Friday, October 19, 2012

More Than Anything (A Story for Halloween)

A few lines down, you’ll find my (fiction) Halloween story, “More Than Anything.” It’s an appropriate title for more than one reason, because – more than anything – I would love to see this lying, arrogant White House gang defeated on Election Day. Reports have come to light indicating that we had a Predator drone overflying the Libyan embassy during the carnage, thus providing live, real-time video – but Mr. Obama and his crew claim to know nothing about the circumstances until the “investigation” concludes. In the meantime, desperate for votes, Obama obviously hid behind a woman’s skirts and instructed Hillary Clinton to take the fall regarding the embassy massacre. Frankly, I’m betting that the Clintons despise this President more than the plague itself – but in politics strange bedfellows are made, yes? Nevertheless, for all the lies and all the trauma Obama has caused this nation, the one particularly unforgiveable action he has taken time and again is to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood, whose organization is working as fast as possible to reinitiate radical Islamic law – Sharia – throughout the Middle East.  Can you say Caliphate? This dangerous turn of events will put the United States in danger’s path for years to come. These lying frauds in the White House must go away quickly. How can patriotic Democrats concerned about the future support this bunch in any way, now that we know about a plethora of outrageous actions and lies? Sometime AFTER the elections, the legal fur may fly over both Libya and “Fast and Furious” (which, make no mistake, was an Obama-Era project).

NO PLANE RIDE FOR GARY MCKINNON? Looks as though England made the final decision and will not extradite computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the USA for trial. You will recall that he hacked U.S. government Web sites, claiming to be searching for UFO evidence – and believes he discovered some interesting material at a NASA Web page. As my previous blog entries stated, I’d rather my government concentrate on bigger fish, and maybe they need to hire this guy, since he’s obviously smarter than government folk entrusted to protecting sensitive material from said hackers. Then again, I’m rather disappointed that he won’t be here because I could go absolutely bonkers over a – we could hope – public trial which might induce officials to legally release UFO information through no choice of their own. Of course, we all know better, because any such revelations would be squashed, maybe even Behind Closed Doors of government legal proceedings. Anyway – have a nice life, Gary McKinnon, you sure showed ‘em, I guess. And, for the record, if my government’s on that warpath, I’d much prefer they pursue that little wussie, Julian Assange, and grab that insect with the best high-tech tweezers available. Now. . .on to some really bad fiction below . . .at your own risk. . .

More Than Anything

(Fiction) by Robert Barrow

(copyright 2012)

Strong winds nipped teasingly at the town's outermost edge, but the worst part of the whole storm was the fierce velocity of a driving, relentless rain, almost horizontal in direction. So loudly did unrestrained late evening raindrops pelt their front door that Ken and Patricia were, at first, unaware of the knocking sounds.

"What is that noise?" asked Patricia, nervously gulping down the last of her coffee.

"Prob'ly just the rain," replied her husband. Their childless marriage had almost reached the 20 year mark, and during that time Ken had learned that an occasional "prob'ly" was enough to deter his wife's questions. Not this time, however.

Then they both heard the sounds, and realized that some person bravely enduring the pounding watery deluge waited just outside of the warm, dry and inviting living room. Patricia started to rise, but Ken motioned for her to remain seated as he left the table to explore further.

Carefully opening the chain-bolted door after turning on an exterior light, Ken peered out into a moderately lighted rain-driven world to behold what appeared an adult woman and male child, likely drenched to the bone through their clothing. Unchaining the door, he beckoned them inside.

Patricia got up from the dining room table and entered the living room, curious about Ken opening the door on such a stormy night. She arrived just in time to watch the entrance of an old woman covered in dark clothing and an unrevealing black scarf over her head, and stepping in behind her was a thin young boy of perhaps 12 years, long strands of black hair dripping with rain as his dark pants and shirt shivered in tune with his chilled body.

"Good lord," announced Ken, shutting the door behind them, "this is no night fit for anybody to be outside! Are you two okay?"

The old woman nodded, keeping her head low. "We. . .we had an accident," she explained with something of an Eastern European accent. "At the bottom of the hill. I. . . called friends to come and pick us up, and since the car is stuck in mud, they will pull it out. It may take a few hours for them to come here."

"Oh," sympathized Patricia, "you poor things. Why don't you stay here until your friends arrive? Dry off and warm up a bit."

"Thank you," replied the woman, looking at the child for a moment, then looking back to the floor, "but I must stay with the car. But. . .I wonder. . ."

