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Proclaim my world
Poems to take the weight off my shoulders.
A Bucket List

One of those moments, when you become aware of yourself and know that there has to be a list. That list, creating it may be hard, has to be the perfect creation of everything and everyone you may have met. And if one were to fail at such a task, the events may not be as good as you thought they might turn out.


Year 3

Day 1

Across from the horizon, John and Kary were sitting on a grass hill. “You do understand that this seems almost impossible to accomplish, John,” Kary mumbled through her lips, barely moving her tongue. John looked out at the setting sun, feeling the grass with his fingers. “Some things can never be possible, but one has to hope and try. Anything is possible, if you believe,” he replied with some satisfaction in his deep tone.
The sun was setting fast and Kary realized it would be better to head back to their apartment in Downtown. This hill was the most peaceful place they have come across through all this time, since Downtown was full of crime and pollution. It was located by a central highway and mid-way between the Downtown area and the Northern side of the town. The view from such a high landscape could only be found on a few pictures, most likely Photoshopped. They would come here every Friday night, exhausted from work and the busyness of the streets. For Kary and John, Northern hill was the only way to escape this world and know that they are free. As the sun set, Kary stood up and began walking down the hill towards the Ferrari Spyder, which she parked on the side of the highway. John, still looking at the horizon, sighed with anticipation. Then, he stood up as he spoke, “I can do it, you know,” Kary stopped in her tracks and turned around, “Do what?” she asked with some annoyance. “Save the world,” and then John smirked.


Year 3

Day 3

“Number two: Go skydiving,” someone mumbled under her breath, as she wrote down a list of things to do during the holiday. She looked up from her piece of paper and bit the tip of the pen.
The room, which was occupied by the person, was white and there was one bed and one desk. The windows were wide, but had bars on them, and light came in chopped up by the black stripes. The floor had warm coloring, reminding the person of a beach, but it was cold to walk on. The lady shifted her feet a few times, making some rustling noises with her slippers. “Number four: Go to the beach,” writing down patiently, but then realizing she skipped “number three” and wrote down: “Number four three: Go to the beach”.
“How are you doing today, Miss Freed?” the nurse came into the room without making too big of a sound and startling Miss Freed quite a bit.
“I’m quite alright, thank you. Just making a list for the holiday, you see,” Miss Freed replied with happiness and sighed with relief after she was done speaking.
“The holiday is not until June, Miss Freed. I hope you do realize you’ve got quite some time before that. At least two months, Miss. At least two,” and pausing for some time, the nurse continued, “Would you like to do something more pleasing – go to the park, perhaps?” Miss Freed sighed with some exhaustion and turned from her desk to face the nurse.
“Thank you, nurse Ida. I will consider your suggestion, but at the moment, I don’t believe that is the appropriate approach to my situation. I don’t have enough time to come up with something as important as this, if it’s only two months you say.”
“I said, ‘At least two’, Miss Freed. And besides, we all have things to do around here. I feel it might do you good to get out of the room at least this time.”
“OK, as you wish,” sighed Miss Freed and turned back to her piece of paper. Nurse Ida quietly walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. Miss Freed, making sure that the nurse was gone, took the piece of paper and stuck it underneath her desk by using gum and some saliva. Then, she got up and walked towards the door.
The patient put her finger tips on the doorknob, feeling it and poking at it from all sides, “The metal is painted brown, just like a rock.” And then wondering what that could signify, the patient slowly turned the doorknob and stepped outside of the room.


