The Misadventures of Goose and ClockMature
A triply tale of a girl named goose finding herself through unrequited love.
The jacket was a grey green color like the trees out my bedroom window. Under it was a tall boy with dark eyes and a smirk like a fox. He was capricious. Hopping away like a white footed hare through the grave stones. Bare feet on moss followed him, but my heart was left behind next to the little white and purple flowers. Forget me nots.
Hair covered my vision like owl feathers, but I followed the song.
My lover sails over the ocean,
My lover sails over the sea,
My lover sails over the ocean,
Please bring back my lover to me.
The notes drifted through the air as dust mites. My cheeks flushed. He stood atop a large marble block with names scratched into its side. Hands deep in his pockets, face up to the too bright sky. The clouds there murmured dreams of foreign lands to me. If he heard them too, I would never know. A velvet flower the color of a cardigan I once wore fell to my face from his hand. I rubbed its petals tenderly and rest it on the soil. I bid it farewell and searched for the hare like fox with the dark eyes, who’s tail flicked out of view into the thorny bracken. The water was drugged, and I wanted to warn him before he climbed the ladder to reach it. But my voice couldn’t stop the lovely tune.
Bring back, Bring back, Oh bring back my lover to me,
Please bring back, bring back my lover to me.
I turned from the shade of the path, to see him flee to the forget me not flowers that guarded my heart. I was afraid the fox would open the cage of flowers and run away. Open the cage door did, but the heart was inside the grey green jacket, the one like the trees out my bedroom window. I could feel his heart beat next to mine. I sat next to the open flowers and the capricious boy, but the thunder scared him away. It was booming and echoed in my empty chest. The mountains stood their ground.
I found the boy beneath a tree with lush lady hands that brushed my skin clean of the painful red bites. His dark eyes closed with lashes of the long black type. Bare skinned, the grass was coarse on my bottom as I spoke. I told him of the maps I had, the ones with all the seas and places I wished I was. I laughed about the words to a song, and I cried of how I wanted to run like he could. How I longed to run as far as the eye could see. When I looked to him he was awake and listening, quiet, his eyes soft.
“Home,” he said in a rasp of a voice. “What I would give to be locked up in a home.” my tears dried before I answered, my mouth dry and lips thick.
“They wouldn’t trust me to keep you locked there.” I pictured a bed surrounded by metal and wood with a heavy door that locked you in. I shivered with claustrophobia and rubbed my cold arms. His warm hand cupped my elbow. I started to remember what a kiss felt like. In the dream, I kept falling asleep. Collapsing. And there was something in the spare room, the room I hated. Where three years before, there had been another door. That door was hers, a french name. Her lips tasted of iron and nickel, like old water fountains. His hand was not rough like hers though, didn’t grip and plead. His skin wasn’t hungry. He didn’t hide when his dark eyes were gazed upon by my indecisive ones. No flinching away from the colors there. Flying colors. The foxes caress was like a hot wind, that honestly warming breeze on a cold day. Our third eyes met and I remembered vaguely the questions I was asked. ‘So yesterday huh? Does that mean you two aren’t gonna get together anymore?’ ‘Where did you last see it, what color was the string?’ The answers were simple, yet the questions tended not to be of the same nature. The string was periwinkle. I found magic on a little stone bench on the left side of the circle. Or the right side, depending on where you were. Magic never left my chain again after that.
“You thought you had lost something, so your eyes squalled and your heart wrenched with panic.” gravel was his voice. Smoke drifted down out of his mouth, around his ankles and into the grass where the ants collected it. His way of knowing me gave a new meaning to open minded.
“What do you call your self?” I whispered into his ear atop his dark furred head.
“Yesterday.” how did I never know that? A gentle sentence reached my ears in a quiet jumble. “So small,” he said, gazing into his jacket with a warm admiring grin. “Yet a dragon, and therefore illiterate.” I wondered what a dragon looked like as I drank down the white smiles.
“Your novel, where your family is in that house, tell me.” the rain stopped when he spoke clearly for the first time.
