WHAT IT IS
While Smith put a few small pieces of oak in the fireplace to diminish the dampness in the cabin, Graham supervised the breakfast taking shape in the kitchen. Pleased with the aroma of fresh coffee and the sizzling sounds of slow frying bacon, Graham was just about to call out to Smith when the glass coffee pot exploded, the frying pan caught on fire and the toaster shorted out plunging the cabin into total electrical failure and the eerie silence that accompanies it. When the cursing and yelling subsided and the reparations began, Graham’s phone sprang to life with calls from the six other men who were supposed to join them at the cabin.
Johnson and Williams were waylaid outside Ellwood City in the motel parking lot after their car tires were punctured by a bearded dragon while they slept. Jones and Brown were delayed at a gas station on Hwy. 90 when Brown was pumping fuel into the car and a couple of humongous June bugs dropped from the station’s overhang and landed on his neck before slithering beneath his shirt. Stomping and hopping about, slapping himself silly, he dropped the hose causing gas to spill all over the ground. A passing motorist tossed a cigarette butt out his window sending the whole shooting match up in flames. They’d be at the cabin in a couple of days. Still in Canada, Miller and Davis were on the 400 when their car’s radio signal started flipping from FM to AM and the selection dial jumped randomly from station to station. After a few minutes of this, all the electronics went haywire, headlights flashing, wipers going back and forth, seat warmers malfunctioning to the point where their hot asses had to abandon the vehicle and they began walking down the highway. If they saw Leo the teddy bear scurrying across the highway, they did not mention it to one another. They’d be at the cabin in a couple of days.
Graham looked out over Lake Springfield; these delays would postpone but not extinguish INSECTS’s plans for Plot 82.
WHAT IT IS NOT
His favorite time to come was in the evening, after the work was done and the bustle of the late day meal was over. Once at the water’s edge, Adnan would sit on his haunches for hours looking out over the water, hoping to see him again. In the sixteen hard years he endured on this earth, this was the only white man that saw Adnan, although thousands of European tourists traipsed all over Goa and his village every year, none took an interest in the likes of him.
Adnan saw this man emerge from the water, guided by a small horse. They walked in circles around him and spoke in a language unfamiliar to him but a language Adnan instantly understood as if he had spoken it his entire life. The words found refuge in Adnan’s mind; their meaning gave him an unreliable hope although the concepts behind the words were foreign to his thinking. This burden walked beside Adnan throughout his life; he could share it with no one. In his daily pilgrimage to the water, he dreamt of again seeing this man but by the end of his sixteenth year he remained disappointed.