Speculative Fiction by Carizz Cruzem

The Road Less Traveled By

Ding-dong! Ding-dong!
The grandfather clock strikes twelve.
It is where reality meets fantasy.
Calm wind breezes.
Trees sway.
Leaves fall.
Grass dotted with morning dew tickles my barefoot.
My feet guide me to the huge tree by the glistening stream.
I kneel down.
I dip my hand in the cool water.
I lift my fingers.
Water drips down my elbow.
Someone taps my shoulder.
I do not need to look back.
It is him.
His heart beats in sync with mine.
He grasps my hand.
We walk across the meadow.
I stared at him.
He looks back at me, beaming.
I smile back.
He grips my hand firmer.
If you find yourself so low that you almost need to look up just to look down, just come in this place and I’ll be always here with you. OHFT…,” he says to me.
I sigh.
He steers my head to his chest.
I close my eyes.
Tears trickle down my cheeks soaking his shirt.
He caresses my hair.
This is our secret hiding place.
It is always morning here.
No one knows this place but the two of us.

I just realized the beauty of speculative fiction. It’s becoming a supernatural being with the power to fly and getting lost in a place where no one knows who you are. You can even make the people who hurt you become aliens with balloon heads. You only have to be armed with a needle to defeat them.

There was a time in my life when I greeted everyone I met on the street with a smile. And they smiled back. It was a nice time—no assumptions, no doubts in your heart—just a simple unadulterated smile.

Somehow, through the passing of the years, the smile turns to a frown. And like everything else that is changing gradually, I didn’t realize it until I saw this girl on the bus.

That day, I was on the bus with Mark Galang. As a gentleman that he is, he also paid for my fare that day. He is such a kind-hearted guy. Bless him.

Well anyways, he pointed me this girl. But even before he mentioned the girl, I already noticed her the moment she came up the bus. There was something different about her. She smiled to everyone. The driver knew her, the bus conductor knew her, and the street fruit vendors knew her and even gave her some lanzones— it seemed everyone knew her, apparently except me. She wasn’t that beautiful. I mean, not stunningly beautiful like Demi Moore or Catherine Zeta Jones, but she was nice to look at. At first though, I raised an eyebrow at how she acted. Well, in the course of time, I’ve developed a negative attitude of doubting everyone’s intention. I guess that would explain the frown.

Mark told me that they met the girl in Chowking, where he works. As I’ve suspected, the girl has a very high self-esteem. She is the kind who’d be the first one to approach you and introduce herself. She doesn’t need a middleman.

I’d like to have that kind of attitude. But then, you can’t help but to doubt everyone if you’ve been hurt too many times. I don’t know but… I just thought it would be nice to go back to the time when I don’t carry even a hint of a grudge to anyone—the time when I have a smile ready for everyone.

Until that time comes, I guess writing speculative fiction will be my cover.


Andrea Graham said...

I think I know how you feel, Carizz. Sounds quite familiar. I was about six when my smile was brutally murdered. God's still working out a full resurrection in me. Writing has often been therapy here. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind," that's the bible's prescription, and easier said than done. I try to smile by faith and trust Him to keep His promise to finish the work He's began in me.

Anonymous said...

They say the smile is our way of telling others that they have nothing to fear from us. That we're safe to approach. Sad though, that the first thing we feel when we see someone coming at us with a smile is suspicion. Yes, our society has taught itself to keep it's guard up. Everyone wants something, and every smile is false. But in the opposite way that we can never truly know what another person's motivations might be, we can know that our smiles are genuine. That's all we can ever do, and it's the most we should expect from ourselves.


Deborah Cullins Smith said...

That's the main thing I find so wonderful about Christmas, Carizz. You can smile at people and say, "Merry Christmas" and most of the time, they'll smile back. Doesn't always work, but MOST of the time.... Or maybe it's just that I'm this 'older' woman, short and non-threatening! Whatever the reason, I long for the days when you could smile and not be suspected of scams, assault, or other nasty plots, too.

Andrea Graham said...

people almost always smile back when I smile at them (make that in their general direction). I guess a woman in her twenties that barely looks out of her teens isn't too threatening, either.

driftwood said...

people almost always smile back when I smile at them

I have yet to see someone who doesn't smile back when smiled at. That or I always have my eyes glued to the ground that I don't really see.

That's the main thing I find so wonderful about Christmas, Carizz.

I hate to be the grinch here. But my family doesn't have Christmas. We do believe that Jesus was born from a virgin birth, that He died to save us from sin and death, that He rose from the grave, and that He's now at the right hand of the Father mediating between the God the Father and us.

But please don't hate me just because I don't believe in Christmas.

I love you Deb.

Am I becoming disagreeable? Probably just the work overload.

Andrea Graham said...

I know some people don't, and I respect that. What are your reasons?

gificor said...

Carizz, I understand where you are coming from in using your writing as a place of escape. My imaginary world was a place where I could escape to get away from the pains of the real world. Now I want to use it to share the love of Christ with spec fic fans. Always keep trusting the Father like a little child and He will restore your smile. God bless.