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    A story about prejudice and friendship

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    Are our thoughts our own... or do they belong to someone else?

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    The story of a boy who lives in a world entirely in his mind and a doctor who brings that world to life.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'm on Authonomy.com


So a few months ago I joined authonomy.com

It's an authoring website where people can upload books they are writing and the community can vote on, comment on, and critique one another's books.

Both of my books I'm working on are posted there:

Strangers in the Mind - Children of the Light
(Still working on this one)

and

Paradigm 19
(This one's finished - just needs some more editing)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stranger in the Mind Excerpt 3

Chapter 1

It was an ordinary day in a reasonably ordinary classroom in a somewhat ordinary schoolhouse in a somewhat peculiar little horseshoe shaped town in the state of Idaho where a little boy sat in his tiny chair at his tiny table and scribbled big letters with the number two pencil in his tiny hands.

“Taylor what is that you are writing?” the boy's teacher asked, “You are supposed to be practicing your letter As.”

Taylor looked up at his teacher with an odd sort of perplexed look. Mrs. Tracey had most certainly told the class that they were supposed to practice writing the character that made the 'a' sound and the character he was writing most certainly made the 'a' sound more efficiently than that strange tent-shaped letter Mrs. Tracey expected him to write. The letter A with all of its ambiguity was quite perplexing to Taylor. Why would someone use such an inefficient means of writing. After all the letter A made so many different sounds and there was never any clear distinction of when it made which sound. It was a lot of guesswork and pointless memorization.

Taylor simply pointed to the character he had written over and over again and said, “Aaaaa!” pronouncing the sound as loudly and clearly as possible. At this point Mrs. Tracey's frustration with Taylor's 'uniqueness' got the better of her. She took the pencil out of his left hand and forced it into his right as she tightly guided the pencil in Taylor's hand to scribe out a large capital letter A. “Like this,” she said firmly glaring at the boy for just a moment before leaving him to respond to the raised hand of another student.

After what seemed hours of writing, reading, and coloring the recess bell finally rang. All the boys and girls rushed out of the classroom as fast as their little feet could carry them—all that is except for Taylor. Taylor got up slowly quietly walked over to the coat rack and gently pulled the sky blue cardigan his mother had knitted him off of the hanger and put it on.

Taylor walked slowly kicking rocks across the asphalt while the other children were busy running, laughing, and playing hopscotch and foursquare.

“Are you a boy or a girl?” One of the Jackson twins sneered as he stopped abruptly and prodded Taylor's shoes with one of his burgundy cowboy boots. The Jackson twins looked identical in every aspect except one. While they both wore the same polished cowboy boots, the same skin tight Wranglers, the same ugly over-sized belt belt buckles, and the same ugly bolo ties, one of them wore a white shirt with red and black pin stripes and the other wore a white shirt with blue and black pin stripes. This didn't help Taylor tell them apart any better—telling them apart was difficult, not because of how similarly they looked but because they both had the same personality—they were both identically jerks in every possible way.

This question always bothered Taylor, but this time it bothered him more than usual because this time it was stated as an insult. Taylor's upper lip curled back over his teeth as he quietly snarled out the mumbled words, “I'm a boy.” Taylor quietly walked away trying to ignore the Jackson twin's heckling laughter behind him.

It seems when people weren't busy wondering if Taylor was a boy or a girl they were busy pointing out his feminine qualities. People often told Taylor he had “girl hands” and that his voice sounded “like a girl” or that he had “girl eyelashes.” It didn't help when old ladies would bend over and pinch his cheeks and say in their loud jolly voices “You have such beautiful long eyelashes! I wish I had eyelashes as long and beautiful as yours!” Taylor wished they had eyelashes like his too, then maybe they would leave him alone and his cheeks wouldn't hurt so much.

Taylor was a beautiful boy and he knew it. He looked just like his mother, and he wouldn't have minded except for the fact that it made him an object of scorn and ridicule. The way his mother dressed him didn't help either. She often dressed him in bright colors, with short 80’s style shorts and knit cardigans. Taylor used to like the cardigans his mother made him with their ornate beauty. However, as the world unleashed it's ugly prejudices on the tiny child his blue cardigan had now become another reason for people to laugh at him. The ornate knit-work ran down either side of a row of shiny buttons like two braided pig tails running down a school girl's back. He only wore it today because he was cold. He always felt cold... and alone.

Recess ended and Taylor returned to his class long before the other children arrived. He sat down at his brown laminate table grabbed an eraser and began working at removing the pencil artwork his neighbor had left behind on his desk.

Before Taylor knew it the other students had returned and class resumed as Mrs. Tracey brought out her giant abacus with its one hundred multicolored wooden beads. It was counting time. Taylor shuddered in anticipation of the inevitable embarrassment that was coming. He could only hope that this time his teacher would overlook him, but after only four students successfully counted to one hundred and received their bright shining pin with the words “I can count to 100!” written on it the teacher turned to Taylor.

“Taylor, can you please come up to the front of the class and count to one hundred?” Asked the teacher in her most polite voice.

Taylor quietly stood up and approached the front of the class shaking with fear of what was to come. Fear of what happened every time he counted. Taylor very quietly mumbled the words as he slid the yellow, orange, blue, green and red beads across the abacus. He hated the blue and green beads the most and his hand quivered as he slid them.

“We can't hear you Taylor. Can you please count a little louder for us?” Mrs. Tracey abruptly requested as she slid all five beads back into their starting place. “Now start over please.”

Taylor took a deep breath and said in his loudest quiet voice, “One, choo, free, fo', five....” Taylor paused as he waited for the laughter and giggles from the children nearest the front to calm down. Then he continued nervously, “six, seven, eight, nine... ten.” He stopped abruptly and turned to Mrs. Tracey with pleading eyes as if he were asking her with his sad face, “can I please stop now,” but she only glared back at him with a determination that he must go on. He continued, “eleven, twelve.... seventeen.”