Year 3

Day 2

“She has to know what you’re talking about! She can’t understand you, doctor. Please explain to her what’s happening! I don’t want to lose her,” a young girl of age fifteen was standing by a red car, staring into the tall man’s eyes with hope. There was some moment of hesitation, but the doctor replied with a smile,
“It’ll be fine, she’ll be fine. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it! We’ll all be fine,” he paused and took a deep breath. “Now, you should go up to your room and lock the door behind yourself. Don’t peak through, we don’t want to startle your soul.”
To the teenage girl, the doctor seemed madder than her own mother. There was a sense of eeriness in the air and she did not approve. Her mother, sitting on the porch just a few meters away from them, was staring at the bright blue sky and wondering whether or not it will rain today.
“I don’t see any stars, so the day must be bright ahead. At least for now, it seems like a good day to walk around,” she stood up and took a step towards the front yard, which had very few flowers. Most of them were daisies.
“Please, mister doctor. I want you to understand,” the girl’s eyes were filling up with circular spheres, which sparkled in the sunlight. “I want her to be happy. You do understand that. This isn’t a joke, and you are making it seem so.”
The doctor smiled, then he opened the door to his red car and took out a restraining jacket. “No, of course it’s not a joke!” he replied with a cheery tone. “Whatsoever made you think it is!”
The fifteen-year-old child began to feel anger and annoyance towards this man, which made her think of possible ways of kicking his leg or crotch or his face. She took several kick boxing lessons and all those moves could be handy now, she thought. Licking her lips, she stepped back a few steps.
“I wouldn’t do that, if I were you, young lady,” the doctor replied with a hissing tone before turning around from his vehicle. He looked the girl right in the eyes and his pupils turned purple.
“Now, go to your room.”
The girl relaxed her muscles and turned around. Without any emotion, she paced herself to the front door, opened it, and walked inside. Not bothering to close the door, she walked straight up the staircase, which was located right in front of the door. The house smelled of fresh baked goods and cinnamon, along with some flowers. Oh, how her mother adored flowers. Her mother! What is the girl doing? What’s happening? She quickly turned around before reaching the top of the stairs, skipped down in twos and ran outside.
“Where—,” the teenage kid looked out on the street, but nothing was seen. There were some flowers thrown on the front path towards the door, they seemed injured. The garden was wrecked and it smelled of fresh earth and dirt.
“I will find you, if it’s the last thing I do,” the girl mumbled under her breath and stepped back into the house, slamming the door behind her.


Year 12

Day 2

“Come on, Charley! We can do this together!”
“It’s already tough pushing this up the hill; why do you make it even tougher by yelling into my ear?”
Young woman and young man were pulling up a stroller up a snow-covered slope. It was winter. Or so it seemed. With every push came the hesitation to go any further, especially from the female side. Why are they together and who brought them there?
Young Eliza and Charley were married for three years, yet it seemed like one and all they talked about was how good cheese tastes. Sometimes, even Eliza wondered if the cheese was any good or if it was an actual joke.
“Do you even like cheese?” she asked with her voice low as ever, once they reached the hill with the stroller by their side. There was no baby inside, just some fruits and vegetables. Their cottage was on a hill farther from the road, which didn’t seem too bad. It had wooden walls and a sturdy mind, so it held all of them in. But why would they need a stroller? It’s just used as a shopping cart.
“Of course. Who else would be able to like cheese in this house?” he looked at her with wide eyes, in suspense and wanting to make her laugh. Yet all that came out was a squeezed smile.
“Look, it’s been three years,” Eliza said as she opened the front door to their cottage, entering the warm place.
“One,” Charley replied to no question and walked behind her.
“You missed two, Charley,” she stood in front of the kitchen sink and turned around to face him.
“No, I’m sure it’s been one year since we got married, Eliza.”
“Whatever. Years pass, people grow up. We have to move on! Let’s start talking about milk for a change. Not just cheese and how good it tastes. We have to have different possibilities. I haven’t even started the list.”
He looked at her in hesitation, but put his hand on her shoulder, making it seem a tad bit awkward. Removed it, slightly shaking, and put it down again.
“I understand your frustration. It’s been nine years since your mother was taken away. You are probably wondering about her from day to day,” he paused, looking at her with concern. “Look, why don’t you go visit her! I’m sure she’d love your company. Besides, all you’ve been doing is sitting around and wishing we had a baby instead of vegetables and fruits.”
Eliza was caught off guard. She didn’t enjoy being this way. Outsmart him, she told herself. There’s a way for him to think that he is incorrect. Maybe that’s what drives us insane, she thought to herself, the fact that I do not like to lose.
“Alright, Mr. Hobblyhobble. I shall go visit my mother,” Eliza replied with a smirk.
“That’s the spirit!” Charley paused. “Where is it?”
Eliza pointed to the shelf behind him. A whole bunch of wines and brandy were sitting on the top ledge. Little crystal figurines scattered across the entire shelf accompanied the spirits, blinking and sparkling due to the lamp light. It was always like this, and always will be. After going shopping, or any walking distance for that matter, Charley would drink some brandy and go sit on the armchair in front of the TV. Their cottage was small enough, and it seemed like all the rooms were connected by one.
“I thought of a couple of things, Charley! Baby is one; there’s also some traveling.”
“Oh, did you?” Charley replied with no interest in his voice while watching his favorite show.
“Anyways, you don’t think our marriage is falling apart, do you? I have to go work tomorrow and the kids I look after keep asking me all these questions about how my marriage is going. I am starting to think that I need to include that on the list,” Eliza sighed and stared up at the ceiling. Something seemed strange. It’s as though the ceiling shifted and formed an image of cheese. She shook her head, but the image kept morphing until it turned into a flower.
Charley said something. Clock ticked. Eliza left the house.
“I have to see her,” she said to nobody in particular, but she knew that it was time.


