<USS Banshee> "In the Meaning of Dreams" Chp. 9

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 23:41:21 -0700

?In the Meaning of Dreams?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper

Chapter Nine ?
?On Invisible Wings?

Scattered memories.

The box was full of everything that his childhood was made of. Articles of his younger self, those of his brother and sister, and of his father were present. Photographs made up the majority of the contents, while old letters and homemade gifts made up the rest.

There were things that Josh made when he was in grade school, things from Jerrad?s birth, and items from the numerous anniversaries that his mother and his father had happily shared. They were all neatly organized, suiting his mother?s character, and all had their own specific place in the container.

Josh sifted through the endless possessions that his mother had held onto over the countless years since their family had been torn apart. Even in those harrowing times, as the oceans of fate swirled uncontrollably into a whirlpool of confusion and sadness, his mother had stood firm and rock solid. She never yielded to anything, but gave her commitment and dedication to those she loved even when they were convinced she needed it more than they.

A folded piece of paper, unlike anything Josh had ever seen from his mother, was crumpled up in a corner. He plucked it from its place and revealed the contents for his eyes to see. The handwriting was as nice as could be expected from his father, the message?s author, and there was a feeling of love that could be detected just by holding the paper.

Scanning the contents of the letter was a little unsettling. Even though his mother had past, it still seemed wrong to be going through her most cherished possessions even though everything had been left to him and Jerrad. Embracing his curiosity, Josh read on.


Dearest Catherine,

My heart aches when you aren?t around. My heart aches even more when I?m in your presence. You affect me like nothing I?ve ever felt before. When I?m around you, your very being and essence make me strive to be a better man, a better man for you. Without you I could not function as I do. Without you a hole would appear in my stomach ? my being ? and it would be one that could never again be filled.

After our eyes first met ? so many months ago ? I knew that I?d spend eternity chasing you. I would struggle for a fleeting glance from you, rather than have your back perpetually turned in my direction. I long for your acknowledgment, and at the same time yearn for something more.

Walking on the beach after our first date was like frolicking through heaven. There is no place I?d rather be than by your side, in your arms, or lost in your eyes.

Forever yours,



In the last line of the letter a tear dropped onto the cheek of the young man. Josh brushed it aside, determined that doing this wouldn?t cause him any more emotional pain than he?d already let it. He tossed it back into the box, and sealed the top of it, shoving it back into it?s place deep within the darkness and confines of the underside of the bed in which his mother used to sleep.

Josh stood, wiping any dust from his pants, and turned to walk out of the bedroom. He turned off the light, leaving the dwelling in complete darkness. He started down the hallway, one foot in front of the other, on the verge of complete and total breakdown from the stress and the continual denial that anything was wrong with him.

A soft light permeated the still of the night. Jerrad?s light was on, and it was leaking into the hallway beyond his dormitory. No doubt he was studying or working on some project that would get him universal recognition ? Jerrad got the instinct for greatness in the family. Another charming and delightful character trait inherited from his mother.

Olivia?s room, on the other hand, was black. Leaving his younger siblings behind Josh walked out into the grass. The cool breeze struck him, but oddly it was soothing and he felt as if it was meant for him. He looked into the wind, it messing up his hair, but he didn?t care. Trudging up the grassy knoll and onto the hill just a couple of meters from his house, Josh stared out aimlessly into an abyss of dreams and memories.

All of it. This place. It was something to him that he couldn?t specifically put a finger on. He?d remember every last square inch of the place for it all, at one point or another, had some emotional or physical value to him. On invisible wings the change had affected everything he?d known, everything he remembered, and everything he would come to know.

The lake, just a couple more steps down, was the sight of many recreational events in the community. The waters were clear as crystal, but you could never quite see the bottom. The depth secured any evidence by absorbing the light that bore down upon it day in and day out. The temperature always followed the weather. In the summer it was a charming warm hot spring, and in the winter it was a cold icy bath of reality.

Snowcapped peaks were off the distance. The moonlight that rained down upon it caused the snow on the summit to glow and radiate as if it was nuclear charged or spiritually special. He?d skied there on many occasions, but it was always at the base in which he spent most of his time. His family would go cross-country skiing in the winter. There was a lodge in which they?d all sit and drink hot chocolate while staring out into the blizzard that would engulf the area and bathe the entire environment in a coat of white.

There was a dense forested area off to the west. Not many people ventured in that direction for there was nothing but overgrown vegetation, sparse populations of animals, and a solitude that was eerie in nature. That was just fine with Josh; he had found himself there by himself on several instances with the simple objective of being alone for meditation.

He?d also taken several dates there because it was a good place to be alone. The thickness of the trees kept all lights from polluting the natural habitat and allowed for a clear look at the stars and the moons. Josh had many a romantic rendezvous there, but it was always better when he was alone ? with his thoughts.

This place that was meant for his youth had now been jaded with a feeling of death, loneliness, and total pain. There was a difference in the way the waves collided with the shore. An awkward blowing of the wind caused the leaves to fall, but not with usual gravity but something else. Nothing was as it seemed to be. Kessik IV had changed.

Josh sat down on the grass-covered slope and lay backward. His eyes searched the twilight sky for a sign of something that he would remember from his adolescence. Even in the unchanging celestial bodies there was a twinge of change. Josh let a cry escape his lips as he finally let go of the walls holding in his emotions.

Weeks of solitary mourning and inward loss finally clawed its way to the surface. The tears ran rampant down his face and onto his shirt. He sat up and rubbed his eyes as his mind wandered to his mother and the times that they?d spent together as mother and son, and also the evenings spent as a family.

A broken twig snapped in the empty night.

Stopping cold, his heart stopped. He wiped yet another pool of salty tears from his face and turned around. His siblings stood there, staring at him. Normally, as was his nature, Josh would?ve made an excuse and consoled them, but like his planet there was something different in the air and all he could think to do was cry.

Jerrad walked up to him, sitting down next to him and putting a hand on his brother?s. Olivia shuffled up and sat down on the other side of Josh. Her soft and gentle hand intermixing with the trembling appendages of Josh and a feeling of reassurance washed over the imperiled Starfleet officer.

?It?s OK to be sad, Josh, we all are.? Jerrad said softly.

?We?ve had our time to adjust and realize the truth behind the recent events.? Olivia?s other hand stroked through Josh?s hair in another loving gesture. ?You?ve put up an offensive front and hidden your true feelings in the dungeon of yourself. You?ll be letting them up more and more, but now is the time to deal with it.?

Josh opened his mouth, but only the hollow sound of his emotional expressions escaped.

?Don?t talk, just reflect.? Olivia set her head on Josh?s shoulder and placed the hand that was running through his hair on his chest, the heaving sensation as every outburst escaped his lips pushed her hand outward. ?It?s time to accept it.?

And, without him knowing it, he?d changed. On the same invisible wings that changed his community, they had changed him. The invisible wings of change had tainted everything and everyone. And, finally, he was at peace with the turning tides.

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