Entry #8 - Fire And Pickles
Before Seymour could continue on reciting the alphabet, the sound of a police siren began to arrive from a distance. I only knew it was a police siren some time later, but all I knew at the time was that I heard a siren. It could have been an ambulance come for E.P. Jackson’s dead person body; it could have been a fire truck come to put out the fire Seymour had inadvertently started over by the furnace and dead rodent… It could have been a misguided ice cream truck for that matter, but something told me we had to get out of there.
It was a small child.
“We have to get out of here,” it said.
I jumped in fright, and Seymour jumped in his intense desire to be a part of something. I then jumped again for good measure, as did Seymour. We were there jumping for a good minute or a half before a second small child came up behind the first and asked why we were jumping.
This made the first small child jump as well.
We jumped and jumped, the sirens getting louder and louder with each passing moment. Eventually the urgency of the situation came down upon us all like a support beam that had caught fire, so we hightailed it out of there faster than we could run, only occasionally tripping over each other before scrambling to our feet and continuing to run.
The two small children led the way. Women and children first, is what people say. None of the people there were saying it, but I suppose if there had been some women there, they likely would have been saying that. The children, however, were simply saying things like “Follow us!” and “This way to safety!” and “Quit stepping on my back!”
Eventually, they led us out of the inferno and into a small yard behind the inferno and to the left, through a gate, into another yard that looked nearly identical except reversed, and then again on through another gate out into an alley full of trash cans, bicycles, raccoons, and spinach.
There might not have been spinach. My memories are a bit unclear due to what a rush we were in, and boy howdy, let me tell you were we in a rush.
We were in a rush.
Eventually, we ran our way into a park and rested on a bench beside a little fountain. In the center of the fountain stood the statue of a man looking inquisitively at a cube he held in the palm of his hand. The base of the statue was engraved with the word “NO” and the date “1948.” In hindsight, this seemed like a weird choice of engraving, but I was out of breath and only thinking about all the running and rushing and fleeing we had just done.
I turned to the children and asked them why we had just run from the police. In all the rushing, the reason for it all had eluded me almost as much as we had eluded capture. Then I had begun to wonder what we would have been captured for, and this is what prompted my question to the children who had only recently helped us become more elusive.
“What police?” asked the little girl, who, for the record, was the first child we had seen in that basement, and the third child we had seen that day. “Mister, we were escaping a burning building that I am fairly certain your friend here set fire to.”
“First of all,” I started, making sure it was known there was plenty more of what I had to say to come after what I was just about to say, “this man is no friend of mine. He simply likes to follow me around everywhere for some reason, and I let him, because I can not think of any valid reason not to. Secondly…” This was where I wanted to make sure she knew that I was in charge, and she was not. “What we do with our time and fire is of no concern to you, for we are adults, while you are merely children, and if anyone asks, they will believe that it was you and not my accomplice here who set that fire.”
Accomplice was probably not the best word to use when trying to argue one’s innocence, but I really liked the way it sounded. It had a very official and commanding tone to it, and the amount of syllables made me sound incredibly academic, or so I liked to think.
I find myself thinking a lot about academia and what sorts of things might make a person seem more knowledgeable than I likely am. For example, wearing glasses can make you look like you read things, or at least know how. In case you consider this tactic, be sure to use the spectacle form of glasses meant for seeing, and not the type used for holding, containing, and drinking beverages. This is an important distinction that I feel is too often overlooked, perhaps because people such as myself have the inability to see and can’t tell the difference between the two forms of glasses.
I’ve had a difficult life full of misunderstandings and semantical errors.
Another good way to appear more academic and smart-like is to rub your chin while looking upward and to the left and/or right, all the while saying things like “Hmm…” or “Go figure.” or on very special occasions “Well isn’t that a pickle?”
That last example is a good one to use at the grocery store while admiring the jarred edible food products of the gherkin variety. Gherkin meaning pickle, of course. I forget that not everyone is familiar with that particular word, having been antiquated through time and cultural changes.
Not all pickles are gherkins, and not all pickled items are made from cucumber, however. Many things can be pickled, and I once took a tour of a pickling facility. It was boring, but they gave me a lot of pickled food to eat. At the end of the tour, I was concerned that this was all a part of their next venture, which would be pickling humans. They had cornered the market in pickling; they had pickled everything they could think of… kind of like those weird people obsessed with bronzing… Now their only conquest was to pickle man.
Come to think of it, that has the makings of a very stupid movie. I would watch it.
What I didn’t want to watch, though, were these little children staring at me. This was not entertaining in the slightest, and I wished they would just do something to break up the awkwardness I had increasingly been finding myself in lately.
Luckily, one of them spoke. It was the boy. One was a girl and one was a boy, by the way. I keep forgetting to inform you of little details like that, but I guess it’s better late than sorry.
“You’re Mister Flint, aren’t you?” he asked, his giant eyes looking up at me while he kicked the ground with his foot. Seriously, his eyes were huge. They might have each been bigger than his whole head. I wasn’t at all sure how that was possible, but there I was looking at it right in front of me. A regular freak of nature, this kid was. It made me uncomfortable in ways I can only express through dance. But this was not the time for interpretive dancing, or even classic ballroom dancing. No, this was not the appropriate time nor place for dancing of any sort, so I suppressed my urges as tightly as I could and responded to the hideous child using words.
“Please, you weird looking little boy. Mister is my father. Call me Richard.”
TO BE CONTINUED...