Simon Says Chapter 15

Paula Andrea Pyle MA By Paula Andrea Pyle MA, 6th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Wilma Rae Downs, the 69 Year Old Mountain recluse, thinks she has pulled the last straw of resolution, in hopes of saving her home from total destruction by the "State". But, the darkest clouds form just before the dawn, or do they?

Chapter 15: Agree With Thine Adversary, Quickly

Although they had never discussed, at length, the distinct plans for the project, The Web of Human Entrapment, which Simon had laboriously worked upon, so methodically and habitually for years, Wilma envisioned "one day", he would be world renown. And, it was all because of her.

On occasion, he would try explaining how his creation was specifically designed. But, it required far more insight than she possessed, in order to comprehend, what he was talking about.

"He's going to be so famous." She would often repeat during the days while scrubbing floors.

"Simon Maxwell Spinner, such a beautiful name. What a song-like melody it carries." Repeating the entire name, four or five more times, as if it were a mantra, she would, sometimes, try to sing it, by composing different melodies.

"By god, I know for a fact, when that day arrives, all kinds of television people are going to come by to take pictures, you just wait and see. They'll want to do a life story about his miraculous creation."

Then, she thought more seriously about the idea of celebrity status.

"What'll they really want to know is all about Simon, himself." She dreaded that day, but never told Simon.

As she lovingly stared at Simon, perched on the sofa, she couldn't believe how things had turned out for them.

"Just think about it," she mumbled aloud.

He was oblivious to her babbling.

Simon, being an ineffably unconventional artist, was so engrossed in the variegated pictures and distinct sounds coming from the old television set, he completely ignored Wilma's muttering in the one-way conversation, she was having with herself. If she needed to ask questions, she would politely answer them, too.

"Look at me. I am so lucky to have Simon. Me, Wilma Rae Downs, just a simple old ordinary mountain woman, who has lived her life not bothering to get involved with another soul, outside of Simon, sits here, tonight, with the most brilliant artist who has ever lived on the earth." Pride overwhelmed her.

Tears of unrequited joy hoist her feeble mind.

"I just can't hardly believe it. Why, in all the world of infinite possibilities, did he choose ME, the incredible genius, he is, to spend his last days with? I have been so blessed. I KNOW he keeps his nose to the grindstone working, spinning, and weaving all the time, but what can I say about that? He's creating a magnificent project to contribute to mankind. It's his divine purpose for being alive."

She caught her raspy breath, after gagging, and started again.

"The Bible says, 'Many are called, but few are chosen'. Simon Maxwell Spinner has certainly been chosen by God." She stopped talking, momentarily, thought about what she had just said aloud. Contemptuously pondering, she sloshed the uneasy words around in her brain.

"If he had been chosen by God, to fulfill a task, ordained by none-other than the almighty, himself, how is it possible, that he and his entire holy creation, would be so carelessly and easily be destroyed by the hands of man, referred to as the 'State', in less than 10 hours? How could that be?" It made no sense to her.

Try as she might, she could not get her mind wrapped around the unsuitable idea.

"Simon?" He did not answer.

Wilma's confusing insecurity quickly turned to overjoyed excitement, as she glanced around the special parlor. When her eyes landed on Simon, she immediately experienced a sensation of warm joy flood her body which removed all nagging doubt.

She mindfully re-affirmed, one more time, how very blessed, she was, that he had chosen HER home in which to build his spectacular masterpiece. Even, if she didn't understand it, or the purpose for it, or why, if IT was dedicated to mankind as a "glorious redemptive manifestation" {Simon's words} was going to be destroyed in the morning.

"At least one room of my house has served as paradise." She commented silently.

In order to be heard over the television set, she called his name louder.

"Simon, stop staring at that damned blasted television. We ain't finished talking, yet."

She struggled with uncomfortable feelings, when, the untimely reality of total loss suddenly dawned on her fractured soul.

"Simon what will become of your treasure? Your whole life's works going to be demolished if the wrecking crew can't be stopped." She changed the word 'your' to 'our' subtlety.

