Opening Scene - Three-Inch Boy

The credits roll and spin. Names of people that are called someone else for as long as you will know them. Casy playing Benjamin. Eva playing Jordan. The list goes on and on, with extras at the end.

Click. Click. A camera snaps a few close-up photos from far away. Click. Zoom. Click. The person in the photo does not know they are modeling. The person in the photo will not know that this photo even exists.

The photo is printed out and tacked to a wall. One of hundreds. You would think this to be the beginning of a suspense thriller, but then you notice that the photos are tacked to the wall of an art gallery. Gallery 1058. It’s one of those galleries that uses the address as its name. It’s the same as the one on the next block. Gallery 1165.

The name of the art show is written in vinyl lettering on the front glass window. The letters stop the sun, and the words “Art is so competitive” shade the floor. The artists inside tread across them, forward to the wall, backwards to observe proper placement. The show is going to start soon. The artists look frantic. I hope that someone comes to the show that will recognize themselves in one of the photos. I want to see their reaction. Without this hope, the opening is going to be a flop. Just ordinary photos of forgotten people stuck to a gallery wall.

The doors open. It’s already crowded inside, which is weird since I did not see anyone go in yet. Either time skipped, or this is part of the show. Maybe that was a fake window? The camera pans and it looks like I can see out of it from inside. It looks how I would imagine.

Panning the room, I am anticipating which one is going to be the main character, or possibly the lead in. I am disappointed to follow the camera to one of the photos on the wall, zooming in slowly until it fits the frame. The crowd noises are turned off, and the picture goes silent. I am left to hear the buzzing of my refrigerator as the only soundtrack for this scene.

The picture is of a boy in a red coat. He is stuck in mid-swing on a swing set. I would expect the silence to fade into children’s screaming and chasing each other around a park. Then the wind in the trees, followed by the occasional bird or car. And just as the sounds take you into the mindset of the park where the boy is swinging, the photo suddenly plays, and you are watching the next scene. Possibly a flashback.

Instead, the camera is still. Focused on the photo on the gallery wall. Still silent. The boy in the photo is still stuck mid-swing. His feet are blurry. I can’t tell if he is moving up or down, or forward or backward. I’m not sure which direction you actually go on a swing. I think it could be both.

This has gone on long enough. I am tired of looking at this picture. It’s too quiet.

Just as I was about to pick up the remote and decide whether or not to fast-forward or stop, the sound returned and the kid fell from his swing. The crowd gasped and backed away. The boy lay on the floor just three inches long.

“He’s breathing!”
“Is it real?”
“It looks so real! Is it a projection?”
“How’d he do that?”
“What’s the name of the artist again?”
“He’s moving!”
“His eyes are opening!”

The artist screams, “Close the door! Don’t let him get out!” But the door is practically ripped off by a couple of middle-aged women who tripped on their heels and were pushed through it. One of them tore her dress on the hinge. The other got a bloody nose.

I laughed. The actors were really convincing. The combination of scared for their lives and scared of a three inch boy was flawless.


Dust Storm

I was buried with my eyes still open.
I was lowered into the earth
deep enough for it to rain dirt from above.
The drops filled my eyes
and I drowned.
Buried under a waterfall of dirt.

Living with RMS

How can I be too tired to read, but wired to write? My eyes are tired, but my fingers are still wide awake. Restless Mind Syndrome.

Will I be staying up until morning? The morning that starts when the rooster crows, not the morning that starts when the clock starts over. The rooster’s crow marks the second day. The day after the night. The clock’s click marks the second this day started and yesterday began. I haven’t heard a rooster in the morning in years though. Roosters are illegal in the city limits, unless you have a permit and permission from your neighbors. Neighbors hate roosters. That is why roosters live on farms, where farmers hate clocks and neighbors. Farmers and roosters are soul mates. They go together like neighborhoods and clocks.