Participatory Storytelling Kes and Re, ED 677

Clinging tenuously to the improvised ladder, Re applied the last residue of paint to the dilapidated facade.

She climbed down and stepped back to survey her handiwork. Satisfied, the places her heart peaked through were well covered.

In sincere hope of covering years of grime deposited by life in an ever forward relentless march toward the end of time known to us.

Re gathered her tools and trudged down the sidewalk, tears glistening in her eyes, towards the next stop to erase parts of her past.

It wouldn’t be easy. Her past was filmy and opaque, even for her.

And then there was the matter of Kes--and the documents. She paused for a moment, reached into her right pocket and grabbed a tissue. Instead of the tissue, she pulled out a crinkly note. She felt the edges slide through her fingers as she attempted to smooth the folds in an attempt to make sense of the ink on paper.

She could barely make out the address written there so many years before.

She put it back into her pocket as her Uber ride arrived. Hopping in, she tried to hide any emotion on her face to no avail.

The driver studied her troubled face thru the rearview mirror.
“Where are you headed?”

Re hesitated, reconsidering her plans.

“Where to? I need to know your destination.”

Where am I going? The question had more weight than just an address for Re. Am I moving towards my past or towards my future?

“West 5th to Turnagain, second drive on the right. And straight on till yesterday.” Re replied, murmuring the last to herself.

Kes stared blankly out of the café window. Straight on ‘til yesterday. Did it really happen? And where was Re now?

Deep in thought, Kes looked back into his coffee mug and watched mindlessly as he swirled cream into his coffee.

Re adjusted settings on the tablet application hit “accept” the car lurched, the coffee-cream swirled. Yesterday anew, yet random.

The sun was shining and the sky was blue for miles. Re couldn't help but try and feel happy inside. However her nerves began to set in.

Clinging tenuously to the improvised ladder, Kes, applied the last residue of paint to the dilapidated facade.

Kes, thinking he felt something brush against his leg, looked down and into the most pitiful eyes. Where did you come from?

A sweet English Springer Spaniel sat there panting. Kes did a quick scan for the owner, but saw nobody. He did notice it had a tag. He reaches out. As his fingers graze metal and silky fur, a feeling of hesitation chased by wild anticipation swirls in his stomach.

With the nerves came the stomach cramp and twitching skin. Re new she was going to change again, and soon. But where could she hide? Looking out the window in the car, Re began to notice familiar landmarks and knew she was getting close.

"it can't happen now. Not now!" She began to tremble.

The cab came to stop.

"Here we are."

Re almost didn't hear him. She grabbed her stuff and in a flash, was out of the cab and running. Re took out the crinkly note, glanced at the address, and headed to the house where it all began. Memories claw and she slows as the house at the end of the dirt path comes into sight...a diminutive relic forgotten by time.

Re thinks about the memories attached to places and gets lost in thought.

Kes spooled the microfilms, printed pages, & handwrote notes, a sketch at best. He needed to collect more evidence at the house.

He scans pages of the worn leather book, its myriad notes, colors both faded and bright, seeking and revealing pieces of her story.

Just as she remembered, a small worn down cottage with a view of the lake. As Re got closer she noticed the door was already open.

Listening intently she heard the familiar sound mixed with the soft chirps of birds carried on the breeze.

She pushed the door opened and it swung inside with a familiar creak.

"Hello," she called out. "Anyone home?"

There on the mantle sat her father's old book, just where he had left it, the silk marker still in place. She opened the book and found an old, worn-out photo of her mom. A familiar figure appeared at the door. Re's mind reeled.

"Kes? Is that you?"

But it wasn't Kes. When Re turned around she saw a little child, whose face was so familiar it made her want to cry.

"Well, hello there little one," Re said to the child. "Where's your mommy and daddy?"

She didn't answer. As Re observed the little green eyes looking up at her, she noticed the small girl was carrying an old torn book. A book full of pictures of happy moments captured so long ago but not forgotten. And cry she did. Wholeheartedly.

For her soul was moved and the past took a shape of an oval heart. But wait... the wind whispered.

