P. S. Wilmot
Little Tommy and Jack his father the storyteller, walk through the Badlands in hurry to their outskirt settlement as the sun set in the northwest. The shadows of the boy and the man grew behind them as the curiosity rise within Little Tommy. He firmly held to his father’s hand. Why is it the Badlands, the boy asks his father, does not good prevail bad, is there hope for the Badlands to ever be a good land again? Jack was one of the many who dwell on the outskirt of the Badlands, by shuffling through the waste of what was once a land of hope, they piece together scraps for a hope for another day.
Though the land stood in silence, but the past of its greatness could be heard in its failed structures. The roads that once brought together civilization and people now serve as the display of man’s failed idea, partly covered in the course of nature. At least the failures of the past and nature did come together, displaying man's broken ingenuity. Cover in green grass and vegetation with the rise of the earth from beneath the feet, soiling the concrete that once lay below the fast-moving feet of the inspired people of the land. Indeed, fast were they and their desire for a change and impatient for a result to a change. As little Tommy continues to tug on his father’s hand, Jack snaps out of his thoughts. Gently pulling the boy by his side, he replied; son, when equality is no longer served by justice, moral lose its course among the people. Without fairness, unreasonable ordeals lead to the demise of a land.
Looking up at his father, little Tommy curiously asks again, what does this mean? With a gaze in his eyes and love for his son. Jack firmly held to the child’s hand. Son, when people dispute because of their indifference, without addressing the reason for the many indifferences, they engage in a battle without an objective. They struggle to overpower one another. This was Jack way of saying to the boy, we have lost it all.
One might conceive defeat based on life’s condition due to a certain situation. Nevertheless, the moral fiber of life will serve as a perseverance and a compass to that which is right. Regardless of life’s position. Doing that which is right will exalt all people, but the compromise of good for evil is a reproach to all people.
Jack and Tommy shuffled through the badlands as it was customary to the boy and his father, scavenging whatsoever they see fit to take home, but the lack of findings on this day open an opportunity for discussions between the boy and the man. Questions and answers, learning and reflecting. Due to the lack of finds on this trip, Jack decided to take a path, a path the dwellers of the outskirt forbid to tread thereon. As his hesitation causes his steps to gradually slow, he found himself trailing his son’s steps. As curiosity grew within the child, Tommy pulls onto his father’s hand, looking ahead, he took the lead in the walk. In the distance was something massive from the boy’s perspective. Grand, but hideous, notable but hollow. It must have been something of importance, but now vandalize. Even for Tommy, his curiosity was stalled as they came within a much clearer view. Awe-stricken, his steps gradually match the pace of his father’s. Almost simultaneously Tommy and Jack stopped. Although the dwellers of the outskirt live without an elected governing system, but their past did govern their existence. This mindset dictates Jack’s decision as they stood gazing at the past and the future, at once.
This hollow of a structure represents the past for Jack. A past too familiar that he dares not to tread upon. Whereas, this represented the future for Tommy, an insight to this failed structure which embodied their past, might give him a better understanding of the future. Without further delay, Jack implies their shuffling through the Badlands was done for the day. Tommy gently weighs his backpack in his left hand, lifting it past his abdomen meant a little was there, or almost nothing therein. Nevertheless, he trusted his father’s decision. Walking back to the settlement was rather quiet, and baffling, but he knew his restraint would grant him another visit to the Badlands with his father. As they drew near their humble dwelling, the sight of dimmed lights lite up sporadically as the evening transition to the night.
This was a time the dwellers of the Settlement gather and trade their findings or give and receive. However, the forbidden path earlier left an impression on Jack. Not of joy, but of uncertainty, a drawn back to the past, the present became obsolete as he walks hand in hand with his boy. Blocking out the chattering and the buzzing of the social of the night trade. In hope to retire for the night by giving the boy to eat whatsoever was left from the previous day.
His short-sighted plan was short lived, when a gentle, familiar, but a striking voice pierced through his thoughts. “Well, well, aren’t you two brave men going to stop to check on an elderly lady?” For the first time, Tommy parted his hand from his father’s hand and ran toward the voice. This was Mrs. Fiducia, she was the remnant of what a family ought to be. A considerate, kind, and caring woman, although she suffered the most loss among the inhabitants. Yet, Mrs. Fiducia was the one who always gives the most. Her appearance did commanded respect from all. Her silver hair, orderly kept in a bun, adorned with a proper attire regardless of the time of the day. Her keen stares were usually followed by a burst of a welcoming smile.
