.
The old man’s yelling did nothing to the shadow, and it gave no response either. After hollering to the shadow like a lunatic, his curiosity out grew common sense and the old man closed shut the window and started towards the back door. Passing by the sink the old man knocked over a plate-drying wrack shattering two plates on the kitchen tile floor. The percussive crescendo released from the tile did not break the old man’s depth of curiosity. He opened the back door and immediately froze in fear as the shadowy figure met him outside the door.
While getting out of the shower and drying off, Ith rubbed the steam off from the mirror and heard a boom erupt from downstairs. ‘Grandpa?’ he called out. ‘Are you alright?’ he asked. There was no answer. ‘That’s not like him to not answer.’ Ith’s curiosity led him trying to see out the foggy bathroom window. He started getting scared when there was no reply from or sight of Grandpa.
As the old man watched in horror he heard in a rumbling voice, ‘Elem-non’ passed through the shadowy figure like slow distant thunder. The old man encumbered by fear fell to his knees and bowed his head. The shade had ‘flashed’ into light and exploded knocking the old man back out of the doorway crashing into the kitchen.
A voice from upstairs yelled out, ‘Grandpa? Are you alright?’ The silence was proof enough something had gone wrong.
Back up the street a few blocks at the Crooo residence, Weeponee and Odys had just finished their cereal when Weeponee thought to ask, ‘What do you suppose could be slowing Ith down this morning, Odys?’
At first Odys just sat poised in the past with a clueless look on his face eventually replying ‘maybe he had a bad dream, I dunno.’
When Odys spoke bad dream, Weeponee recalled a flash of the dream she had last night. In it, she seen Ith dressed in black and weeping. Behind him stood a tall, bright figure with heavens white wings with its head bowed and his hands resting on Ith’s shoulders.
‘Maybe you are right, and I should give him another call,’ she guessed, shrugging off the dreamy residue.
‘We should wait for him. He’ll call back,’ said Odys sounding sure of Ith and in himself. After his remark, he and Weeponee sat there in their chairs staring at the phone.
Outside in the streets of Falingsdale, the wind’s speed grew in strength and the skies turned a dark shade of gray. The trees swayed in natural harmony with the wind and across Dilly’s Field; a once distant storm was now closing in.
Dilly’s Field separated the suburban town of Falingsdale from its local schools. People shut up their windows and called in their children as the horizon looked ominous. The storm grew smothering the suns shine from the sky.
Ith left the bathroom with that strange noise from downstairs still fresh in his mind. Halfway down the stairs a storm warning sounded across the living room television.
‘Howdy folks, Tom Timmerman again with a severe thunderstorm warning. There will be wind gusts up to fifty miles an hour and torrential rain. Along with this Nature’s lovely rains also comes rolling thunder heard of mammoth proportions with blinding white lightning. The storm should hang around until about one o’clock this afternoon. It is now eleven o’clock in the a.m., I am Tom Timmerman and this has been a warning issued by us to you. Your local channel news will see you upon the hour.’
Ith reached the bottom of the steps and realized it was quieter than usual. He headed down the hallway to the kitchen, passing by an old black and white photograph of Gramps Minnfillion and Grandma Minnfillion out front of their house, relaxing on the porch. The photograph, along with a few others sat on an old antique table a few feet from the kitchen doorway. Reaching the doorway, Ith saw the kitchen torn apart and the back door hanging by its lower hinge. It looked like whatever happened shoved everything into one corner of the kitchen.
‘Grandpa! Where are you?’ yelled Ith.
Stepping into the kitchen he began to comprehend what transpired, he hears sounds coming from the backyard. ‘Grandpa, is that you?’ spoke Ith cautiously.
Back at the Crooo residence, Weeponee’s patience was stretching to no end wondering what could be taking Ith so long. ‘Let’s go Odys. I have a bad feeling something has happened to Ith. He would have called by now’ cried out Weeponee.
‘Don’t jump to conclusions Weeponee’ replied Odys, as Weeponee paid no mind and headed for the front door.
‘Move it!’ commanded Weeponee as she pushed open the screen door and stormed out of the house. Odys jumped up out of his chair and ran towards the front door.
‘Wait for me Weeponee! Hold up,’ hollered Odys as he slipped through the screen door that was still swung wide open. It was off to the Minnfillion residence they went to check on Ith.
‘Grandpa are you alright?’ asked Ith as he sees what he thinks is his grandpa. All covered in mud from the rain that had started and on his knees mumbling something to the sky. ‘Grandpa’ asked Ith, as he still heard no reply.
