Stefan’s Big Chance
Stefan pushed a big rock out of his way, and he climbed out of his hole. At least
that’s the way it looked to Stefan, but Stefan didn’t think he was going to be able to see
very well because he had been in the dark too long.
“Quiet Please!” whimpers Miss Prim’s new girlfriend, Petronella, and Stefan’s eyes
go wide open because she has freckles and doesn’t like loud music. Everything else gets
in Stefan’s eyes too, and so Stefan isn’t nearly as blind as he thought he was going to be.
Petronella had been busy with foretolds and bedevilments so just about anything
climbing out of a hole pleased her immensely.
“Miss Prim, Miss Prim, I brought you a baby turtle,” interrupted the same old
attention-deprived first-grader, and Miss Prim had to slap him around a bit to get his
attention and cast him once more asunder, where he came from.
Buffy, the new age teacher’s new aide, turned to Miss Prim with a bit of seaweed
on her teeth and asked for another cigarette. Buffy was becoming a bit provoked with her
mentor/chum. She always had to ask for what she wanted.
When the primitive haze contained in childhood instincts arrived without actually
being announced, Buffy, Petronella, and Miss Prim were all too distracted to even notice,
but Stefan still had some climbing to do to get out of his hole, and he noticed. If there
was so much anticipation tangled up in reaching, then when might he achieve the touch
he had heard about like the forest beneath its warmth? If he tried to liberate Petronella,
would the wet furry paws of his overdeveloped hunting prowess remain too big to fit in a
nice dark hole?
It was not yet apparent to Stefan that he was indeed the children’s dream, arising
from the dark maw of their primitive instincts, and he had not yet succeeded in being
sublimated by modern conveniences. Nor did he understand that merely climbing back up
out of the position he had arrived in would be insufficient unto baby planting fulfillment
expectations in the minds of creatures like Petronella, who did not regard ordinary
miracles as bedevilments.
“Children’s dreams are bound to be disappointed,” warned Buffy from her
deliciously ambiguous post-modernist perspective, too late to keep Stefan from noticing
her strange and terrifying forest-colored warmth.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2013. Tunneling to the Moon draws from fairy tales, a condescending of a 1938 Social Studies reader for 6th grade, an 1890 handbook on marital compatibility, numerous annoying educational advancement studies, the myths and legends of third-world countries and minority peoples, frequent conversations with Crows, Owls and a wide variety of underground inhabitants, insects and the people who collect them, Joseph Cornell, Günter Eich, Russell Edson, the French Surrealist poets, the Quay Brothers, letterpress printing, and the author’s inability to channel his imagination linearly. There’s still time to catch up. Refer to the Burrow Guide.