This entire literary work is a work of fiction. All characters, certain locations, events and descriptions are entirely works of fiction. Any resemblances of any persons or events are purely coincidental. All symbolic version of religions beliefs are all works of fiction and not to be miscontrued as fact.
"Scientists tell us that without the presence of the cohesive force amongst the atoms that comprise this globe of ours, it would crumble to pieces and we would cease to exist, and even as there is cohesive force in blind matter, so must there be in all things animate, and the name of that cohesive force among animate being is love. We notice it between father and son, between brother and sister, friend and friend. Where there is love, there is life." – On Non-Violence by Mahatma Gandhi
Every moment mattered, and everything meant intrigue to him. His red beanie with an embroidered sun tilted to his right temple, exposing the soft brunette strands of his baby hairs. He softly tiptoed on to the stony dirt path ahead of him, as each step of his small bare feet gave into the earth. A leaf fell on his nose, that was wet from the dewy moisture of the spring morning in Longmont, Colorado. He blew the leaf away. Wisps of his breath danced in the air, as he walked one step at a time with gargantuan curiosity.
The vision of white soft fur enlarged his eyes. The rabbit hopped. One hop, two hop, three hop. He leapt to catch the white cottontail from behind, but missed. He landed on the dirt on his front yard, face first and ambition second.
"I'm catching you," said Ichabod Frenzy, seven year-old hunter of small furry animals and a fan of mud. Smearing dirt on his striped green shirt, he sneaked to the bushes near the steel gate towards the neighbor's house.
Leona, his neighbor, was pruning the lavender with shears and empty eyes, almost glazed as that of a mannequin. Snip. Snip. Robotic movement of lavender stem being pruned, to concoct her usual lavender and mint oils. Ichabod stared at her dry cracked lips, almost whispering to herself. Something along the lines of, "Bad landscaping."
Strange but interesting, Ichabod thought.
Her tear-stained eyes glanced to the center branch and met Ichabod's doe-eyes. Stillness beset them both. They raised their heads and met each other in full view.
"Boo!" said Ichabod jokingly.
"AAArrrrggghhhh!" Leona's bottom slipped away from her gardening stool, as she landed on the dirt. She never anticipated ruckus and gardening mayhem at this early in the morning.
"Oh gosh," Ichabod hid back behind the lavender bushes that were overgrown past the trellises.
"Who are you?!" Leona yelled, cruelly.
"Ichabod. That's my name. Ichabod Frenzy. I'm seven," he said from soil level. He slowly raised his head, and asked, "Did you see a bunny rabbit?"
Leona turned around, and saw the white rabbit hopping across the other side of her lush garden.
"I'm your neighbor. It's my new word "neighbor." I like you," Ichabod said, half smiling. "My mom said we should be friends with our neighbors."
She gathered her pruning shears and gloves to go back inside. Ichabod scowled seeing her silent movements to abandon him without a reply. She has to be kind somehow, he thought.
She was about to pick up her gardening stool when the grey haired lady across the street yelled, "Top of the morning! It's pretty today, isn't it?"
This was way too much attention for Leona. A fake smile was too much of an effort for someone she hardly cared for. Noticing Leona's silence, the old lady across the street grumbled, "Ignoramus," as she scowled and crouched down to get back to her own gardening work.
Leona grabbed her shears from the ground, then smeared the mud off on her brown shorts and ragged t-shirt. She turned to Ichabodm and tenderly spoke to him. "Don't listen to her, you're still little. Don't believe rubbish," she said.
Ichabod nodded and smiled, because she'd finally spoken to him. He saw the old lady hissed at him, then ran back into her house across the street. Ichabod ran outside of his yard and opened Leona's front gate, to see if the cotton-tailed rabbit was still inside her fecund garden.
The roses of Sharon bloomed, as if it was the epitome of blossoming love that Leona lacked in her life. Ichabod did not care who Leona was, because the rabbit was his main concern. There were judgments about the neighborhood that Leona was the peculiar, single, and barren lady living next to the Frenzy family. On the contrary, Ichabod was the doe-eyed darling everyone wanted to meet, simply because he was the bright ornament to the otherwise mundane neighborhood community.
"I'm hunting," said Ichabod, searching underneath Leona's rose bushes.
The house Ichabod and Leona lived in were a pair of two-story Victorian style doll-houses made life sized, with fish-fins details on the roof and ornate trimmings with a porch swing on the Frenzy side and a bench on Leona's side. Leona's front yard was trailed with cobbled stones steps from the front porch, leading to the front gate. Her perennial garden charmed the house, with bursts of colors and robust characters. The Frenzy family front yard was detailed with round topiaries and an arched walkway, with finely trimmed green grass and a small little fountain to the left of the stony path. Longmont, was a small city with its fair share of Victorian style neighborhoods, and the Frenzy block was one of many.