“We could be safe in that house. I cleaned it, and my mother and her husband hid it in the sky so when night came, they wouldn’t find my brother and I. You tried any ways, you were different though. Your magic was there on that cold snowy morning, even that early. You said presto, and I was gone. But now that I’ve grown these ears and this tail, you’ve found me again. And you still stay. Giving me smoke and smiles that I haven’t had since I climbed those trees.” Distance faded his color a bit, and my vision blurred as I tried to see past what he was sheltering from my flying colored eyes. I felt filled up with murky warm grape juice, but I still felt the change coming. The intake of breath held captive in my poisoned lungs. The disbelief. Reaching open palms in the air, trying to grip something nonexistent. The painful agonizing death of hope, as it wretched in my soul begging for some sort of mercy that would never come. My eyes were pale, lashes dark and face white as a ghosts. My reflection in the puddle of tears that lay by my feet was just that, the shell of a ghost. Breath became tiresome, so it stopped. Sitting became not worth the effort, I slumped to the ground. My chest was empty, and yet I still wanted to rip it open and let free what was trapped there.
“Home wrecker will be lonely.” they whispered, little painful shrieks in my ears. “Home wrecker, home wrecker.” it echoed inside of me. Who’s home had been wrecked? Was it Foxboys? Surely I couldn’t have wrecked something that was already in shambles. I could not have. I did not. Not even my eyes were open when they carried me away this time. But last time I was full.
Now I am empty.
I awoke in a bed of twine and feathers. It reminded my vaguely of the beach, and memories of sand dunes and wishes. The sky was covered by a big white sheet, and the birds voices were more like machines beep beep beeping in my ear drums. A woman in blue entered slowly, calling into a small grey metal piece she held that a girl was awake. Was I the girl? No, I couldn't be. I was Homewrecker. Thats who I am, not ‘girl’. The lady in blue came to my nest and asked me questions I couldn't answer. I coughed, and in my arm yanked a long thin metal needle. I traced it back to a little clear bag filled with something. Maybe they were feeding me magic. But no, the beeping birds and the scratchy nest and the needle in my arm made me burn. Inside, a little fire growing larger and larger until all I could do was throw it up. Angry vomit splattered across the floor, mixed with dark red blood and stomach acid that scorched my lips. I screamed until I had no scream left, then they locked me in a room and left me to myself. The walls felt so indifferent, it was enraging to think that they didn’t care no matter which way I threw myself or how loud I wailed. My throat stung, and my lips bled. I gave up, and a dark world enveloped me. I fell back into it easily, like slipping on a glove.
Its like walking through the dirty grimy streets. The middle of the night, darkness lurking around every corner. My mind is twisty, so that I don’t have to face the things in front of me. I don’t speak anymore. I refuse.
I awoke from the dream heavy, with my face fuzzy and my arms like lead. In my scratchy nest again, shrouded in white and grey. The beeping birds still chirped, and the ladies with the nice masks on came and asked me questions I couldn’t answer. Just like before. But this time, a new one came. In clothes my mother would approve of, she sat on the end of my nest. Her eyes were the most wicked color of blue. Demon eyes. When she started to talk, I laughed. Was I supposed to take her seriously with those clothes and those eyes and her perfect straight blond hair? Thin black glasses hung from her neck by a chain of pretty white beads. She raised what was left of her eyebrows at me. I smirked. The other ladies with the fake masks would be more likely to get an answer from me then this blue eyed creep. She stared at me for the longest time before she got up and left. The click-clack of her heels sounded all the way down the hall until a door closed. I heard the birds chirping, then nothing.
The soil was hard and strong beneath my feet. The dark trees towering far above my head, this forest was endless. Timeless. Unreal. The mist wrapped around my feet as snakes, and sounds that I couldn’t explain gave my spine a shiver. A tremor shook the earth, and dirt fell from the sky like rain. Their roots were pulling from the ground, the trees’ roots. The trees were walking. They marched past me, one by one, eerily silent. I watched them for a while, fascinated, wondering where they were going. I stood with my arms by my sides, and eyes wide as one stopped and turned to face me. A horizontal crack appeared at its mid point, and it seemed to take a deep breath in. I heard the heavy hum of its voice starting up, and the whole world drowned in a haze of static.
I was back in my nest again.
But this time when I awoke, I wasn’t alone, and the birds weren’t chirping. And it was very dark. I saw a tuft of brownish red fur peek out from behind a purple stripped sweatshirt with its hood up, and watched in horror as it turned to face me. I couldn’t feel what I wanted to feel, I couldn’t be seeing this and he couldn’t be here.