“It looks like someone needs some more practice. I bet you'll do better next time Taylor. Go ahead and take a seat,” Mrs. Tracey muttered out that overused line with little enthusiasm or hope left in her voice.

Taylor returned to his seat looking at his feet the entire way. He knew how to count to one hundred without making any mistakes. He did it every single day, but he couldn't do it in front of the class because if he did they would laugh every time he mispronounced the numbers three, four and sometimes two.

Time passed and the time for the walkers to walk home approached. Taylor wasn't a walker—he had to get the bus. He lived in town not far from the school, but his mother insisted he needed to get the bus because of “all the weirdos running about stealing children.”

Taylor waited hopelessly at his table while most of the bus kids waited by the door for the time the bus would arrive. Taylor was busy sketching a picture of a dinosaur when Brooke and his gang gathered around him. Brooke enjoyed picking on Taylor, maybe because he was self-conscious about the fact that the only other children that had the name of Brooke in the school were girls and Taylor was a name that went both ways as well—making him an easy target in some sadistic attempt to avenge his boyhood.

“Hey Morgan!” Brooke called out Taylor's last name in a mocking tone. “Can we hear you count to five?” He said trying to hold back a laugh.

Taylor was fed up with this nearly everyday occurrence and he had pretty much given up on resisting. By now it was easier to just take the ridicule and move on with life. At least less talking was involved that way. “One, two, free, fo' five.” Taylor spoke in a dim monotone voice. Brooke and his cronies broke out in laughter as usual. Making fun of Taylor seemed to be his favorite past time no matter how repetitious it became.

Finally it was time. Taylor grabbed his backpack and walked out to the bus.

“Smile Morgan!” Taylor looked up to see Jen's beaming smile. Every particle of her face looked happy—it always did.

“I will.... When I find something to smile about.” Taylor mumbled hopelessly. Jen's smile turned to a discouraged frown and she walked off not knowing quite what to say.

The hour long bus ride was always painful for him, and he spent most of his time looking out the window at the passing fields imagining that he was flying over them. His house was the last stop for the bus as it returned back to town after venturing in a nonsensical quest to drop off all the kids that lived miles away from civilization first.

Taylor stepped out of the bus and walked the short walk to his house. The sky was a bright blue color that day and sunny. Taylor wished he could be as happy as the sky.

After Taylor entered the door of his house and lumbered over to the couch next to the window and plopped himself down knees first, pulled back the curtains and looked out the window waiting for his mother to come home.

His mother usually came home soon after the train passed by each day. Taylor loved watching the train from out of the window. He often imagined that he could see a man in the caboose at the end of the train waving to him and he would wave back. It seemed so real that he wasn't sure if he were imagining it or if it were really happening.

An hour past and so did the train, but no car showed up in the driveway, just older children playing games that were entirely unfamiliar to Taylor in the streets. He eventually gave up and moped off to his room. He looked into the long, skinny, hand print covered mirror hanging on the wall and these were his thoughts:


I look stupid in these clothes.

I can't talk right.

I can't look right.

I can't write right.

I can't think right.

I can't be right.

I have no friends.

I'm not happy.

I hate being me.


Taylor pushed his little hand through one of the openings between two of the buttons of his azure sweater, and wrapped his fingers around the inside edge. His other hand followed doing the same to the opposite side. Several of the bright brass buttons popped off as he tore it open and flung it under his bed never to be worn again. He fell onto his bed in a heap and cried until he fell asleep.
Taylor dreamed nearly every time he fell asleep. This time was no exception. The problem is he didn't always remember his dreams very well once he woke up. He would always remember having them, but upon awaking he often could only remember an obscured thought, a smell or a blurred image. This time was one of those times he awoke with nothing left of his dream but a faint and familiar melody being sung in the most beautiful voice he could imagine.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stranger in the Mind Experpt 1 (2012) -- Will probably be the prologue

         “You’re standing too close to the line boy,” a fair young woman said with disdain in her voice.  The boy just looked at the ground and aimlessly prodded the crude barrier of rocks and sticks with his foot.  The barrier had only been erected the previous day by the two feuding families city of Koth.  The barrier ran directly though the center and precisely from one end of Koth to the other.
Over the hundred years prior the village of Koth was founded jointly by the Vaneesh and Khal families.  They were very close friends who had a dream of leaving the chaotic outside world and establishing a small Utopian society where they could raise their children together in a safe and loving environment.
Unfortunately a dispute occurred over two hundred years ago over who should be ordained as the next governor of the land.  This dispute put a rift between the two families (which had not grown to substantial size being joined by outsiders seeking refuge) and lead to a collapse of the old town government.
After a short and bloody battle the Vaneesh and Khal families agreed to replace single city government (which was primarily ruled by a governor and a counsel of elders) with two governments.  They appointed a governor from each family and the members of each family appointed elders to serve in two separate counselors under their respective governors.
The families came to an agreement that they would divide the city in two and relocate as necessary.  They established the main street that ran through the center of the town as the agreed line of demarcation between western and eastern Koth.
The two parties agreed that all disputes between western and eastern Koth would be settled in a counsel of the two governing parties, and so they were able to establish some peace between them by a series of treaties and agreements.
As time passed Koth had grown into a great city or rather two great cities.  Many other families lived there now but the Vaneesh and Khal families still held the governing power and by now they had changed their titles from governors to kings.  
The city’s growth lead to a great dispute over which land was owned by Western Koth and which by Eastern Koth and just the day before the dispute lead to a large skirmish in which one of the elders from the Khal family was killed and one from the Vaneesh family left critically injured.  It was then that the two families vowed to put a great barrier between the two cities forever and they immediately constructed the aforementioned crude barrier.  It was agreed upon that breaching this barrier would be punishable by death.