The grey haired lady across the street slammed her front door shut after she went inside. She peeked outside of the window and stuck her tongue out to Leona.
"And people say I'm weird," Leona said, seeing the grey haired lady scratch the window like a tiger on its prey.
Jenny, Ichabod's mother yelled at the top of her lungs from next-door, "Baby! Where are you? Let's go to the pool! Summer time, summer fun!"
Ichabod immediately ran out of Leona's yard. "I'll see you tomorrow. I'm busy, I have to go play," he said. He sprinted back to his house because pool time beats a white cottontail rabbit anytime, anywhere.
The next day was sweltering hot. There was no air conditioning in Ichabod's house, only the occasional breeze from the open windows. From noon to three in the afternoon, Ichabod popped into Leona's yard every ten minutes, to see if she would ever come out. There were no signs of her at all. Anxious and impatient, he took off his beanie hat, and threw it on her front porch.
Leona peeked outside through her windows, and closed her curtains immediately. She cracked open the door a few moments later, and took the beanie hat inside. Ichabod wiggled from side to side, giggling uncontrollably, and covered his mouth with his hands. "She loves me," he said to himself. He ran back happy into his house, and the rest of the afternoon was all about coloring and puzzles.
Several days passed and the summer heat on that day could burn unprotected skin, but that didn't stop Leona from walking to the flower shop. She wore Ichabod's red beanie, and held a basket of pink roses. Ichabod saw her and ran to say hello.
"Did you like my hat?" he asked. Leona fell to the ground and dropped her basket of roses. Tears hovered in her eyes and the embarrassment trembled her hands, as she tried to clean up her own mess. Ichabod quickly helped to pick up her roses, to put them back inside her basket.
"I'm the strange lady, remember?" said Leona nervously. She picked up the rest of the roses from the ground and started to sob uncontrollably.
"What's wrong? You're not strange. I like you," said Ichabod. He took one of the roses from the ground and gave it to her. "Not everyone is mean."
Leona ran home out of fear, because perhaps, Ichabod had broken the ice of friendship.
"You can keep the hat!" Ichabod yelled, holding a stem of pink rose in his hand.
That same evening, Ichabod was restless. There was a sadness looming about him, the same feeling he got when his bike was broken, and he couldn't spend the day riding around. He ran next door to Leona's house. The front door was ajar, and when he walked inside, he found her on the couch with one leg partly down to the ground and her body, lifeless. There were large bottles of wine with empty plastic pill bottles on the table.
"Are you asleep?" said Ichabod, tapping her and kneeling next to the couch. "Are you dead?" He whispered in Leona's ears. He shook her body and thought, maybe he had a dead body in front of him, making his evening full of peculiar surprises. Yet, something harrowing discreetly seeped into his blood. She was a friend, how could she leave me without saying goodbye? He thought.
Tears rushed down his cheeks, as he looked frantically for a telephone and dialed 911. The emergency dispatcher picked up the other line. "I think the lady neighbor is dead," said Ichabod. "No, she lives alone. There are medicine bottles on the table, and other bottles too." The operator said the paramedic was going to come home for her immediately.
Ichabod dropped the phone on the floor, and knelt next to Leona. He wiped her tear stained eyes with his bare hands. He understood that Leona was not strange, instead fragile, and needed a friend. He kissed her forehead and as he held on to her hand.
A source of light rushed down from the sky, as if a star had rushed in from heaven. The light travelled into Leona's house, jolting Ichabod's heart. The impact threw him across the room, and the force wilted him to the floor.
He never saw Leona again, not until months later, on one evening in mid-October.
Rain was pouring, as if a hurricane from Florida had paid Colorado a visit. With big droplets of water and whirling wind, leaves were flying in small tornadoes on the neighborhood street. Leona stood inside her living room, looking out from her curtained windows at the ferocious storm. A car pulled up in front of Ichabod's house. A man in his black suit and tie, got out and ran to the open the passenger side. A woman with a brown raincoat stepped out, and they kissed, passionately.
"Hurry! Before they come back from their aunt's house," yelled the man in the black suit. He picked her up over his shoulder, as the woman held the umbrella. They laughed together and went inside. Leona closed her curtains and lit her candles to enjoy the rest of the night.
A few hours passed and as she was about to eat her fettuccini alfredo, loud poundings on the front door made a rude intrusion. She opened the door, and couldn't help but empathize for a cold little soul, dripping wet from the thunderstorm.
"My dad wants to leave us. He hates us," said Ichabod, sobbing as he wiped his wet hair away from his eyes. "I want you to be my dad."
"You have a dad," said Leona.
