A Story of friendship, and so much more.
|If it was only green.
It was constantly the same for me on every Saturday afternoon, my customary same routine which always included a visit to my dear friend Louis in the city of waterseal.
For forty five years Louis and I have always remained good friends but within the last few years, and the untimely death of his beloved wife we have now become astonishing close.
Glancing at my time piece it was now time to change clothes for my visit with Louis I was also certain that the city soldier ants would soon be announcing that any travel outside will not be permitted after four o'clock, and today would be no different because the outside air had become so polluted over the years that anyone venturing outside without the appropriate gear would clearly be unhealthy.
But I must confess things will get better but of course Louis has always inform me on my weekly visit that I am like a big fish in deep water, not aware of the very element in which it swims in, and he just might be right.
Just then, I heard the apartment sound system come alive with further information concerning travel, "Attention people living in the blue zone, you are now permitted to travel outside only with basic yellow weather gear."
I had better hurry Louis will be expecting me.
So just like last week I started checking all the motion detectors, fire sensors, door and window sensors, not because I was ever worried about someone stealing anything from me or a sudden fire but because it was required by the state insurance unit for me to live here.
Quickly I took hold of the five books from my bookcase for Louis. Every week I ask myself, "Why does Louis always want old books?"
With five books in hand, the list of them read like this, the Bible, the Christmas Carol, How green is my valley, The fall of England, and the last one the making of Stars Wars the movie.
To this day I still don't understand why Louis bothers me about books. He could easily read the same stories on his touch screen but he says he just likes the way the books smell, "To each his own I guess."
Leaving my apartment, I entered the ten numbered code while closing the door behind me I walked to the alcove pushing the button which read upper level one, "That's right, for all these years mankind has totally screwed up the Earth, and now we live like fire ants under ground.
To this very day these same jerks continue to dig deeper and deeper, day after day for the ever increasing population but I think things are getting better.
I stood waiting for the two metal doors to open; finally the doors opened, and I was release to the outside.
"Good morning Rick can I get you a rail?"
"Hey Rick did you hear about Marcus? He was killed last night for a whole five credits can you believed that a whole five credits."
I did not answer Foss but just looked at him.
The rail was now stopping in front of us, "Listen Rick I'll talk to you later."
For the next hour I looked out the small window hoping to see any kind of life in the sky, and with growing anger within me I said to myself, "why do I put myself through is every week, I mean visiting Louis.
Last time I talked to him he was repeating over, and over, "Rick their coming for me," and then out of no where he began yelling, "where are my books Rick?"
Finally the huge long rail was slowing to a stop, and finally the silver doors opened.
I followed the crowd entering the white building, and took the fast tunnel to the tenth level, and proceeded to walk to the room 1005 and began pounding on the front door.
Glancing up, I saw three cameras begin to focus on me than the loud speaker came on.
"Who are you?"
"You know who I am,"
"I don't know you, who are you,"
"Your friend Rick you idiot listen Louis, I'm not going through this every time I come to visit you."
"Who's with you?"
"No one is with me just open the door Louis."
I heard lock after lock being opened finally the door opened, and Louis poke his head out, and said Rick come inside you may have been followed.
Louis quickly pulled me in then closed the thin metal door and began locking all the locks once again.
And now before me was the grand picture of his old historical room his sad apartment could actually make dirt look clean but I knew better never to tell him that in fact one time I actually did say to him, "Why don't you clean up your apartment.
He was quick to respond, "did you come here to see my apartment or did you come here to see me?" After that day I made sure to never made that mistake again.
I found myself beginning to look around his apartment I felt like all the germs in there were now laughing at me looking for away to kill me for sure.
I waited for Louis to start talking.
"Have a seat Rick how have you been?"
"Good Louis and how have you been?"
Without thinking I knew I screwed up, I began to watch him rocking back and forth in his rocking chair, and finally he spoke to me.
Listen Rick they came for my tree last night I caught them eating my tree, I must have killed hundreds of them all but I know there's thousands more, thousands more.
I forced myself to answer Louis, what do you mean? What are you talking about Louis?
Those insects Rick I knew they would come for my tree you see I lower all the lights, and just sat in my rocking chair and waited for them to come.
That's right Rick, I waited all night. It was early in the morning when I spotted the first scout he was traveling so slow at first then raced quickly reaching my tree, and began his fast dancing showing the others it was now safe for them to follow.
I heard Louis starting to moan with great fear, and began yelling, "it's not the end of them Rick they will come again tonight.
I looked at him, and could no longer hold back from speaking, "Listen Louis that living tree of yours is driving you crazy its impossible for you to keep that tree alive, why don't you just buy a fake one like everyone else, and stop your endless worrying?
I quickly looked at him waiting for his response.
I thought you were my friend Rick?
Louis got up from his chair, and didn't say a word but went directly to his tree, and began his inspection checking every little growth, its color, moisture, just everything.
Then all of a sudden Louis began yelling to high heaven, "they got me, did you hear me Rick they have showed me no mercy.
And there on the floor Louis picked up a single leaf, and walked towards me like a frog out of water he showed me the dead leaf in his opened hand.
He reach out to me, and dropped the dead leaf in mine to be examined.
It's dead alright Louis.
Listen Rick can you do me favor?