“This is just temporary you know,” said the girl.  My father is going to ensure that his men construct a great wall here and he vows to have it completed in a matter of two weeks.”  The girl announced in an arrogant tone.

    There were many others standing at the border establishing a verbal boundary as well as a physical one.  Of these were the two kings Hevereck of the Khal family and Yamowen of the Vaneesh family.
   
“Do you understand me dirty boy?  Do you know what that means?  It means I will never have to see your filthy Vaneesh face again.  What do you think of that boy?” She continued.
The boy knew well of the girl.  She was after all King Hevereck’s daughter Zhetre.  Had Hevereck been paying attention to anything other than his ego at the time he would not have permitted his daughter to come near the barrier.

“Are you stupid dirty boy?  I asked you a question. What do you think?”  Zhetre repeated.

As the boy looked up his eyes went slowly from the girl’s pretty little feet up her ornately designed and fitted green dress, past the soft white skin of her chest and neck across her dark brown hair that fell so perfectly on either side of her flawless cheekbones.  Her lips were full of color and her features ageless.  
Looking now into her deep sky blue eyes the boy only had power to speak his true feelings. “What do I think?  Um.... I think you are the most beautiful woman I could ever imagine laying my eyes upon.”
    Zhetre found herself immediately struck dumb as her focus shifted from the boy’s dirty face to his amazingly full eyelashes and into his dark brown eyes.  His eyes were so full of sincerity and love that her pride melted away in an instant and her eyes teared up.“
“You do?” Zhetre said as she spontaneously took a step forward onto the first stones of the barrier.
The boy crossed the remaining distance between them and leaned in gazing closer into her eyes.  There eyes locked together in such intense feeling that for a moment they could see into each other’s souls.  All the darkness and bickering surrounding them seemed to fade out of existence.
“I do.” Said the boy as they closed their eyes and their lips drew together into a kiss so full of love and passion that all ill feelings between them were forever gone.

As those standing by caught site of King Hevereck’s daughter standing atop the barrier in the warm embrace of passionate kissing with one who appeared to be  a dirt covered Vaneesh peasant boy they immediately gasped loudly.  Some of the women fainted, others screamed with surprise and terror while the men just stared with their jaws hanging towards the earth.
One of the Khal elders caught sight of it and nudged the king who was arguing with Yamowen.  Both kings turned and gazed at the sight in complete unbelief.
“Isn’t that your daughter?”  Yamowen muttered.
“And your... your son?” The words just plopped out of his mouth like the drinking flask he was holding just slipped out of his hand and plopped onto the ground making quite the mess of his boots.

