Note: Dale Innis’s “Meaties” is the original story from which this attempts to build. And like everything else under the sun, this attempt is really a continuation of a continuation of a continuation…. (I’ve heard it said that somehow every story premise can trace its roots back in some form or another to Shakespeare…or Spiderman. I have no reason to doubt this. Personally, I like the friendly neighborhood web-slinger.)
Kennedy’s hands – with freshly painted purple lacquered nails – reached for the window that was across from her bed. When her fingers made contact with the sill and she leaned forward just enough, Kennedy tumbled.
She fell through the black night outside of her bedroom window to some place with a waning afternoon sky. She blinked rapidly to adjust her vision and clearly saw her arms and legs clawing and kicking at the air. She wanted to scream, but couldn’t. She wanted to focus, but didn’t. Instead, she plummetted through a cloud farm of multicolored stars and somehow managed to avoid impaling her body with the stinging knives of the air that surely must have sliced through her. She felt only mounting panic and watched helplessly as the pants and camisole of her favorite cotton lounging pajamas flapped noiselessly against the wind.
Surprisingly, Kennedy’s newly acquired helmet-hair barely moved. Or was it a mullet? For a split second, this distinction greatly amused her. She snorted and then was distracted again. “Oh,” she said with delight to no one in particular, since she was the only one falling like a rock through the sky, “pretty sunset.” She smiled as the firery red droplet spread wings across the horizon and swooped into the cloud farm with a dissolve.
And then with a soundless thud, Kennedy splattered onto the ground.
“WTF WTMFF MF,” grumbled a grizzly looking dragon, with fluttering eyelashes, a grenade strapped onto a talon, a lollipop clutched in another claw, and a briefly present transparent bubble hovering over his head that identified him as Flowering Heaven. With utter disdain, Flowering Heaven glared at Kennedy’s helmet head or mullet…depending on your personal aesthetic. And, after several seconds of dissecting Kennedy’s cranium, spoke.
“You, um, might want to move, Newt,” he growled, quite ignoring the fact that he had whispered her there from her window to the very spot he stood, forcing her to land right on top of him. In her window, she had seen the invitation to Whisper In that Flowering Heaven had sent. And not knowing what she was looking at or how it got there or what she was doing or why he called her Newt, she had accepted. And she had fallen.
Kennedy climbed to her feet – amazingly quite unharmed (unless you consider a mullet to be grievous harm, and Kennedy quite did) – and tried not to stare at Flowering Heaven. But, well, yeah, she stared anyway. And so they stared for several moments, evaluating or something, and Kennedy generally ignored his muttered and freeflowing stream of acronynms until he managed a somewhat more recognizeable thought: “You want wings?” Flowering Heaven tilted his scaly head and pointed with what must have been foot-long eyelashes to a free-standing pair of softly blinging wings. “Frolic and play,” Flowering Heaven growled. And then as an afterthought added, “MF.” He looked at Kennedy and slightly smiled as best as a grizzly dragon could smile.
“Frolic and play,” Kennedy whispered. She walked up to the wings. Her eyes swam over each delicate, flapping, softly-blinging curve, over every line of glowing color. She gasped at their beauty. And wondered…if she wore these…could she forget. Push aside or fill the hollowness that had arrived after her mother’s death. With one hand feathering the wings, she turned and looked at Flowering Heaven who was drowning in his own stream of profane acronyms. He stood with a marshmellow being, a warrior elf, a unicorn with a kitten on its back, an aristocrat, a diving bat, and a few suburbanites. They were all highly animated and made floating particles appear and race in tight circles until they climbed into a mountainous tornado of color. They laughed and made rude noises.
And Kennedy wondered why they had Whispered In. Just because they could? Or just because they needed to? Or both? To find something? To address something? To move past a deep sorrow, which for Kennedy had been the death of a loved one? Something more subtle, less dramatic? To move past the cog in the wheel of 24/7? To be reborn? They laughed louder. Kennedy had to softly smile. A stream of antics flowed around them…such wonderful childlike play. The group sensed Kennedy’s study of them, and their joyful play quieted a bit. She smiled sadly, realizing her mindset had been journeying through a different place. Or maybe it wasn’t a place different than theirs. She didn’t know. But she could tell the Whys were, um, noticeably unspoken… hers and most decidedly, their own.
Kennedy thought maybe Flowering Heaven might reveal, oddly enough…if Kennedy peppered the conversation with enough MFs, the dragon just might. But she wasn’t sure. And it wasn’t hers to pursue. It was only hers to figure out how to be…in her own being. In a place of so many wonders and so many unspoken norms and so many unseen boundaries of thought…which is bound to happen with even one person in the room, and definitely when there is more than one person around. As she slowly put on the blinging wings (an act which was met with namecalling by some and indifference by others), Kennedy steadied her insides. She only hoped she could whirl her mind into a colorful tornado that constantly spun itself into an indisputable thing of wonder. And she did so wonder in awe like a child at the mesmerizing towering delight that climbed into the cloud farm, beyond the stars, and … my…
…reached the edge of its swirling whirlpool to the lips of an infinite number of windows. Alit with recognizeable human names. And recognizable tales of Why lightly etching and revising themselves over and over again, across each pane.