…to the Freshly Stressed challenge.
I found this in Forsdick’s drawer
At first, I was afraid to touch the odd looking contraption. Then I carefully picked it up and wrapped it in the handkerchief in my pocket. Put there in honour of Forsdick’s funeral today. I’ve known him since I was a small boy, interested in all things uncanny – and Fordsick had many of those. Strange contraptions still lines the corridors and passages in his huge home. The will reading will happen later today, but I don’t hesitate in securing the little beetle in my pocket. Needing something small of Forsdick to keep with me always. The man that has always ever only had time for a small, lost boy, searching for his place in this great big world, agog at all the things he came across in the stately, if slightly dusty, old house Forsdick called his own.
He could see everything with a different eye. Looked at everything from a surprisingly different angle. And taught me to do the same.
On coming home, still dazed from the legacy left me by Forsdick, I carefully I took the little beetle out of my pocket, still safely wrapped in it’s bed of soft cotton. All the knobs and gears were covered with dust and lint from time spent in the drawer. One of the wings was slightly bent from when something heavy must have been thrown into the drawer. Of course I just had to clean it!! Being of a tidy mindset – things have to be at least clean, even if they don’t work anymore. I could see where grime from the years have clogged up the gears. I scrounged around and found an unused paintbrush with the finest hair, and gently, I brushed the dust off the little knobs and crannies, uncovering a marvel of ingenuity and completely unknown purpose.
I left the beetle on a bed of cloth on my workbench – time for some coffee and congratulations on a job well done, even if it was a bit useless doing it.
In the kitchen, the coffee pot is slurping the Joe through the filter. I get a cup from the cupboard, and hear a sound. Thought nothing of it, I mean the coffee machine does kick up a racket in the final stages of water spluttering out for my caffeine fix. Hear the sound again. Nope. Not the coffee machine. Something else is making that noise.
Coffee machine switched off, I go in search of the noise. Hearing it periodically – end up in my workroom. The beetle’s wings are whirring at tries to move them. Obviously something I did must have shaken loose a mechanism of some kind. Something that made the dormant experiment morph into a, possibly, sentient being.
Coffee forgotten, I go to the workbench and pick up the beetle. look where the wings are catching, maybe I can fix it. As if it knows I’m prepared to help, the beetle obligingly lifts it’s wings, almost showing me where the catch is, I see it immediately. Miniature tool in hand, I unbend the bent piece, and finally, the beetle is airborne! It’s wings shimmer in the late afternoon’s golden light, filtered through dull net curtains, and dustmotes. It hovers in front of me, beckoning me to follow. it has no face, but I get a sense of urgency and expectance from it nevertheless. Next thing, it’s off, down the passageway, on it’s way out the backdoor.
I hurry to follow it, not even bothering to close and lock the door behind me. Just rushing to see where this invention of Forsdick’s is leading me.
It leads me to the park at the end of my street. A lovely expanse of green grass and lovely old trees, always ready to offer their shade from the heat of the sun. All this beauty is lost to me in the following of the beetle though. It’s hard seeing the shimmering gadget in the gloam under the trees, but I nonetheless follow it. It looks like it waits for me if I fall too far behind it.
We come to the deepest part in the greensward. Almost no light filters through the thick foliage above me. The beetle waits for me just before you enter the forest proper.
I don’t see it anymore. It’s gone! Where could it have gone? And so quickly? In the blink of an eye. One minute it was there, the next gone! Slowly I move forward to where I last saw the beetle, or thought I saw it. Cautiously, I extend my hand in the space it last occupied.
And my hand disappears. From the wrist onwards, I can’t see it. looks as if it has just disappeared into thin air. Suddenly I feel a touch on the hidden hand. Little feet pulling on my finger, urging me to follow through the action I already started.
I do so. A slight squeeze and my body is through the gateway i suppose you can call it.
And there, in front of me a whole new world lies beckoning me with it’s secrets and marvels!
One week later :
Police have given up the search for missing scientist, Dr Peter Blake. Dr Blake has been missing since the day of the funeral of his mentor, Dr Albert Forsdick a week ago. Dr Blake received quite a large legacy from the estate of the late Dr Forsdick. it includes ownership of the large piece of greenswar right here in our neighbourhood, as well as the contents of various strongboxes in banks all over the world, and one specific cabinet in the late Dr Forsdick’s home. It is believed that Dr Blake was so distraught over the death of his mentor that he might have taken his own life, although a body has not turned up as yet.
Foul play is not suspected at this time, but police detectives are following a line of inquiry.
we will keep you updates as the story unfolds.