Kes walked cautiously towards the cottage, his view of it, silhouetted against the water, obscured occasionally by clumps of trees. Re looked up and saw Kes walking cautiously toward the cottage. Her heart skipped a beat. As Kes got closer to the cottage, he could see Re standing near the doorway, with a smaller figure standing next to her. His steps slow as his mind races.

"Why did she go? Where was she? How is she here? Who is the child? When will it happen again?"

Flipping the torn pages in the old book, Kes was illuminated, the notes matched his. He glanced then gazed into the child's eyes and saw himself reflected, not as he was now, but as he used to be, without the hard lines around his mouth and before the changes started happening. Re stared back, unable to fathom what was occurring before her eyes. That moment when your brain and senses disconnect...too much....too soon.

A feather soft rain started falling the air felt charged was it emotion or nature?

Re began to look around then, more closely than she had before. There was something wrong. The house was not right. The boy began to flicker, there but not, and Re realized as she walked closer that he was actually a hologram. Interesting, Re thought to herself. But where is the source? If I can find it I might be able to find out who created that three-dimensional object. It looked so lifelife, so electric. And why? Maybe it can talk?

"What is your name, child?" Re asked.
"My name is Xen." The boy flickered again. "I have been sent to help you both."

They stare, mesmerized, as his illuminated skin glows brighter. He waves his hand and the books in their hands fall to the floor. Xen spoke again.

"You don't need those books. You will however need this..."
He waved his hand again and a old key appeared by Re.
"Xen? Why do you look familiar?" Re asked. He smiled. "We will meet soon, but not yet. You aren't ready. Take the key."

The key was one of those heavy, antique iron keys with a single bit at the end and a handle in the shape of an infinity symbol.

Outside the leaves gossiped and hummed to each other in the breeze. Crickets chirped like an orchestra gone mad. Re could hear them and then realized the air was growing electric.

"Hurry!" Xen yelled as the wind picked up. Re could see the trees, a storm rising. Kes waved and pointed trying desperately to get Re's attention over the wind. In the corner of her eye, she glimpsed a large shadow figure exiting the house through the side door.

Is this storm playing tricks on my mind? Kes thought with a fright.

Kes ran towards Re and took hold of her hand. The feel of that small warm slightly sticky hand brought a small smile. Holding the key in one hand and Kes' hand in the other, Re led them away from the cottage and straight for the woods across the meadow. The storm was picking up. Kes put the shadow out of her mind for now. Must get out of here and look for the other end to this key. Re noticed it was engraved with the word Kismet. "Destiny." Re whispered. "I know where we need to go!"

Heavy rain begins to fall, as they run down the dirt path toward the lake. Re turns suddenly, darting down a hidden path as Kes sees...

Dodging tree roots and branches on the path, Re and Kes reach the bank of the lake as lightning streaks across the sky.

Out of breath Re looked back along the path they had crossed and thought there was a shape backlight in the lightning.

Out of breath Re looked back along the path they had crossed and thought there was a shape backlight in the lightning. Her hand suddenly started to feel warm on the inside. Re looked down. The key was glowing warm orange. What?! Suddenly, a narrow path shot across the lake. Re squeezed the key and tapped a foot on the carpet. "Think it'll hold us?" Kes asked.

Credits:

Created with images by dizfunkshinal - "Clouds" • Identity Photogr@phy - "paint peel" • cwizner - "paint brush color" • tolworthy - "paper2" • emdot - "hearts" • juliejordanscott - "Rearview Mirror" • davecito - "Anchorage AK (April 1958)" • LoboStudioHamburg - "coffee beans beverages" • Tim Pritlove - "Betahaus Café" • Trasgu74 - "Café" • kevin dooley - "Central Illinois" • sally9258 - "Grant" • psaudio - "shutters caribbean architecture" • congerdesign - "book book gift by heart" • desertdutchman - "Open Door" • jarmoluk - "photo album photographer" • NikBoiv - "Rainy Day" • Pezibear - "letters stationery old" • Hans - "storm damage fir forest firs" • mrpbps - "Storm Front 9" • timmossholder - "trees water lake" • Jo Naylor - "lightening 6.jpg"

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