Sunday, April 26, 2015

Having Style

Part Four

Not having any solid idea himself, Casey nodded. “I hope you’re right.”
“Right or wrong,” she countered, “it can’t hurt to try.”
Casey smiled weakly and began telling Jeannette everything he could remember trying his best to mention every little detail he could.
Jeannette listened intently while Casey spoke. She held off asking any questions so as not to disrupt his train of thought. Half an hour later, Casey finished. For the most part, Jeannette’s questions had been answered and the others she felt could wait awhile before mentioning them.
“So, do you think I’m crazy?”
She tilted her head. “I must admit it is a bit strange. Quite unbelievable in fact, but for some reason, I don’t think you’re crazy.”
Casey nodded. “I have to give you credit, because I’d have thought you crazy if you had told me such a story. Do you have any ideas what to do?”
“Are you certain you have all the details correct in the painting?”
“To the best that I can remember but, no, I’m not certain I’ve got them all.”
Jeannette thought for a moment. “We need to look for a photograph. Do you remember having any?”
He shook his head. “Not that I recall. I don’t know, I could have one lying around here someplace but you have to remember, this is not the house I’m used to.”
She glanced at him still trying to understand and grasp the reality of the situation. “I’ll try to keep that in mind.”
As they methodically went from room to room in search of a picture, they talked about different things, including their relationship and interests in each other. Jeannette felt it best to be totally honest and open with him and explained about how they were romantically involved. Casey could not recall any such thing and was just as lost finding a memory to confirm what she was saying, as he did finding a photo of the house.
Over three hours later, they were both tired and hungry and called it a day. Not only had they not found a picture of the house, they didn’t find a single picture to show that Casey had even existed, which made the predicament all the more bizarre and mysterious.
Back in the kitchen, Jeannette set about preparing their supper. Lost in their own thoughts of fathoming what was really going on, neither of them spoke until they finished the meal. Jeannette was the first to speak.
“How is it possible for you to have lived here all this time and not have one single photo to confirm your existence?”
“Because I never lived here,” Casey answered.
She stared at him, confusion evidenced in her eyes.
Casey felt obligated to explain. “I never lived here, that is, the me I am now. If I lived here as you say, then it had to be another me.”
“Are you saying from a parallel universe?”
“Yeah, something like that,” he nodded. “I mean what else could it be that would make sense?”
She thought for a moment then said, “But even if that were true, what happened to the other you who lived here?”
Casey pondered the question before shrugging his shoulders. “I don’t know. Maybe he’s where I was and trying to get back here.”
“That only explains him. What about all his belongings? Everything else should still be here.”
Casey opened his mouth to answer but an explanation failed to present itself. He looked away as if trying to see beyond the walls. A moment later, his face lit up. “He doesn’t have anything here because I changed the house back to my house.”
“Then where are your things?” she challenged.
“I don’t know damn it,” he snapped angrily then quickly added, “I’m sorry I don’t mean to take it out on you. I’m just frustrated by this whole thing.”
She reached over and touched his hand and smiled. “It’s okay, I understand. It must be terrifying for you to be whisked away into an unfamiliar world.”
For the first time that day, Casey genuinely smiled. “You’re very kind. I can see why he was in love with you. I’m sorry I hadn’t realized earlier but this has to be equally difficult for you.”
Her eyes filled with tears. “Do you think we’ll ever be able to figure this out?”
    Chelle Munroe©
    April 9,2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Having Style

