First part of a story

edited June 10 in Short Fiction

Humphrey



Old Humphrey at 80 stood at the edge of
The Grand Canyon and he knew. He knew there was this world and it was
very big and full of visions, some of which could be touched and some
only distant. Then there was the gateway and a backward—gear-broken
cheaply made time machine. And there was the gateway to things that
didn't exist at all, except elements did, pasted together with
wishes. All this kept him continuously young and hopeful. So he
stood, bandy-legged, in his old man touristy shorts showing his
completely undesirable legs and his crusty, bumpy stomach to a
disinterested crowd of young tourists from the nearby college.

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    Humphrey



    Old Humphrey at 80 stood at the edge of
    The Grand Canyon and he knew. He knew there was this world and it was
    very big and full of visions, some of which could be touched and some
    only distant. Then there was the gateway and a backward—gear-broken
    cheaply made time machine. And there was the gateway to things that
    didn't exist at all, except elements did, pasted together with
    wishes. All this kept him continuously young and hopeful. So he
    stood, bandy-legged, in his old man touristy shorts showing his
    completely undesirable legs and his crusty, bumpy stomach to a
    disinterested crowd of young tourists from The University of Northern
    Arizona.



    Standing amidst the forest of memories
    that clouded his eyes and made him keep shaking his head, the vision
    of one twelve-year-old girl when he was sitting on a the root of a
    tree back in Maryland when she asked, “are you a man or a boy?”
    Aside from blushing, he didn't know how to respond at fourteen.



    Electronics made a lot of things
    possible that couldn't have happened before. Humphrey knew that there
    were lots of other worlds with larger canyons even than this. He knew
    that they were all the same once you landed on them though. You
    always fell downward and had the familiar difficulty with your bandy
    knees walking. The sky was some boring color and they always felt
    like what they were, worlds, places. You coped with them.



    “Another planet,” he chanted,
    “another planet, small steps.”



    Suddenly the voice of a young woman
    broke through the milk of his Humphrey's mind.

    “Dad! Dad!” the female voice was
    saying. He turned slowly, absently. Who was this girl? He was rising
    from a coma. “We have to go,” she was saying.

    Yes, it occurred to him—the heat
    and the reverie were doing odd things to his brain. Now now I'm back
    to earth, boring and real, real and boring, when there is so much out
    there, unbelievable adventure. Humphrey looked at his daughter whom
    he began to recognize again.

    “Yes, I'm coming.”

  • Posts: 415

    You Tube Verson with Photographs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnnWn2lqmag

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