“Forget them, Goose. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again.” He smiled and said, standing from the edge of my nest and grabbing a hold of my hand. I blushed violently and my stomach twirked in a sick way.
“Never is an awfully long time.” I replied weakly, my voice a quick rasp. He smirked and half shrugged, pulling me gently into his arms and holding me close to his warm chest. I listened to his heart beat, steady and sweet. I looked up at him looking down at me. He was just as I remembered. His face soft and warm, eyes brown and deep like dark wood. This was where I longed to be when I dreamed. In three great strides we were at the window, and he let me down from his arms to my dismay. The clouds were falling apart and floating to the ground. A blanket of the little pieces cushioned our fall from the tall window. I bid my nest and the nasty lady goodbye. We raced and laughed and fell flush skinned back to our lives. And drifted. I found myself hiding, leaking. I whispered sweet dreams every night, even if he didn’t know it. I knew he wouldn’t care. Doesn’t care anymore. I shroud it like the pieces of clouds shroud the ground. Blank, I try to be confused and lost again. But I know where I’m not supposed to be: Where I am.
Now, I’ve spent time. Walked and walked until my mind was at ease once again, but seemed to reverse itself on the walk home. Now, I sit and read; and when I think about the coming day I realize it doesn’t matter. I can’t find anything other than apathy for tomorrows. Everything is simple in my being, but so complicated in my head. They tell me that I’m better now, but I can’t tell. I find myself wishing that there would be some person I could ask that would know the answer.
I read until my mind cant stand to compose the words in front of me. I blow out the candles and sit on the old wood floor. I sit there and stare at the fire place, the fire and the embers and the warmth on my face. I become mesmerized and find tears running hot from the corners of my eyes. I imagine Foxboys arm around me, and I can almost feel it. I lean into him and stumble to catch my own weight from falling into gravity. I turn slowly to my left and see nothing there. No smiling face or smooth skin to kiss. Just an expanse of floor, and when that ends, a wall with a window in it. Through the window, the trees stare at me with glum expressions in the snow. I suddenly long to be one of them, instead of wishing he was here next to me. Do the trees wish he was next to them too? I hope not. I want to tell them everything, all of it. But repeating it would just make my hurt worse. So instead, I turn and sit facing the fire. The lovely fire. I raise my hands to warm them against it, and think that these hands once caressed his face. And these arms, they once held him so lovingly. These eyes gazed upon him with such care. These lips that kissed him so tenderly. This heart, so illiterate.
The cave was murky with silence, and the air wreaked of some foul smell I couldn’t put my finger on. Like fermenting food, but less fruitful. Curious, I stepped in and was hit with a wall of the stench, far more foul than I had first thought it to be. It pervaded my sinuses, causing my eyes to water. Under my foot something crunched, a sickening sound amongst the heavy blanket of quiet. A finger bone had been crushed beneath my shoe. I stood for a moment, wondering what a finger bone could be doing in a foul smelling cave when I realized that the lumps and piles that I assumed to be rocks were rotting bodies who’s souls drifted around me, silencing every noise like snow fall. Decaying meat plopped off an arm next to me onto the blood stained soil. I flinched to the side and found myself face to face with yet another body. Except, this body didn’t actually have a face. It had been ripped off. In fact, none of the bodies had faces. They were completely void of clothing or expression. Exposed and completely apathetic to it. I started to cry in horror, what kind of sick monster would rip the faces from people and leave them to rot? I started for the mouth of the cave, but surely enough it was too late. It was waiting for me there, arms open. Or rather, shelled legs like that of a centipedes. Hundreds of them, clicking and clacking against each other and the floor, ceiling and walls of the cave. It smiled a dark, mean smile dense with needle teeth. A shiver went down my spine as it changed faces, its body sucking its previous face back into itself, spiting out another one and sticking it there with a gluey mucus oozing from its actual face. The new face was similar to Foxboys, but it wasn’t his. It didn’t even frighten me, the resemblance. Simply because it could not be Foxboy, because he wasn’t here, and that wasn’t him. It opened its mouth and hissed.
