The body of a sparrow lay decomposing on the rough grey sidewalk, near a black sign that read, in white letters, "Bedlam". It was just past a brilliant colored abandoned empty Hawaiian BBQ chip bag, surrounded by a horde of faded to dull brown autumn leaves. William had chess knight stepped over it. He noted in passing its breast feathers which bedraggled by grim death still had a sunlight hue of yellow to them that reminded him of a brief happy day in Summer when he was 15. He wolfishly munched on his danish pastry without thought, barely tasting its sweet apple flavor. He wished for a second cup of coffee but the mornings set aside funds had limited him to just one. Not for the first time did he wish for some skill or superpower. His Gran's voice popped whisperingly cheery into his head "If wishes were fishes and beggars were kings, now wouldn't that change the shape of things". Anyway, he already had one wish running through his head and that was to get himself through his class at the University on Wave Optics. One could only hope for the best from fate and do what one could pragmatically. In the caffeine refreshed from beer recesses of his brain's dim back burners- "Babinet's Principle" was currently being memorized. It was a mantra running in a litany feedback loop like a musical earworm. "Diffractional patterns and complimentary diffractors are identical in the Fraunhofer limit." Robert H.Webb "Elementary Wave Optics P.149 sure to be part of the next pop quiz in class.
Those bright yellow feathers and that happy day when he was younger. He had gone shopping with his cousin Clara and the light in her hair had glowed in a faded gold way like that. The sky had been clean summer blue totally brilliant and he had not had any fears or worries. Clara had on this perky summer dress with yellow roses. She always took a black light with her to see what the fabric looked like under it she had explained in case she would want to wear whatever she wanted out clubbing. She also at that time and place been highly into magic, quoting to him from such books like The Woman's Encyclopedia of Magic or The Three Dangerous Magi. William stopped on the corner to check for traffic crossed to the other-side and deposited his danish wrapping paper into the trash can. So easy to rid oneself of litter, he didn't understand why it was so hard apparently for a lot of people to accomplish at least that simply task in an orderly sensible manner.
Clara swam back fondly into his thoughts as he processed towards the park. He remembered that day at age 15 his birthday just passed "that did he know the word ME came actually originated from the Babylonian and it meant mother wisdom and or the magic of fate?" He had been totally infatuated with her he being just 15 and she now a college girl in her freshman year, She also had had awesome boobs. He had blushed when she caught him looking at them, and they had collapsed laughing so. His brows knitted at this point remembering or trying to remember the perfume she had worn that day, it was always intoxicating to him. He tried to focus and not go all stiff in his pants about it, he had of course when he was 15. He had not been listening to her because he had been daydreaming and had nodded a response to something she had said..what was it..that memory almost came to the surface and then swam away like a fish. They had moved on he recalled into Aliester Crowley's theories about magic and chess that had sort of stuck with him and so had the dream he had had latter that night. He was in Alex Haley's book Root's- He had been Kunta in the dream and he lay on his mattress thinking about freedom it seemed the alarm the next morning never would go off. He was thankful it hadn't been a reoccurring dream going on for weeks and weeks afterwards. Still it had been vivid and stuck in long term memory. Perhaps it was because it was that he was white and Kunta was black, like opposite colors on a chessboard. Totally nonsense anyway he had reached the park. Clara and Gran had died that fall in a car accident.
William sat down in a semi hidden area and attempted to meditate, bump up the alpha brain waves and all that perhaps help the mantra running in his head. Maybe it would help with his test score, he certainly hoped so he needed a good grade. The sounds of a soccer game drifted towards him, he focused on his breathing. The intake of breath, the exhale of breath. He fought the urge to whistle either way and then collapse giggling. The wood seemed so quiet he didn't hear the birds or the soccer game anymore, nor did he hear the two 7ft tall robotic silver ant shaped humanoids that appeared behind him. For a moment they all were together in a group. Then they all vanished in a wink of light.
A grey squirrel burying a horse chestnut that was so lovely and brown saw the whole thing, its tail flicked and then it covered up the nut with black rich dirt and went off to find another somewhere to bury somewhere else.
---by Philip V Smith, 10/08/2011
William James & Purple Mark's Prompts:
- Quote1: "Babinet’s principle states that the diffractional patterns of complementary diffractors are identical in the Fraunhofer limit," Robert H Webb. Elementary Wave Optics. (Academic Press, New York, 1969) page 149.
- Addendum to Quote1: Fraunhofer diffraction
- Quote2: "Kunta lay on his mattress at night for weeks afterward thinking about freedom," Alex Hailey. ROOTS. (Dell Publishing Company, New York, 1976) page 297.
- Question: What skill/super power do you dream of knowing/possessing? [A super power] based on a random word precious artifact.
- Personal Statement: Purple Mark said that he used to go shopping with a blacklight
- Random Word: A Precious Artifact
- Word Conceptualizations: In the Babylonian language, the word Me was defined as “Mother Wisdom.” Furthermore, according to "The Encyclopedia of Women's Myths and Secrets,” the word Me also means the magic power of fate.
Also check out my new wordpress website. It's a literary journal called Randomly Accessed Poetics! Submissions are open. I will be publishing literary works, explicit language pieces, and eventually a journal a relative wrote in the late 1800's detailing their journey to Oregon on the Oregon Trail. And when I gather enough submitted works from other people, I will be cobbling together an e-anthology called Randomly Accessed Poetics.