September 23, 2018 by Patrick Starks
On the nights where you could see only the stars, down below many things were revealed, but nothing like a rainbow to a pot of gold, but something more magical than the rainbow myth itself that of which many told. It was a beautiful night as always—the owls hooted, the wolves howled, and many other species as well did as they would normally do whenever the sun came down. Nevertheless, I was completely lifeless in bed—I was deep in fantasy—I had a red hat, blue suspenders, and mustache to match, along with brown shoes and a few cabbages to patch.
A strong hand then rubbed my shoulder but I tugged away. I was somewhat of a grumpy sleeper, and was way too close to saving my princess to let anyone get in the way—I had already been interrupted enough on that night, but that is another story.
Immediately, I swung a mean right hook, landing it on a scruffy face that somewhat felt like sandpaper. And before I could dodge it, I’d have a red palm tattooed on the back of my neck in response to it.
“What the hell boy!” yelled a voice. “What if that was your mother… She would’ve probably killed you for that you know.”
The lights then came on—it was my Dad. Even though it sucked hitting him, I just thank the gods it wasn’t my mom—dad was right—she probably would’ve killed me. But it was a good thing she was still asleep for the snoring in the background told us both that.
Dad had all of his hunting gear on, not your typical camo but like old school attire—no gun, no crossbow, but an actual bow along with an outfit that wielded the skin of the ones he’d hunted.
“Son grab your bow and your hunting gear. I got something you need to see,” he said. “This will be the last thing I’ll teach you.”
I really wanted to say no but unfortunately, I’d have to make up for the right hook from earlier. But to be honest it probably hurt me more than it hurt him.
We tiptoed our way down the stairs and through the kitchen. The floors squeaked but gracefully we walked at just the right pace to not cause too much attention to ourselves. Dad then slowly turned the lock to the house door, it made a clicking sound, and moms snoring had stopped for just a moment, but then continued not long after me and Dad gently walked off the porch, although something told me that mom might’ve been faking it—I guess we wouldn’t know until we came back.
Po was asleep as well, my dog if I haven’t mentioned him yet. He’s kind of old, we got him when he was about four years old I believe and now he’s rolling into seven with grey patches growing around his snout, and every now and then I’ll call him old man and, then he’d growl and nibble at my ankles for me to shut up as most of man’s best friends did.
I did my best to sneak past him but was immediately covered in dog breath before me and dad could even get five feet from the house. For whatever reason dad didn’t mind Po tagging along, it was as if they’d done these kinds of things together before, however, I never questioned it.
After a few yards, we’d finally breach past the trees and through the bushes—it was whole a new world—the air was fresher and wherever you looked there before you would stand a possible treasure. Dad took a knee and then rubbed his fingers in the mud, pulling it up to his nose and right after to Po’s. Dad then looked back at me with a straight face that I haven’t seen since mom said she might be pregnant again—he was always two steps ahead and was a careful planner for anything that came up in his life, anything—he cared that much for us.
“Were here son. Grab your bow,” he said.
I looked around. What for? I thought—there was heaven all around us. But I did so anyway for the slap on the back of my neck still stung a bit.
“Son right now you are about to see something that no man except me has seen before,” said Dad.
A beam of light then expelled from the night clouds and hit the small pond in front of us—it was beautiful. Its sparkle was blinding, but how could any look away from such a sight. Po then began to growl.
“Wait for it… Wait…” said Dad, holding Po by the collar. “Draw your bow boy, and when I say shoot, shoot.”
Within seconds there was a big splash, a big enough one to leave an empty crater. My hands began to shake and my arms began to give for I’d been holding my bow back longer than normal.
Slowly from the empty crater, whatever had made it had come forward. It was just a child—about my age I believe if not younger. I hesitated. And dad was speechless. But Po ran over to the child and licked its face, and the child without any thought would rub behind Po’s ears—it came to my attention that he or she didn’t mind the breath of a dog.
“Amazing,” said Dad. “I mean, this has never happened before. What is it?”
I then lowered my bow as the child made its way over. Their skin was as gold as the inside of a pound cake. Their hair was not your typical dirty blond but something completely in its own genre— it was a girl. And around her neck a necklace that bared a stone of some sort, which I know my mom would literally kill to have. The girl stared at us both while Po stood beside. Dad then dropped down to one knee again and stared the girl in her florescent eyes.
“What are you?” he asked. “And where are you from?”
The girl said nothing, but turned to the sky and pointed. Every one of us looked up. All the stars in the sky glistened harder than I’d ever seen them do as if they were communicating with one another.
“Is that your home?” asked dad.
The little girl nodded. “Uh hmm.”
I asked dad what all of it was about, why’d he bring me out so late in the night, and who the girl was, but his guess was only as good as mine. Dad then threw the girl on his back and turned back towards the house.
