Friday, January 18, 2008

Brain TV

Brain TV- what you see in your mind when you read a story. The authors job is to paint in your mind what they see in theirs when they put pen to paper and assemble words into a picture they hope the reader will see as clearly as they do. The below story was a fun project done for a friend I met on Bird Channel, the 'My Space' pages for bird people. Our birds met due to the similarity in their names; my Asa and his Asha. The pair were a story looking for a place to happen. Upon hearing the possiblity of being in a story, one of Asha's best friends and one of Asa's best friend also wanted in on the action. I took the birds real names and real personalities and wove them into a totally fictitious story. Although, the picture I hope to paint in your mind is one that will make you wonder what your critter is doing when you're not home...

‘Perfect day.’ Asha mumbled to herself as she luxuriously stretched her emerald green right wing and dainty right foot. Asha adjusted her position slightly to the right on the perch she was sitting on in her cage. From this new position she could see everything. Her human Dad was sound asleep and snoring softly on the living room sofa. The football game he’d been intently watching was in its third quarter and his team was still losing. Asha figured that’s why her Dad fell asleep in the first place.
Asha turned her blue and yellow head to the left and looked out the open living room window. She lazily absorbed the sights before her, the well trimmed lawn that was actually greener than she was, and then the peach trees that lay just beyond on the edge of her yard. The peaches, Asha noted, weren’t quite ripe yet, much to her dismay. She just loved when her human cut up a fresh juicy peach for her breakfast; or lunch or dinner for that matter.
Asha squinted and blinked her ebony black eyes, was that peach really moving or was it her imagination? Asha moved gracefully from her favorite perch to the bars of her cage that faced the window and just clung there in a diva like pose and watched as the green and orange ‘peach’ got a bit closer. “That’s definitely not a peach.” Asha said out loud. Her Dad shifted on the sofa a bit as his team finally got their first touchdown. “Whisper!” she scolded herself silently as the ‘peach’ landed on the windowsill in front of her.
“Did you get the message?” asked the orange winged Amazon Asha had mistaken for an unripe peach.
“Shhhhhh!! You’ll wake Dad!” Asha scolded BabyGirl in a harsh, undiva like whisper.
BabyGirl was one of Asha’s best friends. The pair had visited often on Bird Channel, the “My Space” for those blessed with feathers, but this was the first time they’d seen one another beak to beak and blue front to orange wing.
“Sorry.” BabyGirl apologized, “I heard from Asa and she said she’d gotten a really weird letter in the mail. She told me she messaged Cecil over in New York and they need us to help with…um…oh, I can’t remember now! It’s been a long flight from Missouri to here, you know.” BabyGirl ended as she looked up and to her left. “They’re here.” she announced, remembering to whisper so as not to wake Asha’s Dad.
Asha tilted her head to the right and tried to see what BabyGirl was looking at. “What is it?” Asha asked BabyGirl.
“Asa and Cecil.” she answered simply as the pair came into view and a moment later landed beside her on the windowsill.
“Hey Asha.” beeped Asa, a cinnamon pearl split to pied tiel. She was another of Asha’s best friends from Bird Channel. “This is Cecil; he’s a really cool dude for a guy. I know him from Bird Channel. He’s got a sister and a brother and an it named Irwin. Irwin is friends with my brother Worthington, but Cecil is the cool one in the family.”
“Hi Cecil.” Asha said politely to the little blue budgie, and to Asa she added, “I thought you’d be bigger, you know, more macaw sized.” This was also the first time Asha and Asa had met beak to beak.
“Nah, I’m just strong, that’s all.” Asa responded back matter-of-factly. She was used to the odd looks she got from both fellow feathered ones and humans alike. Not many tiels could chew through concrete like she could. She just explained to those who stared, she liked a good challenge, that’s all. “Did BabyGirl tell you what I got in the mail?” she added.
“Shhhhhh!!!!” Asha said again as her human once again shifted his weight on the sofa. “Before we wake my Dad, help me get outa here and we’ll go talk in that peach tree across the yard.” Asha whispered as she made reference to the peach tree BabyGirl had just flown out of.
“What? You can’t ninja out of that cage?!” asked Cecil.
“If I could, do you think I’d still be stuck in here?” Asha whispered back.
“Well, let’s let the Convicts Chick do her thing, then.” Cecil said as he and BabyGirl stepped aside to let Asa have at the window screen and then the lock on Asha’s cage.
“Convicts Chick?” Asha asked Cecil. “Yeah. Rosalie Hale Bopp gave Asa that nickname because that’s how she happened. Her Momma Bird popped the lock on her cage like Asa’s doing to yours right now.” Cecil explained as Asa nimbly and easily undid the bird proof latch on Asha’s cage.
“Come on!” BabyGirl whispered as Asha exited her cage, “Quickly.” she added as she took off with Cecil close behind her for the peach tree on the far side of the yard.
Once the foursome was perched deep within the peach tree and well out of the sight of any passing humans, Asa began her story.
“About four days ago now my Grandma got a book in the mail from my Uncle Andy. The book, from what I could see, wasn’t anything special, but the little paper that fell out of it, on the other hand, was.” Asa paused a moment to itch her left eye on her shoulder before continuing, “Grandma is so used to me being in the middle of everything she does, that she doesn’t pay much attention anymore. So, when I went after the paper she just smiled and let me.” Asa paused once again to itch her left eye on her shoulder, then continued, “On the paper was this:
Hours of Idleness badly received
Critics scoff at Bards and Scotch
Till peaches, wood burning hot
Southwest 1 point 5
Fuzzy coat the fever infects
Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup Formed From a Skull”