Year 12

Day 2

Screams and laughter were heard from the halls, wiggling walls and jumping pillows. Everything was moving and crawling. She jumped on the bed, fell from the chair, and crawled underneath her work desk. A piece of paper fell on top of her head, which startled her and she made a very odd sound – more of a whistling and squealing sound. “She should be put away; held down by force, where they will keep her under watch at all times” was one of the flashbacks from her memory.
“Away! Away! Until the day has gone to May!” Miss Freed was screaming at the top of her lungs and rolling on the ground under the desk with the piece of paper in her hand. “Number five…” she whispered with tears in her eyes. The floor felt cold and chilled her to the bone. And then all went quiet.


Year 12

Day 2

Young Eliza was making her way to the grounds of the hospital, counting each step towards her destination. She felt nervous, mentally exhausted, and sad. All those years, flashing in images every time she took a step. The purple color… The confusion she felt as a child… The horrifying screams she heard her mother utter at night… All of it coming together.
As she opened the door to the hospital, it creaked a soft sigh. Relief. We all need it. The people in the front hall stared blankly into the floor and the walls – most of them counting the stains on the purely white paint. Eliza made her way towards the front desk, hoping to receive some information on where to head next.
“E-excuse me, would you direct me in the direction of Hall X?” Eliza had to clear her throat before asking due to the air being mostly stale. The old woman, sitting behind the oddly shaped small desk, glanced up underneath her tiny glasses.
“Yes, my dear, just straight ahead and down that hall,” she replied with a squeaky voice, which was probably because she was sick.
Following the woman’s crooked finger, Eliza walked towards the direction. The hospital’s room temperature felt warm, yet the overall environment seemed eerie.


Year 12

Day 2

Dr. Deviationist has been expecting Eliza for some time now. He watched her from the side window of his office, which overlooked the hall she was walking about. Feeling awkward, after a few minutes of staring, the doctor walked away from the window and sat back down on his comfortable armchair.
“That girl never learns,” he quietly sighed to himself and opened the next patient’s analysis. He began scribbling down the patient’s diagnosis. It wasn’t hard. All it needed was a little bit of patience. And with an office like his, he could do these diagnostic observations all day!
His office, in fact, was similar to that of a head master’s headquarters. Everything was welcoming and looked rather ancient. The place had an odd atmosphere of expectations and illusions. The desk, at which Dr. Deviationist was sitting at, was pointed directly towards the front of the door. Not an inch off. Everything was organized on this desk and filed in sections of alphabetical order. The desk also contained an odd-shaped book, which had the title of The Bucket List on it. Dr. Deviationist kept looking at it from over his glasses from time to time.
There were several paintings in the office, but none of them seemed to fit. They all had a warm sense of humor, but no laughter would be heard from those who decide to look upon them. One, in particular, was an old lady sitting on the porch and knitting a sweater. She was knitting a few words on them “home sweet home”. Behind her, there was a big house, which was covered in candy and fruit. Other paintings, which were usually on the opposite walls, since there was no room behind the desk due to the window, seemed to move every time a person would walk towards the desk. It’s as though they would be watching – whether those paintings were portraits or not.
The floor, which was covered in a well-combed carpet, smelled of fine fabric and wine. Yes, the wine was an important part of this office. If it did not contain the wine, the office would be dull and uninteresting. In fact, at that same moment, Dr. Deviationist stood up and walked over to his favorite bookshelf by the desk. He touched his wine bottle and pulled it towards himself. Something clicked and the bookshelf split in the middle to create a doorway. The doctor smiled and stepped into the archway.