The two awoke from their moment of passionate serenity to the cry of her father “Zhetre! What the hell are you doing?”
Zhetre jumped back a step out of shock--her mind not wanting to consider the possible consequences of their action.  The boy stumbled clumsily down from the barrier.
“I swear I will kill you for defiling my daughter you filthy boy!”  Hevereck shouted at the top of his lungs.
“You know the agreement Hevereck.  You put as much as one finger over that barrier and you die!”  Shouted Yamowen.
“Piss on the agreement--that boy dies this moment!”  Hevereck spat the words violently from his mouth as he slid his sword from it’s sheeth.
As fast as a jumping spider Yamowen drew his sword and place it against Hevereck’s throat.  “Stand down Hevereck or I’ll spill your blood.
“Son?  Is that you?  What have you done!  You know the agreement.  You pass the barrier and you die.  She passes it and she dies.”
“I know the agreement father.”  The boy said as he stepped up again onto the barrier and Zhetre rose again to meet him.  He took her hand and calmly but boldly announced “I am an honorable man and I shall abide the agreement and I shall not cross this barrier.”
“Come with me?” He whispered gently into Zhetre’s ear.
“Yes.”  She whispered back.
“Run.”  He whispered and the two ran as fast as they could along the barrier to the edge of the city.
With Yamowen’s sword at Hevereck’s throat and now Hevereck’s dagger slyly sneaked to Yamowen’s gut no one dared to move a muscle and the couple slipped out of sight off the end of the barrier and into the surrounding forest.
As they ran Zhetre’s face was overcome by a spontaneous smile.  Her breath was lost in running and her heart taken in the moment.
“I need to rest.... I need to rest.”  She gasped.
“Yes, I think we’re far enough for a moment.” Responded the boy.  “I could not lie to you.  As I looked at you at the wall and you spoke those harsh words I feared I may never see such beauty again.  At any rate, I’m sure your father is going to kill me.”
“No.  No.”  Zhetre muttered as she attempted to catch her breath.  The two sat down for a moment on a large black stone amid the lush mossy forest floor.  They gazed again into each other’s eyes.  In her eyes he saw his own soul perfected.  In his eyes she saw a warmth and love above all she could imagine.  Once again they closed their eyes and their lips met.
“I want you to have this.”  The boy said as he pulled a baseball sized black marbled sphere from his coat pocket.
“It’s beautiful.”  Zhetre said as the boy slipped it into her slender cream colored hands.  
The boy noticed the exquisite beauty of her hands.  Her fingers were so perfectly shaped and gradually tapered towards her flawless nails.  He placed his rough hands around hers and as she held the sphere the cloudy white swirls in the back marbled surface began to flow like clouds in the sky and expanded to fill the surface of the sphere until it turned into a flawless white.  
“What is it?”  Zhetre questioned.
“Um.... It is a Caltry stone.”
“A what?”
“A Caltry stone.  It’s coloring reflects the truth of the feelings of those who touch it.”
“Where did you get it?  I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“When I was little my grandmother told me stories about the Caltry people who the legend says used to inhabit these forests over a thousands years ago.  One day she shared with me a secret that she told no one else.  She told me that she was a descendant of the Caltry--perhaps the very last surviving descendant.  She told me that the Caltry had discovered a gift from nature that contained a remnant of the power of the first creation.”
“The first creation?  What does that mean?”  Zhetre questioned.   
“The beginning of time--the beginning of material existence.  The Caltry supposedly found it in these stones.  They mined the stone from the earth for years and found a way to extract it’s power.  Well, actually they weren’t sure if the stone gave them power or if it simply brought out power that was already in them.  One thing was clear though--the stone’s abilities depended on the feelings of the being who first touched them.
    “The power the stones brought out in the Caltry began to change their appearance.  It somehow made them more perfect, more flawless, more beautiful and more powerful.
    “When word spread of the Caltry’s power and extraordinary gifts other nations became jealous of their power and wanted to take it to themselves for their own selfish reasons.
    “Even though the Caltry were powerful individuals their civilization was far too small and they had no weapons to defend themselves with.  The other nations combined against them and completely destroyed them all except for a few of their women they took as slaves.  
    “When the Caltry stones were taken from their owners those that took them though their power would remain in them thus granting them the power of the Caltry.  They were very wrong.  The stones turned black as night, grew powerless and crumbled to dust.
“One of the men who was set to guard the few remaining slaves fell deeply in love with one of the women.  They did all they could do to keep their love a secret.
    “All of the remaining Caltry became very ill and died, but one of them was pregnant and  before dying she secretly gave birth to a child who was lovingly smuggled out of the country by his father (the guard).  
“Before the woman died she gave her lover this paper,” the boy said as he took out a piece of worn paper with writing on it.”
“What is it?”  Questioned Zhetre.
“Instructions on where to find and how to carve a Caltry stone.  Actually, it wasn’t this exact paper, it had been copied over onto new paper several times because of deterioration and the old paper destroyed.”
“My grandmother gave the paper to me upon her death.  She didn’t even seem to believe the stones were real, but she gave it to me to carry on the tradition that had been handed down for over one thousand years to the women of our family.”
“Women?”  Zhetre said as a look of confusion came across her face.
    “Um, yeah.  So, since she didn’t have any surviving female descendants in this generation she figured she would have to make due with me.
“Anyway, I thought that maybe the stones were for real and I went out looking for one and followed the instructions the best I could and sure enough after two years of searching I found a small amount of it--actually that stone their is all I could find.
“Originally the stone was black as coal and rather porous, but I knew it was a Caltry stone from the moment I touched it because upon touching it it immediately became a cloudy marbled color and began to change its structure and density.  Following the instructions I carefully shaped the stone and polished it into a sphere which is said to be the form the stone is most powerful in.”
“it’s beautiful... and it’s growing more and more beautiful as we speak.”  Zhetre calmly said as her hands began to tremble and the stone began to glow with a soft white light.
“I found it for you; you know.”
“But you barely know me,”  Zhetre said in disbelief.
“Perhaps, but I found it for you because I want to know you.  I want to love you and I wanted to take you away from that awful divided place and show you how beautiful you really are.”
“Dirty boy.  What is your name?”  Zhetre said with a sheepish smile on her face.
“Yeshi.”  The boy softly said as he leaned forward again pressing his lips against hers.
Zhetre paused for a moment looking again deep into his eyes, “I want to love you too.”  Looking at him now she didn’t see a dirty boy anymore his appearance was very clean now.  She saw an amazing man who had gone through great lengths to capture her love.  She saw a man who filled her hollow soul with light and hope and she vowed in her heart to never leave him.

Stranger in the Mind Excerpt 2 (2012)


Chapter 8

    His grip on his books was unnecessarily tight and his grip on the cold metal bar above his head even tighter.  Taylor stared out between the smears of graffiti on the window for  a moment, but the environment surrounding him was too busy for him to stare long, besides there was nothing to stare at out that window but the occasional passing lights.  
    The sent of body oder from the unsleaved hairy woman's armpit crammed uncomfortably close to Taylor's face was starting to get to him but the teenage girls crammed against his back made it practically impossible to turn around.  Seemingly countless voices were chattering in a somewhat unfamiliar language all around him. Things would have been different for Taylor if they were speaking  English, but he found it more difficult to pick out the individual conversations though he tried.  The girls next to him were definitely the loudest of the conversationalists, but their teenage lingo was mostly incomprehensible.  He could only pick out every other word of their conversation.
    Finally the train came to a stop and about half of the passengers made a quick exit while only a handful entered the train.  Taylor was glad to finally find a seat between a sleeping old man who smelled of cheep wine and a girl chatting away on her cell phone.  
    Taylor enjoyed watching people.  He enjoyed observing their curious natures.  The old man next to him dressed in a drab brown jacket with leather patches on the elbows and he wore a worn out old trilby on his head sloped down covering his eyes.  The girl next to him had deep olive skin and black hair cut short and spiked up all around with gel.  Her eyeliner was intense—extending out from the outer edge of her eyes and curled slightly upwards reminiscent of an ancient Egyptian.
    Taylor's eyes scanned across the textured plastic floor of the subway car to the people sitting across from him.  Seated there was a young couple that was not shy in the slightest about displaying their affections towards one another.  Taylor's eyes quickly turned away to find a less disturbing site when his eyes fell upon the dark red-brown hair of young woman seated a few seats away.  Her back was turned and Taylor could not see her face, but he felt a strange attraction to her.  Her silky hair fell in long ringlets off her shoulders and down her back.  She wore a fitted brown jacket with knit black sleeves that extended down to cover half of her hands.  There was a bit of light faux fir trim on the collar.  She wore stylishly distressed jeans and her shoes were extremely sensible flat-souled tennis shoes—the kind made of black canvas with white souls where the rubber of the souls extended upwards across the tip of the toes.
    Taylors eyes fixed upon her and not even the rambling in his ear of the girl next to him or the concourses of loud voices around him could distract him from what he now picked out from the voices—a soft quiet humming, a sound like a soft mother's lullaby to her sleeping child, a familiar melody that Taylor thought he knew.
    The train screeched to a stop as Taylor jumped up to his feet dropping his books and grabbing again the cold bar above his head.  He wasn't sure if he had really heard what he thought he did and it only took him a moment to remember when he had heard that soft melody before.  An overweight old man and several others bushed by in front of Taylor and when he came to his senses for a moment he realized the source of that lovely melody had already exited the train—she was gone.
    Taylor pushed through the crowd until he found the exit.  Frantically he looked around but in the crowd he could see no sign of her lovely dark red-brown hair.  He stood there with his empty hands quivering in the brisk air as the train behind him resumed its course to its final destination.  He staggered over to the nearest bench and slumped down onto it.  
    “Hai dimenticato il tuo libro.  La fisica... dificile.” The familiar voice that sat beside him in the train said as she pushed Taylor's physics book and his notebook into his lap.
    Taylor looked up. “Si, la fisica.”  The girl smiled then turned and walked away briskly.  “Uh... grazie!”  Taylor shouted  back after thinking a moment, but it was hard to think.  Did he really hear what he thought he heard?  That melody that was so familiar.  It was the melody from his childhood—the melody from the sweet dreams he had in his darkest moments as a child.  It was all he could remember from the dreams, but the melody never left  him.  But did he really here her hum this melody?  It didn't make sense.  It wasn't possible.  Taylor was good at hearing, but could he really have picked out such a faint melody being hummed in that noise-filled train car?  Taylor doubted what he heard, but he believed it enough (at least for a moment) to exit the train long before his intended stop.  

