Thursday, October 4, 2007

[Fiction] Friday

[Fiction] Friday Challenge for October, 5 2007:

Use the first line of a nursery rhyme (your choice) to start your own story.

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water

Jack fell down and broke his crown

and Jill came tumbling after.

Why of all the nursery rhymes in this book had he picked that one. Jack sat on the edge of the bed looking at his son laying under fresh green sheets, half in and out of sleep. There's something on his mind Jack thought. His eyes are twitching and he is pursing his lips. Why this silly rhyme? Jack knew that these rhymes were made up to parody Royal and Political events in the past but this one could be used to parody more recent events.

Jack and Gil went up the hill to start a life together

Jack got t-boned on his Harley and broke his crown, both legs, three ribs and a punctured lung

and Gil did run with his unborn son as fast as her legs could carry.

He obviously still had a lot of rage inside him and this stupid little nursery rhyme had brought it all back to the surface. He realized that there must have been an enormous amount of pressure on her but still.... He was in a coma for six months and when he woke up he was alone, not knowing anything about his past. Lost at sea surrounded by the man eating sharks in white coats wanting to get paid for services, no that wasn't exactly true because the Doctors and Nurses were wonderful, it was the hospital administration wanting to know if he had any insurance to cover a couple hundred thousand dollars of medical fees. Then came the sharks that wanted to sue somebody on his behalf, to pay for damages, pain and suffering. The irony being that it was some Doctor driving under the influence. He set them loose to fight amongst each other because he had enough problems trying to fit together the jumbled pieces of his puzzeled life. By that time he had found out his name and age from his drivers licence in the drawer by his bed. It was a nurse that told him that he had a wife. "She came everyday for a month. She rarely left your side until one day she got up and left never to return", he was told.

Two months later after many hours of rehab, he was wheeled out of the hospitals front doors with little to show for the experience except for a slight limp in his left leg and a steel plate in his head. The young nurse handed him a sealed envelope before he got into the taxi to take him away to his new life.

The note informed him that a phone call was recieved at the nurses station some months back from Tacoma Washington. It was a woman inquiring into his status but she would not leave her name. The Doctors on duty decided that it would be detrimental to your recovery and we were not to pass this information on to you. The note then went on to plead for him to understand what a great pressure his wife was under, not knowing if you would ever recover and with medical bills increasing daily, she probably ran away out of fear. She should have stayed out of love; Jack thought.

Jack hated his wife with all his being. She had left him broken and alone, to wake up and not have any idea who he was or what he had been before the accident. He wanted to punish her for what she did even though he couldn't remember what she looked like or what their life was like. Not a trace of his previous life remained, not even her maiden name.

Jack became obsessed with finding her until one day he stopped in the middle of a shopping mall and realized that he needed professional help. He couldn't keep wandering around looking at every woman that passed and hoping for a flicker of recognition. It took three years of therapy and most of the money he had left from the lawsuit, after the sharks were fed, to finally come to terms with his anger. He no longer wanted revenge but he would like to have closure. He just wanted to know why. Someone at a local TV station found out about Jacks amnesia and thought that it would be an interesting story on Tacoma's breakfast television. Jack went on the show and told his story in the three minutes alloted but he left out the part about a missing wife. He later thought that it was a sign of his recovery.

A young woman sat at her kitchen table sobbing into her coffee. Her past had caught up to her. "What's the matter mommy? Why are you crying?" asked the little boy at her side. He wasn't afraid because mommy cried a lot. "Mommy's just being silly" she said; "Silly silly mommy." She managed to keep it together until she dropped him off at kindergarten, then she returned home and collapsed on the bed and all her years of guilt and shame came pouring out from deep within her soul. What was she to do now. The father of her son was living in Tacoma. What was she to do?

A week after the show Jack got a call from the TV station saying that someone from his past had called the station and left a phone number. It took a few days for Jack to call because he no longer was sure if he wanted to re-open the past.

It didn't happen all at once but little by little he got to know the son he didn't know he had. He no longer had any feeling for his wife. If once there was love, it was no longer there. Hate had disappeared along with the love and indifference taken their place. This weekend was his son's first sleep over and they had plans to go and see 'Shrek2' at the local theatre on Saturday.

Jack lifted his son's head and removed the extra pillow. He stood above the bed and looked down upon his son, searching for something that he could say that was inherited from him but everything about him was his mother's. He's the only thing that kept me sane, she said; If it wasn't for him I think I would have killed myself. Jack found himself squeezing the pillow to his face, suffocating back the tears. "Jack and Jill went up the hill, Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill ran away with the Sun."

"Daddy, do you think Jack got better?" mumbled his son.

"I don't know Jack," she had named him Jack, "What do you think?"

"I think Jack got better, married Jill and had a son just like me."
Jack smiled and said;"Daddy is going to take his pillow and sleep on the couch in the living room." and he dimmed the light and left the room. Tommorrow you and I are going to the book store and purchasing a copy of 'The Little Prince'. No more stupid nursery rhymes in this house.


paisley October 5, 2007 at 7:38 AM  

wow... you walked away from that fairy tale with a life story.. this was excellent......

Jodi Cleghorn October 5, 2007 at 7:41 AM  

I really really really enjoyed this. I could feel his pain, his anger, his disorientation.

The Alchemist October 5, 2007 at 10:28 AM  

Thanks everyone but I really wasn't pleased with it. How it works for me and I'm not sure if it's kosher but I try to read the prompt early and walk around with it while the story takes form in my head. I then sit down and pour it out on to the page. This story didn,t come out like it sounded in my head.

~willow~ October 5, 2007 at 10:28 AM  

I recognized a parallel to Stephen King's "The Dead Zone", but I like how differently you took the tale. I can relate to "hate is gone, but so has the love, all that remains is indifference" situation. Well done!

gautami tripathy October 5, 2007 at 10:30 AM  

This one is the 4th one on Jack and Jill including mine. I loved every word of yours!

Josie Two Shoes October 6, 2007 at 9:18 AM  

What an engaging story, Webster - I loved this one!

Pen and the Sword October 6, 2007 at 12:48 PM  

Phenomenal! That was an incredible tale. I shall return to read more of your works.

Seriously. Just wow.

Paul October 6, 2007 at 4:47 PM  

I don't know how it sounded in your head Webster, but it read very well here.