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Kassy Meets Sketchy Sky: Chapter 2

Still September 8th, 2022 Thursday: Afternoon Storms


"Nothing is objective. Everything is relevant." Sketchy Sky


Kassy Meets Sketchy Sky Chapter 2


Adeline’s dark grey Rezvani pulled up to the gate. An overwhelming powerlessness took over Kassy’s breathing. She strained to suck air in and then it came out too thin and fast.

“Stop.” She lifted her hands to her ears.

“Kassy.” Her mother reached over to console her, tried to slide her fingers through her daughter’s outstretched hand clutched to her own leg but she jerked it away.

“I’m sorry mom. I don’t know why I did that.”

“It’s ok.”

The gates opened and Adeline smiled at the nodding guard. She took a few curves at elevated speeds, then slowed when they spotted a neighbor gardening by a mailbox, waved, then sped into another curve. They both called this the inside lane which was sometimes on the wrong side of the road, but always brought a smile to their face.

“Water.” Kassy whispered out loud. Rolling waves out at sea, swells of soft lumps that lowered into yet another swell. She looked up at the sky.

Mesmerizing.

The only thing that seemed to hold their lives together on days like these, the combination and colors of nature and water.

“Yes, I think it’s supposed to clear up tomorrow after this storm plows through.”

Kassy’s mind whispered, It’s October.

She answered her mother with silence because at the moment she had no control over what would spew out. Kassy loved words, and her mom. One test in some lab confirmed her vocabulary climbed beyond high school level at age seven and now she was eight. Time passed by so fast. Mornings turned to nights and Mondays turned into weekends and now she was eight! Soon to be nine. Days she enjoyed never seemed to last. Days like these never seemed to tick into night but then she didn’t like nights anymore either.

What was it about the gate?

She closed her eyes in traffic earlier and recited words from A to Z, read license plates and created a game that gave her peace. Nothing worked at the gate yet.

I’ll work on that.

She could add it to the doctor’s checklist.

Supposedly if you make a checklist and actually, physically check items off as you accomplish them, it gives you something, I think he said self-confidence and motivation to gain more momentum or something like that, which eventually creeps in and destroys sadness and loneliness, which they seemed to think was her ‘problem.’

Everything was hitting her all at once. The gate, the list, her room, her writing, the swamp, how she pulled away from her mom.

Just get to your room.

Kassy read pages of the dictionary and thesaurus daily depending on her favorite letter of the afternoon. In her room they awaited along with her books she read until bedtime. It was the only thing that empowered her these days, letters and words. Why couldn’t she form a thought or sentence without it being destructive?

They pulled into the driveway. Her mother’s eyes smiled as if to say, ‘we made it.’

Kassy nodded, grabbed the bags, behaved appropriately, thought about how she had just listened to the doctors with forced eye contact, committed to devoting less time writing alone in her room and recognized she hardly ever began or entered a dialogue on purpose that didn’t have a yes or no response that could be handled with a nod or a shake of the head.

Lots of ideas swirling. Time to contemplate on paper.

Mess. Chaos. Writing. Where’s my pen? Should I do it in the living room? Kitchen? I don’t write freely there but it would appear I am spending more time outside of my room even though no matter where I am, I am stuck in here.

Her feet kept walking with intention.

Thoughts she didn’t want to think kept interrupting moments that weren’t so bad. She refrained from putting her hands on her ears. It made no sense anyway. They weren’t outside.

How to stop the madness? Write. Freely.

Find a passion, they all said. A new one. One that excites you. Brings you joy. No one understood. Her room and her writing made her better. She wasn’t antisocial on purpose. She loved writing over chatting.

The voices kept intervening.

Why am I so negative when I have real conversations?

She climbed up the porch and slid open the heavy glass doors. Family pictures laughed at her as they dangled against the stones and bricks of the fireplace. They lived on end tables and coffee tables and down the hall. Thank God Candice, her nanny, had started decorating. Shades of Halloween lit a family vacation next to a gloomy living room.

Who was the person locked in that frame?

She felt her teeth remove from her dry lips as they parted into a smile.

At least there was some normalcy before entering.

Her door now fancied purple and orange lights streaming down, contrasting with the hall lights as if to pull her off a stage and beam her up. A ghost lifted into the air a bit as she pushed the door open.

“I’ll make tea,” whispered her mother who was rounding the open kitchen area with the bags Kassy dropped in the living room. Kassy’s door closed. She slid down, knees clasped to her chest. The seasonal purple and orange spider beanbag hid in the corner behind the door. Her mom usually peaked around, checked to make sure she was still breathing, smile or pouted depending on how well Kassy performed that day, then closed the door. Books covered sections of most furniture pieces including the bed. She mended, molded and mixed them into her own stories, her own world, her own life. A life she could pretend to love. Thunder roared for the first time in hours. Lightning struck out at sea. The storm loomed. The sky darkened. Her mind calmed. The air from her window directly across from where she sat gushed cold air across her face. Her arms fell to her sides, eyes closed.


“Who is Cathy with an E?”

Kassy not realizing where she was, hit the back of her head on the door, grabbed the carpet fibers and a pen that happened to be under her left hand. Looked around. No one was there. Alert, she analyzed the voice. Stranger.

“Ouch,” came from underneath her palms. Her legs miscalculated and tossed her to the right.

“Who is there?”

More than one voice, different locations. Acclimating to her surroundings, she became aware of every aspect of her room, vividly taking in the late afternoon stormy clouds out at sea directly across from where she once sat. A darker light filtered in now. She searched for her lamp, tip toeing and limping on pins and needles.

Why am I looking for my lamp?

