Jack’s World

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     “Shh!  Get in here!” came a voice from inside the unlit room.

It was not the sort of thing Gary expected to hear as he doubled back with his scribbled note in his hand.  He had been walking around level one west for fifteen minutes far too long and he when he first heard the boy’s voice he thought maybe he was losing it.  Or maybe those rumors of the hospital having ghosts were true.  He stopped and peered into the shadows of the small office.

“Hello?”

“Just come in before they see you!”

Gary stepped in and instinctively felt inside the door frame for the plastic of a light switch.

“No!  Don’t turn the light on!” He commanded “Either come in or go!”

Gary was a little taken aback by this.  What was this kind even doing in someone’s office?

“Where are your parents?  Should you even be in here?” Gary said trying to bring in some adult authority.

“Parents dead, it’s my time off and this is Brian Hendricks office and he’s never here until late.  Just hold on a sec!”

Gary saw where the voice was coming from.  From the glow of the window that was ground level with the grassy back garden of the hospital was young Jack.  He sat on a the wide windowsill opposite the books above Dr. Hendricks softly glowing fish tank.  He had a book in his hands, open to nothing but typed print.  Just as Gary noticed him the sprinkler system kicked on.   The view became a fog of jet streams of cascading water and the rainbow of the light mist that brushed the glass.  Jack lifted a hand proudly as if he caused a magic trick to occur.

“One of my favorite places in the joint,” he explained “you’re very lucky to see this moment and definitely lucky to know me.  I’m Jack.  I am your guide to anything and everything.”

“Right,” Gary tried to understand “well, it’s good to meet you Jack but you probably shouldn’t be in here and I’m late to appointment so both of us should get going.”

“Who’s the appointment with?”

“Well that’s not really any of your…”

Jack jumped down from the window onto the chair and then flopped down   like he had practiced the move for a performing circus.   The young boy in the baseball hat, t shirt and jeans flicked on the desk lamp and picked up the phone.  He turned to Gary like a Medical Office Assistant.

“Well?” He asked.

“Come on kid,” Gary laughed “this is silly and you should get outta here before security nabs you.”

“Just give me a name,” Jack said without blinking.

Gary looked at him and then down at the book he was reading.  It was on arrhythmia, specialising in elder care.  He was already twenty minutes late now.  He surrendered and looked at his paper.  From the outside hall light.

“Dr Novak.  I’m his nine thirty.”

“Right…Gary Allenson.  Nine thirty…of course you are.  Yeah you’re one floor down.  Not your fault…he moved two months ago and Sheila hasn’t gotten round to changing his email template.  I’ll call him and say your late.  He can probably still take you.”

Gary could barely make a thought.  His mouth just gaped.

“If you get going, anyways,” Jack said after he dialed the number “Hi Leslie…”

Gary couldn’t believe it. 

Jack looked up from the phone and gave him a look.

“He’s not coming to you!”

Gary made an agreeing expression and headed for the elevator.  In the elevator he still tried to get what just happened.

—-

Preceeding was a story idea I’ve had for a while which this is just an introduction to Jack and his strange life.  Hope you liked this one!

Cheers,
Tom

Created by TomPogson.com

Story idea one.

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I remember nothing.

It is early morning and I am wrapped in the cradle of the lapping waves and the woodland surrounding the beach.  Tracks lead from clearing in the bush, pushed back by what I can only assume is my own frame.  I don’t remember pushing through them.  I don’t remember the night before or who I was I was when I came here so determined.

The smell of the water is the first sense I have as my eyes open to face the side of a fallen tree, my fists clenching firmly packed sand.  I slept next to the side of a single piece of driftwood, it’s shape slashing diagonally across from last tufts of grass near the rise of the woodland to the constant motion of the waterline.  The waterline is moving slowly and uncertainly as it pulls out, its rhythm too gentle to be the open ocean.  I seem to have such basic understandings of things.  But I have no idea where they came from, what this place is or how I came to be in the clothes I wear.  I remember nothing.

The clothes I see on me are ragged, tattered in all likelihood from whatever brought me to this strange sheltering place.  Black dress pants.  Long sleeve shirt.  An old beige coat with rippled stretchable fabric at the wrists and waist.  The coat is torn in a single slit on the left elbow.

Standing up and discovering the soreness in my legs and that left elbow I walk to the waterline.  My sand filled black dress shoes reach the hissing sunbaked edge of the tide.

I knee down, peering into the shifting light of cold water.  I manage a reflection between the shimmer of the sunlight and twists of hair-like kelp.

I learn little.  I notice a hint of blue and look down to see a blue metal nametag that says “Charlie”.  I’m in my mid thirties somewhere.  My hair is rumpled, unkempt and chestnut.  I see nothing else that would set me apart from another man at this age.  I’m unshaved and my name is Charlie.  Or that is what the tag says.

Looking into my reflection the sound of the helicopter blades grows until the ripples of waves are static across the view.

(Started playing around with this idea as a morning writing exercise.  I don’t know if I will keep up the odd present tense but I like the idea of someone who has to start things over from zero like this.  Let me know any constructive ideas.  Cheers!

Tom)