Creative Writing: The Man who Stepped into Yesterday


Once upon a time, there was a mountain which rose out of a vast, green
forest. and in the forest there were birds and lakes and rocks and trees and
rivers. the forest was also inhabited by a small group of people called the
lizards. the lizards were a simple people and they had lived in the forest
undisturbed for thousands of years in utter peace and tranquillity. once a year
spring came, and the first blossoms began to show, the lizards would gather at
the base of the mountain to give thanks for all that they had. they thanked the
birds and they thanked the lakes and they thanked the rocks and the trees and
the rivers; but most importantly, they thanked icculus. icculus lived at the
top of the mountain, or at least everyone thought so, for no one had ever
actually seen him. but they knew he existed, because they had the helping
friendly book. icculus had given the helping friendly book to the lizards
thousands of years earlier as a gift. it contained all of the knowledge
inherent in the un iverse, and had enabled the lizards to exist in harmony with
nature for years. and so they lived; until one day a traveler arrived in
gamehendge. his name was wilson and he was quickly intrigued by the lizards way
of life. he asked if he could stay and live in the forest; and the lizards, who
had never seen an outsider were happy to oblige. wilson lived with the lizards
for a few years, studying the ways of the helping friendly book, and all was
well. until one morning when they awoke and the book was gone. wilson
explained that he had hidden the book, knowing that the lizards had become
dependent on it for survival. he declared himself king and enslaved the
innocent people of gamehendge. he cut down the trees and built a city, which he
called prussia. and in the center of the city he built a castle, and locked in
the highest tower of the castle lay the helping friendly book, out of the reach
of the lizards forever.
But our story begins at a different time, not in gamehendge, but on a
suburban street in long island, and our hero is no king sitting in a castle, he
is a retired colonel shaving in his bathroom. colonel forbin looked square in
the mirror and dragged the blade across his cold creamed skin. he saw the tired
little folds of flesh that lay deep beneath his eyes. fifty-two years of
obedient self-restraint, of hiding his tension behind a serene veil of composure.
for fifty-two years he had piled it all on the back burner, and for fifty-two
years it had boiled, frothing over in a turbulent storm inside of him. it had
escaped through his eyes, reacting with the smoke and the fluorescent lights and
slowly accumulated into the nape of his neck and he thought again about the door.
He had discovered the door some months back on one of his ritualistic
morning walks with his dog, mcgrupp. it had started out as a typical stroll
with mcgrupp bounding joyously ahead of the preoccupied colonel. as they
reached the apex of the hill, he saw it, and it caught his curiosity, and he
knew it had always been there, and felt foolish for overlooking it, but he soon
found that it was impossible to over look it anymore, and slowly his newly
acquired knowledge transformed his dreary life into a prison from which there
was only one escape. and on this morning, colonel forbin stepped through the
door... passing through the corridor i came upon an ancient knight who leaned
against the wall in gnarly armor, he was on his way to see the king, wilson. he
led me through the streets of prussia talking as he tried to crush a bug that
scurried underneath his boot heel. he said there was a place where we should go,
so he led me through the forest to the edge of a lagoon by which we wandered
*till we reached a bubbling spring. the knight grew very quiet as we stood
there then he lifted up his visor and he turned to me and he began to sing...
he said, "i come from the land of darkness, i come from the land of doom," he
said, "i come from the land of gamehendge, from the land of the big