Year 0

Day 0

“Daddy, but school is for lame people!” little Lila cried out to her intelligent father.
“Lila, you will understand soon that you need knowledge to survive in this world,” Lila’s father carefully and deliberately worded his response.
Lila stared onto the empty breakfast table, waiting for more food. She seemed upset because people didn’t seem so intelligent to her. After all, they always made the same mistakes over and over. Whoever thought of that knowledge, she thought, is a complete fool.
There was a clatter behind the kitchen door and a tall young man walked in. He looked well built and seemed like he would be very popular in school, indeed. Lila stared at him and then smiled,
“Good morning, Johnny! How are you?”
John smiled in return and looked up to see his father standing beside the kitchen table. He seemed to be in deep thought. This seemed to happen quite regularly nowadays.
“John,” the father looked up to find his son staring at him. “How’s school?”
As interesting as this conversation would have turned out to be, little Lila didn’t want it to start. She suddenly jumped up and began running around the kitchen table, making animal noises. The more she ran around, the louder she got.
Both John and his father stared at Lila and pictured many different animals, but that soon became more of a headache than an amusing event.
“Alright, you two. We are going to be late for your classes. Let us move on then to your bottle of knowledge!” the father spoke in a cheery tone.
The trip to the children’s school was fast and they got there in time of the bell. Their father walked Lila to her classroom and then spotted her teacher. He slightly nodded to her.
“Are you Lila’s father?” the teacher asked as she walked up to the man.
“Why yes, young lady, I am,” Lila’s father replied with a calm voice.
“I have a daughter, too. She is very understanding. Seems to know more than many young adults,” she smiled and laughed slightly.
“I bet.”
Before the young teacher could say anything in return, the man kept talking.
“Yes, that is how it starts. Everyone understands. After, they do not know where to go, or how to spend their day. Nor do they understand where they are.”
The teacher looked at the man and tilted her head to the side ever so slightly.
“You will find out in the end, Miss Freed.”
“Excuse me, sir. But what is your name?”
“Doctor. Doctor Deviationist,” the doctor smiled full-toothed while his eyes stared back in a dead cold gaze.


Year 5

Day 17

I’ll turn left, John told himself, as he passed the nearby supermarket. He needed some groceries for Kary to carry. This all seemed to rhyme in his head and he thought it to be amusing. As he glanced at Kary, she didn’t seem to notice.
“Would you like to carry some groceries, Kary?” John asked in a cheery tone. Kary didn’t reply. She didn’t care. There was an awkward silence.
“I’m not being sexist. I swear, my darling. I love you, Kary,” John told her sincerely. And soon enough, they arrived at the supermarket.
Kary got out, walked about her car and took out some reusable bags.
“It’s so dull nowadays, John. We need something different. We can’t just go on with our days like this. Can’t we go traveling once in a while? It’s not like we’re stuck here. I earned plenty of money; you earn lots. Let’s go have fun!” she hoped to get some feedback from her boyfriend, and she stared into John’s innocent and pure eyes, while she let him know how she truly felt.
“I understand your frustration, honey. But we can’t leave just yet. Something doesn’t seem right about this time. We need to wait for the opportune moment. If you just let me settle in and talk to my father. He’s been quiet for some time,” John paused. “He’s been doing an experiment, and I am concerned about his mental health since he is always surrounded by all those mental patients. I’m not sure if he even gets out much from his office. It seems like he sleeps there,” John looked sad and tired; his eyes were cast down towards the pavement by the car. He seemed to be deep in thought. It was as though he was thinking about the past, trying to recall all the details of what had happened.
“Fine. But only until then! After that, we are free,” Kary marched off towards the grocery store.


