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Legend Fades To Myth

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Author Topic: Legend Fades To Myth  (Read 735 times)

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« on: December 10, 2018, 12:41:08 am »


Pt. 1 - “Lovely Day”

“Now who can read this part for me? Jayden?”

She just showed up one day.

Hillsborough Elementary was strict on who taught impressionable young minds. Yet she, she just showed up one day. She had a teaching license that was dated back to 2010. Substitute teachers weren’t exactly in high demand, most regular teachers in Hillsborough county were struggling enough to get paid as it was. Yet she showed up whenever asked of her.

Ms. Lopez--pardon.

Mrs. Yamada asked a lot.

That’s what happens when you get married though. It’s that new car smell in marital form. You might never want to get away from it if you can help it. All it took for this particular substitute teacher was having been the right teacher on the right day that all the kids in Mrs. Yamada’s kindergarten classroom took to. Mrs. Yamada’s husband worked for some big firm outsourcing so on and so forth and such. Good many meant using vacation days aplenty.

It meant that the substitute saw these kids a lot.

She wouldn’t be teaching them though. Too many teachers already and too few positions. Subs waiting longer than her and with more experience were chomping at the bit. She hadn’t taught any classes in eight years and it was all about prep in Florida.

Preparation for standardized testing. Scores on testing was what got public schools increasingly dwindling funding.

She didn’t care anything about that however. She with her shabby burgundy shawl she wore over her shoulders with the winter months coming in, if Florida’s winter months could even be called that. She with her worn out looking denim dress that folded only when she stepped and shifted on a foot. She was only here for them. Bright eyes and burgeoning thought and innocence.

Innocence to the world that was out there.

They would not be for long, she knew.

People thought kids were looking like adults with each passing generation but she knew, she knew the truth.


Innocence was dying quicker with passing generation.

Her thoughts were mired by the sweet lit of a little boy’s voice. Innocence. Innocence in his voice, innocence in his heart, innocence in his soul. He spoke demurely, as though he wasn’t even sure he was reading correctly.

“One day, a little blue fish followed after him. ‘Rainbow fish,’ he called, ‘Wait for me! Please give me one of your shiny scales. They are so wonderful and you have so many.’ ‘You want me to give you one of my scales? Who do you think you are?’ cried the Rainbow Fish.

‘Get away from me!’”

”You can almost hear the cartilage tearing! Listen to Caroline scream! I’ve never seen Jo use this, and it’s gonna tear Caroline’s leg to shreds!”

“So already we know the Rainbow Fish is selfish, right guys. He has so many scales but he doesn’t want to give a single one up to someone who admires him.” She said softly. “That’s not the right way to be either, is it?”

They nodded in unison for the most part, except for Kristina Madison whose mom and dad were always fighting at home and DeAndre Mills who even at this tender age cared nothing for school. She’d set up a parent-teacher conference but she didn’t have that kind of power. Not here; she could only do what was in her jurisdiction and leave the rest to Mrs. Yamada. She couldn’t fault the woman either. She was young and recently married and love and passion had an effect on the mind.

She remembered.

“Mrs. Carol,” Deshonte spoke up. “Sometimes you don’t have to share right? Sometimes you should keep things for you, right?”

“Savannah Taylor tonight has beaten the two time FFW champion clean as a whistle! Love her or hate her, the former No Surrender champion is headed to the next round of the Femme For All where Leona Vega awaits her!”

Mrs. Carol blinked slowly, as if she could hear a strange buzzing in her ear that she had long forgotten; it was like her ear was full of wax and she hadn’t made an effort to clean herself of it in weeks, months even. It was the sound of a discordant melody that she had stopped trying to remember for fear of damaging her own hearing.

“Sometimes,” Mrs. Carol smiled. “Other times you should be happy when others are happy. How about you read the next part Deshonte?”

“Shocked, the little blue fish swam away. He was so upset he told all his friends what happened. From then on, no one would have anything to do with the Rainbow Fish. They turned away when he swam by.”

“Here is your winner, by way of pinfall… “THE LAST EMPRESS” ARTEMIS KAISER!!!”

Mrs. Carol cleared her throat gently and began to circle the classroom, shoes gently passing on the carpet made of bright colors and alphabet letters in similar yet opposing hue. She looked about the young minds and smiled. She held up her own copy of the book and read softly.

“What good were the dazzling, shimmering scales with no one left to admire them?” She asked from the passage to her young minds. “You see the Rainbow Fish is vain about his prettiness but he also wants... Needs friends. Everyone needs a friend. Think about who you sit at lunch with? Who pushes you on the swing? Who you sit next to. You guys think of them as your friends right? Imagine if you didn’t have anyone? The times where you’re sad would be that much sadder, wouldn’t they?”


She hits Eileen with the chair across the back again.

“I FUCKING,” Two chair hits follow this one to the back. “LOVED YOU!”