"He wants someone else. He doesn't want me and my Mom. Can you be my dad? Please?" His wet shirt stuck to his body. His hands were folded and begging Leona for a resolution.
"Come in," said Leona. She opened the door for the scared little boy and hugged him. His wet shirt seeped into her dress, as she held him tightly to soothe his tears.
"Stay here, I'll grab a towel," she said, as she closed the door. She hurried upstairs and opened the linen closet.
Another loud pounding came to Leona's front door, and her heart thumped. She accidently dropped the towel from her hands, and Ichabod wailed out loud. Leona panicked because she was scared of whom it might be.
"Leona, I remember you. This is Jenni, I'm Ichabod's mom. He told me about you. Is he there with you? I can hear him crying. Please ...," the voice pleaded from the far side of the door. "I've been walking out in the rain to find him. I'm so sorry to bother you. Please, are you inside?"
Leona opened her front door and smiled at Jenni, who was also sobbing and wet. "My husband. He's out of his mind," Jenni said. "With his co-worker." Her blonde hair glistened under the moonlight, and her whole body soaked in the rain as she sniffed and sobbed.
Leona nodded and was compassionate about her little lifesaver's family, especially since his Dad was a cheat. "He's here," Leona widened her door, and Ichabod ran to his mom and hugged her knees. Jenni picked him up to hug him tight, and looked to Leona, speechless. Jenni's bright blue eyes drooped, swollen red from hard crying.
"You can stay here as long as you need to," said Leona. She moved close to Ichabod and kissed him on his forehead. As the two tattered souls walked inside, Leona closed her front door to shield them from the wind and rain. As a matter of fact, she closed the door on the world, to protect Ichabod, Jenni and herself, from harm.
Chapter 1 - Battle of the Goar (or Deep Thoughts on a Winning Move)
*(To be accompanied with The Champion, performed by Carrie Underwood and Ludacris)*
The melamine sword inside the plastic scabbard neatly tucked underneath my cape, to the right side of my hip. If it was real, it would cut linen the same. Might be a sin to carry such a thing inside a Walmart, but who would notice? The Battle of Goar commenced behind the Silver Creek High School on hallowed ground behind the tennis courts, far from the real world. Legends of past alumni told, the grassy knoll was once a place of ancient rituals to knight students with high honors and respectable sportsmanship. It was part of the secret society for young teens with the highest IQ in all of Longmont. This might be true, but I was never invited.
The silver cape on my back was made of silk and rayon, and no one argued of its regal appearance. A cape of a soldier who won battles exactly three weeks afore this day on these same grounds. The Battle of Goar came with our own adversaries, the Reckards, of Boulder High, who stole our trophy a year before, our nemesis clan just as the Legions, of Niwot High, followers of The King.
I was a Luthien, a tribe in the Fantasy Club at Silver Creek. Everyone wished they were a Luthien, only to be found soaking under the Spring Rain in May if they didn't pass our 3.1467589 grade point average.
The Reckards's colors were red, thus their red capes. A little awkward and egotistical for anyone to handle if you asked me. They felt powerful because Superman wore the same color, but their fantasy was delusional. First, because Superman didn't carry a sword, and although he was a fantastical character, what potion made them believed of the same time period as The Battle of Goar? Anachronism! Second, The Reckards were made of the spoiled brats with the permission to carry a metal sword, combined with their egos, these monsters were twins with Osama Bin Laden.
The Legions carried firecrackers as missiles with their bows and arrows. Crossover from The Hunger Games, with shoulder length hairs of fools from the 70s Show. They might as well wear lipstick and slobber underneath their masks. Covid-20 would stick on their hairs and bows and arrows, plus they'd have to fetch those darling arrows like baby toys after the battle was won by The Luthiens. Their firecrackers were Chinese Pops, those that popped on the ground upon a slam. There were no skills involved, only bad aims. The Legions never won a single battle, and after our Fantasy Club social, all of Silver Creek High portend of a powerful journey ahead by showing them a salute for being good sports.
The Luthiens wore silver capes and plastic swords, but we were all soccer players. Stamina and drive were our skills, and we looked up to Sia and Lady Gaga for motivation. Beginnings were hardest, because between The Reckards, The Legions, and The Luthiens, no one wanted the first attack, but we all agreed losers always makes the first strike.
The Luthiens never felt defeated, although we were last year. As men and women of The Luthien tribes, defeat only meant practice runs for a championship. We shall drink two doses of 5Energy drinks next time, because it proved its reward now, as I sauntered inside a grocery store like a champ.
For now, Ichabod shall lay low for next Spring, sipping two percent milk and eating Starbursts.
Once Summer beckons for play, The Battle of Goar Round 2, will be won….again!
I, Ichabod, the triumphant one.