Year 12

Day 2

Miss Freed was found lying on the ground. At first, the nurse thought the old lady was dead; but after a few checks of the patient’s body, she realized that the patient was asleep. Nurse Ida slowly picked up Miss Freed and put her on the bed, then pulled the blanket on top of her body.
“Is she alright?” a voice was heard behind the nurse.
“Yes, just resting,” said the nurse, knowing that the patient is insane, and the question asked wasn’t directed towards the patient’s mental state.
“That’s okay, then. You’re excused, Nurse Ida.”
And with that, the nurse walked out of the room, soundlessly closing the door behind her.
The voice was of a tall man, a doctor to be precise, who looked about the room, as if searching for something. Dr. Deviationist found what he was looking for and examined it closely. The list was yet to be finished. There were many more points to go and not even close to be done. But his time was running out, he had to make her finish it. It had to be done.
“Wake up, my love,” Dr. Deviationist called out to Miss Freed in a sweet tone.
She moaned and groaned, twisting around in her bed into a different lying position.
“Wake up,” Dr. Deviationist was becoming impatient. There was a schedule to attend to. No more of this madness.
Miss Freed mumbled something under her breath.
While irritation was still evident in the doctor’s eyes, he stretched out his arm. A purple glow began to appear from the palm of his hand, which floated out over Miss Freed’s bed. The glow had a strange smell. He began to mutter something under his breath. Just then, he felt his body shiver and he realized it was time to stop. In one swift motion, he put his hand by his side and the glow disappeared into thin air.
The door to the room opened, and a young lady appeared.
“You must be Miss Freed’s daughter, Eliza!” Dr. Deviationist suddenly exclaimed as he walked over to hug Eliza.
Before the young lady could protest, she was grasped warmly in the doctor’s arms.
“Y-yes, umm, I am. And how do you know… W-who are you?” Eliza, barely able to understand what was happening, gasped out the words.
The doctor, with a big grin on his face, replied, “How so, you don’t remember?” He took one step away from Eliza.
Eliza shook her head, being more cautious this time. Her mother was lying on the bed. She looked unconscious.
“Why, I’m your mother’s doctor. We got introduced when I put her in the institution. She is doing quite well, you see.” As the doctor was speaking, Eliza felt a sense of recognition and slight feeling of anger. Not sure where it was coming from, she shook her head as if to shake off the feelings and kept listening to the doctor’s overzealous speech. “Yes, yes… She is quite a lady. A lot of attitude, and so much knowledge! Quite a hand-full, you know. She loved to dance around all the time. But unfortunately, I am not quite sure what happened to her! She is just too weak now. Sleeps though the day, you see… And there’s this list she’s been making. Quite amusing,” the doctor threw his head back and broke into laughter unexpectedly, which woke up Miss Freed.
“Mom!” Eliza exclaimed when she saw how Miss Freed’s eyes slowly opened.
“Yes, I’ll have flowers for winter,” Miss Freed dully replied to no one in particular. She stared blankly at the ceiling, not caring to get up.
“I’m afraid, she’s still sleeping, Eliza. Quickly now. We don’t want to wake her up,” the doctor pushed Eliza out the door and slammed it shut in her face.
Unable to understand, Eliza didn’t feel like giving into the doctor’s strange attitude. She wanted to get to the bottom of whatever he was hiding.
“Open the door!”
“Not now, Eliza. Things to do, people to heal!” Dr. Deviationist chuckled from behind the door.
This all seemed like a mad house. Perhaps, the doctor was mad after all.
Eliza took a stance and knocked down the door with her superior martial arts skills.
The room was full of purple smoke. It was extremely difficult to make out any shapes. To Eliza’s surprise, the smoke did not leave the room at all; it stayed there, as though blocked by a force field.
“I told you, Eliza. We’ve got work to do. You don’t want to interrupt now. Your mother is no longer with us. She is far away now.” A low chuckle escaped into the air, as Eliza cautiously made her way through the room. The room seemed bigger with the smoke there. Perhaps it wasn’t the same room anymore, as everything seemed different. The floor was warmer and softer, and Eliza thought she saw a bookshelf nearby. Then, she suddenly stumbled upon something sharp. It was an edge of a desk. Trying to feel her way around, the smoke seemed to become thinner and soon disappeared all together.
Eliza made out shapes around her. She seemed to be surrounded by valuable furniture and paintings. The paintings had people and animals in them, which seemed to look back at her and into her soul. There were no windows or doors. Only a bookshelf stood beside one of the walls. Eliza saw her mother on the ground, barely able to sit up. She was writing on a piece of dirty paper. Dr. Deviationist was standing beside Miss Freed, overlooking her shoulder. He had an evil grin on his lips.
“Number 10… I would like to find a new apartment,” Miss Freed carefully wrote out the words, while staring blankly at the paper.
