Archive for August, 2013

Some people have no sense of humor.

The Land of Whimsy? Seriously? Granted I was having a conversation with a talking rabbit, but Land of Whimsy? Come on, who wouldn’t laugh at that?

They didn’t. They locked me in a cell, called it a “brig”. Whatever, it’s a cell.

This is a joke, some elaborate hoax. Or maybe I’m dreaming? But my head hurts too much, never had a dream where I’ve felt such pain.

Boom!

What is going on up there? Don’t they know I have a headache not even the world’s largest aspirin could get rid of? And this swaying? They must be having one heck of a party; hope they’re enjoying it, because I’m about ready to start blowing some chunks. But they’ll probably make me clean it, with Beauregard looming over me with his rumbling. Is he always growling or his he just hungry all the time? Who knows? One way or another I get the feeling if I had plumage he would eat me. Good thing I’m not a chicken, I wonder if Offrey is still alive?

So if this isn’t a dream…what…the heck…is going…on?

Bah-boom!

The ship lurches. As talented as I may be with a soccer ball, I still can’t fight gravity; steel bars dig into my face for a flash, and then promptly bounce me onto the floor. Ice blades, tailspin, fireballs. All the wondrous sensations of my concussion collide together in an amazing crescendo of pain I didn’t think possible.

It’s very dark, why is everything so dark?

Kackcow-kachoom!

My heart stops, the darkness fades away and the pain comes back. My chest feels as if someone was sitting on it; the smell of burnt wood fills the air.

Coughing and gagging, pushing myself up, blurry shapes turn into focus. The wind howls, is that the shouting of Koufax I hear?

Creaking metal greets my ear, the lock to the cage has been blown open. My skin and hair tingle as I look back. Shoving myself against the bars, taking in the jagged, smoldering hole in the side of The Dodger. Sky and cloud stream by.

I claw out of the cell, holding onto the bars for dear life; barrels and crates roll and clotter from side to side, threatening to crush me.

Twenty feet separates me from the stairs, but will I get a clear shot at it?

Sandy Koufax is dead.

I don’t understand, my confusion matches the incessant throbbing in my head.

“I’m not the Sandy Koufax, stranger.” Twirling his hat, he reveals a white B stitched into it; a Brooklyn Dodgers B. “Everyone knows Brooklyn is the real home of the Dodgers.” Sighing, he looks at the white B longingly. “Those were the days, back when they played in Ebbets Field.”

Ebbets Field? That was over fifty years ago! And Sandy…err the captain, looks like he’s only about ten years older than I am.

The crew and I wait while Sandy is lost in his daydream; but with the way he talks, he acts as if they are memories.

A guttural belch that rivals the record books breaks the silence; tailspin. I really need to stop whipping my head around. None of the crew members even bats an eyelash; what I fool I am, it’s only Beauregard.

“You’re quite right Beauregard, enough with the past, the present waits for us!” With a flourish, the Dodgers tri-corn hat flies from the captain’s hands and settles perfectly on his head. “All hands on deck! Bring the stranger with us.”

Sweaty and meaty hands grasp my shoulder, I somehow manage to struggle out before the iron vice of Beauregard’s hands clamp on fully, “I’m not going anywhere with you! All I know is that you’re a captain of this ship…thing, and that you go by a dead man’s name. I know who Sandy Koufax is…but who are you?”

“Speaks quite strongly for one who fell out of the sky.” Says a woman.

“Fell out of the—”

“Yes stranger, saw you falling out of sky, not far from here. Surprised you weren’t more than just a bloody mess considering you fell on the open plain. Unless you can jump real high, which I doubt; you did fall from the sky. The question should be then, how did you get here?” He looks me over, rubbing his clean-shaven chin, “You’re from Earth, maybe from Dallas, but none of that is important. I haven’t been able to travel to earth since the darkness has fallen…when was that? Thirty years ago?”

“aven’t ‘ad a decent meal since then. I tell you cap’n, you should send me up to the castle, I’d et’ the Raven.” Rumbles Beauregard.

 
 

Ravens and darkness, what are these people talking about?

An unfamiliar voice pops up, “Only he can defeat the Raven.”

“Well bless my dreams, Offrey, what brings you here?” The captain bows extravagantly to a diminutive figure in an oversized trenchcoat and old-style fedora; like a detective from a forties or fifties movie.

The coat floats…or hops, as if a specter resides within. A rabbit!? Its huge ears flop around as he bows towards me. “Off-White Rabbit at your service, but everyone calls me Offrey (Off-White Rabbit is far too lengthy and has too many syllables to be used in common discourse; Offrey sounds better nonetheless, though my dear old mother would roll in grave).”

He does have a tinge of some kind of color in his fur…but what exactly is it?

“I believe Koufax has done a poor job of explaining; I brought you here, with some of my cousin’s tricks. You are here to break the curse and bring peace and prosperity back once more to our land.”

“And what is this land?”

Gasps fill the air but the rabbit…err, Offrey remains as stoic as a stone. “Should we really be so surprised? We haven’t been able to regularly visit Earth since the Raven came to power. We are what you Earthlings call (quite disparaging I must admit) ‘fairy tale creatures’. This is the Sandman—”

“Don’t call me that!” Shouts the captain.

“Call him Koufax, not Sandy…please not Sandy, he thinks it makes him sound too much like a beach (What he has against beaches I hardly know, especially him being a sky pirate and all). Anyways what I mean to say is that you are in the land where us ‘fairy tales’ (blegh, that term again, oh how I hate saying it, it’s like taking a bite of a rotten carrot I tell you) live; you are in the Land of Whimsy.”

