Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Writing Wednesdays: The American Dreamer 1.5

This is the concluding post of The American Dreamer: Part One. If you've not read the previous five posts about this series, just click on the American Dreamer label at the bottom of this post and it'll give 'em all to you, or click here. As always, feedback's appreciated.

It was Thursday, December 14, 1882, when Hank Tasla awoke from his coma. No one was in the room with him at the time, so no one knows exactly how long he was awake before he emerged. It was early in the morning when he walked through his bedroom door and into the kitchen, where Mr. and Mrs. Tasla were quietly talking. Their talk ceased when the boy appeared. They tell me their conversation went like this.

“I know you’re not my parents,” he told them.

“Hank? You’re awake. You’re—” said Mrs. Tasla.

“I said that I know you all are not my parents. He told me the truth.”

“Hank, you’ve just had another one of your unusual dreams. We’re your mama and papa. Tell him, dear.”

“You’re mother’s right, Hank. You’ve been asleep for half a year. Your mind’s probably been running some, and you know how you dream.”

“He said that he found you in France, hired you to watch over me and report to him. And don’t tell me that it was a dream.” They told me that his voice grew angrier with each word.

“Who told you, sweetheart?”

“Dr. Tesla.”

I have to give them credit, if what they tell me is true. They kept up the ruse, never crumpling under the boy’s demands. The boy soon grew weary and went back to his room, dissatisfied and disappointed. The Tasla’s penned me a letter and sent it off within a span of a few minutes. Sadly, I was not at my residence when the letter arrived a fortnight later, and thus it went unopened until it was far too late.

They’re liars. They try to keep it a secret, but I can see it in their eyes. When I mentioned Tesla’s name they slightly winced, and I knew for certain that it was true. If this dream’s been true and revealing, then what does that mean about all the other ones I’ve had? I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, but I don’t think I can stay here very long. I’ll try to stay through the Dead Season, or as much of it as I can. I have to put down what Tesla told me, or I’ll likely forget it. He told me I was adopted by a family in France. He did some sort of experiment on me to keep me from dying, but then decided to have me watched once he arrived in America. I don’t know why he didn’t just keep me and observe me. I can’t remember the rest of the conversation because I woke up. It sounds strange, but I think I’m seeing parts of the future when I dream. Or maybe parts of different futures? As always, I’m uncertain.

Mr. Jonathon Tasla
I’d like to say that things improved for Hank, but they didn’t. Our relationship was different. We tried to persuade the boy that we were his parents, but he never believed us. I guess you must’ve convinced him. We still treated him like our son, even if he didn’t wish to be treated that way. Throughout the winter we tried to communicate with him, but he largely ignored us. Mostly he just stayed in his room. I think he was afraid to go outside. Afraid of the lies.

Mrs. Elizabeth Tasla
I know we were hired to observe Hank, but we grew to love him as our flesh and blood. I was pregnant when we came to Mt. Easter, but I lost the baby soon after. We were never able to have kids of our own after that, so we poured all our affection into Hank. After he learned the truth, well, it broke my heart. He no longer wanted us. I thought he’d be able to forgive us, but he never did. I don’t know if I can forgive myself. It was as if all our love was a lie to him, and it pained me. I tried to talk to him, to tell him the truth, but he was uninterested. He didn’t care about anything or anyone, not even Ella Thompson, and she was always his closest friend. I think deep down me and John always knew that he’d find out, but neither of us knew how hard we’d take it. Without a word of goodbye, he left in February of 1883.

I saw Hank twice after he woke up. I spent every day at his bedside until he was moved to his own home, and then my trips grew less frequent. He looked so peaceful while he slept, but I knew that he was probably dreaming, and so he probably wasn’t at peace. Hank would talk with me about his dreams before the attack, always telling me the things he’d see and how they made him feel. I think it was his openness with me that led me to fall in love with him. Sure, we were young, but can the young not love?
The first time I saw him I came to him. I stopped by the Tasla’s around New Year to see how Hank was doing and if he’d made any progress. I was surprised to find that he was awake and in his room. He seemed surprised to see me, but scared and uncertain, too. I didn’t stay too long, as he didn’t seem to want to talk. I didn’t go back to the house, either, though.
The second time was a cold morning near the end of January. Hank was rarely coming out of the house, but he came and found me on my way to school. “Ella, I really need to talk to you,” he told me. I was alone, so we headed off the road and into the woods, near our playing spot. He had a frantic look in his eyes, like he’d been staying up all night.
“I’m going to be leaving Mt. Easter soon. I have some things that I need to do.” Those were his exact words. I asked him what he was talking about, but he didn’t answer. I asked him if this was about his dreams, and he nodded, but continued talking. “I’m sorry I can’t tell you myself. I don’t have the time. When this is over, I’ll find you. I hope that you’ll wait for me.”
It was surprising. I didn’t expect him to be so straightforward, but he was. I promised him that I would wait for him, and then in an act of boldness, I kissed him on his cheek. For a second his eyes softened and he looked pained, but the mania soon returned. “I’ll find you, Ella. I don’t know when, but I will.” Then he ran off, quick as a deer, leaving me bewildered and elated. A few days later, he was gone, and that was the last I saw of Hank Tasla.

Well, that's the end of Part One, which was actually subtitled "Mt. Easter." Part Two is called "The Wandering Years," and I've started writing on it. Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this segment of Writing Wednesdays. Next week will bring a brand new story into the mix, and I promise you that you won't want to miss it. It's probably the most fun I've had writing something in a long time. Heck, as a teaser, I'll give you the title to it: The Absurdly Epic Tragedy of Oscambria. It's a fun one.


Crystal said...

Again, excellent work! I can't wait for "The Wandering Years" and "The Absurdly Epic Tragedy of Oscambria".

logankstewart said...

Once again, I say thank you Crystal. I'm glad you enjoyed my story. I hope I keep you entertained with the next one, too.

Krista said...

Awesome, Logan! Really good! I look forward to the next part for sure!

And the way you talk about "The Absurdly Epic Tragedy of Oscambria" makes me super excited to read it! YAY for writing Wednesdays!!!

logankstewart said...

Krista: I'm glad you enjoyed my story, and I hope you like "The Absurdly Epic Tragedy of Oscambria." I know I do.