Escaping the Abyss Part 7

Been a few months since I wrote another part to this ongoing mini series but here is another piece…

Nanku began having a dream nearly every night.

As he slept he dreamt that he was floating in the air. The clouds carried him weightlessly across the warm sky and he looked down on the peaceful world below and smiled feeling comfortable and safe. He watched the world lazily from above and saw soft green trees and calm rivers flowing to open oceans. He even closed his eyes and rested as he traveled slowly across the land.

Then a change in the wind pulled Nanku down like hands grabbing him with grips too tight on his limbs. He struggled to break free but was unable and continued to sink lower. He felt as though they were also stealing his breath as dread filled his lungs though he was unable to scream.

Suddenly, the hands released him and he plummeted towards the earth unable to slow himself or stop; no one there to help break his fall. Nanku’s eyes bulged from his head and his tongue swelled in his mouth as fear squeezed his heart.

Without warning, the hands gripped Nanku once more and his fall halted. The hands threw him across the sky like a leaf tumbling head over foot. Nanku’s arms and legs flailed about uncontrollably. It was as if the boy was in a whirlwind with the sky and ground spinning around him.

Again the arms grabbed him and held him tightly then again they released then caught him and repeated the process all over again. All the time Nanku could not scream but was enveloped in terror and felt as though he were dying from fright.

Faces appeared and laughed at his fear seeming to feed off his emotions. They cackled and howled as though at a grand party with Nanku as the entertainment. They were huge faces that morphed and shifted with the wind and followed the small boy while they toyed with him.

At last Nanku fell to the ground and in that instant he did he burst from his dream panting and sweating and began to sob as he curled into a ball to hold tight to his last bit of self. The rest had been stolen and chased from him.

Each night he had the dream it took a little longer to recover from the horror of the nightmare. He could not have known then that the dream would become a metaphor for his life.

Escaping the Abyss Part 7

Nanku grew in spite of any chaos in his world and he learned about his environment and how to navigate it. Growing and learning were not without their dangers.

Mother and Father provided some playmates for Nanku. They called them cousins and Nanku enjoyed them very much. They all spent much time together playing and laughing. One day Nanku was visiting the cousins. They were chasing each other through the house and laughing. As they did, Nanku tripped over a basket and fell hard. His lip was split open by his own tooth which was also knocked out of his mouth. The lip was badly cut and bled profusely. Nanku was taken to a doctor and his lip was stitched back together however there was much swelling and in fact the lip was never quite the same and also showed the scar from the fall and was always larger on one side as a result of the accident.

On another occasion, Nanku was again running and he fell and hit his head, splitting his head open and again bleeding significantly. This wound too was patched up and a scar remained but no further damage was done.

These accidents made Mother very protective of Nanku and she did not like to let him explore or have adventures as a result. She warned him that he would get hurt and would not let Nanku do some of the things he wanted to try like ride a skateboard or play football and regularly told him that he was not strong or tough and so it was best that he not do too many things that require physical strength or subjected him to risk. Nanku believed her and avoided activities that would test his strength or toughness.

This confused Nanku a little as Father seemed to be especially tough and strong. Father tended to constantly do things that were reckless and dangerous and Nanku wanted to be like Father. For instance, Father played hockey like the LA Kings and it was a very physical and dangerous sport. Father worked in a shop with metal and machines that were very dangerous. Father constantly had cuts and burns on him and didn’t seem to be bothered by them. Nanku felt that Father was somehow indestructible because he would test his strength and toughness and always survive. Nanku marveled as Father lifted things or pushed them. Nanku was even amazed when father got angry and threw and broke things in a fit.

Nanku became very used to the look on Father’s face when he was in a rage. His eyes were like fire and wide and his body moved wildly. Father would often kick things or throw them when he was angry and Nanku would take shelter and watch. Father usually became angry when he argued with Mother. She would say hurtful and mean things to Father and he would get angry. She would get in his face and continue to say things until he exploded like a volcano yelling and throwing things. Nanku hid and waited for the storm to end.

Mother was worried about Nanku getting hurt exploring his world, but did nothing to protect him from the dangers that dwelled in his very home.