Part Three

Overwhelmed by it all, he shook his head and softly said, “I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.”
In spite of being confused and uncertain of his state of mind, Jeannette made a snap decision. She entered the yard and took him by the arm and led him into the house. “It’s going to be okay. You need to sit down and relax and you can tell me what’s troubling you.”
Inside the house, she led Casey to a chair and put some water on for tea. He watched her moving about with a familiarity that told him it wasn’t the first time she had been in his home and that she must have been a friend to be so acquainted with things. But try as he might, he just couldn’t recall who she was, which only served to perplex him all the more.
When the tea was made, Jeannette sat down and waited for him to start talking. Knowing Casey was deeply troubled, she felt it best if she just let him talk when he felt okay to do so. She reasoned that if she peppered him with questions he would only get more agitated and make him worse. She wondered if he had banged his head or possibly suffered a stroke of some sort. Whatever it was, she was worried for him.
At first, Casey sipped his tea and didn’t offer a word. He was having a difficult time trying to understand what had happened, never mind trying to explain it to the woman sitting next to him. How would it sound? Would she think him crazy? Did it matter being he didn’t know who she was anyway? Question upon question flowed in and out of his thoughts and none of them seemed to have had an answer.
He looked at Jeannette who was waiting patiently and said, “You’re going to think I’m crazy but what I’m about to tell you is the truth.”
Jeannette had no way of knowing of what was coming next but to her credit, she nodded and showed no signs of nervousness.
Casey held the cup in both hands took a sip of tea and began telling her all of what had happened, right up to the minute she had appeared. As he spoke, he noticed different expressions wash over her and although he wondered what she was thinking, he kept going until he finished. He set the cup down and looked at her.
Of all the things Jeannette had thought he might possibly say, she never once considered what she had just heard. She knew he was waiting for a response and truth be told, she didn’t know what to say. Her first instincts were that he was indeed crazy, yet there was something in his words and tone of voice that beckoned just the opposite. Besides, she had never known him to be eccentric or foolish. Something definitely had happened to him, but was it at all conceivable it was as he said, and if so, it would mean he lived in a different time and she wasn’t part of his life. That would at least explain his not knowing her when she had approached him.
Casey cleared his throat. “Well?”
“It’s a lot to digest.”
“Do you think I’m crazy? That my cheese has slipped off the cracker?”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t think that at all.”
“What do you think?”
She searched his eyes and realized that as bizarre as his story was, it was the truth as he knew it. “I have to be honest in saying that it does sound unbelievable at first, but I do believe you.”
He lowered his eyes and sighed heavily. “Thank you.”
She reached out and placed her hand on the back of his. “It’s going to be okay. We just have to figure out what has happened and try to find the way to reverse it.”
As she sincerely spoke the words, the thought of losing him pained her heart. She had been in love with him for a long time and now he needed her and she had to do all she could to help him, even if it meant his leaving her.
Casey stared at her. He had no idea who she was but felt tremendously relieved that he wasn’t alone and that someway or somehow, she would help him return to his life. As he pondered this, he was filled with many questions. Was he suffering from some kind of stroke? Was it a strange case of amnesia? Had he been living a dual life? Why couldn’t he remember? All questions with no answers.
“Do you have any idea what we should do?” Jeannette’s question pulled him back to the moment.
Casey forced himself to concentrate before answering. “I’m not sure,” he finally stated.
“How about we go back to the beginning?” she offered, hoping her suggestion would be helpful. “Maybe there’s something there that will give us a clue.”
  Chelle Munroe© 
  April 9, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Having Style

Part Two

He stepped into the room and picked up his palette and brush. With five easy strokes, he covered part of the scenery with white paint. He set the items down and walked to the door and looked out. He wasn’t quite sure if he had changed anything so he went outside and walked to the edge of the yard, that is, the new edge because the rest was gone. It had been wiped clean just as he had wiped it out in the painting.
Casey shook his head. Was he crazy or going crazy? He knew what was going on couldn’t possibly be real but yet it was happening; or at least he thought it was happening and that was enough to make him question his sanity. Without further thought, he went back into the studio and repainted the backyard scenery as best he could remember it; then went back into the yard to discover the yard had reappeared. Overwhelmed with surprising amusement, he chuckled.
Casey turned and examined the cottage. He knew what had to be done. He had to recall to memory a picture of his real house so that he could paint it and get his life back to normal. Inside the house he set up a new easel and canvas and began sketching out his house and yard, every so often stepping back from it to get a better idea on his progress and accuracy. It was anything but perfect but he believed it was close enough to get him back home from wherever he was at, at the moment.
Feeling famished, he went into the kitchen and opened the cabinet doors. To his surprise, they were well stocked, although many of the products were not ones he would typically buy. Eager to get back to the painting, he opted for a couple peanut butter sandwiches and a cup of tea. He put some water in the kettle and decided to venture around the house while it was heating.
As he moved from room to room, Casey was actually taken in with the design and d├ęcor in the house. He moved into one room and guessed by the way it was set up with desk and bookshelves, that it was a den. He spotted his cell phone on the desk and made a dash for it, snatching up and punching in the speed dial number for his friend Jon. He paced back and forth trying to will Jon to answer. The call was interrupted by the operator saying that the number could not be completed as dialed. He tried more of the numbers only to get the same response.
Casey carried the phone into the kitchen just as the kettle whistled signifying the water was boiling. Frustrated, he set the phone on the table and proceeded to make his lunch. When he finished eating, he hurried into the studio to begin getting himself back home and reality. In spite of his desire to complete the painting as quickly as possible, Casey forced himself to remain focused and determined to get the details right as best as he could remember them.
It was still daylight when he set the brush down. The moment of truth had arrived. It was time to view the fruits of his efforts. He stepped out into the yard and turned to face the house. A big smile appeared on his face as he recognized his house.
“Yes!” he exclaimed, jubilant to be back home again.
He spun around to look to the street. The smiled disappeared from his face replaced by a deep frown. He walked to the edge of the yard and looked around. The street was there but it was not how he remembered it. “You’ve got to be kidding me”, he shouted angrily into the sky.
Casey felt his knees buckle a little and grabbed the fence to hold himself up. “What the hell is going on?” he said softly. Then looking up at the sky he said, “Have I died or something and this is some state of purgatory?”
“Casey, are you all right?” a woman’s voice penetrated his silence and he looked down to see a woman standing on the other side of the fence.
Momentarily startled by her appearance, Casey stepped back.
“Are you okay?” she asked a genuine look of concern in her eyes.
Casey stared at her then screwed his face up and said, “Who the hell are you?”
Looking back at him with an equal stare of puzzlement she said, “I’m Jeannette. Who else would I be?”
Getting more and more frustrated and aggravated, Casey snapped, “Jeannette who?”
Startled by his unexpected anger, Jeannette took a step backward. “Casey Donsett what is going on with you?”
Casey shook his head trying with all his will to recall who this person was but to no avail.
When he looked back at her, she could see the pure questioning in his eyes. She moved closer to the fence and gently touched his arm. “Casey, what’s happened?”
   Chelle Munroe(c)
   April 9, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Having Style