   

Bob the Monster (2012)





















The World of Tim Raves Segment 1 (2000 - 2011)




Chapter 1

Somewhere between the place where people cared and the land of lost hope lay the sky under the darkened space above. Then came the rain below under the darkened sky, and below it all, soaking up the rain greedily like a famished dog when it finds water, was the land. From the sky fell rain like tears upon the grass below. There under an ancient weeping willow tree lay the face whose cheeks had never felt a tear. The old tree knew this and felt for the boy; so it gave him the tear it received from the sky. The tear of rain slowly crept down from his eye, off his cheek and back down to the ground finding its long forgotten home.
The rain fell upon the leaves of the nearby trees emulating the sound of the rolling waves from the sea. Along with this sound came voices calling out into the darkness for the lost boy. Mud laden footsteps grew closer until they stopped abruptly.
A slim woman no older than thirty-five stood in a dead silence. She lifted a hand to wipe her soaked blond hair from her face. “Tim?” The woman said questioningly at the sight of the boy curled up under the old willow. Dr. Terress slowly stepped out of the forest brush and slowly approached the boy kneeling upon the softened undergrowth beside him. The sound of footsteps and stirring of the underbrush came through the trees from where the doctor had come. Dr. Terress quickly turned her head as her eyes caught the shadowed image of a tall yet not heavyset man. The man stepped out beside the doctor and gently placed his large hand upon her shoulder.
“I feared this,” the man began as the rain dripped down his short brown hair and down his long face. It was hard to tell whether he was crying or if it was only the rain that wet his face. “But I suppose you always fear the future when you know what is going to happen.” There was no use in saying it; they both knew the boy was gone now.
“If only Timmy could have seen the real world,” the woman said looking at the man with teary eyes.
“Oh, I think he did…. I think he saw it all too clearly,” the man concluded as he pondered.
The sky was filled with rays of shinning sun that broke through the scattered white clouds in a sky as blue as a crisp clear ocean. The sun graciously gave its light to the forest plants that hungered from the darkness of the recently past winter. The songs of countless birds filled the air telling all that the winter has gone and spring has come again.
Set in the mountains of the far Northwest was a little wooded valley. In that valley among the trees was a tiny cabin of old moss covered logs. The door open slowly while creaking on its old rusted hinges. A thing stream of light poured in through the entrance across the old rotting pine floor boards. The light passed across a pail face whose body was curled upon the floor. In the shadows two youthful eyes peered out from the darkness into the lighted doorway to welcome the visitor. The floorboards creaked in a path towards the boy. The visitor left no shadow, no objects only an urgent message to the boy before departing on his own way. The door slowly turned upon its hinges and closed as if by the wind.
An old blue pickup truck was slowly on its way down the old road that led into the little valley. The tree roots and seedlings in growing in the rode gave the driver a reason to go slower that he liked to. He held the wheel loosely in his thickly callused farmer’s hands as he ground some wheat from last years harvest between his worn yellow teeth.
The passenger was enjoying the ride much less than the driver who did not seem to mind it. She nervously clutched her doctor's bag in her hands as she attempted to straighten her delicate glasses that had been bumped out of place upon the end of her nose. She seemed to have solved the problem with her glasses only after a moment by taking them off all together and placing them in her coat pocket for the time being, but just as she managed this the truck's tires ran over a large stump knocking her bag out of her hands and sending it clashing to her feet while spilling her instruments about.
“Surry ‘bout the ride Miss, but it’s the only road,” said the old farmer slurring his words badly.
“Oh, it’s all right, nothing seems to been broken,” the doctor said nervously as she picked up her tools and placed them back in her bag as carefully as she could.
“We’re almost there. Lak’ I said I wus jus’ goin’ up to ol’ John’s place jus’ to check things out. An’ nobody’s lived there for years an’ I fine’ the lady jus’ lyin’ there dead like she just curled up there an’ died. An’ then I see the boy jus’ sittin’ there without no chair. An he’s starin’ off in’a space an’ talkn’ lak’ he sees someone there ta talk to, but he don’t see me, jus’ acts like I ain’t there at all. An’ like I said I try to bring the boy back to town with me so, but he jus’ plane gone crazy like I has a herd a demons come to drag him down to hell er some’n,” the farmer said as the doctor struggled to understand his speech.
“Well, like I said I’m not a psychiatrist, but I will see what I can do until we can figure something out for the boy.” The doctor thought for a time, “You can’t think of anywhere the boy and his mother came from can you?”
“No, I can’t say I recognize 'em. I jus’ guess they’s some homelesses that come an’ stay there or sompn’,” replied the old farmer as he spat a wad of chewed wheat out the window. The truck finally reached the bottom of the valley and rolled to a stop at the end of the road about a hundred yards away from the old cabin. “That’s it,” said the farmer as she stepped out of his old pickup slamming the door with a clang after him.
The doctor fumbled for her glasses until they arrived upon her nose. “It’s good to be able to see again," the doctor said to herself as she attempted to open the old metal door with no luck.
The old farmer took of his old broad brimmed brown hat and scratched the bald spot on the top of his head as he looked up at the bright blue sky. “Ain’t she a beaut’,” he said to himself as he placed the hat firmly back covering his bald spot. The farmer looked over to see the doctor struggling to open the old pickup door and walked over to assist her. He grasped firmly on the handle and gave the door a good bash with his fist as he pulled it open. “Jus’ gets stuck like that sometimes,” said the farmer and he began to walk towards the old house.
The doctor stepped out of the truck and gave the door a vengeful slam as she examined her surroundings. She took a minute to straighten her hair and stretch a cramp out of her leg before she caught up with the farmer. They came to the ruins of an old log cabin. The logs were rotting and covered in moss and what was left of the un-shingled roof was beginning to cave in. The surrounding pine tree branches grew above the cabin blocking the suns light.
The two stepped up to an old wooden porch which lay a home for several hundred various bugs. Still leaning against the cabin's front were the remains of an old weather-stripped acoustic guitar. “Ol’ Joe wasn’t much of a musician; jus’ lak’ ta keep it leaning there fer the show of it,” the farmer said as he poked at the guitar with the toe of his black cowboy boots.
“I though you said his name was John,” the doctor said questioning.
“Yep, John, Joe, whatever I desides I want’s ta call ‘im,” replied the farmer.
“What happened to him?” The doctor questioned.
“Oh, well…funny thing really. Well…you see, his well dry right up and he did too. Yes funny thing a well dryin’ up in a valley like this one…funny thing,” the farmer said baffling himself as he scratched his head through his hat.
“Oh dear, I almost forgot about the boy,” said the doctor as she remembered why she was there. The farmer and the doctor stepped up to the old door. A gust of ghostly wind blew from the west and the door creaked open welcoming them into the darkness that lay within.
Chapter 2