Escaping the Abyss Part 6

One day Mother took Nanku shopping. They went to a large mall with many stores. Mother was busy looking for clothes and such for herself while Nanku followed along. As usual, the boy was polite and quiet and stayed near to Mother.

As Mother looked through racks of clothes in search for the perfect garment, Nanku began to recall the comforting trees of his youth. The longing for freedom and adventure swelled in his spirit as the racks of clothes began to appear like the woods of his origin.

With Mother preoccupied with her shopping, Nanku allowed his imagination to transport him to the wild where he was free. He moved between the racks as though they were the trees he knew so well. Suddenly he felt free again. Untethered he was an adventurer once more one with nature.

In his mind he chased bunnies and butterflies under the protective canopy of his forest home. The worries of the world melted away. His spirit soared as he crawled between shirts into a protective glade. There he sat and rested in the peace of solitude and security. Nanku closed his eyes and felt safe for the first time since he left the woods.

Mother did not notice that Nanku was no longer following behind her. She continued her shopping and even made a purchase and left the store.

Eventually Nanku emerged from his make believe sanctuary and looked for Mother. She was nowhere to be found. Nanku froze, worried that he was abandoned. He did not know where Mother was nor did he know where he was. He stood at the front of the store and just held still. His heart raced but his body was paralyzed.

A security guard saw the small Nanku standing alone in front of the store.

“Are you lost little boy?” The security guard asked.

“I don’t know where my mother went. She was shopping but I was playing and she left,” Nanku cried.

“It’s ok, you’re safe with me,” the security guard reached out his hand and took Nanku’s. They began to walk down the mall looking for Mother.

Nanku breathed deeply and swallowed his tears as he walked with the security guard in the hopes of finding Mother.

Not long after, Nanku spotted mother walking frantically with panic in her eyes.

“Nanku!” Mother cried. “Where have you been you bad boy!”

“Is this your mother?” Asked the security guard.

“Yes,” he whispered.

“Why did you leave me?” Mother asked as she gripped his shoulders and spoke Nanku.

“I didn’t. I was playing in the store and you left me,” Nanku explained as he looked at his feet.

“I didn’t leave you!” Mother exclaimed. “You were supposed to stay with me. I was busy shopping and didn’t have time to keep track of you. You bad boy, you didn’t do what I told you.”

“I’m sorry Mother,” mumbled Nanku. “I didn’t mean to get lost. I was just playing.”

“Well don’t let it happen again. You never know who would hurt you. It isn’t safe.”

“Ok, Mother.”

That day Nanku learned that playing make believe was dangerous. His longing for the freedom of his youth caused Mother to abandon him.

Escaping the Abyss Part 5

Escaping the Abyss (Part 1)

Escaping the Abyss (Part 2)

Escaping the Abyss: Part 3

Escaping the Abyss: Part 4

img_0003-1

Nanku continued to survive and even grow though he began to grow in different ways. He learned to hide when things were frightening.  He pulled all of the toys from his toy box and buried himself deep within to shelter him from the storm beyond. He clutched his stuffed bear tightly as he sat as still a possible to avoid being seen. He learned that when Mother and Father were not in a good mood, it was dangerous to need things. There was much yelling and much fighting around him that raged like a battle beyond the walls he constructed to protect himself.

One day when Mother and Father were screaming and yelling at one another, Nanku decided to risk coming out from his hiding place to try to make peace. He looked about his room searching from anything that might end the battle. He saw some toys that he could make into instruments and practiced his symphony before he marched down to the battleground.

Nanku held his head high and shoulders back as he pushed into the bedroom where Mother and Father were fighting. He clanged his makeshift cymbals together and blew a horn to call an end to the battle.

For a moment Mother and Father were stunned. They stated at the boy as he marched around in a circle like a one-man parade. Mother and Father looked to one another and realized that their fight was hurting the boy. They grabbed him up in their arms and kissed him. Mother cried and said she was sorry.

Nanku was proud that he had ended the war between Mother and Father for a moment but it did not last. The war waged on soon after and never ended. What’s worse, Nanku took it upon himself to try to reduce the conflict. He had ended their battle successfully at least once after all, and so he figured he could do it again.

He prayed every night that Mother and Father would stop fighting, but they never did. There was never any end to their battle in the abyss.