What is that Louis, can you check your clothes for any bugs; remember you came from the outside.
No Louis, I'm not going to do that, and that's my final answer, "do you hear me Louis that's my final answer."
By the way Louis why can't you offer me something to drink, I have come all this way, and you don't offer me nothing to drink.
Your right Rick, it's just I been so upset about those damn bugs, I notice Louis was now looking over my clothes for possible bugs.
I see what your doing Louis stop it, and get me of coffee.
Without any further staring at my clothes he stood up, and disappeared into the kitchen where I heard all kinds of banging finally he came out with a cup in his hand and offered it to me.
You have to wait for the water to boil for your coffee.
I looked inside the cup, and discovered that it was so dirty that I told Louis I had changed my mind about the coffee.
What's wrong with you Rick you complain about me not offering you a drink, and all you can say is you don't want one - so make up your mind.
Louis returned to his rocking chair, and began to rock, and for about five minutes no word was spoken between us until he finally spoke.
Have you heard any news lately Rick?
No Louis have you?
Let me get my radio maybe we can get some music or some late news.
Again Louis stood up, and disappeared into his room returning with his old radio.
I said to myself, please Lord not that radio.
I saw him sitting at the dinning room table plugging the old radio into the floor socket.
As he turn the plastic knob the old radio began its moaning with a high pitch clatter, and than more clattering.
Louis returned to his chair, and we both waited for some result from the old radio.
Well Rick, we have to wait for it to warm up.
To this day, I don't know how Louis can even find parts for that radio we just continued to sit which seem like hours until the radio finally found some life.
From its one old speaker it spoke to us. "We interrupt this program with a new update concerning the capture of some members of the group known as the green rebels."
"After intense questioning by the police they all admitted stealing the seedlings from the government green fields.
Do you hear that Rick? They finally caught them, I also have to worry about evil people who live inside my own building.
It was no further use trying to hear the radio anymore Louis began talking over any sound coming from it.
It was than I made the biggest mistake by saying, "what do you mean the people in this building."
"It happen a week ago Rick, I was taking out the trash like I always do, and there in the dark stood three young men watching me, and that was not the first time I notice them hanging around.
I know everybody in this building knows I have a real green tree, and they all hated it, and they also hate me for having it.
And suddenly Louis didn't say a single word for the longest time, I could see Louis was beginning to sweat heavy drops which were now running down his forehead his thin lips were beginning to move like an opera star but without any sound.
It was then I said to Louis are you alright? Louis moved towards me with his rocking chair his face was now ashen in color, and he spoke in a soft whisper.
"Rick, can I talk to you about my nightmare last night."
" Listen Louis I told you before that nightmares are not real."
" I know that Rick, but dreams can also show future events, I once had a nightmare three times in a row about my mother loosing her fake teeth, as long as I can remember my mother has always put her teeth on her nightstand in a cup beside her bed.
The very next morning she told me about her missing teeth, and we search for two hours looking for her teeth and never found them. I told her about my dreams about her missing her teeth but she told me I was crazy, and always knew it.
But Rick, I did have those three nightmares about my mother's teeth, and last night I finish my last nightmare, that makes three, and do you want to know what that nightmare was?
And before I could say no to him he started his story anyways?
Listen Rick, I was dreaming, that I was in my room thinking about those darn bugs when I heard something trying to open my front door I was so scare I couldn't move Rick.
The noise from my front door became so loud it was then the intruders broke down my door, I quickly ran to see what was going on, and there before me I saw three gigantic grasshoppers position before me.
And before I could do anything they started hopping towards my tree, and with a final last leap they were now on top of my tree chewing the branches I began yelling at them to stop but they continued to chomp, and chomp, and chomp.
It was then Louis fell from is rocking chair to the ground he must have past out, I was sure of it.
I looked on to make sure no injury occurred so I waited for Louis to wake up.
Ten minutes later Louis finally opened his eyes and made the statement, "is my tree alright?
Yes Louis your tree is just fine, you just past out talking about your dream.
Thank God Rick.
I stood up, and helped Louis to his feet, and returned him to his chair he laid in his chair limp as a dead fish.
Rick can you please bring me my BIble, and with out any further words I gasped the bible from the table, and handed it to him. He began reading from Exodus out loud about the locus.
He than turned to me, and said, It could happen Rick, I mean the grasshoppers I than heard the radio speaking once more,
We will keep you updated when new information comes in.
What was that all about, what does it mean said Louis?
I don't know, with you pasting out, and telling me about your dreams we missed everything on the radio.
Louis I'm sorry what's happen today but it's getting late, I have to go now.
"please Rick don't go we can have a sleepover tonight like in the old days, I'm so scared.
Listen Louis you say the same thing every week.
I stood up and walked to the front door. O.K. Louis until next week, same time same place, and please no more dreams.
O.K. Rick I will see you later.
Opening the door I took the tunnel to the first door to catch the rail outside finally the doors opened and I looked to the open skies it was almost completely dark.
What the hell is this I continued to look at the sky, the whole sky seem to be moving, and all of a sudden many thousands of webs fell from the sky that's when I knew.
Without any further thought I raised my eyes to my friends apartment, Louis was right all along, and so was the Bible the sky was now filled with giant locusts.