Fictitious Flashbacks & Flowers
It all started with flowers. My epiclly insane adventure didn’t start with the rebellion or the paralyzing shot in the back that my mother’s ex-boyfriend inflicted. My adventure started with a delivery of a bouquet of flowers.
It had only been two days since I had been shot in the back; two weeks since a martial rebellion started on my home country of Earth. The hospital was flooded with people wounded from the war. The nurses neglected me and flirted with the wounded vets. My mother was too shook up to yell at the nurses, and my baby sister Bec was only four at the time.
“Special delivery for a Miss Char,” The delivery man said. In his hand was the biggest and most beautiful bouquet of flowers I had ever seen. There was only one problem. My mother, sister, and I were now connectionless and homeless. If my mom’s jerk-for-a-boyfriend was sending me flowers from jail, it was far too late.
But the flowers weren’t from him. The flowers were from a whole congregation of people. The flowers had been sent from a church somewhere in Chicago. I’d never serious thought about God and religion before my adventure. Why would God care about me? It seemed pretty clear that He didn’t. My parents had been off and on up until my Daddy went to jail. Bec had just been born and my mother wanted to spare Bec the pain of being let down by our father. The only problem with running away from Colorado was that my mother was moneyless, family less, and clueless about raising children. We hopped from state to state. Eventually my mother decided that putting and pulling me in and out of school was too much of a hassle and she started to homeschool me in our car. My mother went through boyfriends faster than Bec went through diapers. It wasn’t until my mom met Mr. Sometime-In-The-Future-I-Will-Paralyze-Your-Daughter did we really settle down. We’d been in Chicago for about a year now and I was convinced of never moving ever again.
Now back to the flowers. The card that came with the flowers only said three words. Praying for You. It was signed by a couple of people that were probably the church’s regulars.
To my mother, the card was an invaluable piece of paper and my mother only read one word on it. Hope.
Fast forward six months later. It was a rainy Wednesday and I had just been released from rehab. My mother was determined to go to the church and thank the people for the deed that felt like it had been done over a thousand years ago. My mother forced Bec and I to get out into the rain. She carried me, wheelchair and all, up the steps of the church and walked in without knocking or asking God for permission or whatever you’re supposed to do before you enter a church.
The church was small, a little bit more like a chapel. There was a bunch of old people and some little kids were sitting on the floor watching the choir sing with intense attention.
The song they were singing freaked me out a little. I heard the worlds “feeling pretty blue”, “I’d be mopping too if I was going to be digested’. They lost me at the last part. Digested? Did God digest the bad, undeserving people of the world? If He did I was about to become his dinner.
The song went on to say, “You ran from God this morning and you’re whale chow tonight!” That was the last straw. Whale chow? Did these people worship and trust their lives to a whale?! Everyone always said that Christians were weird, but I didn’t know they thought a whale created them and ran the universe.
Mom was pretty freaked out by the song. She turned to leave, but just as we turned our back the choir sang, “But! Hold on! Hang on! Not so fast you’re life ain’t over yet. See we’re hear to tell you all about a forgiveness that, You. Can. Get.”
“See God’s a God of mercy. God’s a God of love Right now He’s gonna lend a helping hand from up above!” was the next line.
All of a sudden the little kids started to dance like crazy as they sang the chorus. “Praise the Lord! He’s the God of second chances!”
What happened next happened all too fast.
A man ran into the church. He was wearing camouflage and was dripping wet. A young looking man was standing next to him. My mom and his eye’s met and soon the both of them were dancing with the little children.
The boy looked at the guy with confusion. I have to say that I was just as confused at this whole thing too. Second Chances? It was nice that God gave people second chances, but I was pretty sure I was on like my tenth chance or something.
When the song was finished, the pastor explained how this song was from a movie about talking veggies and how to movie was based on the prophet Jonah. Jonah didn’t want to go to the city of Nineveh because it was so wicked. Even though he was a prophet and should have known better, he ran away from God. Long story short, he was thrown into the ocean, swallowed by a whale who was NOT God, was in there for three days praying and preventing, after three days he was vomited up by the whale, then he did as he was told and saved a bunch of people’s lives. Now one would think that Jonah would be happy that thousands of lives were saved, but no. He didn’t even believe that the people had really repented and went to see what would happen to the city. God gave him a plant even though Jonah had basically just willfully and happily bought a ticket to see murder by plopping his bottom down under the shade. But in the morning, God had a worm ate the plant and had the sun scorch Jonah to faintness. Then Jonah asked God to take his life, and God gave him the best scolding ever.
“Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” God asked.
“Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die,” Jonah said.
“You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” God asked.
That verse really hit me. God cared about the people of Nineveh! God even cared about the cattle! Surely, the people of Nineveh had to have been on their millionth chance for Jonah to want to run away from his God given duty. If God pitied Nineveh surely he pitted me.
The pastor then went into another story about how God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to die for US! And all I had to do was believe and trust in Him. I didn’t have to do a bunch of stuff before He decided to love me. He knew before I was even born. He loves me the way I am, zits and all. On that very spot, I asked Jesus to come into my heart. My mother broke down weeping and accepted Christ. Bec not wanting to be left behind screamed that she believed everything the preacher man had said and wanted Christ. And then the strange man also accepted Christ. The boy with him just stood by the door waiting to leave.