Asa concluded.
“Huh?” asked BabyGirl. “That’s all human stuff, what’s it got to do with us?”

“I, the Great King Sized Budgerator Oracle shall explain the utterances…uh…’beeps’….of my equally as wise….um…well, I’ll just translate what Asa said as best I can, ok?” Cecil articulated.
Asha giggled and muttered to BabyGirl a bit louder than she’d intended. “The Great Budgerator himself has a crush on the Convicts Chick.”
BabyGirl giggled as Cecil quickly interjected, “I have great respect for Asa, that’s all. She’s not my girlfriend, so get your minds out of the nest box for a moment and I’ll explain what Asa and I discovered.” Cecil paused for a breath and fluffed himself up slightly. Cecil, a sky blue budgie with a white forehead, was a good five inches shorter than Asha, the Blue Fronted Amazon and three inches shorter than BabyGirl, the Orange Wing Amazon and Asa the Cinnamon pearl split pied Cockatiel. But, it was only Cecil’s size that was smaller than the girls. His personality, on the other hand, was double that of the Amazon pair, but only slightly larger than Asa’s. “After Asa read the note,” Cecil continued, “she messaged me. The two of us got together and, using my Mom and Dad’s computer, figured out that part of the note has something to do with poisoning humans and killing them.”
“Yeah, the ‘Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup’ thing is referring to a poem by a guy named Lord George Gordon Byron. Uncle Andy has read me some of his poems before, that’s how I know that the line comes from one of his writings.” Asa helped Cecil explain.
“What’s the poem about?” Asha asked as she preened her royal emerald green feathers.
“About a dead humans being eaten by worms.” Cecil said bluntly.
“Ewwwwwww!!!” squirmed BabyGirl way too loudly.
“Shhhhhhhhhh!!!!” screeched Asha automatically.
Cecil shook his head before adding, “That’s why we’re here. We need your brains and muscles to help us figure out the rest of this note and then we’ve gotta…”
“Ninja the bad guy?” Asha interrupted hopefully.
“Yeah, ‘ninja the bad guy’.” Cecil concurred.
“So, where do we go and what next?” Asha asked.
“Well, this is Byron, Georgia, named after the poet Lord George Gordon Byron and I’m guessing that ‘fuzzy’ has to do with peaches.” Asa began as BabyGirl retracted her beak back from its current open position into its closed position. She’d changed her mind about biting the juicy looking peach hanging just above her head as Asa continued, “Asha, you’ll need to help us since you live here. I can read and Cecil is very smart and is very good with puzzles, too. BabyGirl is here for her muscle and well, you’re the one and only Diva Ninja Master, of course. We’re going to need all the help we can get against any bad guys.” Asa ended.
“I don’t know where anything is outside of my home. I don’t even like coming out of my cage!” Asha stated as she suddenly realized she was not only out of her cage, but outside of her house and up in a peach tree clear across the yard.
“You’re fine.” Cecil said in a very gentlemanly and comforting tone to Asha as he stood up as tall as his little body would allow.
Asha sighed as she looked at the three friends before her. She did feel safe, now that she thought about it.
“Well, there are these things called historical markers. Humans use them to remind them where stuff happened. That way they don’t have to go to my great-grandma and have her look up stuff in all her library books for them. She only has to do it for humans that don’t know about historical markers. We just need to fly around and find the ones the humans put up around here, that’s all.” Asa said proud of her knowledge of such human things as historical markers and books.
“What do they look like?” BabyGirl asked.
“Big brown squares with letters on them.” Cecil warbled, having seen many on his family outings to visit his cousin Nabiki who also lived in New York not far from him.
“Where do you find them?” Asha asked next.
“On the side of the road sticking up out of the ground.” Cecil explained further.
“We should look for one that has to do with wood burning.” Asa beeped.
“Wood burning? Like fire?” asked Asha.
