It was one of those games that he so often played on us.
Each of us given a sheet of paper.
On it, instructions: Go to the airport,
Buy a ticket and a Coke.
Wait at the terminal until 12:00, noon.
Knowing that Jack’s shenanigans
Were always better to have been a part of, than to hear about,
I so willingly left for the airport,
For I wanted to be a part of the stories he will surely tell.
As it was getting closer to the bewitching hour,
I bought a Coke first.
Not knowing what type of ticket to purchase; however,
I doled out money for a ticket to ride
On one of those jumbo-jets,
You know the type…
Two levels and a smile with teeth painted on it’s nose.
I was so excited about this adventure,
I forgot to ask the lady at the desk to where this jet goes.
All I knew was that this was going to be a pleasureable,
if not a different way to go about my normal routine on a weekend.
Noontime came and with a blink of my eyes,
a peculiar, large, carefully constructed box,
covered in Christmas wrapping was wheeled out.
This was undeniablly, the most outrageous display Jack concocted!
Joe got up and turned the crank on the side of the box,
Renee stood up and began to sing,
“I saw grandma kissing Santa Claus”,
Then from his seat, Glenn began to play the kazoo,
When all of the sudden, the lid flew off,
there were cracking noises and whistle sounds –
out popped Howdy Doody!
Immediately, all of those who knew Jack,
in unison, barked out a healthy roar of laughter,
which then quieted so you could hear a pin drop,
when Howdy spoke like a courier of the court,
announcing our next task.
We were told that there is force in numbers, so we each
counted off from one to twelve.
“Number one, this is your job”
and the courier whispered it in Brenda’s ear.
This went on until all twelve of us were told
whatever was whispered.
Then, Glenn sounded his kazoo and we all dispersed.
I wasn’t very certain as to what Jack wanted me to do,
his description was a conundrum, as I suspect
the other eleven also had to unravel
the mysteries of Jack’s game plan.
Howdy simply said, “Does a bear shit in the woods?”
This was what I had to go on, this was the kind of stuff
from a recurring dream or of a melted memory.
I needed to sit a while to ponder this
before setting out to find more clues.
What transpired next is that of a faerytale or
it happened to be a sheer coincidence,
but there it was. taller than tall can be,
a BEAR was standing at the top of the escalator!
But what did this mean?
Fear left my body as I leapt to my feet,
no sooner had I stood up, I was standing next to that bear.
There was smoke all around us, he was having a cigarette.
I quickly pointed out to him that he could not smoke in the airport,
besides, “Don’t you know that is how forest fires start?”
All of that thick smoke was surrounding us,
and he was gone before I knew it… just like that.
By now, the time on the clock read 12:51,
I had to get moving to catch my ride in the sky.
Fourteen minutes into the flight,
I could see the earth below and spelled out in a wheat field
I could read, ‘underground creations’.
Unsure of what this meant, I wrote it down on the napkin for my drink,
stuffed it in my pocket and went to sleep.
I awoke to loud engines thumping,
it was time to land, but where I was at
I didn’t comprehend.
After disembarking, I was met by a man with a sign.
All it said was, “Jack”, so I followed him to a van outside.
The windows were darkened, so I could not see
where I was headed, so I asked the driver, but all he said was,
“My instructions are strict, so please do not ask, all I can tell you
is that I embody your past. Relax, get a drink from the bar
and enjoy this music.” promptly he put in a cassette.
It was ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, sung by the Harlem Boys Choir.
I thought it was strange, but I did admire their voices so pure,
so in tuned with the notes, I must have dozed off until I felt the van jolt.
How is this possible? Is this part of the game?
For what stood before me, I couldn’t believe or explain…
Eight swans, two French hens… “What’s going on here?”,
I did not understand the relationship
these animals had to me, or the game,
but there I was in the middle of who knows where
and what was coming next would simply blow my mind!
I attempted to question each passer-by,
but my voice left my throat over Cleveland somewhere.
All I could do was to imagine an ending, this game was beginning
to crawl beneath my skin like a parasite wandering.
The next thing I knew, I was awakening.
In a full sweat I rolled off my bed, thinking,
‘what were those things that danced in my head?,
I’ve been here before, this isn’t feasible’,
but the image’s resonance was all that I had,
then I heard mom saying, “Come down here sleepyhead!
Don’t you want to see what Santa brought you?”
By now you have guessed that I’m an incurable dreamer.
At twelve years of age, I was still quite the believer
although uncommonly noticed or talked about then,
I’ll bet you dream of such things, too, you just don’t remember when!
-Denise, December 4, 2010-
Written for The Muse is IN Writing Club
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