Ahhh..I am so tired. But, a story I will tell you, for your little ones.
Harvey, of rabbit fame, thought himself a rakish Jack of Knaves. Such a suave countenance should by no means go unheralded. He built himself up to be a legend in his own mind. “I am Legend”, he said, having heard that somewhere before. He made himself a hat of green felt with a snakeskin band and a feather stuck into it. “Hah! A feather in my cap! Always knew it!” he said, as he carefully fitted it and pulled it down over one eyebrow. Then, clapping his hands gleefully in front of his full length mirror, he gave his moustache a Dali twirl to complete the picture.
Just last night, he had had a dream in which a thing instructed him in the building of a contraption that would endow him with the freedom of flight. What is more, it suggested to Harvey that, if he embarked on his maiden flight at a certain hour on a certain night, he would gain the means to become The Power, and would rule over all the hamlet of Glynn, neatly nestled on the shady side of the mountain and down into the Valley of Dim.
As we know, Harvey was an excitable lad, and grandiose dreams such as this one do not happen all that often to us earthlings. “Yes. Yes!”, he said to himself. “I can build the machine. But what am I to do in the middle of some godforsaken night while putting around the rooftops of Glynn?” Three more days went by, and The Date was but a week away, when Harvey was favored with chapter two of the machine dream.
The marvellous contraption, if built correctly, would provide Harvey with more lift and hovering power than he would need, and, best of all, it would fly in absolute silence.
That was important, as you shall find out in a minute. The dream thing told Harvey that he was to build a small box of brass with a hinged lid that could be locked. He was to take this with him on the flight. “And, at three of the Wee” it said “Ye shall touch each tree. And then, ye shall light on each chimiNEY. Open ye box, collect a second of its smoke, see? Close fast the lock on the lid, then go ye to the next, ’til all is done. Aye, it is thirty and nine, hear me? I’ll tell ye more, the night before.”
Harvey went into Glynn in his finest outfit, feather in hat, smiling and saying Halloo to everyone he met. He collected all of the peculiar things he would need for his tinkering, and pedalled back home, pulling his little cart behind him. By Caturday’s Eve, all was ready, and Harvey indeed was surprised and excited because he had piloted his “Dragonflyer” on a short maiden flight. He went to bed early, without tea, for he knew he had to be alert and ready in the wee hours of the morning. Besides, and more importantly, a dream story was yet to be told.
¶n the chimney smokes of Glynn (his dream master said) dwelt the darkest secrets of every man and woman therein. Harvey’s box of brass would be the collector of those secrets, and he would hold The Power of their knowledge. He need only speak discretely to a few of the townsfolk. When it became clear that Harvey knew things, it would not be long before he could install himself as The Grandee of Glynn, or so he thought.
In the darkness of Caturday’s Eve, the flight of his Dragonflyer was true, and before dawnlight, Harvey’s deed was done. All was still, until the mutterings of thunder were heard. A seed of panic was planted in Harvey’s mind, and he set off homebound with haste. But, as we know, persons who have bad intentions seldom succeed. The dragon contraption flew as promised until the sizzling bolts of lightning shot their spears at the unfortunate pilot, and one could see his panicked progress in the strobelights of the storm.
All at once, a stray bolt struck the brass box! Harvey was stunned but not electrocuted, because of the thick gloves he had worn against the soot and heat of the chimneys. But the force of the bolt threw him and his box out of the craft, toppling them a hundred feet into a mound of hay bales by his barn. The dragon flew away, doing crazy pirouettes in the dawn sky.
Sore and disheveled, Harvey found the box and went into his house. The box was still locked. He set it on his kitchen table, then decided to go upstairs for a much needed rest (even though it was broad day).
That same morning, while Harvey was snoring upstairs, the people of Glynn were waking up a little later than they usually did. Their little children were, of course, up at their normal time, that being the crack of dawn, but they could not wake their snoozy parents until some time later. That was because something curious had happened during the night. For some reason, all of the Moms and Dads felt strangely light, as if a weight had been taken from their shoulders. They were happier than they had been for many a year. Of course, that was simply because not one of them could remember the secrets they once held, or the sins they might have committed. When they went out into the streets, they greeted neighbors they had not spoken to for a time because of remembered grudges that were now swept away.
As for Harvey, well… he smelled smoke, and then he began to feel very peculiar. Downstairs he went, to discover that the brass box had flipped its lid. Its secret smokes had inundated his house, and he had already breathed in too much of them for his own good. He ran for the door and threw it open, then the windows! Harvey slumped into his old livingroom chair and, if you were a little mouse or a fly on the wall, you would have seen his eyes bulge, his hands quiver, and his head shake back and forth. He muttered strange words that were like a foreign language, then ran out in his striped pyjamas.
It turned out that his flying machine had, after doing various accidental manoeuvers ,
fallen into the same pile of hay that had saved Harvey. Still shaking and muttering in his blue pyjamas, he got onto it and took flight into the wild blue yonder.
Harvey was never seen again, and Pandora rolled over in her grave.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.