Escaping the Abyss: Part 4

One day Nanku went outside to play while Mother was in the house busy dwelling in the abyss. A curious boy who missed the adventures of the woods he played in the dirt and leaves of the tiny yard in an otherwise concrete wilderness.

Nanku pretended he was various animals as he romped around chasing the breeze. He decided he was a monkey and as monkeys do, he chose to climb a tree.

There was a great big elm in the yard, the only tree there. It had a great big trunk and wide leaves that shaded the boy while he played. But it was no match for a monkey!

Nanku mounted the tree and began to climb. He inched his way upward ever more satisfied with his progress and abilities. He made it to a branch and he climbed out on its limb. Hanging above the ground Nanku felt free. He smiled wide as he swung on the branch free.

Young as he was though, he had yet to master the trees, and while he played his grip slipped. He grasped for the limb but it failed him. Nanku tumbled to the ground and crashed hard into the packed dirt. The air was stolen from his lungs and blackness took over his mind.

Mother went looking for Nanku and when he did not respond to her calls she looked in the yard and found him. She screamed and ran to the boy fearing the worst and found him limp.

Mother called for help and soon people were rushing to help Nanku. With the help of people worried for the boy, he woke up and was breathing fine.

Mother cried huge tears as she clutched the boy to her chest. Nanku was confused but alive and Mother brought him inside and told him not to climb trees any more because they were dangerous and she did not want him to get hurt.

“But I was playing that I was a monkey,” Nanku reasoned.

“I don’t care about that, son,” Mother scolded. “You are not to climb trees any longer. You are not a monkey, you are a boy, and boys need to keep their feet on the ground where it is safe. Do you understand me?”

Nanku understood but wanted to climb trees again. Still, he nodded to Mother and promised her he would no longer climb trees.

Escaping the Abyss: Part 3

Escaping the Abyss (Part 1)

Escaping the Abyss (Part 2)

img_0003

One day Mother left to go to a party. She left Father in charge of Nanku.

By this time, Nanku was already learning that Father could get very angry. Father got angry at sounds especially. He got angry if Nanku played too loud. He got angry if Nanku cried. He got angry if Nanku ate food too loudly. Father got angry a lot.

With Mother gone, Father fed Nanku and then put him in the bath and began running the water. Father was busy watching the Kings play hockey so he was sitting in the hall so he could still see the TV.

The water began filling the tub and Nanku just sat comfortably in the warm water enjoying his bath. Father continued to watch the hockey game.

Eventually the water filled the tub near the top and Nanku wasn’t tall enough to hold his head above the rim of the bath. He stretched his head and figured that Father would eventually look back and see how high the water was. He did not look.

The water filled higher and Nanku was barely keeping is mouth high enough to breath. He stretched his neck out and held his head high but he could not hold it higher. He wanted to call out to Father and tell him that the water was high and he could hardly continue breathing but he was afraid.

“What if Father got angry?” Nanku wondered. “I don’t want to make Father angry.”

Nanku held his head as high as he could and when the water had reached his chin and threatened to drown him his heart raced but his fear of making Father angry was stronger than his will to live so he said nothing and made no noise.

Finally, with only moments remaining until Nanku would not be able to breath, Father turned and saw how high the water was. He laughed and stopped the water while letting some out of the tub so that Nanku could breathe without struggle.

Father laughed about how close Nanku was to drowning in the tub and even told Mother when she came home though she did not find it funny.

For all the rest of his days, Father laughed and bragged about how close Nanku was to drowning that day. The boy never told Father how absolutely terrified he was and how conflicted he was about which was worse, making Father angry, or drowning.

Escaping the Abyss (Part 2)

Part 1

img_0003

The mother pulled Nanku to her home. It was small and dank and smelled of betrayal. Nanku looked upon it eyes wide and lip trembling.

“This is your new home,” Mother beamed. “You will be happy here.”

Mother dragged Nanku inside where a large bear of a man, covered in hair, sat on a couch.

“This is Father,” Mother declared. “He will protect you.”

“Oh who is this you found?” Father wondered leaning forward and studying the small boy.

“This is Nanku. He belongs to us now. I found him alone in the woods and brought him home.”

“Alone in the woods? That isn’t good. It is well that Mother found you and brought you here.”