"Our masterpiece, with its fabulous design, is much too enormous to move?" She clung to the familiar vacancy of no response.

"Simon, what will become of it?"

"Wrapped up?" Simon spoke mechanically.

"What? You mean you are finished? After all these years, including all of the enormous painstaking time you have put into it? You're actually finished with it?" Wilma flabbergasted; waited for some sort of reply.

None forthcoming.

"Simon, ain't you going to speak to me? Tell me when you finished it? When were you going to tell me? You know, I would've wanted to congratulate you on your completed task. What an accomplishment! I realize what that means to you. Ten years!" How odd, she exclaimed, that he would have finished it on the exact night, her home was to be destroyed, the next morning.

"This must be a sign," she shrieked.

"For what?" Simon dotted.

She stammered enthusiastically.

"Very good point, Simon. There's no way for me to know exactly what kind of sign, I'm talking about. But, I know it's the answer and I KNOW it's from God. And, furthermore, there's no reason to congratulate you, if you don't want to be congratulated. And, for that matter, you don't even have to be courteous if you don't feel like it."

Wilma ecstatically churned. Out of her mind, with confessed excited resolution, she continued booming aloud.

"It's really no more than idiotic talk. Praise is simply a valuable waste of words, like you always say. But, be that as it may, will you please let me continue to air my grievances, while you give me your undivided attention?"

It had always appeared to Wilma that she became much more, educated and articulate in her speaking,(though Simon never noticed or said so) whenever she confronted Simon, face-to-face. Somehow he produced in her a different, more refined way of presenting herself, when she was not so consumed with agony.

"And, don't you dare say I'm singing a song of self-pity, either."

Simon couldn't have possibly declared what she was singing or if she was singing. He remained totally in the dark.

She jabbered unceasing nonsense.

"I am so proud of you, Simon, and since this is sort of like a celebration, for the completion of your magnificent project; the one, you said you created specifically for me..." Simon saw no indication she would be stopping; he voice shook like the droning of a missing car's engine, he blanked her out.

"And the 'apparent' (she stressed the word) end of our living in this old house, both events occurring simultaneously, all enclosed in one big ball, won't you indulge me?"

"Suit yourself!" Simon returned coldly, as he slid further away from her.

She retaliated by getting directly in his face. As he watched the human's mouth unmercifully prattle, he paled. He instinctively knew he was in for a long haul.

"Simon, why is it that my life on this earth has all been for nothing? Everything I've ever worked for, strived to accomplish is shot to shit. It's getting ready to be trashed by others who don't even know me. They are going to do away with me and my precious house in one big swipe." She began to bawl.

"It seems." Sniffing and squalling, "I've never really been free, no matter how hard I tried not to rock the boat. I always followed the rules, done everything I was supposed to do. But, where did it get me? Nowhere." She wiped her moist eyes and slobbery mouth.

"I have spent every day living up to someone else's expectations and standards. I had to be a good and decent person. All my life, I've been forced fed that junk! Mama always told me, who I could see and who I couldn't see. I never wanted anyone else to have that kind of complete control over me. But the damned power of the 'state' has me by the throat and won't let go. 'They' think I'm going to jump through 'their' hoops." She choked and then, shouted.

"To hell, with 'them'!"

Simon tried to leave, she stopped him.

Simon halted begrudgingly; closed his eyes, refused to look at her.

So wound up, not even aware, if he was still in the room, she battled on, unintelligibly.

"I thought I had done accomplished that. Didn't you think I did, too? I could have done it but who said I needed to? I sprayed those bushes two weeks ago. Wrong. The joke's on me, huh, Simon? I end up like the rest of the poor jerks on this god-forsaken planet, at the mercy of a stranger."

Her bemoaning tone died down for a second.

"The plain truth in a nutshell, animals are kinder than human beings. They act from gut instinct, doing what's natural for them. You ever seen a goat eat tin foil? They don't hurt anybody unless they are hungry or fear for their life. Why can't humans be like bull frogs? Life ain't what it's cracked up to be, Simon. I sure wish I could be more like you. You carry the secret."

