Terri's Cellar Door

Stuff that happens to me, Terri.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fort's First Encounter Pt. Two

This is the conclusion of my story. I have to admit that the stories that I've posted on here haven't done as well as, say, my top ten list of why Voyager is the best Star Trek ever, but I will nonetheless keep on keeping on, as it were. It still hasn't been thoroughly vetted (much like Sarah Palin, zing!) but I'll get to that sooner or later.


When you get the chance to read this, I hope you're old enough to understand it. First of all, let me tell you that I love you. And even now as I write this I am filling it with all the love that I can, because you are my little boy. I've had a lot of time in the hospital when they're not poking and prodding me to think about what I should and could say to you. I know that you love me, but I also know that a part of you will hate me for leaving you the way that I will. I hate myself as well for not being strong enough to beat this alien that has invaded my body. Perhaps I could never be strong enough, but know that your love always made me stronger.
When I met your father I was a waitress at a lowly dive of a restaurant halfway to his favorite camping ground. I was the only black girl in the place, and he was a hard man who had served our country, but I loved him then. There was something in him, (it's in you too, Fort) that made him strong, but let him love just as deep as anybody else. But we both know that he's not perfect and I could look past quite a few things, but when I found out I was pregnant with you, I knew that I couldn't any longer. I couldn't let his coldness make you cold, and his hardness make you hard. But now it seems that God has taken that choice away from me. I hope and trust that He is watching over you, and soon I will as well.
But I couldn't shake loose this mortal coil without telling you somethings that I think will make you even stronger than your father ever could. I want you to remember who you are, why you love and the compassion and love that I see in your eyes. I want you to remember me as who I am, and not as who you thought me to be. I'm not perfect, I never will be, but I am filled with love for you, Fort, you are all that matters to me. Finally, I want you to care. I want you to care about something, anything, as long as you're willing to give up everything, knock down any wall, work through any pain to get there. If it is a person, fine, if it is a cause, better, if it is a dream, even better. I want you to believe sweetie, no matter what it is, and I want you to care, because I care about you. I believe in you.

With Love Forever,
Your Very Dear Mother

Fort was in good shape, this was not in dispute. He could run for fifteen minutes straight before having to stop and catch his breath. As he took off running into the woods on that dark fall evening the only thing he had in his pocket was a mini flashlight that he carried for emergencies. He had no food, no water, no extra layers of clothing, and after those fifteen minutes, no earthly idea where he was. He could no longer see the lights of Bill's and this was certainly not the heart of the city. Fort leaned against a tree to brace his quivering legs. He was gasping, and the chilly air had started his lungs burning. He stood up after a few moments and looked around. He was furious with his father, but it didn't make any sense to keep running around the woods in the middle of the dark. He looked from left to right and tried to remember which direction he had come from. He pulled out his flashlight and pointed it at the ground. But there was something wrong. Where there should only have been a small circle of light, Fort found himself surrounded by light. He looked up and dropped his penlight. About a hundred feet above him, just above the treeline was the source of the light. There were four lights in a circle, and inside the circle was one large light. Fort brought up his arm to block the lights, and an outline appeared. Those were just free floating lights. There was a vehicle attached to them. He couldn't be sure, but it looked like one of those flying saucers from the picture. Fort stood open mouthed for only a couple of moments more before he took off again. He wasn't sure what direction he was going, but he knew that he just wanted to get from under the lights that now seemed to be following him. He zigged and zagged, hopping under branches and over fallen limbs, but the craft was focused on him now, and wasn't letting up. Suddenly the cover ran out, and Fort found himself in a clear. 'Oh great, exactly where I want to be.' He thought. As if in answer to his worst fears the craft began to land. Fort tried to take off again, but he found he couldn't move. He wasn't sure if it was fear or something more extraterrestrial, but his legs just wouldn't work. Suddenly a deep humming seemed to fill the clearing and the ship touched down. Fort wasn't sure if it could be called a ship, but that's what they always seemed to call craft like this in the movies. He wondered how it was possible he was thinking so clearly. He did seem rather calm considering the circumstances. As the craft landed, Fort was decidedly zen about things, and when the doors opened calmer still. A figure emerged, and Fort decided he wasn't so happy with the way things were going. Unfortunately, he still wasn't able to move, and this was putting a damper on his plans to scurry away. The figure approached him, and as it moved he shielded his eyes again, trying to get a view of whatever teeth/horns/weapons this thing might have. Suddenly he had a view of a hand and an arm. The looked human. Then a torso came into view, and it was still human. Fort worried about some horrible half-breed creation, but the head shape seemed human as well. Then the person was only feet away and the light seemed to equalize, and the first thing he saw was her smile. Fort's legs became unglued only to give out beneath him, and he found himself on his knees in front of the figure. She approached and pulled his head to her stomach. Fort wrapped his arms around her and couldn't stop the tears from coming. He didn't want to.

Fort awoke in a hospital bed. His father was reading a newspaper at the foot of the bed. A nurse was adjusting his pillow and he opened his eyes to her cleavage almost hitting him in the face. She was trying to chat with his father, and Mr. Savage was making it very hard on her; only responding with grunts and the occasional one syllable response.

“Oh well, lookie here!” She had noticed. “We were wondering when you'd wake up.”

“Oh yeah.” Fort's throat was dry and his voice cracked.

“You had quite a tumble in the woods.”

He simply nodded this time.

“Well, I'll get you some ice chips to cool down your throat.”

Fort smiled and looked to his father. He was still reading the newspaper. Then something caught his eye. The letter was sitting on the table next to the bed. Suddenly, Fort remembered everything that had happened in the woods. He opened his mouth, and then closed it. His father would never understand, even if he did believe him, instead of locking him up in an institution. There was no point. He had just turned to look back at the letter when his dad cleared his throat.

“That was a damn fool thing to do.”

Fort didn't respond.

“Could've gotten yourself killed. Sure could've.”
“Like you would have cared.” Fort almost had to whisper.

“Look, I never would have coddled you like your mother. But I loved her, you know? You too, just the only way I know how. I never hit you, did I?”

Fort didn't say anything.

“I didn't! Never laid a hand on your mother, God rest her soul. I just tried to give you something I didn't have!”

Mr. Savage looked around. He was yelling and had forgotten for a moment that were in a hospital.

“Anyway, don't think this is getting you out of survival training.”

Fort sighed quietly. And then again. His father didn't have to care. He would care enough for the both of them. He would find something to live for, and he would find something to die for. His mother would have wanted it that way.

Fortinbras is a part of a greater storyline, which is why is story doesn't really answer any of the burning questions that you might have after reading this. But what you need to know is that his father dies twenty years later, long enough to see Fort become a fighter pilot and long enough to receive the folded flag at his son's funeral. It is only after this that Fort finds something to live and die for. This story is entitled Fort's First Encounter for a reason...*


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