“Come on, Freed. You can do it! Almost there! Write out your soul onto the bucket list!” The doctor was nudging her on, like a devil.
There was no mercy in his voice. Nor was there fear. His accomplishments ran through his mind. Time was coming to get him and he knew that. He wished that he could just kill all the patients in the hospital and be done with this torment. His secret, as only very few knew, was a bucket list. It was a curse. As soon as one starts it, one cannot stop. The ideas keep flowing, even in the person’s sleep. And those ideas turn into reality in their minds. The curse keeps the people guessing like a new mystery. A new hope. We’ve all been there. We’ve all wanted to become a part of something mysterious and wonderful at the same time. To feel that glimpse of inspiration, and to accomplish it afterwards with the means which are available to us. But after a while, the doctor felt unwanted and unsafe, and so he made a pact with the devil. Dr. Deviationist traded his own soul for a portion of the devil’s powers. All he needed was a couple of strangers’ souls a year to keep him immortal. Everything that he had ever hoped for came back to him, and he made a plan for how to get the souls he wanted. He became a doctor within a week, and built his own hospital filled with mental patients that were soon forgotten. The cause of their deaths did not need to be known, as their relatives most likely never visited and would believe anything an experienced doctor would tell them. As disgusting as this idea seemed at first to Dr. Deviationist, he never for one second regretted his decision. His own invention of a bucket list gave him courage and inspiration. He felt new and young again. As he watched many people pass away within almost a week, he felt it was rather lonely for him to be surrounded by just dead bodies. This is where he decided to create portraits of their lives and the bucket lists they made. Those portraits still hung all around his office and his dungeon, which Eliza, her mother, and him were in at the moment. But until now, none of his patients resisted. Miss Freed was the first; she had resisted his curse until now. This frustrated the doctor, so he decided to try another technique – hypnotism.
Eliza ran towards Dr. Deviationist, ready to jump on him and stop this madness. But as soon as she moved a few feet, Dr. Deviationist turned to her and stared deeply into her eyes. His eyes turned purple and Eliza exclaimed in surprise, “You’re the one who took away my mother in the first place!”
“Yes, Eliza,” the doctor replied with what seemed to be a slight form of sadness, yet he recovered instantly with anger in his voice. “You never once, in all the years that passed, thought about visiting your poor mother. Think of how she felt all these years. Think of the agony that was brought upon her by you!”
His eyes began to ignite with a new shade of purple; this time the color was brighter and more determined. Eliza could feel her body tense up, heartbeat slowing down, and she stood there in a dumb stupor, not able to move any further. Eliza thought violently of how to remove this charm and go against the doctor in order to save her mother. Nothing seemed to be helping her come up with such a brilliant plan. But it wasn’t just that; Eliza also felt that even if she somehow did save her mother, her mother would never recover to her previous state. Miss Freed would never bake cookies the way she used to, nor sing songs of her adventures in the vast horizons of time.
Eliza’s thoughts collapsing in on herself, she realized that her husband didn’t care for what was to become of her, either. There seemed no hope and no joy in her life anymore. Yet she decided to keep fighting to reach the next stop and to acquire what she needed at this moment in time. She needed that last piece of joy from her mother’s smile and the hope that came with it, which would wash away all the sadness in her memories.
“It is done,” Dr. Deviationist retrieved the piece of paper from Eliza’s mother’s grasp. Miss Freed collapsed onto the cold granite floor and fell unconscious.
“You were never strong enough, Freed. I have no respect for you any longer. Rest in whatever religious place you believe in,” Dr. Deviationist announced in a single-minded tone.
Yet as he walked away from what was left of Miss Freed, he felt a sense of dissatisfaction. There was still something missing, though he could not tell what. Somewhere within the stone walls, a glimmer of light appeared and the doctor vanished into the wall.
Eliza, released from the grasp of some invisible force, ran up to her lifeless mother and held her close. She did not know how to react, nor did she think there would be a way to fix this, but somewhere in her mind, she knew that she had to make a list. A bucket list of all the things that lead her to this point and what she needs to do before she finally passes away from this world. She left her mother on the cold floor and looked around the room until she found the exit. Following the narrow hallway, Eliza exited onto the outside world, pushing away boundaries and thoughts she had before. Pushing everything she has ever known, and anyone she may have met. “The Bucket List will be mine, Dr. Deviationist,” Eliza mumbled to herself as she moved further into the darkness of the day.


