V. Anamnesis [2]

V. Anamnesis [2]

A Chapter by Writer #00

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V. Anamnesis [2]       


            Josh’s cabin was empty, or so it appeared from the outside.  Kami and I peered inside through the door-opening--sleeping bags and pillows hanging, deserted, from beds; some of their uniforms and athletic equipment strewn about the wooden floor in a haste.

            “Is Josh in here?” Kami called, knocking on one of the door jambs.

            We were met by a groan and that’s when I realized Nate was lying face-down on one of the upper bunks.

            “I’mtrynatakeanap,” Nate slurred through his pillow, his irritation evident.

            “Sorry,” Kami whispered, then, having been sickened by the mess this cabin was, decided to add, “Maybe you’d sleep better if this place wasn’t such a pigsty.”

            “That doesn’t even make sense,” I murmured to Kami.

            “Yes it does, the disorganization of the cabin might be a burden on his subconscious.”

            I shook my head, turning to leave Nate alone when I heard a flush from the little outhouse-sized bathroom attached to every cabin.  Kami and I paused on the steps, hoping Josh would emerge from the lavatory and we could use the 4G capabilities of his phone, then Kami entered the cabin and stood directly in front of the lavatory door.  I entered after her, but felt it would be less awkward if I stood at least a meter away from where she was.  I wouldn’t want to come out of the bathroom to two of my teammates standing in eager wait for me.  Oh gosh.  It sounds even worse when I put it into words.

            “Hey, K--“ I’d been about to tell her to step back when the door clicked open and, judging by Kami’s shocked and mildly disgusted facial expression, was bombarded with an array of foul odors of which I do not wish to elaborate.

            Kami flung herself back (“What the--?!” she cried), clutching her nose and coughing at the stench exuded from whatever had been expelled into the porcelain throne…maybe exalting toilets isn’t such a good idea.  Then again, how much worse would our world be without them?  What am I rambling on about?

            Once she’d recovered from her minor discombobulation, she opened her eyes, and composed herself to see that she’d suffered for no reason.

            “Come on!” Kami exasperatedly sighed, still shielding her nostrils and looking at the bulky form of her father standing in the lavatory doorway, “It’s just you?!”

            “What’s wrong with ‘just me’?” Coach asked, feigning hurt.

            “Nothing’s wrong with you, it’s just that we’re looking for--“ suddenly an idea sparked in her, “Say, Dad, would you happen to have a phone on you?”

            “What for?  And please refrain from referring to me as anything other than Coach on this retreat, Mrs. Jung.”

            “Sorry…I just…wanted to check on Sunflower…”

            Coach gave her a ‘yeah-right’ twitch of his eyebrows. “Isn’t that cat always scratching you?” he reminded her, glancing at her long sleeved shirt.

            It was true.  Anyone who knew Kami for a significant amount of time would eventually ask the inevitable “Are you emo?” question upon seeing the multiple white scars crosshatching her arms.  I remembered exactly what year and month she got Sunflower--sixth grade--because that was the year she’d adopted the habit of only wearing long sleeved shirts.  It was also the year I’d noticed the cuts resting under them and nervously inquired: “Do you cut yourself?” to which she replied, and has to anyone who asks ever since,: “No.  My cat just hates me.”  It’s also another reason she did her best to avoid my coming to her house.  You recall what I told you about Sunflower making a racket in the background of a phone conversation I’d had with Kami, right?  Well, apparently the cat’d been like that since kittenhood and Kami’s parents didn’t want to subject anyone else to the Wrath of Sunflower…doesn’t exactly sound menacing that way, does it?  But believe me, Kami knows.

            “Yeees…yes, that is the cat to which you are referring…” Kami dragged out her words as her eyebrows knit in thought, “but just because I show a little disrespect to you or Mom every now and then doesn’t mean you hate me now, does it?  I still love Sunflower despite the many scratches she’s given me, valuables she’s broken, or noise-violation complaints she’s earned us as a f-family.  And I want to make sure she’s okay now that her caretaker is away.”

            Coach ran the situation over in his mind, never seeming to wonder why I was with her, too (I guess he was just used to our presences collectively since we spent so much time together), before reluctantly agreeing to her request.

---

            Yeah…so it turned out the phone Coach’d been referring to was ancient in the cellular world.  Ancient how?  Ancient this-box-of-metal-and-buttons-still-has-an-antenna ancient.  Obviously, that didn’t satisfy our needs, so Kami pretended to call home, handed her dad’s phone back to him, then we left.  Luckily, when Kami’d reprimanded him for letting his group keep the cabin in such a wreck, Coach explained that they’d changed into their swim trunks as quickly as possible, so as to make use of their break, and hadn’t bothered cleaning up.  He also added that he was only in here watching “Mr. Wang” (otherwise known as Nate) since Weston wasn’t feeling well, JJ was the lifeguard, and Felix was out hiking. 

