From the author: Hi guys. Thanks to everyone who has been reading! I just want to apologize for font and size inconsistencies between chapters. It’s a matter of the original draft having been copied and pasted between different word editors, and then copied and pasted into WordPress. The layout I’m using on my blog has one font and size available… but I don’t want to choose a different blog template just for The Foreigner. Big sigh. I’ll try to get it all sussed out. In the mean time… think of it as… a novelty? See the double meaning there? Eh? Eh? 🙂 Also any comments or criticism are welcome! Thank you!
*~*~*~*~* On vis ze story! *~*~*~*~*
Benjamin Taggart is tossing and turning on his blocky king-sized mattress. He sits up, his dark hair in a tousle, his eyes wide. He can’t stop thinking about the little fish disappearing in a blink of light. He can’t stop thinking about outer-space.
His heavy, 13-size feet hit the rough wooden floor, as he sits for a moment before slowly rising. The house, like any, is a different animal at night. It floats peacefully underneath the stars, unnoticed until morning. Benny always liked being up at night, sharing in this pensive moment, but tonight his mind is elsewhere. Tonight, all he can think about is that strange, foreign creature lurking in the tank. He walks into the kitchen, past the long dining table, and retrieves a pitcher of water from the refrigerator, pouring himself a cup. But after just one sip he stands motionless, and he soon sets the glass down and walks back down the hall.
He contemplates the creature for a long while. He realizes that he hasn’t actually touched it: When he and Jane initially retrieved it, they used a towel. Abruptly, he stands, takes one step toward the cage, and dips his hand into the water.
Walls. These walls… stop me. If I am still, they do not assault me. If I try to leave, they attack me. My world is small here. It is simple here. It is still here. I stay here, not moving, and nothing happens. I dream, sometimes, of the great brilliant orbs of light, their homes in the darkness, dancing in circles; dancing in spirals.
I dream of smells and sights and colors… but they are distant… were they ever real?
I stay here in eternity. Nothing but my dreams and the lulling, soft caresses of this heavy air comfort me. Sometimes when I am very still, when I am not wallowing in miserable boredom, I sense this movement. It is outside me. It is outside the violent walls. It is outside of everything. It pulls me, gently, as though I am on the back of a great monster moving ever so slowly through existence. I take comfort with this monster. We move together.
THINGS ARE MOVING! Sudden change! The heavy air swirls, buffets against me, knocking me, turning me! VIOLENT AIR. And then… calmness. A touch. A firmness. A million little … tingling…
Little worlds. The center is chaotic, but held in order… like me, in my cage. Dancing, dancing planets… vibrating light, delicate balance. They clasp to each other. There is a universe of them. And then… rushing liquid, thumping rhythm, a machine made of sound and light, a dance of life, of memory and movement. The rhythm never stops. The dancers never stop.
Skin flakes. Hair follicles. Messengers! Always moving, running to and fro, they are sucked up, they are spit out, swimming, zipping around. Electrical currents zapping across the trees, lighting up the forest, dancing, sizzling, twinkling. On. Off. On. Off. A circus of sparks, an unending orchestra.
Oh, how this thing functions! And then… sights, sounds, colors, tastes… enveloping me, delighting me.
I am taller than everything else. My head swims above the ground, always pulling. My feet carry me, sway me forward, step to step. My limbs hang heavily. I am in the water. No, I am above the water. The surface below me is hard. Its colors are aligned. Boulders move in my head, gnashing, echoing in my ears.
I float above a smaller one like me, his eyes are round and blue, his hair is soft and shines like the sun. There is a connection to him, a bond. He does not speak, but I understand.
A stranger. Fiery head. Noises. My home is not my home. I feel her space.. it pushes and nudges me, little twinges in my brain.
Water. I am always on the water. The world is not still–it tilts, it sways. The sea is a god who gives me gifts. They make me think of the smaller one with sunshine hair. I dream of a monster, a beast, a different god. A god who would bring me glory, happiness, riches. I build the walls–the violent walls. I fill them with heavy air. And I wait.
Benjamin removes his hand from the water, his eyes drifting, and stumbles backward into the old lounge chair. He sits there for a long time.