Thursday, February 19, 2009

TwentySix: Garden State of Mind.

I awoke in a nice firm bed situated in the heart of New Jersey. The house, I later discovered, was built on a faultline of centuries old revolution. Between the people and the masses.
I had no memory. No powers. Nothing. Two patient Christians had eventually taken me in and fed me. They gave me a place to lick my wounds, a home to heal.

I had to rebuild my mind from scratch. The instincts came back first, the animalistic impulses. I imagine I had to evolve back to myself. Someone had beaten me so bad that I dropped species.

I vaguely recall the beginning. I was howling and yelping into the night as I took to the wilds of New Jersey. The industrial world that once thrived here had been abandoned and reclaimed by the jungles of North America. Nature's last line of defense against the sprawling Metropolis across the Hudson.

My thick fingernails dug easily into the side of the giant stalks of enormous plants. My calloused feet found purchase among the ridges of the bark. I ran and lept among the leaves and vines in a garden of gods. Gigantic vegetables had fed entire cultures of people here. Cultures that created its own heroes.

Daisy Hurricane blew in on the western winds and struck before I was even looking in her direction. I growled internally as I tried to get the air back into my lungs. My shaggy hair draped into my face as I rose up, ferocity searing from my eyes.

Daisy looked over her savage interloper and instantly she adored him. He was a hopeless backwards boy, a broken beast of a man. She knocked him unconscious with a swipe of her fist, tossed his firm body over her shoulder, and flew back home on the currents, her wild, short hair swirling in the breeze.

I awoke. Chained. Dark. Alone. But taken care of. I felt healthy. I looked around my cage, without the knowledge of my own humanity, and saw the bones from several meals. If I had a mirror I could have seen the weeks' worth of facial hair. My mind was growing.

Daisy came to visit me often. She was sweet and liked to pet my head. When she saw that my personality was returning, despite my status as a savage, she brought me out of the cage and into her world.

Everyone lived within the walls of a giant husk. They gathered together and ate meals of massive grains and vegetation. They had a table filled with meat of all kinds. They drank large mugs of a natural alcohol and smoked thick homemade cigars.

My instincts drove me towards the food, the drink, and the smoke. Daisy and her people laughed as I gobbled up a portion for three, downed it with a barrel of ale, and smoked a cigar down to a stub. I slept like a baby for two days.

When I awoke again, Daisy was lying naked next to me. We were in her bedroom and suddenly I knew the words for things. I knew this was her bed, her room, her life. And I knew I was naked as well.

I tiptoed to the mirror and looked at my body. I was lean. My muscles at the early stage of chiseling. My hair and beard were overgrown. I had the swagger of a monster.

I threw on some pants and a shirt. As Daisy began to stir, I lept out the window. I ran along the rooftops. With my senses coming back and my instincts still intact, I took everything in. I realized why I had to run.

It was Daisy. She needed to be appeased. Her people did what she wanted and kept her happy, no matter what. My sense of self was far gone, but I still remembered when she made an example of a young boy. I was unfazed, unknowing of my humanity, but even I felt some pang when she demasculinated him before us all.

Daisy Hurricane had the superstrength and wind traipsing powers necessary to carry the food back to the people. Only females carried this power apparently. Something about the soil here produced a small cropping of girls with tremendous potential.

Petunia was another of these girls. Nowhere near the power of Daisy, she was the runt of this litter. But she visited me as well, she listened and knew my pain. I would have to go to Petunia and find a way to escape this garden.

I came to her window and she smiled. She knew I was only here to escape. But she gladly helped anyway. For it was an escape for her as well. She just never imagined how much she would resent me once I left.

My feet pounded the earth as I raced behind Petunia gliding along the air currents like a petal floating downriver. Suddenly I felt a change in the air and spun around into a skid. Daisy was swooping down at me, her fist drawn back, ready to strike.

I hopped backwards into a defensive crouch as she plowed her fist into the ground. She stood up slowly, the wind kicking up all around us as she rose, dirt dripping from her knuckles. A breeze threw back her hood and her hair began to twirl about.

Petunia slipped by me and into Daisy's path. A few well placed kicks and punches had gotten Daisy mad enough to toss Petunia far into the early morning dawn. I ducked and dodged as Daisy swung erratically, the air around her punches almost pushing me out of the way. Driving me away.

I ran and bounced off a leaf, caught hold of a vine, and soared towards the buildings, hoping to out maneuver her there. Daisy whipped herself into a whirlwind, picking up everything in her way and smashing it to bits. I narrowly avoided the debris, nimbly sidestepping and leaping over all she tossed in my path.

Without my powers I couldn't outrun her for long. She unleashed a shot to my back and I hit the ground hard. I bounce twice before I slam into a wall.

"Originally they wanted me to eat you. But I love you. I could never do that."

She stepped forward and looked menacingly down at me. I had no idea what she wanted.

Petunia dropped from the sky and drove her heels into Daisy's back.

"He doesn't love you. That's why he's running. He's trying to find his way back to his true love."

Although still unable to speak the English language, somehow Petunia knew me better than I did. From a few grunts and grumbles she recognized something in me that I had long forgotten. New York City came to my mind.

Daisy and Petunia took to the air, soaring and fighting and spinning. Their cloaks swooshing about them, they looked beautiful. Two flowers dancing along an autumn breeze.

I felt bad leaving so abruptly but it felt like it would be for the best. I climbed and scurried and slipped under some branches and leaves. After days of fighting through the wilds, my hand had pushed through to open air. I pulled myself up as two hands lifted me from the underground.

I was dirty, starved, and exhausted. The two pilgrims caught me and dragged me inside. Within two months they had retaught me the basics of the English language. Enough to talk and write this all down. They say it'll help me make sense of it all and also help remind me who I was before I was the savage.

New York City. True Love. That's all I knew.

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