Everything she did was somewhat different, but familiar. As Tommy embraces her, she reaches out and embrace him by removing his backpack. Leading him toward the side of her home was a trough. It is time to wash up, Thomas. This was one of the primary examples of the uniqueness of Mrs. Fiducia, while everyone calls him Tommy, she calls him Thomas. Jack stood about a foot away watching the two, as she helps him wash up. Walking past Jack, her hand gently rests on his shoulder; we await you inside for a late-night dinner.
The simplicity reflected in her home was the theme of the homes on the outskirt of the Badlands. She had less, not because she lacks anything, but her willingness to give to those in need was the true reflection of the simplicity of her home.
As Jack leans over the trough, hearing the voice of his son relaying the events of the day from within the house, without a doubt he reflected on the memories of having a family with a mother for his son. Walking inside the home, he soon realizes that the quality of life is not predicated upon the unavailability of that which is missing, but how the present is interacted with, will determine the happiness or the sorrow to bear. The happiness of Mrs. Fiducia was the appreciation for the present. She was the host for the night, and she did serve with gladness.
The struggle, however, for Jack was embracing the warmth of her home, while avoiding the preserved memories of the incident which led to the absence of her family.
For a caring woman like Mrs. Fiducia, it was certain she misses her family. Nevertheless, she wholeheartedly cherishes those in her presence, and the opportunity to love others. There was never a dull moment in her company. Even as dinner progress, though the conversation was between two adults. However, she always finds a way to get Thomas involve during the time at the dinner table. Looking in his direction, she conveyed; Thomas, I think it is time you learn other things than scrapping beyond the outskirt. There are a lot you could learn here at home; don’t you think Jack?
Jack was a friendly man and easy to get along with, but he bored a silence burden. The responsibilities of his past which has become apparent to his present. Before he could answer to the question proposed to him, her hand reached out across the little high square table and rested upon his hand. It is ok, Thomas and I will have a lot to do in the coming days. As she arose from the table, she urges Jack and Thomas to continue their meal, what was left of it. Returning with a pitcher, she then refilled the boy’s cup with more water, while passing the remaining of her meal to Jack. She added, dessert is out on the roof I will need your help bringing it down. The least I can do, after eating all your food, he replied with a smile.
For Mrs. Fiducia, this was the reward of her day, a full stomach with a smile. As she walks toward the backdoor of her home, Jack hurriedly ate what was in both plates and passed the rest to his boy, eat up Chip while I help Mrs. Fiducia.
She stood in the doorway waiting for him, walking out together, she closed the door while looking back, and making sure all was well with Thomas at the table. Jack was a tall man, there stood Mrs. Fiducia looking up at him, he knew something was on her mind more than a dessert and he was right. When she said to him; they were spotted earlier. Instinctively he knew what she meant. Standing before her, reawakening was his past through his recollection.
Before the outskirt became a community of dwellers, it was a place of constant assaults of raids and attacks. Before all that, it all started on a late winter of March. As nature engages in the transition from winter to spring, so were the people of the land. This was the time for a systematic change of governing among the people. An upcoming and a promising journalist was walking the tracks, the tracks he made in his mind as a crucial part of his day as he treks through the buzz of the city life. He ensures to keep his thoughts within while blocking the full commotion of those things around him. For him, this was a way of being in control and building upon his aspiration, for him and his family and his ideas to succeed, whilst he exercises for a daily walk. His walk through the city timely led him to a distance where the crowding of the city was behind him, and before him was the noticeable change in the appearance of the construction of these buildings, grand they were and spacious were their surroundings. The quietness of the location was sporadically infused at times with the chirping melodies of a flock of birds in the distance or at times in close proximity. Every now and then, interrupted were the sounds of a barking of a dog, but soon the quietness of the surroundings did outlast the barks. This was a place and the time for the liberation of the thoughts of the trekking journalist. Though he held to his thoughts, but unlike the city, he was now free to listen to the surroundings. He knew the tranquility of this setting will soon transitioned once again to the buzz of the city, where he customary embark on a train ride, back toward the outside boundary of the city limits. Therein, he would walk the remaining of the way enroute to his home on the outskirt of the city. But for now, the quietness felt as though it was wrapped up in the soft soothing wind, brushing against the skin and producing relieve to the perspiry from the movement of the trek. Even the perception of the daylight was soothing to this day. The soft glow, giving ease to the eyes as far as one was willing to see. The calmness of the wind enhances the mind’s ability to decern through the ears. Although hardly was anyone seen outside, but for the size and the splendor construction of these homes, one could spend a considerable amount of time within, while being content. The pavements without and the lawn were all evenly kept, meticulously presented, giving the eyes the delight, while walking and admiring for all to see.
