993 words: A relative has died and left you a small island in the Caribbean.
|You're thirteen years old, sitting in a wheelchair, trying hard not to think about the people staring at you as you roll past them towards the great, big ship. It sure was nice that Grandfather gave you an island when he died. How strange that you can't even remember him. You haven't seen or heard from him since the day he and your mother stopped talking to each other. That was the day after you stopped walking.
You focus on going up the ramp without slipping or getting caught to the ropes and other stuff. People leave all sorts of junk and trash lying about. You tell yourself that when you get to the island, you'll make sure that nobody filthies up the floors there. They either dump it in the trash can or go home. You haven't quite decided who you'll let on the island yet.
You head straight for your room. Mother's inside already when you open the door and slide in. She still looks sad. You know it's about Grandfather. You want to cheer her up but just looking at Mother makes you feel bad.
"Hi Honey!" Mother grins as you glide towards her. She's going through the photo album again, the one with all the pictures taken on the island.
She comes over and gives you a hug and tells you all about her day. You relax. Later on, you two enjoy dinner in your room and you sleep like a baby.
The next few days pass quickly. Before you know it, the ship drops you and Mother off at the island and disappears into the horizon.
Almost immediately, a sense of relief washes over you. You've been surrounded by strangers so much of your life, it was nice to have an island to yourself and just one other person.
Nothing on the island feels familiar. By the next morning you realize that Mother has abandoned you. You can't find her anywhere. Not on the beach, not in the water. She's not in any of the buildings. Where is she?
Barely twenty four hours here and already you feel claustrophobic. In the distance, the sky darkens. You gaze miserably at it. Before you know it, a wavy, dark hourglass connecting the sky to sea begins heading towards you. "Mum!" you cry out. Rain falls from the sky as you make your way towards the building you and Mother slept in last night.
As you wheel about the inside, the rain gets stronger and stronger. Your stomach lurches and your brain freezes up. You stop thinking.
"Look Sweetie! We're going up!" You look at Mother, relieved to finally see her. As she approaches, you notice she doesn't look human anymore. She still has hair on her head. But she also has hairy arms, hairy neck, hair everywhere that isn't covered by clothing. Velvety, green hair.
"Hang on, Honey!" You grab a handrail along the wall as the room lurches. The wheelchair flies away from you and tumbles over, trembling.
"What's going on?" you scream. Earthquake?
"No, it's a hurricane. We're in the eye of the storm and going up."
Going where? you think hard, squeezing your eyes shut as you feel your lunch coming up your throat.
Slowly, the room stops shaking. You let go of the handrail and crawl over to Mother. "Mum, I don't get it, you can read my mind." She shrugs, "And much more." She puts two blue pills in your hand. Eat these, she says. You raise your eyebrows at the sound of her voice inside your head. Then you do as she says. Your gut tells you that you're doing the right thing.
In a few hours, soft, fuzzy hair sprouts all over your body. You hear music in the room and realize it's Mother humming to herself from another part of the ship. You stand up on your legs. For the first time in your life, you feel tall and everything looks so small and far away.
I don't understand. How come I can walk now? Was that medicine that you gave me? you ask Mother.
Mother said, Sweetie, you could always walk. You could run, jump, climb. Nothing was ever wrong with your legs.
Then what happened? How did I get into the wheelchair? you whined.
That was an unintended side effect. We crashed into Earth eight years ago. We had to blend in with the natives until the ship was fixed. We took pills to suppress our telepathic powers and to make us look like the local sentients of the planet. But you were so young. One of the pills affected your nervous system and suppressed more than it should have and you couldn't move your legs. But the good thing is that Grandpa was right. The blue pills undid what the green pills did.
You wiggle your toes and dance a little dance.
Suddenly, an image of another hairy creature comes into your mind. It's Grandfather and he's alive. You sense Mother is happy and upset at the same time.
Forgive me, he says to you and Mother. I fixed the ship a few years ago but I couldn't find you. I spent so much time on the island that I never learned the customs of the planet. Fortunately, someone kind told me how to get the two of you to look for me. So I faked my death and as you can see, it worked.
In the telepathic equivalent of throwing glances between you and Mother, a fit of giggling erupts out of you and her. You sense in Mother a wholeness she's been lacking all these years living among the humans. Until now, you didn't even realize the void within you as well and you are grateful for a chance to finally know your Grandfather and Mother intimately. As you and your family speed homeward, you eagerly await all the people you will soon connect with.
Friday, August 17, 2007 "Invalid Post" , prompt: A relative has died and left you a small island in the Caribbean. You go to check out your new property only to find...