‘Ith you must get a hold of your two friends and tell them to come over here so that I may talk with all of you. It may take some time. Ask if they might spend the night. It is very important and I am on borrowed time. Please contact your friends and I will explain everything. Do not worry yourself I will be fine. Now go, please, and call them to come over a quickly as they can,’ cried the old man sounding out of breath and in a lot of pain.
The old man Minnfillion begins to upright himself while trying as well to brush mud from his face. ‘I will be in the kitchen after your phone your two friends my child,’ said the broken old man. Ith ran back inside to call Weeponee and Odys to meet at Ith’s house instead of theirs.
After jolting open the front door on her house, Weeponee at top speed takes of running up the street with only Ith on her mind. Odys runs through the screen door before it closes at a distant second in the race hears the phone ringing. ‘Weeponee the phone is ringing. It may be Ith,’ he called out to her from behind.
‘I’ll be there in the time it takes me to go back Odys’ responded Weeponee without looking back as her voice faded as she moved up the street.
At the Minnfillion residence, Ith ran back into the kitchen and tried collecting his thoughts before reaching the phone. ‘What happened here,’ he soliloquized the sound of loss now evident in his voice.
‘Just call Odys and Weeponee like Grandpa suggested,’ when there was a sudden knock at the door. The pounding on the door called Ith’s attention away from the phone, through the hallway by the stairs and towards the front door, when again more pounding rang.
‘Who is it’ asked Ith, just as his grandpa taught him, before unlocking the door. Someone, on the other side said something but it sounded a lot like mumbling. To be sure, of whom it was, before opening the door, Ith said once again, ‘who is it? And you’re going to have to speak up please; I can’t tell what you’re saying.’ From outside the door comes the wail of a young girl screaming.
‘Open the door Ith. It’s Weeponee.’ Ith reaches up to unlock the door for Weeponee when there was a deafening boom of thunder that scared Weeponee and made her blast through the door. ‘Hello Ith. I ran all the way here because I got the feeling something might be wrong. We hadn’t talked to each other yet and that breaks the code,’ said Weeponee quickly between breaths.
‘I was just getting ready to call you and Odys. Can you two stay tonight? Something happened to grandpa and he wants to talk to all three of us. Where is Odys?’ asked Ith.
‘On the way here he heard the phone ringing and went back home to answer it thinking it may be you.’ Ith told Weeponee to follow him to the phone and they would call down to Weeponee’s house and see if Odys was still there.
‘I will call him and tell him to run down here and to grab our coats,’ said Weeponee a little damp with rain.
‘I will get you a towel,’ said Ith while Weeponee made the phone call.
Outside the Minnfillion residence, huge storm clouds were gathering, dropping torrents of rain in drops large enough to flood the streets quickly. There were thunderous booms followed by blinding white lighting filling the sky clear from Dilly’s Field to Ith’s house, on Grieve Street and to Weeponee’s house on the corners of Grieve and Plea Street.
The wind howled through the trees that closed in the eastern side of Dilly’s field and lines the back yards along Plea Street. The thunderous claps remained one after the other followed by lightning bolt after flashing crack. One of the lightning strikes crashed into a transformer near the Crooo residence knocking out the power. Odys, who jumps at the loss of light, runs to the front porch and quickly puts his jacket on for the walk. ‘I’m not sticking around here waiting for those two to come and get me,’ he spoke to himself slipping Weeponee’s jacket inside his own keeping it from the rain. ‘It’s awfully dark for twelve-thirty,’ thought Odys walking off the porch steps and out into the rain.
To Ith’s house he went.
The lightning that had struck the telephone pole had knocked out the entire area of power, leaving Falingsdale in darkness. Inside the Minnfillion’s, Weeponee was drying off the rain that drenched her from head to toe. Ith was now out on the porch staring down the road looking for any trace of Odys in the torrential downpour, and the old man was upstairs now cleaning off the mud that covered him and had lit a few candles along the way.
‘Do you see him yet Ith?’ hollered Weeponee from the kitchen.
‘No. Nothing yet,’ said Ith sounding a little bit worried.
‘You shouldn’t think the worst in all situations Ith. Everything is fine. I’m sure of it,’ said Weeponee stepping out on the front porch joining in the watch for Odys.
Down the street, only a block away Odys strolled along in the rain when a big black car drove past him splashing up water in its wake. While the water was in mid-splash, Odys’ mind drifted off into it, which appears to have frozen still. In his drift, Odys witnessed a small clip of upcoming events that affected him and his friends in a terribly troublesome and divisive way.