"Just ask," Ken encouraged, "we're happy to help."

"You're very kind," responded the woman. "I wonder if my grandson, Ilyich, may remain with you until the early morning, when my friends are sure to have rescued our automobile from this terrible night."

Ken and Patricia looked at one another and then nodded in agreement. "Certainly," assured Patricia, "it will be our pleasure, and we have a spare bedroom all ready for him. Are you sure you won't stay with us?"

"Oh, thank you so much -- but no, I really must go back to the car. Our luggage and personal items. . ."

"But grandmother," protested the boy, his voice also flavored with a slight accent, "they won't understand -- they won't let me. . ." His grandmother shot him a look of disapproval.

"Oh, nonsense," countered Ken. "We'll do everything we can to make you comfortable here, Ilya."

"Ilyich. My name is Ilyich," corrected the boy.

"Of course. Well, in any event, Mrs. . .or Miss. . .Ms?" The woman did not offer a name.

"Thank you. I will return in the morning," she said, kissing her grandson on the forehead and quickly exiting the house. Patricia ran to the door, hoping to convince the determined woman to remain, but seemingly in the wink of an eye she had disappeared.

The couple turned their attention back to the boy, leading him to the spare bedroom and a couple of bath towels to soak up the evening's rain.

"There," said Patricia, soaking up the last of numerous raindrops from the boy's face, "That's better, isn't it?" The boy nodded in silence, his facial expression stoic and his head drooping. "Would you -- here we are -- would you like to change into these pajamas? They're my husband's, so they might be a bit roomy. . ."

"No, I am okay like this," replied the boy, his clothes obviously soaked through.

"Well, I'll leave these with you, just in case you change your mind." Ilyich said nothing.

"Are you tired? You can climb into this bed and get some rest if you like," suggested Patricia.

"No, I am not tired. I often stay up late at night and do things."

Patricia looked at her watch, surprised to find the time already advanced to nearly midnight. "Oh? What do you like to do?"

Ilyich at last showed a little emotion, a faint smile curling across his lips as he raised his head. "I love to draw," he said. "I'm exceptional at it, my grandmother says."

"Oh, how lovely, Ilyich! I love to draw, too. What do you like to draw?

Ilyich considered the question, then spoke softly. "I always draw from. . .real life. . .people."

"Portraits?" Patricia inquired enthusiastically. She was thrilled to meet a young person with interests similar to hers.

"I just draw."

"Marvelous! Ilyich. if you really aren't tired, please, come with me to our den downstairs and show me what you can do."


"Yes, yes. My husband will be so happy to know you share our appreciation for art. Follow me."

Ilyich obediently trailed Patricia as she descended the staircase.

"Pat, you have a shadow behind you," Ken said, feeling particularly clever.

"Oh Ken, this is so wonderful -- Ilyich loves to draw, and he's going to honor us with a sample of his work."

"But it's late. Shouldn't he be sleeping?"

"What's an extra few minutes, Ken? He'll be fine."

"Well, okay -- but I'm going to bed, so you two can explore the art world without me, if you don't mind," Ken said with a yawn. "Do you really enjoy drawing, Ilya?"

"ILYICH!" the boy responded, emphasizing the correction forcefully this time.

"Sorry," squeaked Ken, startled by the boy's brief outburst.

"I do enjoy drawing," Ilyich added. "More than anything."

"Okay, well, goodnight, and we'll hope for an early return of your grandmother in the morning." Ken flashed Patricia a brief facial expression one could only interpret as "What the. . .?" and then he turned and headed for an upstairs bedroom. The door closed.

"Yes, well, come in here, Ilyich," beckoned Patricia as she entered the den. Ilyich was amazed to see all manner of charcoal pencils, paints, brushes and a wealth of artist's paraphernalia. "As you can see, I spend a lot of time in here. I've done a lot of paintings and pencil drawings -- I've even sold a few of them at local art shows. Not that I'm anybody with any special talent. I just like to paint and draw."

"I love to draw, too," assured Ilyich.

"And I must see a sample of your work, right now," she responded, grabbing a sheet of paper and charcoal pencils of varying kinds. She placed them on a table and invited Ilyich to be seated. Instead, the boy looked up at her face, puzzled. "What is it? Is something wrong?"

Ilyich returned his gaze to the pencils, now lined up neatly on the table. "These? I cannot draw with these," he said, shaking his head.