“Damn it!” Casey Donsett yelled out of complete frustration. Then, with a quick flick of the wrist, he splashed more paint onto the canvas in front of him. As he watched it splatter and run down the front of it, he knew it was not going to be acceptable. It was too much like the works of Jackson Pollock. One thing he didn’t want to be was a copycat. He wanted his own unique style. Disgusted with the results, he turned, flipped the light switch and went to bed.
The next morning, with coffee mug in hand, Casey entered the studio. He set the cup on the stool and proceeded to open the drapes, letting the bright sunlight fill the room. He picked up the cup, took a sip of coffee and studied the canvas. In the middle of drinking a mouthful of coffee, he noticed a particular patch of paint and moved to get a different perspective of it.
As he shifted positions, Casey began to see a shape taking form within the splotches of paint. He hurriedly set the cup down, grabbed the palette board squeezed a variety of colors onto it and snatched up his brush. His interest renewed, Casey feverishly set about fleshing out the image he had pictured was set in amongst the blotches of paint.
Two hours later, Casey stepped back from the canvas to view his work. He smiled knowing that it was the exact style he was looking for. To the best of his knowledge, he had not seen any other works that were similar. Before him was a wonderful looking cottage set amongst the trees while an explosion of paint surrounded it. He set the palette board and brush on the supply cart, picked up his mug and left the room. Getting away from the painting for awhile was the best thing to get an honest feel for it. When he returned home, Casey avoided going into the studio until he was ready for bed. Once again, he smiled feeling absolutely sure that this was going to be the painting to change his life.
The following day, Casey made his usual cup of coffee and stepped outside to breathe in the fresh summer breeze blowing in from the ocean not far away. Squinting from the bright sunshine, he didn’t notice at first but once his eyes adjusted, he realized that everything was wrong. Nothing was familiar. He turned to go back into the house and froze in his steps. The coffee mug dropped from his hand and shattered when it hit the ground.
Casey rubbed his eyes and looked again but the small cottage from his painting was still there. “What the hell?” he heard himself saying as he looked on in total bewilderment. He shook his head. “No, no……no, this can’t be,” he stammered.
He rushed back into the house and made his way to the studio. The scenery outside was the exact duplicate of his painting. He shook his head trying hard to comprehend what was happening to him. Disbelieving it was true; he made his way to the kitchen. He had to be dreaming. It was the only way any of it made sense. He splashed cold water on his face and head hoping it would snap him out of it.
Dripping wet, he made his way back outside and immediately spun around to view the house. Nothing had changed. He was still caught in the scene from the painting. Not one to usually give in to panic, Casey had all he could do to keep from losing control. He had to remain calm if he was to figure out what was going on and to overcome his dilemma.
He went back into the house, made a fresh hot cup of coffee and sat at the kitchen table. There had to be a reason for him seeing things the way they were because he refused to believe they were actually happening to him. It just wasn’t possible. Nor was it even logical or plausible. He looked for his phone. “Great,” he said aloud when he couldn’t find it. He wasn’t surprised by the fact, just aggravated.  It was apparent that whatever was going on, he would have to figure it out by himself.
Casey glanced toward the studio hoping something would come to mind that would make sense out of it all. He laughed to think he was trying to make sense out of something that was absolutely crazy to begin with. Crazy or not, he had to do something.
He got up and moved to the studio. He stopped at the door studied the painting and wondered how something as simple as a painting could turn his life upside down. Just then, an idea formed in his mind. What if he were to turn the picture upside down?  He thought about that for a couple minutes and decided against it, but another idea took its place almost immediately.
   Chelle Munroe©
   April 9, 2015