‘Odys try and wish for something that no one else in the whole world would want and then ask for it,’ stated Weeponee inside the drift.
A distortion, which seems to come and go, was Weeponee had no face but appeared to look and act normal otherwise. Another fragment through the drift was a license plate ‘4CORNRS’ following a long since dead dog of his walking backwards into a wall and then up the side of it! The last drift he stood up on a cliff at the Fetching Stone and fell off and into the water. Upon splashing into the water below, Odys snapped out of the drift to the drench by the water that frozen only moments ago.
‘What was that!’ asked Odys, frightened by those images. ‘I better keep moving or they will think I am still at Weeponee’s,’ he said confused by whatever it was that just happened. ‘Keep moving’ he repeated trying to shake off the fear along the way.
‘Ith why don’t you and Weeponee help me set the table back up and grab some chairs to put around it?’ hollered old man Minnfillion from the kitchen.
‘We’ll be right in, grandpa! We are waiting for Odys to get here,’ yelled Ith from the front porch.
‘Don’t wait out there to long Ith! You should not either, Weeponee. You’ll both catch a cold,’ hollered back grandpa, who had wandered from the kitchen to the living room and tried to turn on the television to no avail.
‘I think I see something Weeponee,’ said Ith more optimistic than before. ‘I think it is Odys,’ Ith said, attempting a closer look.
‘If it is him then come here and help me please. You too Weeponee, if you would,’ asked the old man, trepidations after the incident, waiting to speak to all three children before retiring to his room for a much needed nap. A few more seconds of staring off into the heavy rain, Ith went back inside the house to assist his grandpa in the gathering of chairs. Weeponee still waited out on the front porch staring.
‘Ith, what I have to tell you and your friends is very important and you must pay clear attention to each and every word I speak’ old man Minnfillion stated gathering chairs and setting them at the table.
‘Why do you need all three of us to hear it? What is it, grandpa?’ questioned Ith, the only relative out of the three kids to the old man.
‘Our talk involves all three of you because that is how I received the message. Now go and get Odys and Weeponee so that I may explain the entire message please’ he asked with great sincerity. As soon as the old man mentioned Odys and Weeponee, he heard them on the porch talking to one another.
Ith turned to head for the front porch and heard his grandpa exclaim, ‘My turn-pin necklace! It must have fallen off in the back yard. I’ll check for it after the talk.’
Gathering his two friends, the children went back inside and returned to the kitchen as asked. ‘Here we are grandpa, so what was it that you wanted to tell us?’ asked Ith stumped, as were the others awaiting reply.
The old man replied, ‘what I am about to tell you children may scare you and may in fact sound quite strange but please sit at the table, as three and indeed the words shall be shared.’ Therefore, Weeponee, Odys and Ith sat for a talk that would change all of their lives.
‘Earlier this morning I had an encounter with someone that told me the fate of not only you three, but myself as well. Receiving the outgoing message there followed a blast that left me shortly unconscious, buried in the corner of the kitchen. When I finally gathered myself from the floor, and all that happened came and went, the only thing left in my head was the word ‘Elemnon.’
The rest of the night old man Minnfillion and the three intrigued children talked about their found futures. ‘So now it’s time to come to an end, now that I have said what I have said’ breathed the old man with a weakened voice. ‘I understand the burden you children carry and how hard it must be to accept, but things are the way they are,’ the old man stated with sympathy in his voice. ‘Now that it is eight o’clock, we should prepare for bed. The storm will pass by morning I am sure. The four of them straightened up the disheveled kitchen and preparing to retire for the evening.
Hearing that it would soon be bedtime, Weeponee and Odys both headed upstairs while Ith waited around with his grandpa asking more questions.
‘What are you going to do now, grandpa?’ queried Ith nearly interrupted by a big yawn.
‘I have to go outback to check and see if I can find my turn pin necklace. It’s very important to me,’ said the old man opening the door to the back yard. ‘The rain is still heavy but I can’t put it off or else it will get lost,’ he observed stepping into the rain throwing the hood on his jacket up. Ith stood just by the doorway and saw his grandpa pass by the window outdoors and then into the darkness.
After a silent second, curiosity swelled like a balloon and Ith opened the back door to see if he could catch a glimpse, but it was too dark. Then lightning crashed catching the old man’s silhouette for just a second before darkness reclaimed him.
‘Grandpa, where are you?’ Ith called out.