A tremulous tickling stirs in my belly, a terrible sensation I can’t fight.

Why did I run?

Convulsions spread across my body as the dry heaves arrive. The ice blades are gone, replaced with a warm fuzzy throbbing that fills my head and extends outward like a blanket.

Eyes slammed shut against the spinning vortex that has become my world, I barely notice a shadow falling over me and the iron-tight grip of my captors. I can’t fight, everything throbs, pain coming with ever pulse of my heart. More spinning, this must be what a top feels like, if a top was alive. So hard…so hard to think of anything.

“You need to stay still you are safe.” It’s the voice, the voice I heard telling me to sleep.

Forcing my eyes open, arms and legs flailing, yelling in desperation; I think I heard someone laugh. My vision shakes, the ground wobbles and shifts, but my captors stay surefooted. I realize it’s just me…concussion, remember?

 
 

Remember…Remember…the word floats in my mind as if it’s incapable of sticking anywhere with everything shaking like a car going off the side of the road.

Run…why did I run? The people…my captors…faintly does my recollection come back. They were odd, dressed like American colonials or…or like something from a Charles Dickens book. Weapons! Of course! Swords and funny-shaped guns, that’s why I ran.

And now they are taking me back.

Pooling all my strength I lash out, hoping I can get lucky and get a limb free. More laughing. I can’t blame them, helpless as a babe in their grasp, if only everything wasn’t spinning…I must look ridiculous.

“Can’t we just bonk ‘im on the ‘ead, captain?” An unfamiliar voice queries.

“That’s what bothering him you dolt. We may have to strap him to the bed though.” The captain chuckles.

Captain? The mysterious voice belonged to a captain? Captain of wh—whoa.

Steel propellers blind my eyes, they protruded from both sides of the ship while copper pipes gleam, interlaced throughout.

“I call her The Dodger.” The captain glowed with pride, although it could have been the reflections off the copper pipes. But wait was he talking to me? He nods he head, “Set him on his feet, I don’t think he’ll run. Gentle now Beauregard.”

Nausea hits me like a wave, but I am still able to stand, my hand firm upon Beauregard’s chest; rumbling. I check his face, yep, he’s growling.

“Stop acting like an overgrown pooch now Beauregard, show some courtesy to our oddly-dressed friend.”

I’m wearing my F.C. Dallas jersey, complete with soccer shorts, socks, and cleats. What’s so odd about that?

“What’s your name strange man?”

“Pedro Alvarez Cooper.”

“What sort of name is that?” A woman asks.

“A name’s a name, we don’t judge here on The Dodger now do we?” Taking his navy blue tri-corn hat the captain swept it in a great flourishing salutation. “The name is Koufax, Sandy Koufax.”

This will be my first foray into flash fiction, and I will try posting a new story every Wednesday. The story will be a series and it is meant to be odd but humorous. Hope you all enjoy.

 

Concussed

Icy blades jabbed over and over, world spinning, a dull throbbing throughout.

Concussion.

I felt this once before, after taking an elbow to the head in a game. It was an accident, but that didn’t make it feel any better.

My eyes flutter open; I halfway expect to see my coach and teammates standing over me. But that was then, this is…this is…what happened?

My heart pounded in my chest, the smell of freshly cut grass filled my nostrils, the sun warming on a cool autumn day. I was playing soccer with my friends.

Pain screeched through my head like lines of lightning, disrupting my thoughts. Where was I? Oh yes, soccer.

The defender was left in the dust, my footwork as dazzling as Pele’s. The goalie hunkered down, no shots were getting past him this day. But I was determined to score; I might be a benchie on the basketball team, but once those muddy cleats were on, it was a whole different story.

My muscles strained to push the blob of flesh that was my body upright; only for my head to be sent into a tailspin of sickening vertigo. That’s right, I could look forward to the dry heaves in about an hour or two…great.

I compose myself; why hadn’t anyone come to check on me? My mind went back to the soccer field, all my friends watch what should have been a moment of glory; a time frozen in place that they would look back to and say “I remember the day when…” But there was the hole.

Ice blades. Ice blades. Ice blades. Tailspin. Is this what my great-grandfather felt when he was shot down by the Nazi’s?

The hole; I had forgotten about the hole. The last few seconds leading up to the concussion were always a little fuzzy. Granted I had only been concussed twice, but both times I couldn’t remember right away; so I guess that counts as always.

Nails on a chalkboard, my spine tingled as the two-man team of ice and nails went to work. Nine months straight of lightheadedness, that’s what I get to look forward to…L-U-C-K-Y-M-E.

The hole had just appeared so suddenly, how had I missed it before? I dribbled to the right, making sure I wouldn’t twist my bad ankle again. The hole grew bigger, impossibly, but it did. I couldn’t stop in time, not even if my feet had been concreted to the ground. Down, down, down, I went; the dark pressed around me…and then…and then…

Dark, boy did that sound nice right now. Dark meant sleep, and man did I ever feel like sleeping. No, no, no; panic races through my mind, teeth grind sickeningly as a new wave of ice blades rolls over. Can’t…sleep…you don’t do that with a concussion, a coma could be a death sentence. No more goals, no more corner kicks, no chance to play for F.C. Dallas or Man U. or Real Madrid.

Sleep…sleep…was that me or someone else? “Must…stay…awake…” I try to fortify my spirit but the shadows rush in.

“Ssssslllllleeeeeeeep”

That wasn’t me, I’m think I’m going to die.