          Four feet slowly swept across the floorboards causing them to creek. Darkness filled the tiny room, save a little light from the doorway. The eyes of the visitors were nearly blinded as the stepped out of the bright sun and into the darkness. They could not see the pair of tiny eyes that looked toward them, but the eyes did not look at them, rather through them.
The old farmer squinted his ancient eyes in an attempt to find the boy. After his eyes adjusted he saw them, a pair of tiny reflective eyes staring blankly in there direction. “There he is,” the farmer whispered quietly to the doctor while pointing in the boy’s direction.
“I can’t see him,” the doctor said, her eyes not quite adjusted to the darkness. She took of her glasses and attempted to adjust her eyes to the figure in the dark. The doctor’s eyes made out the shadowy figure of a tiny boy sitting motionlessly in the corner. “Ah, yes I see him,” she said as she took a step forward. Her foot hit a loose decaying board; the board gave way sending her foot into an awkward position upon the ground below. “Aah!” She shouted in agony and surprise.
“You a’right mam?” The farmer questioned.
“I seem to have twisted my ankle,” the doctor said painfully. The old farmer came to her assistance and attempted to free her foot from the broken boards which held it captive.
“That’s all right I can handle it,” the doctor said nervously as the old farmer pulled up on her ankle.
“You seem to’ve gott’n it stuck purdy good,” the farmer said as he continued pulling at the doctor’s foot and the loose boards. Eventually the two managed to free her entrapped foot.
The doctor painfully tried to forget about the sprain in her ankle and hobbled over to the boy. Her eyes were now adjusted to the dim light and she could see a little boy sitting down behind the body of his mother. A very peculiar thing caught the doctor’s eye. At first she thought the boy was sitting upon a chair from the way he was sitting, but that was not the case at all; there was no chair but the boy was sitting as if there were. From what the doctor could tell he must have been balancing upon his feet.
“Hello, my name is doctor Terress and this is Mr. Braddock. We’re here to help you,” the doctor gently said to the boy while kneeling at his side, but the boy did not see her. The boy would not see her. The boy could not see her. He did not even acknowledge her presence with anything such as a movement in his eyes.
“It’s like he don’t even see ya,” said the old farmer.
The doctor turned her attention to the boy’s mother and examined her the best she could. “Well, I can’t find any cause of her death in this light. We’ll have to bring her back with us so I can do an autopsy and maybe get someone to identify her, and besides we can’t just leave her here,” The doctor said to the old farmer.
“Yes, I s’pose so,” the farmer replied. “What about the boy? He aint goin’ to like it if we just try ta take ‘im.”
“Well whether he likes it or not, we can’t just leave him here,” the doctor replied. Just then the boy stood up in alarm and coward back against the wall as he stared at the doorway in fright. Both the doctor and the farmer looked at the doorway expecting to see someone, but nothing was there. The boy’s face changed from a look of fright to a look of absolute terror. “What’s the matter?” Dr. Terress questioned, but the boy paid no heed. He covered his eyes with his hands so he need not look upon the horrible sight.
“Leave me alone! Leave me alone!” The boy shouted with a tiny timid voice over and over while he began to beat away the pretend demons with one of his hands.
“It’s all right,” the doctor said as she attempted to comfort the boy, but she only succeeded in being batted away with the rest of the ‘demons.’
“Well, what do you suggest we do?” The doctor questioned the old farmer as she rubbed her recently smitten jaw.
“Well, it aint gona be easy bringn’ him home a squirmin’ and hitting like that,” the farmer said as the little boy coward into in to the corner and covered himself with his arms as is he were protecting himself from the awful blows of an unseen enemy. Eventually the boy stopped writhing in pain. He sat up a little and began to cry quietly.
The doctor gazed in a perplexed stupor at the boy. She eventually got a hold of herself enough to respond to Mr. Braddock, “I think I had better sedate him."