Year 13

Day 3

One year has passed.
Many memories were lost.
John was sitting behind his desk and writing a report, that was past overdue, for his university paper. Each keystroke he typed, he felt like he could have stopped something horrible from happening. Each breath he took, he felt like his life has been wasted. Kary was no longer part of his life, as she left him two years ago. They were never happy, she mentioned before exiting the door. But who was she to judge what he felt, and how he felt when he needed to stay in the same place where he was now.
None of it made any sense. His thoughts were useless.
“Bring me some more tea, will you?” John asked in an irritated tone.
A housemaid appeared with a teapot and beautifully painted china set cup. Flowers, warm colors, and a gold rim were present on the cup. After pouring the tea into his perfect cup, John took a few sips of the tea. “And where is my father?” he uttered in a helpless voice. No one replied.
Right. Always traveling. John reminded himself.
He looked around, and noticed that his room was one that resembled his father’s study at the hospital. Paintings were on the walls, the carpet was Persian and quite expensive, and the walls were covered with fine wallpaper. Nothing says ‘exquisite’ like the house he lived in. Money poured in everyday due to John’s father’s earnings. He was a doctor after all. And John didn’t mind living in such luxury, as it gave him time to think and not worry about any payments. The only thing that troubled him was why he was still living with his father after three years of not being in a romantic relationship. He was already old enough to have a family, and he certainly felt it would be wonderful to be with someone.
John looked around once more, put his computer aside and told himself that he would finish his paper later. It’s not like bribing his professors didn’t work in the past.
Out in the backyard, the gardens were marvelous and so spacious that it was hardly fair to call the place a ‘backyard’. John was taking a stroll around the area, observing every bee and every butterfly that decided to drop by and visit. He seemed most at peace in these gardens, which were attached to the mansion by a fence. There was a circular path that led around the gardens to take in all the beauty before him. All kinds of flowers were planted by the path: daffodils, roses, lilies, primrose, jasmine; and each year, more were planted onto the grounds to give it a fresh look.
There were a few sitting areas around the garden, and John decided to rest by an elegant white rose bush. He closed his eyes and thought about what happened in the past three years. He felt helpless to the events that occurred between Kary and him, his father’s sudden disappearance, and the local newspaper reporting something to do with the death of a hospital patient. He never did enjoy reading the newspaper, but the day when he read it felt different from others. It’s like the newspaper pulled him in. John pushed the thoughts aside. He opened his eyes. A strange creature was standing a few feet away from him. It had a tail, two horns, and red colored skin. It smiled maniacally at John and winked. John didn’t dare to move, feeling that it might be his mind playing tricks on him, and if he just stayed still the creature would disappear. But it didn’t.
After a few seconds passed, John opened his mouth to speak. As soon as the action was made, the creature literally appeared right beside John and put its arm around him. “Well, ‘ello there, mate,” it said in a slightly Irish tone. “Uhh, hi,” John replied with a dry throat.
“So, here’s the deal. Your father is dying. We need a replacement. You seem to be right for the job. Deal or no deal?” the creature looked deep into John’s eyes. The creature’s eyes seemed to resemble a red glowing sphere, always changing and turning.
John stared back, hoping that he was dreaming. John did not understand what was happening. He never did understand his father, nor did his father give any explanations about his traveling. What could this creature have to do with his father’s health? And even if it did, why was it asking him to supposedly take his father’s place in some job?
“Now, don’t look so dull, darling,” the creature shifted from side to side on the bench. “We need you to fill in the form, as it was your father who put you into the position if something were to happen to him.” The creature nodded several times, as if understanding or mocking what it just said.
“Wait a minute. Can you just explain—,” John, feeling helpless, jumped up from the bench and began pacing around the garden.
“My boss can do it. No problemo! Would you like to be teleported now, mate?”
“Teleported?”
There was a loud hissing sound and everything spun. The ground seemed to break in two and John felt himself falling. Soon, he reached the bottom and hit it hard. Then, everything went black.