Her left foot, asleep, she stepped over The Bookman’s Tale and accidentally onto her mom’s The Inner Circle. She recalled both brilliantly and picked them up as she gathered herself on the bed.

“My goodness, Kitty I am so sorry. I didn’t see you. I didn’t know you were in here. I must have fallen asleep.” Kitty, grey with white ears and swinging furry belly stood and stretched like a black cat under the full moon. She hopped over to her side of the bed, twisted and curled into a ball of fluffy mauve pillows and her own furry throw, stretched out her left leg, ears perked, closed her eyes and settled in, purring while Kassy softly pet her.

Kassy's voices came barreling in.

Will you open a book already? Start writing. Creating. Blending. We are wasting time.

Her mind needed multiple things going on at once, writing and reading numerous pages of different books and creating stories that intertwined everything real and not.

Open a book.

Most nights forty or more random books lay open. Pens and gadgets bookmarked pages. Ripped papers shoved inside kept track of ideas and possible connections. They shimmered on the floor in the moonlight.

Moonlight?

Concepts, theories, notions, associations, what-ifs, magnified. Her hands itched to write. She noticed the desk across from her bed perfectly received the full moon’s light. She hopped off the bed.

“Awesome.”

“Wait, that’s impossible.” The light flickering into her room wasn’t the afternoon sun setting or rays bouncing off the tossing tree branches.

The moon is rising.

Based on its location compared to last night’s it was after 9pm!

“No way.”

She turned to make sure Kitty was content and then eyed the easel by the window. Paints were out and opened, brushes dirty in water.

Later, for now write.

She tried to tame the thoughts, pen in hand, when her mother knocked. “Green tea with cinnamon and orange spice.”

“Witches Brew?”

“Only for you.”

As her mother approached the bed and sat the tea on her purple poetry coaster, Kassy’s eyes widened, and without realizing it she raised her body from her writing chair and met her mom by the bed, reached for the cup still in her mother’s hands. “Bay leaf, cinnamon stick and all.”

Kassy lifted it to her nose.

They smiled and Adeline immediately departed, seemingly happy they had encountered a special moment together. Authentic, not premeditated, plotted, or schemed. Kassy felt a smile on her face.

Odd.

What was odd was that she felt kinda not bad. Not bad was good. And noticing was good. She recalled the psychiatrist’s words of becoming aware even though she felt she already knew she was quite aware.

Be sure to check that off the list for today. Becoming aware. Noticing.

She observed Kitty off in dreamland and carefully headed back over to the desk.

Pen in hand, writing, words flowing, her mind freeing, listening to the birds by the window, the rain dripping from the high rooftops, and then again from the porch roof and gutters and into the garden around the front of the house. She could picture the vines of flowers trailing up the steps to reach the rooftop patio where her mom loved to watch the stars.

“What are we writing?”

The voice seemed to come from below her pen. She dug her nails into the desk trying to catch herself, involuntarily pushed her chair back, but the back two legs didn’t move, only the front two, so the chair lifted into the air. Fumbling for balance she scrambled for the edge of the desk and instead slid her papers off and scrunched them into a wad as she fell over backwards.

“Hello?” Kassy exclaimed as she immediately stood and pushed her chair in, except facing the window, the open window, in case she needed to exit.

Or is that where they would go?

Stop.

Another checkmark.

You got this. No more voices. Don’t respond. Let it go.

But these were different.

What was that last thought as I went up into the air?

She clasped tightly her pen and bounced it against the edge of the desk trying to recover the idea, uncrumpled her papers and stood by the chair.

It connected all the other thoughts as I went up in the air. I noticed the moon, the desk, the paper, thought of a book. What clicked?

She looked at the last few sentences she’d written. I had it in here in my brain, just a few seconds ago, how can it just be gone?

She felt a bit frustrated with the voices that distracted her.

“Hello?”

Time went by. No response.

See. No voices. What was I going to write?

“Dang it.” She put her hand to her head and sipped steaming hot green tea filling her nostrils with cinnamon and lavender and spices.

Ah.

“What are we upset about?” a soft older woman’s voice prodded. “Did you forget what you were going to write?”

Kassy placed both hands on the desk as if a judge in a courtroom demanding order.

“Who is there? Where are you?” She stood and lifted According to Their Deeds then placed it on the other side of the desk. Kassy asked again, this time loud enough for anyone in the house to hear her. “Who asked about Cathy with an E?”

“That was Sketchy Sky,” replied the old lady not in sight. “He powers down sometimes.”

“Powers down? And You are?”

Kassy bent down to the desk drawer, tilted her head sideways and pulled it open.

I must be asleep. It made sense. Everything was too easy with mom. It took way too long for the tea too arrive. The time lapse between afternoon and now had somehow vanished.

“So?” The voice requested. “Who is Cathy with an E?”

You’re asleep. Just run with it.

“I would like to wait for Sketchy Sky. Is he asleep for the night?”

“Oh, dear no, he only shuts down for a few minutes at a time to organize his thoughts. He returns each morning before the birds start chirping.”

“So Sketchy Sky is…” A throat cleared. The calm, deep male voice she heard earlier replied. “Just listening.”

Something erupted inside her, an excitement, a shiver in the back of her arms went up her spine and into her neck. Suddenly she heard soft whispers. She could pick out words ever so often and attach them to a voice. Various distinct sounds collided with pictures. They entered her closed eyes as she sorted words into categories, piecing thoughts together, like she did with her books and art. She learned from her mom’s coworkers how to retain and recall information by immediately connecting it to something else. And then it came to her. She heard herself chuckle.

“I remember!”


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