Chapter 3

It was a normal day at the North Eastern Mental Health Hospital, if there ever could be a normal day there. The halls were busy with nurses and doctors of all sorts administering to the needs of the patients. The sound of heavy uncoordinated footsteps clapped down a hall in the west end of the hospital. A pair of enormous black leather boots moved awkwardly under a pair of long gangly legs. A pair of large hands held a clipboard cumbered with a mess of disorganized papers. A pair of tired brown eyes wondered aimlessly through the words upon the papers.
Nearby a young nurse and a young doctor were talking in a recently emptied room.
“I don’t know about that Dr. Care,” Betty began.
“I know he seems a bit abrupt but he means well,” Dr. Terress replied as she made a note of something on her clipboard.
“Your not seriously going out with him are you?” Questioned Betty while tucking in the newly cleaned sheets readying the room for the next patient.
“I don’t see why not. Besides that’s my business,” replied the doctor as she began to open the door.
“I’m only trying to warn you as a friend and all I am saying is I don’t know about that Dr. Care. You watch out okay,” Netty said as Dr. Terress backed out of the door into the hall.
A tall gangly doctor was walking awkwardly down the hall not watching himself when Dr. Terress backed right into him knocking him unexpectedly to the floor. His clipboard flew out of his hands scattering papers everywhere. Dr. Terress turned around abruptly.
“I’m so sorry,” she said in shock and began to help the doctor pick up his papers.
The doctor gathered his thoughts. “Not at all. It was my fault. I must apologize for my clumsiness,” the doctor said in a low tone clamoring to find words. The two gathered up the papers. Dr. Terress pushed her classes back in place with her index finger and looked up to hand the doctor his papers as the two doctor’s eyes met.
“Why thank you. I’m Dr. Stone,” said the doctor as he awkwardly reached his hand out for a handshake.
“Nice meeting you Dr. Stone; I am Dr. Terress,” she said as she shook his hand and the two doctors stood up. “Perhaps next time we will meet under better circumstances. Good day doctor.” Dr. Terress began to leave to attend to her daily duties.
“What did you say your name was?” Questioned Dr. Stone nervously.
“Terress, Dr. Marie Terress,” the doctor said her name with a sense of dignity.
“Oh, yes…. Well, it’s funny that I should bump into you. It just so happens you are the person I was looking for.”
“Why is that?” Questioned Dr. Terress.
“I’m here about the boy you found last week.” There was a silence, “The boy that was found in an abandoned barn,” explained the doctor.
“Oh…it was a cabin.”
Excuse me,” Dr. Stone said in confusion.
I found him in an abandoned cabin…or actually a farmer found him,” replied the doctor.
Oh yes…well I was told it was a barn.”
So you’re the specialist the hospital hired for little Timmy,” said Dr. Terress with a bit of excitement in her voice. “I’ll take you to him,” she said as Dr. Stone followed her down the hall.
After a moment of silence Dr. Terress spoke, “I’ve been in charge of him since he arrived last Friday. We found him in an old cabin in the woods about twenty miles north of here siting by the body of his mother talking to the air. According to the coroner the mother died of malnutrition and heat stroke several days before they found him. Tim’s case is unusual; he doesn’t respond to anything around him.  He only responds to what isn’t there. It’s like he is living in a different world.”
Well, I suppose it is my job to get him out of that world,” Replied Dr. Stone.
The thing is you had better get him out soon, because he won’t eat or drink anything. It’s a miracle we’ve got him to stay alive this long, but I suppose the real miracle is even though he won’t eat or drink he still acts as healthy as a horse,” Dr. Terress said.
How is that?” Questioned Dr. Stone.
I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense really,” replied Dr. Terress as she stopped in front of a door, “He’s in here.” Dr. Terress unlocked and opened the door. She entered the room followed by Dr. Stone.
There in an empty white room Dr. Stone saw Tim for the first time. He was a very small boy and looked to be in between ten and twelve years old. He had pail skin and dark shadows under his eyes. His light brown hair drooped down over his brow and the tops of his ears. The boy looked very undernourished and was as skinny as a rake. His pail blue eyes looked off into nothingness. But the most interesting thing the doctor noticed about the boy was the way he was sitting.
Does he sit like that often…I mean without a chair like that?” Dr. Stone questioned in wonderment.
It’s and odd thing really. He just sits down on the air as if there was a chair there putting all his weight on his feet,” said Dr. Terress as she stared at Tim in amazement.
I’ve never seen anyone do that before,” the doctor said as he examined the precarious position they boy was in.
Either have I. His name is Tim Raves; we kind of nicknamed him Tiny Tim, but I just call him Timmy,” Dr. Terress said.
How did you find out his name? Did you find anyone who could identify him?” Questioned the doctor.
No, in fact we can’t be sure that that is his name, but that is what he said it was,” Replied Dr. Terress.
He told you? I thought he didn’t talk to anyone,” said Dr. Stone in surprise.
Oh no, he didn’t tell us. Like I said he doesn’t react to anything real. He told someone in his world and I just happened to be there listening to there conversation.”
So there are people in his world?” Questioned Dr. Stone.
Oh, that is only the beginning,” replied Dr. Terress.
So what is he doing now?” Questioned Dr. Stone.
He usually doesn’t do much, he’s just waiting. I really haven’t had much time to study him, but I think he thinks he is in prison.” Replied Dr Terress.
How do you figure that?” Questioned Dr. Stone.
Oh, just wait until one of his imaginary friends comes along and listen to their conversations. I’ve got to go and tend to my other patience. In the mean time see if you can figure out how to get him to eat,” Dr. Terress said as she left the room.
Hello Tim,” Dr. Stone said as he bent down to the boy’s eye level, but Time did not see him. “Hello Tim,” Dr. Stone repeated this time waving his hand right in front of the boy’s face, but Tim still did not see him. The expression on Tim’s face grew to one of extreme boredom and he began to tap his finger across an imaginary table where he was seated at his imaginary chair.