“Hello, how do you do?” It then picked up a human hand from off the ground, and held it out for me to shake. Completely unable of expressing my disgust through my body, I simply wallowed in my own self loathing for even stepping foot in the foul cave. I took the cold dead hand in mine, and shook it gently up and down in fear that a chunk would fall off onto me. It felt vaguely like an over ripe mango with thin leathery skin and its squishy insides smushing around where I held it. “My name is Koh, and I am known as The Face Stealer.” something warm embraced me from behind, and I turned in horror, half expecting it to be a dead body reanimated and ready to devour my brains.
I rolled off the bed and fell onto the floor, then in a daze, stood and sat on the edge of it. In my bed just waking up was Foxboy, his hair messy around his face and his eyes squinty with sleep. I knew he wasn’t in that cave, I knew it. I was suddenly glad that he was there, a steady heart beat for me to lay into and forget about the horrid Koh and his foul cave of rotting, faceless bodies. On the other side of the bed, I heard a little ruffle of blankets. From behind Foxboy a little doe eyed girl stared at me. I smiled at her, and she hid behind him. He turned his back to me, comforting her. A little tang of jealousy sprouted in me as I watched her giggle at his soft words. I curled up in my fuzzy green blanket, squeezing it tight as if it could soak up whatever I was feeling. I turned my back to him and brought my knees up to my chest, clutching them there. A small part of me wished he would notice me and hug me from behind like he used to. He didn’t. The doe eyed girl said something in a tiny little twinkle of a voice, and a tear rolled down my cheek.
The woods were bright with golden sunlight, the moss cushioned my running feet. The trees reached their fingers down to brush my cheeks of their tears. I ran and ran until I could no more, then I stopped.
I was vaguely aware of being moved to the couch, while drifting back into the mists of my dreams.
Koh smiled at me with his needle teeth. Panic erupted in my chest. Something was wrong.
“You might want to give them their organs back before they die you know, if you care about them.” I glanced behind him at a group of huddled bodies. My eyes opened wide and my breath caught as I realized that the people screaming there were the people I loved. Foxboy, my mother, my sister, my father. They were all screaming in agony, clutching at their empty torsos. I cried as I sloppily shoved their organs back in where I thought they should go, but I was no surgeon. My hands dripped with their slimy dirt infused blood. They were dying before my eyes, they were dying and there was nothing I could do about it. Koh laughed and laughed, until his face split in two from his wide grin and he slinked away to grow a new one. My arms burned and my knees ached, my face was puffy with tears to the point where vision was difficult. Everything was still after a while. Their souls drifted down to where I sat, mumbling and comforting me. I laid next to the cold dead Foxboy. Everything faded to red.
The feeling my dream left me was like that of a molested child. Sitting unable to respond to the attempts to make me move. It was Foxboy. He sat next to me on the couch and ran his fingers through my hair before I sighed and looked up at him. He half smiled and tilted my chin up, then moved to the arm chair. Something loud was on the television screen, its colors made me dizzy. I followed him, sitting above him on the back of the chair and rubbed his sore shoulders. Breathed his feel, my cheek to his ear. I held him from behind and sang a tiny murmur of a song. I wondered where the doe eyed girl had gone, but decided it didn’t matter as long as she stayed gone. I bid farewell to her silently in my mind as I fiddled with a curl on his head. I pulled it long and straight, then watched as it sprung back onto his head. I giggled in delight, this was where I always wanted to be. Close to him. Close to Foxboy. The sun set, and raised its bright orange fingers to the sky, waving goodbye to us. We ran through the graveyard with our memories and our smiles. The moon and the night greeted us with open arms. The stars danced with us, and the lightning bugs twinkled around us. My hand in his, his hand in mine. Shoulders and hips and cheeks to graze. Lips to kiss and hands to hold. Everything was okay, everything was good. We swayed back and forth, whispering. Slowly, gently, my face to his chest. His heart was beating so steady and sweet. I looked up into his eyes, and he didn’t look away. He grinned that fox like grin of his, and I smiled right back. It was time to say what had needed saying. The words that stuck to my tongue like a slug to a log, or a caterpillar to a leaf. I breathed in, and let it all go, and watched as the small breeze carried it to his ears:
“I love you, but its alright to move on.”
So I did.