“Come on son. I’ll explain everything when we get back home,” said Dad.
Past the trees and through the bushes we went again. Po had run back to his back to his dog house as nothing but his tail revealed in the moonlight, and on the porch, mom waited.
Her arms were crossed, along with her right foot that of which profusely tapped the wood of the porch like a woodpecker. I didn’t know who was going to get it, me or dad, and the little girl that hung on dads shoulders wouldn’t make things any easier.
“Giovanni what’s going on,” asked mom.
Dad said nothing, and the little girl would then tug on dads ears as she once did Po’s.
“Giovanni!” yelled mom. “What is that? My goodness, don’t tell me that’s your child… Of course… all the long nights… all the hunting…”
“No. no, no. Come on honey you know you’re the only one for me… This little girl, we found her in the woods,” said Dad.
Mom then took a deep breath. I could tell she didn’t know what to believe, as did I. The night was more mysterious than what one could comprehend and at the end of it, Dad knew it the most.
“Pat is that true?” asked mom. “Is she lost or something?”
I didn’t hesitate. Whatever was going was definitely a reality.
“Alright then, well bring her inside already,” said mom. “Its cold out, I’ll run some hot water.”
As we walked in, mom had taken what I believe to be a star upstairs. Meanwhile, me and dad would have our talk of the night. We now sat in his man cave, which sadly had the head of every creature he’d slain. As much as he tried to teach me his hunting ways, it just was never in my blood, but of course, I was just a kid.
“Pat I’m just going to give it to you straight,” said Dad. “But I think its best if I just show you.”
Dad then walked to the corner of the room. To his left was ahead of a moose, but little did I know that it was more than expected. Dad opened its mouth, took one hand and put it in as he pulled on its tongue— to his right a door would reveal.
“This way son,” he said.
We made our way down more stairs and into a room but was too dark for me to recognize anything. Dad then turned the lights on, and before I could process any of it, I was in a freak house, I felt. Creatures of all shapes and sizes, all of which I knew were not from our world surrounded, some that I was sure I’d even seen in movies.
“This is what I wanted to show you, son,” said Dad. “You see, every one of these creatures has come down to destroy our planet, but I’ve made sure none of that has happened. I’m not really a hunter but somewhat of a protector.”
“So, you’re like the men in black?” I asked.
Dad smiled and rubbed the top of my head.
“No, not quite,” he said. “But in comparison, you could say we have similar interest. But what this is all about is that this will one day be your responsibility son. But I also can’t force it on you, you will have to decide your own destiny, however, it is in your blood after all, so, I know you will find your way. That night when I first took you out hunting, you don’t remember but let’s just say you revealed a gift I can’t explain, but I hope maybe one day you will see what I’d seen in you.”
A gift. What gift was he talking about? What did I do? I tried getting more detail out of him but dad was a man of riddles, it was a question I’d have to find the answer to on my own.
A bunch of screams then echoed from upstairs. Dad immediately ran up and I followed along. We stumbled, we tripped on a few wires on our way up, but still made it to our destination. Dad knocked on the bathroom door and from behind more screams along with splashes of water echoed.
“Hey love!” yelled Dad. “Everything alright in there.”
There was no response, so, dad did as he always dreamed of and kicked down the door with his famous Jean Claude Van Damme impression. And in the front of us, their mom and the little girl sat in the tub faces rosy red from all the fun they were having.
“Jesus! Giovanni! What the… Give me a towel,” yelled mom.
Dad stood in awe.
“The one over there!” yelled mom, pointing to the corner of the room.
“I-I’m sorry, I thought you..” said Dad, turning his back. He then turned me as well for I was still frozen by what was going on.
“No need to explain just give us a minute to dry off,” said mom. “Sorry dear, some boys just think that they’re meant to have all the fun.”
The little girl smiled and giggled, but not long after the whole house would rumble.
Dad looked out of the window from the bathroom, nothing but clouds of smoke lingered in the air.
“Pat stay here with your mother and the girl,” he said, running down the stairs to place we’d come from.
“Giovanni what’s going on!” yelled mom, but dad had already made his way down the stairs.
“I’ll give you to the count of ten to give up the star,” yelled a voice. “She has something of mine and I want it back.”
I then looked at the girl and she tucked in the stone she wore behind her shirt. But from within I could still see its glow. Mom stood confused and shaken, however, stood her ground. My hands started to shake and become sweaty, and my head began to throb. Something was happening, energy flowed all within in me like a shot of steroids mixed with adrenaline and along with it, I could feel the energy of the stone that hung around the girl’s neck.
As the voice counted to ten, we all waited and wondered how our night would end.
TO BE CONTINUED