A nod of consensus. Mrs. Carol smiled gently at all the faces looking at her before she flipped onto the next page and looked among her students. Not truly her students but as close to her’s as she could get right now and she was okay with that in earnest. She read on.

“One day, he poured his troubles out to the starfish. ‘I really am beautiful, why doesn’t anybody like me?’ ‘I can’t answer that for you,’ said the starfish. ‘But if you go beyond the coral reef, to a deep cave, you will find the wise octopus. Maybe she can help you.”

“You abandoned that ring, you abandoned that temple a long time ago, and I stepped up, I brought it back to prominence, I made it matter again...”

Mrs. Carol smiled a little more wide when she saw many eyes on rapt attention, hanging on her next word.

She was at peace here.

“Kristina, how about you read the next little bit?”


'Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day'

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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 01:50:05 am »

Pt. 2 - “Son of A Preacher Man”

The First Baptist Church of College Hill had stood over a century in pride and Faith in God. That didn’t mean they didn’t know how to get down. There was always time that. In this case for the Church fish fry, because Christmas and everything associated with it was a pagan holiday not worth actually speaking of.

The idea of a Southern Baptist church in southwest Florida declaring Christmas and everything that goes with it should be of no surprise.

Pastor Clarke did all his fishing on the weekend. Of course that was the Friday and the Saturday because Sunday was always the Lord’s Day. Forever and ever the Lord’s Day and there was nothing to ever change tat. After service was time to eat, time to get that grub on for the young and the old, for those in Sunday school and those holding their hand up every two minutes with a deep ‘Mmmhm’ in response to just about any thing the pastor had to say.

Of course she wasn’t here to judge.

She was here to become a part of.

To let it all wash over her.

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe deep.

Sister Carol had joined their congregation only a few months ago but she had all but ingrained herself to them. She came in that ankle-length dress with the stubs on. You know the church stubs your mother used to wear bright and early every Sunday. Your mother and everyone else’s mother because flip flops ain’t no sight for Jesus. Carol wore her hair in wild curls, tresses of dirty blonde and dark brunette that caught the light all at once. Ain’t none of the old folks knew her and she was happy for that.

The younger kids knew her though, or they swore they knew her but mum was the word after she said she would teach a Sunday school class because Sister Keisha had to take a day of reflection...Which, according to all that gossip, that tea spilled between Sister Allen and Sister Thornton, Sister Keisha was taking the day off because she had to run to the Planned Parenthood clinic. Of course she had found a young “gentlemen” around Ybor when she was doing her business at Club Skyy but the Lord was speaking to her in his own way.

That’s how Sister Allen and Sister Thornton saw it anyway, and discussed it with half the congregation.

Sister Carol wasn't really bothered about what Sister Keisha was up to way from the church. She tried to keep as far away from all the church gossip. That’s how you influence the pastor’s kids and the Lord only knows what happens when the pastor’s kids are old enough, are wise enough, are thinking any damn thoughts.


Sister Carol at this point in time was only focused on the bubbling vegetable oil, using a pair of chopsticks to flip the tilapia over so she can get it a good golden brown on the side. She watches it with rapt amusement, a smile from the side of her lip growing as she takes pride in her little work here. Fish-frier. Imagine that. Imagine taking a moment in your life, in the existence that you hang in to know that you that you’re so weirdly proud that the fish you’re frying are all gonna be done correctly. They’re gonna be done right.

Of course anyone with sense can fry some damn fish right. Tilapia is so easy to cook that anyone could be doing what she was doing with her damn chopsticks that spent like what, an hour in water for just the occasion? Wasn’t what was important now... No, for Sister Carol it was just a matter of flipping the tilapia of that golden brown goodness and letting it catch the other side as Sister Smith who was the church busybody for everyone who know her poked her head to watch Sister Carol fry her fish.

Ain’t no interest here in the french fry, hot sauce, mustard, and white bread that made for the plate-within-the-plate.

Sister Smith just wanted to mind Carol’s business, talking loudly to Sister Allen about the church’s plans in January.

“Mmmhmm. I asked Pastor Clarke and he said it’s gonna be January. He’s gonna have Reverend Thomas stopping by to speak,” Sister Smith said, her eyebrows raising to make a silent point. Sister Allen only responded with a ‘Mmmm’.

Mmms and mmmhmms.

The language of people at church with too much time on their hands. Carol knew it was coming as she lifted one piece of tilapia out of the oil and shook it gently twice. Three times and onto the paper towel.

“The man is fine and I remember the last time he came by too,” Sister Allen on her third marriage (praise Him) said with a rumble in her throat. That or a growl, Sister Carol didn’t really want to find out. “Girl if I was twenty years younger--”

“Now Sister Allen,” Carol chided gently to finally get this out of the way as she lifted a piece of fish dried off from the oil and deposited it gently on a plate with white bread and fries. It was Mr. Allen worrying about doing the fries, and barely paying any attention to his (second) wife’s extramarital musings neither. “You know you shouldn’t be getting your blood pressure up.”

