Friday, July 18, 2014

MOTHER Memoirs, GPP #7: From the Minds of Babes

I had a strange, vivid dream.

Three children were lost in a huge, winding cave. The walls twinkled like keys in dangling in the sunlight.

Ken had been there before, so he led the others. Loid was frightened, but he was also fascinated by these crystal caverns. Paula - no... Ana - was confused. She had never seen anything like this before, and her parents had never told her such a place existed. There was nothing about this in her holy book either.

Outlandish creatures blocked their path. Alien teddy bears certainly weren’t there to comfort them or tell fantastic stories.

Uncle Groucho watched their every move.

And mint candy snails lost their minds, drooling mindlessly, as if they had had too much sugar before bedtime.

I felt Ken’s pride as he easily knocked the monsters out, like kicking over blocks. The first time he had been here, things were very difficult: Ken had lost someone he looked up to. But today, he would be the protector.

Ken’s new strength radiated from him. And something big knew it. A mean-looking dragon awoke from its slumber! It looked kind of like it was made out of Legos.

I knew the children had to fight. That dragon was keeping something very important from them. It was so significant, it might even effect the whole world.

Ken readied his boomerang. As the dragon drew breath, its stomach expanded and smoke bellowed from its nostrils. A burst of flame!

I felt the heat, like a warm blanket or mother’s touch, but it was much too much.

My eyes shot open. There was a strong psychic presence only a few miles away. Had the dream been real? How could such a fantastic world exist so close to my home?

I stared at the ceiling for a bit, pondering the situation. I hugged my teddy close to me. I was glad it wasn’t like the alien teddy I had seen in my dream.

The longer I lied there, the closer the psychic presence got. There was no denying it: Ken, Ana, and Loid were coming to visit me.

My older brother greeted them.

“Oh yes, my name is Tom Garrickson,” he said. “I like to introduce myself. It’s my hobby.”

“So your Nintendo is on the fritz.”


I cooed at them.

“It’s just a baby,” said Loid. “You must have been wrong this time, Ninten. Like when you told me that licking barbots would give me big muscles.”

“You just were licking the wrong kind of barbot,” said Ninten.

I called out to them. “Over here.”

Ken and Ana could hear me speaking directly to their minds. They hovered over me as I lied in my crib. Ana smiled.

“Yes, even though my body is that of a baby, like you, I possess psychic abilities,” I explained. “I knew you were coming. Earlier, I saw you fighting that dragon.”

“You mean the one made out of Legos? Yeah, he was tougher than 'Bayou Billy!'”

Ken told me about the melodies he was trying to collect for Queen Mary of Magicant, and how the dragon was protecting one. When I asked why, Ken just shrugged.

“What happened to all the adults around here?” Ana asked. I sensed her desperation.

I explained to them, to the best of my understanding, what had happened. About a month ago, the sky grew dark; some sort of space craft was blocking out the sun. Before anyone could fight or even run away, the UFO kidnapped all the adults, and whizzed away.

Ana gasped. “Ninten, my mother!”

“Yes, your mother was here, Ana,” I replied. “She came because she heard there was an abandoned chateau in Youngtown. She figured this would be a better place to spread the Good Word than Spookane. But she showed up only a few hours before that alien ship carried off all the adults and left us kids here to fend for ourselves.”

“Wait, aliens?” Ken mused. “Like from another world? This is heavy. But it sure explains a lot.”

“What do they want with just the adults?” Ana questioned.

I had no idea. Until a month ago, I had assumed that the world was as big as my crib, house, and town. The concept of extra-terrestrials is still a little baffling to me. All I knew was that I, too, missed my parents. And if it weren’t for my brother and sister, I’d have perished days ago.

“Ok, so what do we do now?” Ken asked.

It was meant to a rhetorical question, but perhaps I could help. I meditated for a few moments while watching my sister shook her Etch-a-Sketch (that sandy sound is very soothing to me). The answer floated into my mind. “There’s someone important in the big city of Ellay. I can't tell you why, but Ken, Ana, you must find him.I think the world’s safety may depend on it.”

“But the bridge is out and they train’s not running that way,” said Loid. He blinked. “Wait, who said that?”

“It will be long and dangerous, but you can make it to Ellay on foot if you head through the swamp at the bottom of town.”

Ken and Ana thanked me. Ana promised me she would find our parents. The two turned to leave and Loid confusedly followed.

The deeper they went into the swamp, the harder it was to trace them. Soon, I had lost them almost completely. I could tell that Ken had met an old friend, and Loid met with his father somehow.

I sensed a fourth person too. Someone with massive psychic power who was trailing just behind Ken and his friends. I could only make out a few features, like his red hair and beard. But I wasn't worried; I could tell he was trying to help them. But he never made himself known to them. I wonder why.

None of it made sense. It was like a bizarre bedtime story, or one of those Nintendo games Tom likes to play. But I knew it to be true.

Hours passed. I had stopped detecting Loid for some time, and Ken was next to disappear from my radar. Either they had made it to the big city, or…

Only Ana remained. Her psychic power was the strongest of the three, yes, but what I could feel most was her dedication to her mother.

I was drifting to sleep when, suddenly, I could sense all three children once more! They had made it to the city, and their elation was a psychic beacon. All was well as they rested up from a perilous journey.

But now, terror washes over me.

The children are approaching something devious, but there’s no way to warn them!

No, Ken! Ana! Loid! Don’t go in there! Don’t get on that stage! This is one thing all the psychic power in the world can’t –

All photography by Matt, except “Garrickson Baby,” from family archives. 

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