Image Chapter 1 by Wil Moore

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SUMMARY: About a boy growing up and his unusual friends.

1
He found himself thinking of an egg. An egg that if cracked open, would produce nothing to eat. An empty shell. That was his past; that was his memory. He knew nothing of himself; not where he came from, his name, his family, heritage, nothing. The one morsel of substance he had was that he was most definitely here, now. He was standing and he was thinking. Thinking about how he had no memories, yes, but at least he was doing something.

Standing, where was he standing? It had suddenly occurred to him that not only did he have no recollection of who he was, but he was just as naive to his surroundings. So, he didn't know where he was, how he'd arrived there, who he was, or who he had been. It was a bright and sunny day (summertime?), but within the confines of his lavishly empty head, it was dreary indeed.

As he attempted to look around and achieve some sort of bearing, he noticed a ticking noise. It was very close, in fact just below him. He looked down and an electric green lawn pierced his eyes. Between his feet, forcing its way between the individual blades of grass, rising out of the ground like a thick black weed, was a sprinkler head. Quickly he stepped back and to the side. He had just avoided an unwanted morning shower. Apparently his instincts were still intact, thank goodness.

There was no time for basking in the comfort or pride of knowing that he still had his wits about him. He had avoided the spray of water; but the child, for the child his agility proved insufficient. The young one must have been about eight or nine years old and he moved like a race car. His light complexion and sandy blond hair gave a dramatic contrast to the unnatural green of the lawn he weaved across. The boy ran straight into him at full speed, wrapped his arms around the legs of the clueless man and nearly knocked him down. And there the child stayed. Not moving, his arms clenched, feet planted, head buried in legs.

He found himself instantaneously eager to know the boy. Perhaps he would have some answers for him. Maybe the little one could tell him who he was, how he became this way, or even how he arrived here. Presently, anything informative would be of some solace.

"Hey, who are you?" he asked while still trying to maintain his balance. His feet were mashed together by the child's unrelenting grip and he felt that he would topple over at any moment.

At that moment he realized he had the ability to speak. It was another nugget of comfort in this otherwise unforgiving situation. He found himself not waiting for an answer now, but analyzing his voice. The words echoed in his head over and over: Hey, who are you? Hey who are you? It was a deep voice, but not booming, as though it was an explosion heard from a distance. There was no reason to fear something far off like that. It was quite possible that the authority his vocals lacked was a direct reflection of its creator. For he had nothing to be steadfast about, nothing to authoritate; in fact he had nothing at all. Hey, who are you? Hey who are you?

The boy turned his neck to look up but did not loosen his grip around the legs of the man who was a stranger to himself.

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