Year 26

Day 16

Thousands of people gathered around the town center. Many were dressed in the latest fashion, and even more were wearing their fancy evening clothes. Everyone stood and chatted about the years that passed. There were couples, elders, children, and travelers from all over the world.
The town center was decorated with food stands and little shops, where beautiful tokens, accessories, and trophies could be bought and looked at. People were gathering around them to decide if they wanted something for their homes. There was a huge fountain in the middle, which was getting a lot of attention from small children. They were splashing in the water, and some were playing tag around the fountain. The water seemed to glisten under the afternoon sun, which made it seem quite wonderful and magical.
“Hey! You!” a child yelled over to his tag buddy. “That’s cheating!” he said, feeling that he won’t be able to catch up due to his not wanting to be as athletic as the one running away.
A woman was watching them run by her, and she felt the happiness within them. She put her arm around an elder woman beside her, and hugged her warmly. “Would you like to stay for the fireworks?” she asked the elder woman softly, and got several nods in reply.
These were truly the days of celebration.

There were a few statues around the town center. One of which looked oddly familiar to the woman. It was of a tall man with a white doctor coat, and he had a clipboard in one of his hands. Two other statues were also present. One was of a tall, young, gentleman. He was overlooking the town center in a proud matter, as though he had saved this land. And another was of a small creature at the young gentleman’s feet. The three of them stood together close to the fountain, as if monuments of what has been and what might be.
There were words imprinted in the stone under the statues, which drew the woman closer. She took the elder woman by the hand and led her towards the statues. The elder woman shivered and felt a strange familiar feeling, which left her feeling scared. “Perhaps, not there, Eliza. I feel rather chilly,” she looked at her daughter with patient eyes.
“Mom, I just want to read the words,” Eliza said to her mother and let go of her hand. The elder woman slowly walked back to a nearby bench and watched her daughter. “As you wish, my dear,” she said with some sadness.

Eliza stood in front of the statues, looking up to the top of their heads. The words read: Fine tales, fine lies. No one knew his or her disguise. Young John was able to conquer, but not destroy the unkind. He dropped down, deep in the Earth. Always prepared to fight the unknown. He searched for centuries for his father, and soon he found another. Teleportation, he acquired that skill. And soon, he was able to reverse the chill. Going back in time, he surrendered himself for a woman, was the only way he could get this approval. His father had died without getting what he wanted, and so young John passed away before he was haunted. With truth and with lies, we complete this demise. Forever together, they stand here, in disguise.

As Eliza walked back to her mother, she thanked John for everything he has done, knowing that the story imprinted in the stone was surely the truth.





 
 
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