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| Category: || Supernatural Fan Fiction |
Posted:|| September 25, 2017 Views: 464|
Chapter 1 of the book Demons, Heroes and Fortune Cookies
The other side of the shadows begins here
Eu El, a young boy with a hidden gift, experiences out-of-the ordinary dreams and interactions with his world and a world less understood. A world known as:
The Other Side of the Shadows.
In the summer of 1987, U2's number one song, "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," fell to Madonna's "Who's That Girl," on the pop charts.
Together, these two songs portentously foretold one boy's confusing, but unique journey through life in a way he could never imagine. Fate had involuntarily directed him to a path less chosen.
Quite possibly, the Universe conspired to communicate with him through one specific event: a haunting, which only the unique mind of Eu El not only accepted, but also understood in a way in which "normal" people have difficulty to stomach.
Throughout centuries the mystery of life and death continue to leave many unanswered questions. Yet, unknowingly, the truth tends to subtly reveal itself in some form or another. Sometimes, "signs," as some would identify them to be, appear clearer when the average person, as the saying goes, "stops to smell the flowers."
And, Eu El loved the smell of flowers.
Many childhood memories, both forgettable and unforgettable, constantly ran through Eu El's thoughts. However, no memory would be as defining as one particular event that he would soon encounter. In fact, even then, if anyone understood what the Universe was trying to tell him, no living soul with a conscience would see this "opportunity" as a blessing, especially for a child.
If, however, there were to be a young adolescent capable of competing with the sciences involving the supernatural, then fate could not have chosen a more suitable contender than Eu El, a boy with a name his father unintentionally gave him, and himself could not correctly pronounce.
Coincidently, the second syllable is similar to a fictional super hero, whose "El" stood for hope in a faraway planet destroyed by a solar explosion.
Evoked by a simple question that had yet to be asked, this boy's life would soon evolve into an uncontrollable, frightful anomaly that would haunt him behind almost every dark corner for the remainder of his existence, lingering to where few ever visited. More so, fewer believers and non-believers would be willing to accept what they discovered in those dark corners that stand in clear sight, only to be hidden by their denial, even when whatever was discovered stared back with glowing eyes. Their presence would never be as convincing as this story; true to every aspect written from a mind conditioned by nature, rather than imagination.
In one such dark corner of reality, Eu El patiently stays out of his father's sight. Quietly, he waits for that moment he could get his dad's attention without interrupting his evening with HBO.
Too young to understand a laborer's life, a life his father has lived since the fifties working in a bakery somewhere in Manila, Philippines, Eu El naively imagines a time his father could soon play catch with him.
He had no idea the hours of his dad's overtime was funding the dreams of his immigrant relatives rather than his aspirations of one day becoming an athlete, or running a successful comic book business.
"Dad, can I play baseball? My friends all play," El recalls asking his father in the fifth grade.
His Dad's response usually ended something like this...
"No! You're going to fail! Don't waste my time!"
El's respect to his father was as relevant as his existence: both went unnoticed.
At the finale of each T.V. show, his dad committed to one of two things:
He either took a bathroom break, or he grabbed a drink before returning to his couch to dabble with the channel changer for the remainder of the evening, before falling asleep on the new Lazy Boy chair.
The good news was satellite t.v. had yet to be available to the public for another five years. Any sooner, the distraction of advancing technology may had convinced his dad he never had a middle child.
The thought of freshman year approaching made El's last summer as a kid feel as if it was doomed to end like some kind of disastrous movie without resolution, a struggling disappointment in his relationship with his father since he could remember. He prepared a list of questions for his dad that sounded more like a bucket list written in question form.
Can you take me fishing, Dad? (And, I don't mean to literally take me to the lake in the morning, and dump me alone there until you come back to pick me up the evening).
Mom said you played catcher in high school. Can you teach me how to throw?
Dad, the last movie we watched together was "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I was in the second grade. Will we ever watch a movie together again?
But, there seemed to be more pressing questions. These questions, harbored from worry, distracted him from all the other questions. If no effort was made to seek answers for himself, then these questions would linger like an unseen phantom invisibly weighing down his soul until his sanity snapped.
Like a candle that was moments away from burning the last length of its wick, the exhaustion of his quest of his father's acknowledgement simmered down to whatever radiance of innocence Eu El had remaining in his thirteen year old spirit.