Chapter 4

The bright eastern sun beamed through the crisp morning air, down through a tiny window into a dim cell and onto the boy’s face, as he looked into the friendly light and smiled happily.
The door slowly opened, but the sound did not alarm the boy as Dr. Stone entered the room and approached the boy.
“What are you looking at Tim? Are you looking at the sunlight through that window?” Dr. Stone questioned not expecting an answer, but all the while he was perplexed to see the boy seeming to respond to something real.
The boy turned his head to the doctor, not looking at him, but through him. “Light in the darkness,” the boy said to himself, as he turned back around and sat himself down once again on his imaginary chair.
“Is that so Tim,” replied the doctor, but he was only talking to himself as he had been doing for the past two days.
The doctor studied the boy’s face for a very long time. Eventually he noticed an expression like fear come upon him. The boy’s face then took on a more courageous look, as he began to quiver with nervous fright.
“My name is Tim Raves. I will not let you frighten me, and I will not give you my light,” the boy said in a frightened voice.
“I know that, but what do you mean Tim?” The Doctor questioned in frustration.
The doctor left the room to get himself a chair, and when he returned he saw that the look of fright had once again left the boy’s face. The doctor sat the chair next to Tim and stared at him wondering what he should do.
The door creaked open and Dr. Terress entered the room. “You’re still here? You’ve been looking at him for hours. Found anything out yet?”
“I’m not sure, but when I came in this morning he was looking at that window and he said something about the light,” replied Dr. Stone.
“Yes, I remember him doing that before, but that was before we put him in a room with a window,” Dr. Terress replied.
As Dr. Stone looked at the boy sitting upon his invisible an idea struck him. “That’s it! I’ve been looking at this all wrong. The boy won’t respond to anything he hears, anything he see or anything he feels, only what he thinks he does.” The doctor jumped up and gabbed his chair and slowly scooted it under the boy. “What we need to do is communicate with the boy, and if we can’t bring him out of his world then we must go in and get him out.”
A look of perplexity came across Dr. Terress’ face, a look as if she was not sure what the doctor was getting at, but at the same time knowing exactly what he meant. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean, but I think the most important thing now is getting the boy to eat something. That’s the one thing I cannot understand; how can the boy still be alive and reasonable healthy if he hasn’t eaten or drank anything since we found him, and who knows how long he’s been like this, in his own little word I mean.”
“Maybe he has,” Dr. Stone replied in a low voice as he studied the boy’s sad drooping face.
“But that’s not possible we haven’t been able to get anything down his throat,” Dr. Terress replied.
“Oh, yes, I suppose that is a bit confusing,” replied Dr. Stone.
“Well, I think I’m going to go grab lunch. Would you like to join me?” Dr. Terress questioned with a slight smile on her face.
“Thank you for the offer but I think I should stay with the boy. There’s something going on with he that were just not seeing,” Dr. Stone replied.
“Suit yourself,” Dr. Terress said, as she left the room closing the door behind her.
Dr. Stone continued observing the nearly motionless boy until he began to doodle with boredom on his clipboard. Then the boy stood up and walked to the eastern wall of the room. He bent down on his hands and knees and began making odd motions from the floor to his mouth with his hands cupped.
The doctor stood up and approached the boy for a closer observation. “What’s that your doing there Tim?” He questioned.
Tim paused for a moment and put his hands back down. He then made a motion as if he had picked something small off his shoulder and held it in his hand. “Would you like a drink my friend?” The boy questioned his hand as he lowered it near the floor. The boy then again cupped his hands and stretched them down to the floor. “The water of life is pure through the light and unto all things it gives life,” the boy said softly as he brought his hands to his lips and emptied the nothingness into mouth swallowing as he did. The boy wiped the spilt nothingness off his chin with one hand and picked up his invisible friend and placed him again on his shoulder with the other. The boy slowly walked back to his chair and sat down again.
“Fascinating,” the doctor muttered as he made note of the time among his doodles. The doctor then ran frantically out of the room and to the kitchen. The doctor searched through the cooking supplies until he found a large metal tray a few inches deep.
“What are you doing?” One of the cooks questioned as he turned around.
“Do you mind if I barrow this tray?” He questioned.
“I suppose, seeing as we have a few extra,” the cook replied.
The doctor set the tray on the floor under the small window on the eastern wall just where the boy had drank the nothingness then filled it with a jug of water.
The doctor observed the boy into the night. The boy finally fell asleep on the floor near his chair after battling the invisible demons he fought every night.