The guilt of a professional concerning their job is the constant urge to incorporate often times those things that are being experienced on a lively basis. For a journalist he felt within, how can I incorporate all that is being perceived into my journal? However, at times, one ought to live the moment rather than a constant attempt to capitalize on the moment for an occupational means, or for a career advancement. Certain experiences are meant to be orchestrated as a building block of who we are as a part of the whole, but these experiences doesn’t conclude the story of us. And not all things that are experienced are meant for an audience, but there are those that are a lesson for the individual.
Seeing the beauty and experiencing the calmness around him, he reasoned through a question. Can an impactful story make a good journalist, or can a good journalist make a story to be impactful?
The more the people of a society evolve in accomplishing those things that are beneficial to their needs, without a reminder of where they once were. In their present they soon forget their past and their future shall be of irrational decisions, the precipice of a collapse as a nation.
These were some of the evidence at hand. Consequently, his routine walk was more than the need for a physical exercise, but a time to think over those things that were defining them as a people. The need not to forget the past, while embracing the future, by learning from the past to honor the sacrifices that were made that the undertaking of the present will continue to usher in an appreciative future. For without gratitude, one almost never appreciate what they have, and they are prone to unknowingly lose it.
Interrupted were his thoughts with the sound of a scream piercing through the surrounding area and penetrating through his consciousness was the dreadfulness of the sound. Yet all stood still around him. Unlike an echo, the dreadful scream did ring louder, yet again. As his mind races, vast became the surrounding in his sight. Though the screams continue, yet there was no one in sight, but him and the pristine majestic size buildings, silence they stood. As if time has come to a standstill, but within his chest rapidly beats his heart, contemplating the need for an action or the lack thereof. The once calm cool breeze he previously enjoyed, was now like a chill of shock through his skin and into his being.
In his mind’s eyes it was hours ago he treaded upon the exact location with little Tommy, in the present of a hollow of a structure. However, the sentiments of his expression now as he stood before Mrs. Fiducia was that of a rumination of the past with the emerging feelings of devastation of which he managed to control through resentment within, for all that have happened and continues to, through the years. With her head tilted upward looking into his eyes, standing outside with the door shut behind him, he stared not into her eyes, but beyond her presence into the horizon. Calmly from without, but raging from within from those words he did hear moments ago, they were spotted earlier.
Now, dusk was the view of the horizon of the outskirt of which he motionlessly stared into. Buzzing was the night chattering of its dwellers, but his immobile stare indicates he heard not a word, but the commotion of being trapped between his thoughts and the actions of the past. Soon he was again trapped, but for the awakening into reality, as the door let-up at his back, with Mrs. Fiducia arms finding a way around him, in an attempt to let Thomas out.
Jack slowly regains his awareness of his present surroundings while letting go of the burdensome feelings from within by realizing he must assist Mrs. Fiducia. Towering over both Mrs. Fiducia and Tommy, he reaches for that which was at the top of the slanting eaves of her humble home.
Be careful now, was her considerate and always caring voice, as she steps back while embracing Thomas by her side, they both watched, as Jack steadily brought down a metal frame on which lies various fruits that have been nicely cut and evenly lay out in the sun for the process of dehydrating the fruits. Aimed at preserving the fruits for later consumption while preserving its nutrients.
There is a time when individuals advance in their will and their abilities by the means of the creative process of the mind. To create with the assumption of improvement to their surroundings, and to life and living. But what is the essence of improvement if those that are being improved through their will power has not the will to get along one with another? Such were the people before present. From their broken ingenuity, now wise were those who must now learn the comfort of life and living isn’t always predicated upon the ease of the progression of life, but learning that every situation brings with it an opportunity for an understanding to be unlocked and the revelation of who we are and what others are to us. They could once predict the rising of the sun and the going down thereof, with minute details of any altercation of the atmospheric occurrences. But what was the sun to the people who assume they had it all through their ingenuity? But for now, life must be seen through a new lens so that life continues through the awareness of a purpose and the simplicity of those things that were always there, although they once never care about. Like that of the rising of the sun, tasks must be done while its light graces the skies as its warmth serves multiple purposes including the preservation of their food and their hygienics wellbeing through their vesture. The act of dry-cleaning through evaporation, but for now dusky was the surrounding of the outskirt as the night gradually came into effect. The dealing of the dwellers at this time differs from that of the day. For this was the time the dwellers of the Settlement gather and trade their findings or give and receive.
At the side of her home where Tommy previously washup before the meal was a trough, and above the trough was a window which serve multiple purposes. For now, she carefully led the way assisting Jack by the holding of the metal frame covered with fruits as he held on while following her lead until it was gently placed on the stool area of the open window. She then reaches down to the trough, extracting a lengthy wooden board wherewith she covers the trough. Allowing Tommy to stand thereon, giving him a view of the dehydrated fruits that were before the three of them.
To be continued