We all pilled out of the church at the same time. The man walked us to our chair and just before taking off Mom asked the man a question.
“Do you really believe in second chances?” Mom asked.
“All I know is that I’ve gotten more second chances than a man deserves,” The man said in with a thick drawl, “and I just received another one in that church.”
The man turned to go but he stopped halfway through and turned back around.
“By the way my name is Larry Stewart, but everyone calls me Laz,” The man said. “And this young man is my son, Matt.”
“I’m Jennifer,” Mom said holding her hand out. “And the two girls are my daughters, Char and Bec.”
They shook hands and the rest is history.
Two years later they were standing at the same alter they both accepted Christ at. Laz was now a working fireman and my mother now owned a boutique in Chicago. There lives had changed significantly in the past two years, and on that day their lives-and their children’s-were about to change even more. They were promising to be together forever, they were vowing to love each other through whatever, they were getting married.
The two of them had tried hard to include us in their ceremony. We were all holding hands at the alter. Bec and I were on Mom’s side, and Matt was on his father’s side. We were vowing to be a family, and that was a vow I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep. You can learn a whole lot about someone in two years and I knew all I wanted to know about Matt Stewart. He’d been born in space which was where his father had also come from. He was also the most annoying, self absorbed stepbrother in the entire galaxy. And not to mention that fact that he walked like a chicken.
Our family vows were to be tested on the first day of summer. Laz received a call from space. He is uncle had just died and he was needed back in space. Mom and Laz had been talking about moving to space for a while. The rebellion on Earth was getting more destructive and bloodier by the minute. I had hinted that a move would not be in our best interest considering I’ve done more moving than any normal thirteen year old girl should have done. I think I could get used to bombs every night and bullets every morning.
But I guess Laz could not because a week later we were in a space shuttle, flying into the unknown. Why God-
“Earth to Charlly!”
Silly Songs, Squirrels, and a Snowman Sign
I looked up from my laptop. Laz was looking at me. Instead of being in a cramped space shuttle, I was in a spacious wheelchair van. Sadly, we weren’t flying into the unknown, but instead we were driving into the unknown. It had been a little over a week since that phone call that tested our vows had been made. Laz was being given some land back in his hometown. Mom and Laz decided to make a ‘road trip’ out of it. So far we’ve been to the Creation Museum, visited Philadelphia, and spent a weekend in New York City.
“Earth to Charlly! Earth to Charlotte Lily!” Laz repeated,
“Huh?” I asked. “What is it?”
“We’re changing CDs,” Mom said in a weary voice. “We’ve just finished my choice of Mandisa. What shall we play next?”
“Veggie tales!” My little sister Becca Lou shouted.
“Not again!” I shouted. “We’ve only played one Francesca Battistelli CD the entire trip!”
“Newsboys!” Matt shouted.
“Can we pwlese listen to Veggie tales?” Becca Lou asked in her baby voice. She held up her 25 Favorite Silly Songs CD.
Laz reached back and got the CD from Becca Lou. I quickly put my headphones on before the Water Buffalo Song drained my brain of all its creativity. As I over read the first chapter on my new book, I realize that Char’s life is much like mine, only more futuristic. About ninety-nine percent of that chapter is true. I hadn’t meant to do that on purpose. The words just came to me. I click the SAVE AS button and rename it: My Crazy Life- A Fictitious Diary: Episode I.
<sidenote> Sorry! I haven’t properly introduced myself. My name is Charlotte Lily ‘Charlly’ Ruth King. Some of you might remember the email I sent to Natalie. Well now it’s my turn to tell a story. As you might remember, I am a T12 paraplegic; I’m thirteen years old, and a wannabe nurse who occasionally writes science fiction<sidenote>
Matt pulled one of the ear buds out of my ear. I would normally yell at him for doing something so annoying, but the dreaded track number ten of the silly songs CD is playing and I must put an end to the tragedy to human that was about to be committed.
“Please don’t!” I shouted. “Just this once! Please don’t-”
“Barbra Manatee. You are the one for me one for me one for me. Sent from up above. You are the one I love,” Laz sang in his Larry the Cucumber voice.
Matt then started to sing the part of the jerk manatee Bill who won’t take Barbra Manatee to the dance. I put my hands over my ears and shouted trying not to let my brain get filled with silliness.
But when my part comes, I give up and say it.
“Larry…what are you doing?” I said in my Bob the tomato voice.
“Just watchin’ a little TV…..Bob,” Larry said.
“Well….maybe you should read a book,” I groan. Becca Lou burst out laughing. That line gets her every time even though she’s six years old now.
“Look kids!” Laz shouted as he points to a sign.
The sign only says three words. Welcome to Florida.
“We HAVE to stop here!” I screamed. Laz took his eyes off the road and looked at me.
“We are stopping here,” Laz said. “This is our new home!”
“What!” I screamed. What happened next happened all too fast.
“Watch out!” Mom screamed. Laz swerves the miss a squirrel, but somehow he didn’t see the huge red van coming out way. Laz slammed right into the side of the van.