"But -- oh, maybe charcoal isn't your forte?" Patricia assumed.

"These. . .they're all wrong. I cannot use."

"Well," she began, considering the strangeness of the boy standing before her," maybe you. . .maybe you prefer. . .hmm. . .let me see. . .oh, how about these?" From a top shelf Patricia selected a few colored marking pens and attempted to hand them to Ilyich, but he wouldn't budge. "Here, take them."

This time the boy shot Patricia an impatient glance and raised his voice. "All wrong, CANNOT use."

"But -- but I thought you liked to draw?" Would you prefer painting instead? Or crayons? Colored pencils?

"No. I love to draw. Not with those. I cannot!" Ilyich shouted.

Exasperated, Patricia threw up her hands, inadvertently sending marking pens flying in all directions. "Alright, Ilyich. You're probably tired. We'll give up on the artistry tonight -- maybe you'd rather just go to bed."

"Yes," he replied, calming himself, "that would be best."

Patricia put the boy to bed upstairs and retreated to her own bedroom, down just one room from her sleeping husband. She could still hear the rain smacking into the home's exterior surface, though the storm's intensity had begun to subside dramatically. Tired from emotionally sparring with Ilyich, Patricia collapsed onto the bed and promptly fell asleep, having not even bothered to change into her sleeping attire.

o o

Neither Ken nor Patricia woke up as the three o'clock hour approached, perhaps soothed in their rest by sounds of the now gently falling rain. They didn't hear the footsteps as Ilyich made his way throughout the house in near darkness. Strangely, the paucity of light hardly mattered to Ilyich, who seemed driven to locate something, something previously unmentioned to or by his kind hosts. From room to room he progressed, looking, searching, wanting. Until he found exactly what he longed for. A whisper barely rolled from his lips as he mouthed the words: "I love to draw. I so love to draw."

o o

As a morning without rain finally arrived, the sun hadn't even climbed over the eastern horizon when a seasoned, beat-up black sedan driven by the old woman, accompanied by grandson Ilyich, drove slowly away on a sleepy vacant highway. One would hardly recognize Ilyich, whose formerly gloomy and downcast persona had been replaced by emotions of joy and laughter. Perhaps his change from newly drenched clothing to dry garments brightened him. The old woman merely sighed in contentment. "Those people -- they did bid you welcome and were good to you?"

"Yes, grandmother," Ilyich replied, "I do not think they understood me well -- but everything worked out before I left. They did know that I love to draw, and the woman seemed to be familiar with drawing in her own way. Not like me."

"That is good, Ilyich. So many people we find who like what you love in their own way. Do not worry, grandson, we will find more, many more."

"It is to be hoped," said Ilyich, folding his arms as he stared out the window. "What a country is this."

"Maybe it is true -- that you can become anything in the United States if you work at it," advised his grandmother with a smile. “You could even be president. If only your parents could have lived to see this.”

Ilyich scowled for a moment, but then laughed and closed his eyes, basking in sweet reminiscence of the hospitality shown him by the kind, accommodating couple.

o o

It wasn't until late afternoon when Ken and Patricia's driveway filled with law enforcement vehicles and ambulances. Neither had reported for work, and concerned employers, phoning unsuccessfully, at last visited the home to determine the reason. Authorities were summoned immediately when blood stains became evident as the door, left ajar, was pushed open further.

"Oh, wow," exclaimed a forensics technician, carefully entering the house to avoid the destruction of evidence. "Look at this place!"

"That's nothing," promised a sheriff's deputy near the stairway. "Wait until you go up there." He pointed to the top of the stairs. "Blood everywhere, looks like an explosion at a pasta sauce factory."

"What the hell happened here?" asked the almost incredulous technician.

The deputy shook his head. "Don't know yet, no suspects, several knives used -- apparently taken from the kitchen. No valuables or cash missing, so far. We don't even know how many were in on the murders yet. Possibly one, seems to have taken a shower, but for one person to do all of this. . ."

"Yeah. Well, I guess I'd better get to work. Good lord, what kind of maniac could create this much brutality?!"

"It's almost beyond belief," said the deputy. "Whoever displayed the depraved ability to cut other humans up like dog meat obviously has a penchant for this kind of behavior. But one thing's for sure."


“Somebody sure loved to draw blood."

"I guess they'd have to," said the forensics tech, shaking his head as he carefully ascended the staircase, "damned shame though.”

-- END --