"Secret Sorrow." Simon spit; so glad she had taken a reprieve.

A surprised brought-back-into-this-reality, Wilma remarked, "You are so very clever my dear friend. Life is Secret Sorrow. What time I'm not sorry for myself; I'm scared shitless. I am so damned miserable. I hate my life."

"Who cares?" Simon edged.

"You are so right, Simon. No one cares. If people would only believe that, they would save themselves a lot of heartache and misery."

"Fate decides." Simon regurgitated without Wilma's coaxing.

"But, can anyone stop fate, Simon? Are you telling me that it's my fate not to live another day in this old house?"

"Old subject," he cashed in.

"It's not an old subject, Simon. It's a very new subject. Haven't you heard a single word I've spoken to you tonight? Don't you know what tomorrow is?"

"Friday, all day!" Simon jokingly replied.

"Jack Ass!" Wilma snapped.

"I'm in no mood for jokes tonight. My nerves are all to pieces and I don't think I've ever been so unhappy in my entire life. Misery, plain rotten misery. I've lived in it all my days, but the ugly truth of the matter is; I simply don't want to be set free. I've grown so used to it. It's my personal despair and I like it. I've gotten used to my pain. I know what to expect. I accommodate myself to it. Don't you see?"

Simon saw and understood less, than he had seen, the entire night.

"I'm satisfied in my place of woe; I know that sounds stupid but it's true, my truth. I love my life just like it is, no matter how bad, it seems. I suppose, the best thing that could ever happen to me is for me to die in my sleep. That way, I wouldn't endure the horrible reality of being forced to leave against my will. But, then what would happen to you? You need me, Simon. You don't even know how much. But, then, that's stupid, too. I can't even die in peace for worrying about what would happen to you."

"You don't."

"I don't? Stop with your foolishness. I told you, I'm in no mood. If you can't be of some help, don't add more filling to the pie." finally takes another hawking breath.

"Let's eat."

Wilma was beside herself with grief, exhausted and shocked, she responded, "Eat, what in the hell are you talking about? How can you possibly think of food at a time like this? I'm really surprised at you, Simon. You're not at all, yourself. I can't make heads nor tails of what you're saying. Are you fooling with me? Are you being serious?"

"Rare tale."

"Usually, you make so much sense. But tonight, you sound like a babbling idiot. Half the time, I simply don't know what you're talking about, and the rest of the time, I don't want to know. Maybe, you really don't care about me, at all. Maybe, I've made up everything I say nice about you, in my mind. Maybe, you are a real jerk who don't care for nobody, but himself." She scowled furiously.

Highly insulted, he abruptly dashed to his bedroom. Prevented from closing the door, he quickly realized, she had followed right behind him.

"Done Deal." Simon announced.

"Stop it, Simon. I'm past tired of all this ragging back and forth. Either you're interested or you're not. It's that simple. Either you want to help or you don't."

"Prize ribbon."

"What?" Wilma sneered. "I'm not going to try to figure out that unintelligent remark. I'm so tired, Simon. I'm all finished. I don't want nothing. No food, no conversation, no worries. I just want to rest. I can’t hold my eyes open, another minute. I'm all drained out. Do you mind if I just lay down a spell? I don't have to sleep long; just long enough to settle my mind..." Her tiny voice trailed off in meaningless mumble.

"...before I start, again. There's two barns that need checking on. In the morning, I'll handle, whatever is presented."

"It's my bedroom, anyhow. I don't have to ask you if I can lie down. I refuse to spend my last night arguing."

No way, could Simon possibly follow the disjointed thoughts expressed.

"You're the only true joy I've ever known and my release. It's all going to be just fine. Don't worry I love you, Simon."

Simon interrupted, before, she could finish the sentence.

"Simon will."

"Alright, Simon, do as you please. For once in my life, I don't even think I'm frightened anymore. I'm resolved." Wilma did not bother to get under the covers. She just fell across the bed, in the only room; she had ever allowed Simon to use, while he worked on his exquisite project.

"Wilma was," Simon whispered over the head of the old woman, as he exited the room.

Chapter 16
Chapter 14

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