Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tragedy at Rainbow River

This sudden euphoria led Rory to do all kinds of things she’d never even thought she was capable of. She and Peter vacationed. Beaches, mountains, forests. All places Rory once feared traveling to.

When she and Peter returned from their trip to a ski resort in Colorado, their fifth vacation of the month, Rory crashed upon entering her apartment. Peter was terrified and began barking loudly to gain Ellen’s attention.

A few seconds later, Baker Shefield from apartment 204 was standing next to Rory’s still body. He had heard Peter barking. Peter remembered Baker’s scent from the socks he dropped on the sidewalk.

Baker pulled his cell phone out to call an ambulance.

Rory opened her eyes and was confused to find Baker standing over her.

“What happened?” she asked.

“I’m not so sure,” Baker responded. “An ambulance is on its way. We’ll get you to the hospital and have everything checked out.”

By this time everyone in the Victorian was awake and in the lobby trying to figure out why sirens were growing closer to the building. Some tenants had never seen Rory before and were disappointed to find that she had been the cause of the commotion. Others whispered about the few times they’d noticed her.

When the EMTs arrived Baker and Rory approached them.

“The last thing I remember is reaching to unlock my apartment door,” Rory said. “I feel fine now. I don’t even recall falling.”

“I could’ve sworn you weren’t breathing. I rushed down here when I heard Peter,” Baker said.

After a routine physical in the back of the ambulance, Rory was cleared to continue on as usual. The lobby was still crowded by those carrying on conversations, not ready to return to their apartments.

Rory hadn’t walked Peter that night, so she decided to do so then. Baker offered to walk with them, worried that Rory may faint again.

“No, thanks,” Rory said. “I feel great, and it’ll be a short walk.”

Baker was still worried, so he followed a behind Rory and Peter at a safe distance. About five minutes into the walk, he realized Rory seemed to be having trouble balancing and would stumble every few steps. Rory also began crossing the street randomly.

Rory and Peter turned around to head toward the Victorian after making it to Rainbow River. When Baker looked up, a car was approaching and Rory, who stood in the middle of the street, had released Peter’s leash. As the driver turned the corner, Rory was hit and fell into Rainbow River. Not a scream escaped her mouth.

Baker recognized the driver.

“It’s the animal hospital employee,” he thought.

He knew the investigation of this accident would tear the Victorian apart.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Rory?

Rory’s first day on the job was easier than expected. The owner of Vietyum gave her permission to keep Peter behind at her side all day.

On her way from work, she noticed a large crowd gathering in the park. Rory decided to walk over with Peter and take a look. The lawn was covered in blankets and sleeping bags, which confused Rory until she saw the large screen showing the last scene of “The Little Mermaid.”

Suddenly, Rory grew weary and anxious. In her curiosity, she managed to navigate her way through the large crowd, but now there seemed to be now escape. Panicking, Rory began running through the crowd, trying her best to run in the direction with the least amount of people.

While she was running, she realized many of the people she passed were pointing to the sky. Rory stood on the edge of the park and watched as the moon turned bright orange.

In the next hour, Rory and Peter found themselves nearing what they thought was the spot St. Cecilia’s stood. Rory sat on the singular pew in the place of St. Cecilia’s to catch her breath. Peter stood alert by her side.

Rory stretched out on the pew, lying on her back.

“Peter, things have been different,” she said.

She couldn’t exactly pinpoint what was different, what inside her had changed, but she knew something did. And that it was a good thing.. She thought.

As Rory and Peter walked home, Rory hummed. This odd behavior and sound originally frightened Peter. Why was Rory happy? Not even Rory could answer that.

Somehow her fears dissolved, and the possibilities were endless.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Branching out

Rory woke up and checked the calendar hanging above her waist high stack of water bottle cases in the kitchen. It was Tuesday, meaning her weekly meal with Peter would happen that evening. Rory hadn't planned to do much during the day. Her usual early morning walk around town with Peter is all she ever has planned, aside from their weekly lunch.

After returning from their walk, Rory changed clothes. The two sat on her cot waiting for time to pass. At noon, they left the Victorian and headed for Vietyumm. Sitting in their usually booth, Rory ordered for herself and Peter, something she was never questioned for doing. The owner of Vietyumm had always welcomed Peter.

Ten minutes after they got their food, another customer walked over to the jukebox and selected some songs.

John Gorka’s “Branching Out” began playing. Just as the sing began, Rory watched the sky turn dark, and rain started falling. Soon enough, there were loud crashes of lightning and cracks of thunder.

The second a lightning strike touched down, the power in Vietyumm went out.

“I’m goin' reach, I'm gonna reach
I'm goin' reach, till I know why”

Rory was shocked to hear Gorka’s voice. How is the jukebox working when the power is out?

Soon enough, Gorka’s repetitive lyrics got to Rory.

“I’m goin' reach, I'm gonna reach
I'm goin' reach, till I know why”

Rory began to reflect, realizing that soon enough, she’d have to branch out.

Within five minutes power was restored. At the end of their meal, Rory and Peter got up to leave, but the owner stopped them.

“Rory, you’re here so often,” he said. “You know this place front and back. Would you like to start working here?”

Shocked at the offer, Rory stood there unable to respond for a minute or so. Then, before considering the possible consequences, such as interacting with people, of accepting the job, Rory said yes.

On her walk home, Rory became super excited, humming Gorka’s lyrics all the way.

“I’m goin' reach, I'm gonna reach
I'm goin' reach, till I know why”

The following day she’d start her new job and branch out.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

No escape

Rory and Peter were out on a walk when they began to hear chirping. Both turned toward the source of the sound. At first glance it looked like a large multicolored cloud was headed in their direction. Soon enough, Rory realized that the cloud was actually a flock of parakeets. Peter remained calm, but Rory panicked. She sat down on the curb, unable to move. Peter laid beside her. One by one birds surrounded Rory and Peter. None moved in close enough to touch, but there was no way for Rory and Peter to move. They were trapped. The birds did not even flinch when Peter sniffed them.

The birds did not leave. Rory and Peter sat there for an entire hour waiting for an exit. Eventually, the birds on one side of the circle moved, creating a walkway for both Rory and Peter to leave. This shocked Rory. She expected to be sitting there all evening. As soon as she noticed the opening, both she and Peter hopped up and darted out of the crowd of birds. Groups of birds began to take off, flying towards the Victorian.  

After exiting the circle, there still seemed to be no escape. Rory wanted to go home to her apartment without wondering if she and Peter would be trapped again. When they reached the Victorian, the birds lined the top of the building. One sat on Rory’s first floor window seal.

They entered the Victorian, then apt. 2 and prepared for bed. Rory realized that during the hour she spent trapped in the middle of 200 parakeets, she had learned something about herself. She decided that no matter the situation, she would not always search for an exit. She decided she’d stop trying to change her fate.

She wondered how long this “promise” would last.