“But I wasn’t scared in the woods. I was happy and free there,” explained Nanku.

“Nonsense!” bellowed Father. “You’ll be much safer here with us. I will protect you and Mother will care for you. You will be far better off with us.”

Nanku could not see how he was better with them and he longed for the safety of the woods but he shrugged and whispered, “If you say so.”

“Very well!” Mother cried, “We’re a family now! Sit here with Father while I go and work on dinner.”

Nanku nodded. He looked over at Father. He was sitting on the couch watching hockey. He climbed up onto the couch and sat next to him. The man hardly seemed to notice.

“What is this?” Nanku wondered.

“Hockey son.”

“And who is playing?”

“The Kings and the Oilers.”

“How does it work?”

Father’s brow scrunched and he glared at the young boy who’s eyes were wide as he gazed up at father. “Listen, son, I’m trying to watch this game. Stop with all the questions.”

Nanku looked down into his lap and lowered his head. “Ok, I’m sorry,” he mumbled.

“It’s fine, just don’t do it again.” Nanku nodded and then sat quietly trying to sort out the sport on his own. He was a clever boy and soon he was making sense of the spectacle. He gathered that Father was routing for the Kings on account that he kept cursing them for apparently not performing very well. He also figured out some of the rules of the sport. He did not dare say another word however, especially when Father got angry and was yelling at the television. He just held very still and barely breathed until the storm of Father’s anger subsided.

“Is this the person who is supposed to protect me?” Nanku wondered. “He seems very scary like an angry monster.”

And so he was.

Escaping the Abyss (Part 1)

As a way to process a bunch of BS, I thought I would try to write a fable like story. It might be a bit choppy and unrefined but I’m not worried about that. I’m trying to redeem experiences and hurt. Here’s the first part…

One day there was a young boy happy and healthy playing in the woods. The boy often played in the woods. He loved to pretend he was a knight protecting the innocent and fighting monsters. He loved to watch the animals of the forest and to feed them bits of bread or nuts. He was a boy filled with kindness, hope and love. His name was Nanku.

Nanku was playing when a woman found him in the woods. The woman was blond and young and had a soft voice that was warm to Nanku’s heart.

“Hello little boy,” the woman called, “what are you doing here in the woods all alone?”

Nanku looked up at the woman and smiled, “Oh, I’m just playing in the woods.”

“But it isn’t safe out here alone. You could get hurt.”

“No one has ever hurt me out here. The animals are nice. The woods feel safe.”

“Oh no! These woods are not safe at all. People could hurt you. Animals could hurt you. You can’t stay here by yourself. You should come with me.”

“But why? I feel fine here playing in the woods. No one has ever hurt me before.”

“But you have no idea how much danger you are in. You need to come with m. What’s your name?”

“I’m Nanku.”

“Nanku? What a funny name that is. Come with me,” the woman stated as she reached out and grabbed Nanku’s hand and began to pull him from the woods where he was safe and happy. “You may call me Mother and you will be happy with me now.”

Nanku looked back to the woods and a tear formed in his eye and ran down his face. He would never return to the peaceful woods where he could be happy and play. He was being taken to the Abyss.

The Abyss

I apologize for being scarce these last few weeks. It has been a very trying month. In short, I’ve been dealing with a lot. Attacks have been coming at me from all angles and there were days when I was just trying to keep my head above water. Call it what you want: depression, being low, under spiritual attack. Since I’m a fantasy writer, I’ll call it being in the abyss. There are a great number of stories from the beginning of time that have the hero of the story descend into a dark and terrible place that then must be redeemed by resolving whatever the conflict was. That’s where I was, the abyss.

It began as a stumble then another and another and before I knew it I was falling. More was piled on as I went and eventually I found myself buried beneath tons of rubble. Sadly, it took me a minute to realize the situation and begin digging my way out. Slowly but surly I pushed some of the rocks off me and at least I can stand at this point. There is still a very long way to go to climb my way out entirely and return to where I was but I’m on the way. Fortunately I wasn’t completely worthless in the meantime and I should have Assassin available in the next day or so. As part of the cathartic process, I’m probably going to do a little creative writing about it using “Dadd” to describe what happened through allegory. It’ll be fun and likely helpful.

Here’s to climbing out of the abyss, cheers!