"Dad, why'd you give mom's Christmas present she bought me in the first grade to my cousin?"
"Dad, why don't you ever celebrate my birthday?"
"Why did you break all of mom's plants the other week?"
His mom's voice coincidently interrupts. "It's late! Go to bed!"
His swell of anxiousness conjures up a mutter of a word drowned in neglect, indicating the incomplete distillation of doubt that remained within his voice.
He waits again as he did before for a reply. However, much like every night, the re-runs dominated El's attempt to communicate with his dad.
Repositioning himself between his father and the television, El discovers his dad sleeping. The consistency of his father's habits lead him to hypothesize the possibility of television having a direct impact in the flat lining of brain activity.
"Dad?" El attempts again.
"Wha...What?" his father finally responds as if the sound of his son's voice resuscitated him from death.
"Eu El! Go to sleep!" his mother, again on cue, interrupts from her room.
"I'm just asking Dad something!"
Perhaps, it was the annoyance of being hurried by his mother. Or, maybe, it was the innate nature of a son's eagerness to connect with his father that was to blame for having El speak before thinking. Instead of asking any of his prepared questions, he decides on a different topic: the relatives.
El knew this topic would energize his father with the enthusiasm needed to talk until dawn; but he also knew the slightest mention of the relatives would be like opening Pandora's box.
To El, however, after all the trouble his father put him through, releasing unimaginable evil into the world seemed like a fair trade.
As innocent as his question began, El unknowingly opened the door to a familiar, but unspoken shadow of reality hiding in the midst of the world's denial with just six words:
"Dad, did I ever meet Grandpa?"
"Huh...?" his dad replies, half awake. "Grandpa? Your grandpa was a gambler; he was never home. Always playing *mahjong."
"Did I ever meet him?"
"What do you mean 'sorta,' Dad?'"
"What?" his father responds, bewildered that a conversation between him and his second born was transpiring. "You were two years old. He sorta visited us when we lived in Novato."
Confused, but content with where the direction of their conversation was heading, El continues, slightly bolder and not overthinking.
"I don't get it, Dad. I thought you said Grandpa never visited America."
His deduction was enough for his father to take a confused glance at El's curious eyes before reconnecting back to the television. "You just weren't old enough to remember when he did visit."
"I don't get it."
Never looking down at his channel changer's buttons, his father turns the television off as effortlessly as a blind man reading a braille sheet. Straightening his posture on his recliner, he tells a story his son already lived, but is incapable to remember. Even with much effort, his father did not appear comfortable.
"Well," he repeats, straightening his back, "you were still in diapers, playing with your brother in the room when you met him. Your brother ran outside yelling somebody had walked into the room. You were too young to talk, but you were babbling to someone who wasn't there."
Eu El's gaze turns into the lost look of a child figuring out the nature of calculus for the first time.
A discomforting echo of "someone who wasn't there" was enough to burrow deeply into his mind, and seep back out from his pores through freshly formed goosebumps.
"Then, I saw you pushing your trucks in front of you as if you were playing with someone."
"Then what?" El asks, clearly spooked. "Was it grandpa?"
"I didn't know at the time. I mean I didn't know until after you rolled your toy trucks to the empty spot in front of you."
"I," his father clears his throat. "I saw how each time you rolled your trucks, the trucks kept rolling; they kept rolling back to you."
"On their own?"
"Yeah," his father unsettlingly validates. "They rolled back to you by themselves. One...by...one."
"You wouldn't remember any of this," his dad reminds him, noticing the hint of denial in Eu El's eyes. "But, I know what I saw."
El struggles to ask, "What happened afterwards?"
"The telephone rang. And, that's when I understood."
"Your relatives overseas called. And, they only call me for a couple of reasons. First, if they need money. Or, if someone died. It wasn't coincidence how, on the night they called, something strange happened in our house."
His father pauses, noticing the light of acceptance beginning to shine inside Eu El's eyes.
Whatever was inside Pandora's box seemed to had found El's soul with just a few words from his father. "Before our relatives said anything, I told them, 'Don't say it. I already know. My dad is dead, isn't he?'"
|The book continues with The Gift. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.|
* Mahjong is a tile based game that originated from China. It is played similarly to rummy.
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