Flying like the mist
unseen way the Soul appears
As if asleep, Flowering Heaven stood frozen in place under a smoldering, yet scorchless sun. Only the white vapors that streamed out of his nostrils belied the lifelessness in his granite stance. “About time,” he grunted suddenly. Then added, “MF,” as if the acronym were a punctuation mark to close every sentence.
After several seconds of immobility, he gently released his form and fluttered his ridiculously, yet somehow charmingly, long eyelashes upward.
When the pizza-delivery catapulted out of Flowering Heaven’s window that was perched in the stratosphere, the extra-large cardboard box flung grease across his continually etching story (which, at the moment, suggested something along the lines of being hungry). It smeared over a few adjectives and nouns, taking out several verbs before hurtling through the color-changing lights of the tornado that had been conjured by the dragon and the others. It landed with a thud, flipped its lid, and exposed extra-large contents of oily cheese, tomato sauce, black olives, mushrooms, and super-sized and spicey hot sausage.
The entire event – complex and completed within seconds – had the after-effect of brightening and glossing the tornado’s multicolors. But, the edges of Kennedy’s being sensed something else. Something she couldn’t articulate at the moment. So, Kennedy’s eyes and mind took a deep breath before taking in the rest. She removed her view from the pizza – even though she suddenly felt ravenous – and returned her focus almost exclusively to the mysterious tornado, where her thoughts lerched a bit. The thing was puzzling…and somehow… She couldn’t put her finger on it, but somehow the whirlpool of light was less a thing of random, less a thing of childlike play…somehow more a force of will…somehow intentionally nascent.
“Oh bother,” the aristocrat complained as if reading Kennedy’s mind, and immediately tapped the ashes of her cigarette over the ground, narrowly missing the extra crispy crust.
A befuddled smirk crept along Kennedy’s lips as she briefly pulled her view away from the tornado to watch the aristocrat fuss and huff and flick ashes. Life was messy, it appeared, at any station, in any world. But of greater interest to Kennedy was this: had the tightly-buttoned well-to-do read her mind? Kennedy squinted and peered at the aristocrat’s eye behind the monocle. No, she decided, those aren’t the same eyes that had been in my window.
“Firstly,” the aristocrat rejoined herself with great flourish, “oh bother. Indeed.” She twitched more ashes onto the ground, taking care to avoid the hem of her silk trousers but recklessly aiming the spent waste around the extra large carton of grease. “Secondly,” the aristocrat announced a bit more officially, “BLEH!” and turned up her nose. She then turned on her heels and walked stiffly off, trailing cigarette ashes, which immediately popped into scrawling random patterns before morphing into a flock of hummingbirds.
Kennedy smiled at the flittering hummingbirds. Flowering Heaven surrendered nary a blink but instead pierced several pizza slices with a talon. Kennedy gasped now at the hummingbirds suddenly twisting with what looked like agony in the air. Flowering Heaven offered nary a sigh but instead tore through the pizza as if breathing. He was quite animated in his moment, oblivious, consumed, consuming. Kennedy froze in her moment and was equally oblivious. To everything and everyone…save something she couldn’t quite articulate but that comforted her greatly because it felt so very natural, even in the midst of this strange series of events. And so she held that gentle mist in her mind, as it filled her and encompassed every part of her being, while she returned to focus on what she could see was immediately and uncomfortably in front of her. This perplexing trio. The tornado. The aristrocrat. The hummingbirds, each of which had morphed into something hard and dull and jagged. They were empty of song and entirely motionless were it not for a strand of wisping, grey light that had spun itself away from the base of the tornado to circle and cage around the birds, binding them and aspirating out their essence. From one flock of hummingbirds to another and another, to wherever the aristocrat’s cigarette ashes fell, the grey light spun, encircled, caged, and rendered the birds’ happy flight to soulless mud. Kennedy watched in horror, speechless, as the grey strand arced and looped around full-circle to the heels of the aristocrat. In the middle of yet another flick, the aristocrat’s body froze. The cigarette ashes hung suspended in mid-air. Her silk trousers crushed together. Her limbs buckled underneathe. Her jabot twisted itself around her neck into a tourniquet. Her monocle burst. All thought, all knowing, all feeling stopped for the aristocrat, who was tightly bound by an encompassing greyness, sameness that was far from static but for some reason, for some purpose seemed to have focused solely on her.
Flowering Heaven belched. He pulled his massive head back before jutting it forward, aiming a thick stream of fire from his mouth to the now-empty pizza box. After the container disappeared and was no more, Flowering Heaven glanced sleepily at Kennedy. “What is truth or reality but perception,” a familiar voice said. A voice that didn’t appear to be coming from Flowering Heaven. Such a murmur would have been uncharacteristically gentle coming from the dragon, who yawned absentmindedly before curling around himself on the ground near the spinning wind mass.
“Careful what you think, Newt,” Flowering Heaven grunted and snarled. Clearly, this was the dragon speaking. “Sometimes… Sometimes, you get what you think.” He paused and winked. “MF,” he growled lazily.
Kennedy thought this was the most atonishing moment ever. She blinked at Flowering Heaven, who began snoring. Kennedy looked around frantically. No one was alarmed. Though the diving bat, the suburbanites, the unicorn with the kitten on its back…all seemed to be moving a bit cautiously around the aristocrat. Was she harmed standing there frozen like a stature? Was she even there? With some alarm, Kennedy studied the tornado. Did it really do that, she wondered? And why did this thought have power and access – whatever the specifics of it was – where none others did of all the other thoughts the aristocrat had? Kennedy craned her neck and searched the stratosphere for the aristocrat’s window, avidly hunting down her continually revising story along her unique window pane, hoping to find a pattern, an answer. Did she fear something? Did she intend to be a stick in the mud in that moment? If so, Kennedy looked at the grey statue again. Isn’t that exactly what she had become…
Then something higher, more powerful broke through and penetrated Kennedy’s mind. Beyond the immediate stillness, she saw a flickering mist. She felt a glow that rolled slowly, deeply within her being, that immediately captured all of her senses. She concentrated her mind around the quiet light and with astonishment, Kennedy thought she saw…a familiar face. A familiar set of bright eyes.
Kennedy sat frozen in place. Yes, she thought…but no, she didn’t think. No. She was certain. She knew. This thought had power and access. This thought was made manifest.
She had seen him. Glowing like the sun. Just as clearly, just as brightly as he had seen her.