            “So everyone in this cabin, except Nate, is at the beach?” Kami had clarified.

            She’d been correct, so we immediately rushed down to the beach where we’d held the bonfire last night and searched for Josh (the island had multiple beaches, being an island, so I felt it necessary to specify which beach).

            I scanned the sands of the Icthyes shoreline, seeing a group of guys playing prisoner or a very modified version of volleyball at the net, and about two or three others taking a swim in hopefully less-open water.

            “Should JJ just be letting them swim like that?  How did he even know they could swim?” I muttered, craning my neck to see if Josh was among them.

            Kami shook her head. “Sheesh, Catmouth, you even worry for people who are practically adults.  Let yourself relax once in awhile, would you?”

            “What’s that supposed to mean?” I inquired, nearing the ocean to see if Josh would come erupting from it somewhere.

            She shrugged. “Just that you worry too much.”

            “No I don’t,” I stated bluntly, “I worry when it’s practical…it simply happens to be practical often.”

            “Remember that summer camp we volunteered for at Conifer Heights last year?”

            “Yeah.”

            “You wouldn’t let your group participate in the arts and crafts project because you were afraid they’d ingest glue and have to be rushed to the ER.”

            “So?  If you’d seen the things those children were putting in their mouths you wouldn’t have let them, either.”

            “Like what?”

            “Like what ‘what’?”

            “Like what were they putting in their mouths?”

            I thought back to the week I’d lasted as a counselor, the many tiny lives that were in constant danger from choking at the water fountain, tripping down stairs, being mistaken for field mice by falcons, accidently stabbing their puny hands with sporks…the list only gets worse.  I shivered, the feelings of on-the-edge insecurity brought about by the need to protect 8/7 returning like a rush of air…a horrid, odorless, carbon monoxide-filled rush of air.

            “Like…like their thumbs,” I offered after my mental visit to the past.

            “Oh, come on Catmouth,” Kami responded (not in the way I’d expected), “you’re a total worry-wuss.  They weren’t that old, sucking on a thumb is totally norm--“

            “But it was potentially harmful!” I insisted, reliving the moment, “The hands are the most bacterially contaminated area of the body, and fingers are a part of hands!  Why would anyone just let these children stick a wad of germs in their mouth?”

            “Let’s just drop it, I can tell you’re about snap,” Kami told me, resuming our search for Josh.

            We walked across the beach, and I found myself running my hand over my stubble the entire time in an attempt to slow my pulse which had increased in rapidity at the thought of small, helpless children.  I spotted Josh a minute or so later, standing amid a herd of undulating waves and trying to body surf now and then.

            “There he is,” I said, pointing at his form as it disappeared again to ride the waves.

            Kami followed my finger just as he popped back up with a “Zion!  Did you see that?!” to which Zion responded “Nope, wasn’t even looking!”.

            “How are we supposed to get his attention,” I asked Kami, “he’s way out there.”

            “Just yell,” she answered, “he’ll hear you.”

            I sighed, half-fake half-real glaring at her.  She knew me well enough to know that I talked in a volume I liked to consider “efficient”, meaning I make sure my voice isn’t so loud as to rupture your eardrums nor so soft you have to strain them to understand me.  It’s been a rather helpful philosophy to live by most of my life, but it also meant I seldom yelled resulting in a painful soreness of throat whenever I did.

            “Why don’t you do the yelling?” I suggested, seeing as she was used to having her voice jump all over the place like Rosa’s moods.

            Kami sat down on the warm sand, sifting through the grains for something, shells probably, and looked up at me with a content smile.  “Because I’ve never heard you raise your voice for any reason whatsoever--not even to shout ‘there’s a ball coming at you!’.  It’s quite disturbing, really, and makes me question your humanity.  I’m just making sure you are, indeed, human--like those captcha boxes you see for online registration.”

            I knew she was serious and I knew there was no shaking her from this mindset, so I didn’t try to convince her.  I needed Josh’s smart phone so that I could check the legitimacy of Mrs. Diaz’s angler reincarnation story, but I wasn’t going to feel as if I’d swallowed a sandpaper hedgehog for the rest of the retreat to get it.  I had other means.  I rolled up my piped baseball pants, kicked my shoes and socks off, and (knowing some waves were bound to splash my shirt), pulled my shirt over my head and off my body.

            “What are you doing, Catmouth?” Kami asked, looking at me like I was a madman.

            “I’m going in after him.  Have fun staring.”