‘Yes! There it is,’ hollered old man Minnfillion with relieving excitement. The old man bent to pick up his turn pin necklace he looked up at Ith and with a smile said, ‘There it is!’
Ith returns a smile and then there is a loud boom and a flash that, for a second, slowed everything down. In the center of the flash, the old man bent picking up his necklace as a bolt of lightning shot down colliding with him and smashing his frail body into the thick mud. After the lightning strike, it appeared to Ith that the old man’s soul retracted from its body. Horrified of what just happened, he ran to his grandfather’s body and tried dragging it over to an apple tree that hung just over the fence partially shrouding the back yard. After reaching the tree, Ith had taken a second to breathe and collect his thoughts as he then began screaming at the apple tree. While he was in midway through his scream, Ith had felt something break inside him. During the break, Ith’s scream began to swell to extraordinary volume. After reaching an unbearable sound level, Ith’s scream had begun peeling off some of the apple trees bark.
The sound had reached the inside of the house where, only moments ago Weeponee and Odys just settled in for sleep. Frightened by the yell, the children jumped up and ran downstairs to see what the matter was.
‘Old man Minnfillion was taken away from him,’ said Odys hurrying alongside Weeponee through the kitchen to the back door through an ominous tone.
All the while Weeponee and Odys where running through the house the sound of Ith’s scream grew unbearable. Reaching the back door, Weeponee and Odys seen Ith sitting with his back to them, cradling the old man. His scream grew to such strength that the massive apple tree shrouding the back yard fence was tumbling through Dilly's Field along with all else in the screams path. After it all came to end, he had collapsed. Weeponee and Odys ran to get help.
Over the next week, the plans for Ith’s care was in the old man’s will. Ms. Crooo, Weeponee’s mother, was to oversee the endeavor.
Through the daze, Ith came in and out of sleep only to dream of an old Indian medicine woman sitting over him shaking burning root and chanting. In this dream, it was only the medicine woman, Ith and blackness. Each pass with the burning root seamed to billow out smoke in a way that her chanting echoed as the smoke rolled up Ith’s body, chasing away his demons.
The next waking moment for Ith would become a return to reality for well-deserved rest. Not too long out of bed, Ith crept slowly downstairs. He found unforgiving voracity and wanted to talk with Weeponee and Odys about something dark sitting in the back of his mind.
Weeponee and Odys were happy to see Ith ambulating. They also were eager to speak with Ith about what had happened the night his grandfather passed.
‘What kind of cereal would you like, Ith?’ asked Weeponee.
‘Before I answer, could you tell me what become of grandpa?’ Ith stood with great sadness encumbering his little figure.
‘Your grandfather requested the cremation of his body, and that the urn with his ashes was to be buried on the top of Throne Mountain,’ replied Odys, sounding emotionally detached in his response while trying to reach for a box of Funny Flakes up in the cupboard.
‘The Funny O’s please and thank you,’ spoke Ith troubled.
Everything was quiet save crunching around the breakfast table in the house this morning. Upstairs Bellaroo Crooo gathered herself for a trip out to the family reservation hours away.
‘Better turn on the weather channel for mother. She loves that with breakfast,’ said Weeponee making her way to the living room. Reaching the living room, Bellaroo had just gotten downstairs and noticed Weeponee had set breakfast for her.
‘You’re a blessing through and through my sweet,’ Bellaroo assured Weeponee: she blushed.’ As you know Weeponee, I am going to the reservation today and will be away a few days. I’ll have someone over to sit with you and Ith,’ stated Bellaroo. Weeponee remained attentive to what she was saying.
‘However you like mother. I’ll miss you with each passing cloud and twinkling star,’ she replied as heading back to the kitchen.
In the kitchen, you could hear the television forecasting the weather for this beautiful Saturday morning to be at a high of seventy-two degrees. ‘We should make our way out to the Fetching Stone this morning and make a wish to start off the day,’ hinted Odys putting a smirk on everyone’s face. After telling Bellaroo their plans, they were under way while Ith’s lurking shadows slowly fed on the thought of melancholic loneliness.
‘Bye mother,’ she spoke running for the door.
‘Be back before sundown for the sitter, Weeponee! Same goes for you other two little ones, and be careful!’
The three kids left for Fetching Stone. They skipped off down the street just as the sun rose clearing the horizon. Bellaroo caught a picture-perfect last glimpse of the children as they strayed into Dilly’s Field.
As Time pushed on Bellaroo continued to gather her things for the trip to the reservation and the three children neared their goal. Both occurring events have already set into motion the winds of change.