Sister Allen sighed softly as though she was ready to throw in the towel about daydreams of one-on-ones with men who actually kept their faith in Him and whatever... Oddities she was playing over and over in her head. “Girl you’re right but I don’t see you booed up with anyone? Ain’t a ring on your finger either Sister Carol, and you know there’s a fine stock of men here. No one’s caught your eye?”

“I loved--love you with everything I have, but I will not, I cannot sit and watch you find new ways to execute self-destruction on yourself.”

Sister Carol blinked softly, wavering where she stood. Physically swaying as if something had hit her low. Her smile faded for a second, only a second and nothing more before she looked between Sister Allen and Sister Smith.

“No I think I’m okay. I’m just working on me right now,” Sister Carol murmured. “Just me.”



Sister Carol’s lips pursed before she focused back on her fish, lifting battered raw fillets from her little bag and dropping them into the oil. Her only response of choice was a gentle, “Mmhm, that’s right.”

“Well how about my nephew, Gerald? He’s about your age and he loves God though he hasn’t been to a church in a few years but I know that a good woman could turn that right around,” Sister Allen nodded at her with a knowing smile. Carol stared at her fish with a sincere focus and her own smile turning more and more into a thin line.

“I just don’t think that would be a good idea,” Carol said simply before reaching up and grabbing her the apron from around her neck. “Warren honey, take over for me.”

The teenager found himself draped with a cooking apron and fish unflipped by the time Sister Carol put as much space between herself and the other members of the congregation. She just needed space, she just needed a minute, she just needed...

“Do you Anders Stark take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold--”

She gritted her teeth. She pushed it away.

She just needed a minute.


'Bein' good isn't always easy
No matter how hard I try
When he started sweet-talkin' to me
He'd come'n tell me "Everything is all right"
He'd kiss and tell me "Everything is all right"
Can I get away again tonight?'

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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2018, 12:45:53 am »

Pt. 3 - “Feeling Good”

It was easy to get away if you really made the effort to. It was easy to just disappear. Away from what you love, what you hate, what you dream of, what you desire. What you think keeps you going but what you think is an inherent poison in the soul.

...And then you realize...

Then you realize as you’re sitting and draining your seventh...Eighth beer on the Lord’s Day with the caveat that you’ll show up for church next week and claim to Pastor Clarke that it was a family emergency that you had to take care of; you realize that self-pity is nothing in comparison to self-realization.

Maybe the reason you took so many career losses, more than you ever have isn’t because you’ve been slipping and you’re just losing your touch.

It’s because everyone else is and has been that much better and you were just coasting along, thinking improvements was just a word to you. You were arrogant and thinking that you would be on top forever, even while acknowledging those who would come in time and topple you. You were thinking that day was never going to come, but it not just came but it kicked your door down.

“Caroline. Lyn. This is your gym. Not mine. Take your shit back, I can’t cope. Already lost my damn commentary job trying to flex, just take this back and let me go back to a quiet retirement, would ya?”

It came, it saw, it conquered and what have you’ve been doing? You’ve been hiding. You’ve been shirking your responsibilities. Responsibilities to your loved ones, to enemies and friends alike to just simply be.  This goes beyond wrestling. Everyone has workplace friends just as simply as they have workplace enemies.

If you don’t believe me, tell me about the fucker who eat your lunch on Tuesday or used the creamer that you bring in specially during your grocery trip. You even have your goddamn initials but no, fucking Janice has to drain the last of it in that muddy deluge that the company budgets deem as acceptable coffee.

Maybe you needed rest.

Maybe you needed that minute to yourself. That minute to heal. That minute to breathe in and breathe out. That minute to pull yourself back together again.

"Hey. You still haven't been answering anything, I know. Still trying though. Uh, look, this isn't about wrestling or anything dumb on Twitter, I just....I wanna know that you're at least alive in some way, shape or form. You still haven't been to see her and quite frankly, if HENNY can make time...just, please Caroline. Call me back. I love you, OK? Nothing will ever change that."

And those who were waiting for you still wait and others...

Others might need a minute as well.

Carol sat in silence in front of her laptop, waiting. Her eyes casually scanced to a plane ticket to New York. Freshly printed from her computer no less. That was for another day but today was the first day; the first day of many to live again instead of just stumbling through life. That’s what she had been doing. Stumbling through life as the casual observer, a ghost. There not but not really there. Unaffected with the people around her while silently punishing herself with perceived memories. It was time to enjoy the days ahead. Days to take stock, days to breathe, days to live. To live one day at a time. To heal.

To heal.

The familiar face popped on her screen as her’s popped on his.

“Hey,” Anders said.

“Hey,” Caroline replied.


‘It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me yeah
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me
And I'm feeling good.’
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