“Not really sure.” Asa began, “Humans are quite distructive, so I’m just not sure. Is there something you’ve seen on TV, Asha, which might give us something to check out and start our search with?” she ended as she rubbed her left eye on her shoulder again.
“Well, we’ve got a famous train station here that the humans just finished fixing up.” Asha pondered out loud, “I think the trains had wood burning engines, come to think of it.” she added.
“Well a train station is a possibility. It would be a good way to transport the peaches that are all over Georgia, too. You know, that ‘fuzzy’ part of the puzzle. Peaches are very fuzzy. Georgia is famous for its peaches.” the anything but ordinary blue budgie recited from his memory.
“You know, I think I flew over a train station on my way over here.” BabyGirl said thoughtfully.
“Well, show us.” Asa responded as she extended her light brown with yellow accented wings over her head in preparation for flight.
“Let’s go!” Cecil squawked as he, Asha and Asa took flight.
“Ok, this way!” BabyGirl said as she became airborne, veered southwest and took off with her fellow feathered adventurers close on her tail.
After about five minutes of flight the foursome landed on the roof of an old looking wooden structure.
“Here.” announced BabyGirl.
“Hmmmm.” pondered Asa as she looked around.
“It’s a train station all right.” Cecil confirmed.
“Yeah, and there is the historical marker.” Asa said excitedly as she fluttered the ten feet from the roof of the Byron Depot and onto the brown historical marker that the humans had conveniently erected to the left of the entrance to the old looking wood building.
“Can you read it?” Asha asked Asa.
“Yeah, I think I can.” Asa said as she pondered the groupings of letters that were imprinted on the big brown sign. “Something about this place being a flag-stop, a train stop where the train only stops when the human waves a flag at it…” Asa began and explained.
“Ooooh! Like you do a taxi!” Cecil said as he excitedly hopped around on the roof of the Byron Depot.
“Yeah, like a taxi…” Asa began again as she continued where she’d left off in the translation of the letters on the sign for Asha, BabyGirl and Cecil, “This is called the Southwestern Railroad and they call this place the, um…Number One and One Half Station.” Asa paused for a moment as she processed the next grouping of letters silently before exclaiming, “Hey! Listen to this: This station had a wood rack for wood burning trains!”
“Well, that’s the whole bottom of our puzzle.” Cecil said excitedly.
“I’m still lost.” said Asha and BabyGirl simultaneously.
“I see what you mean Cecil.” Asa stated, completely ignoring the Amazons quandary.
Cecil, always the gentleman, began to explain to the puzzled pair his comprehension of Asa’s puzzle, “Well, ‘Till peaches, wood burning hot’ is the wood burning trains that transported the Georgia peaches. The ‘Southwest 1 point 5’ is what the humans call this train station. I’m not sure about the ‘A-H-E-Naught’ part, but the ‘Fuzzy coat the fever infects’ has gotta be bad peaches. I remember on the news where there were these hamburgers that gave humans fever and made them sick. And, the last line is that poem Asa’s Uncle Andy read to her.” he concluded with his chest puffed out with pride at all the information he’d managed to keep crammed into his allegedly small white head.
“I think, “Asa began before Asha could say anything, “that the ‘A-H-E-Naught’ part is like those puzzles my Grandma always puts into her stories. So A is number 1, the H is number 8, the E is number 5 and the naught is a weird human word for the number 0. This place, according to the historical marker, was in use by the humans in the early 1850’s.” Asa explained to the sign rather than her feathered friends.
“So I don’t get to ninja any bad guys?” Asha asked, not only feeling a bit disappointed, but also that she had wasted her day worse than if she’d stayed at home and watched the football game with her Dad, who was probably still sound asleep.
“Well, we still have to figure out the first part of this note, you know.” Asa said as she fluttered from the historical marker back up to the Byron Depot roof where Asha, Cecil, and BabyGirl were still perched.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am waiting on pins and needles for the next installment. Love your stories Julie Ann.

Have a great weekend,