            “What’s there to stare at?  Your chest hair?”  she retorted jokingly…at least, I think she was joking because, though I was more hirsute than some other sophomores (or am I considered a junior now), my chest was fairly hairless.

            Turning my back to her, I prepared to retrieve Josh and, vicariously, more information on my current predicament involving the angler and his wife, when I suddenly heard Kami say:

            “Now that’s something to look at.”.

            “What?” I asked, looking over my shoulder at her to see what had required such a response, “My back?”

            “Pfft, don’t flatter yourself.  Your birthmark.  It’s shaped like an upside down T.”

            “Yes,  It is…”  I couldn’t understand what was so intriguing about it, then I remembered she’d never actually seen my birthmark before.  None of the other team mates would have mentioned it because (for some reason) all of the baseball teams’ lockers were in the same row, which is to say that we’ve all seen each other strip down to our boxers, so I hadn’t been asked about my birthmark in a while.  Kami, on the other hand, had never seen me shirtless and therefore had never seen my precisely shaped birthmark.

            Kami shrugged.  “I don’t really know why I felt the need to point it out--just looks cool, I guess.  Continue on.”

            I rolled my eyes and stepped gingerly into the cold ocean waters.  I could feel the wet sand trying to make a home between my toes, denting beneath my feet, the water carrying particles against my ankles.  I didn’t like the beach because of things like this. As I ventured further into the water, the wetness and saltspray began to mess with me, flashes of my nightmares appearing in my mind’s eye.  I looked around, but I couldn’t seem to find Josh.

            Where’d he go? I wondered, now in up to my waist.  Up to my waist.   Wow.  If I were to trip…

            Something touched my hips.

            The sand beneath me spread apart, and I could feel it sucking me lower, making me sink into it. I couldn’t will myself to move, the water kept washing over me, or around me, or maybe even through me…I couldn’t tell the difference and I knew it wouldn’t matter if I could.  I was paralyzed, and useless--almost as if I were dreaming...Except for the fact that the water and the sun and the wind, the fading noises and the quickening of my heartbeat, the breathtaking panic and the thing touching my legs and hips, were all very, very real.  Painfully so, and I couldn't help but wonder if this was how the angler's wife had taken all the many reincarnations who had come before me.

 



© 2013 Writer #00


Author's Note

Writer #00
So, apparently Chapter 5 ended up not being as long as I thought it would be, which is why its continuation is so much shorter. Hope you enjoyed this, still, and thought the ending (for this chapter, not the book...I've still got a ways to go before I ask that) wasn't too rushed (I know, the irony considering the length of the chapter as a whole). Feel free to point out any errors and/or make suggestions. I'm always open to improvement : ). Thank you for reading/reviewing/clicking on SOS and pressing the back button because it wasn't interesting enough for you...all that good stuff.

Some notes:
saltspray--> this is not one word, but I think it looks better that way. : )
Anamnesis--> 1) Recollection, in particular.
2) The remembering of things from a supposed previous existence
Hope the title makes sense now, if it didn't before : )

My Review

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Reviews

I love it! The chapter was great: the interactions between the characters were natural and amusing, the dialogues were really fine. The whole time I was reading the text I had this unsettling feeling that something bad is going to happen... and I didn't get disappointed. The ending was fantastic, especially that it's a cliffhanger (I have a thing for those). The pace was just right and finally serious, paranormal action. It wasn't too rushed. If you dragged that on, it'd be boring. The way you added that twist, you made your readers' blood pressure rise. Good job, Writer #00.

I also noticed that there are less brackets now. I still keep noticing them, but now they didn't whip my eyes with their overwhelming numbers.

As for the plot, I have the feeling I'll be surprised... I hope.


Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

I hope, so too...anyway, I didn't have such a reaction in mind when I wrote this, so I'm glad I conv.. read more
Gosia

6 Years Ago

You're welcome.
Only question is what grabbed him? And yeah i think dogs return more love than cats :P kami does have some cat! Maybe Harri is one of the reincarnations! Could it be when he searches through Josh's phone and sees that the Angler looks just like him :O ! Now thats a twist!

And no it doesnt seem rushed! I think splitting the chapter was a great idea because the majority of the writers here write more than they review :P i try my best to do the otherway but great chapter so far! I cant wait for chapter 6

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Yep, what could it have been? That is a twist. I'm not sure how widespread photography was at the .. read more

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Added on July 9, 2013
Last Updated on July 9, 2013
Tags: song, of, the, sirens, SOS, retreat, beach, reincarnation


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Writer #00
Writer #00

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I'm participating in the Summer Writing Project through Jukepop.com, an online serial website, those entering had to submit a novella on Jukepop.com. The finalists will be decided by the number of +V.. more..

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