Cassy and I fell to sleep on the front porch
in the middle of the day. It's almost Fall and both of us are looking forward to
school. That's what we were talking about before we drifted off, but when I woke
she was obviously dreaming of something very different. Her moans and groans
wakened me and I looked through the wood strips of the porch swing at Cassy
squirming on the cool floor. Her bellybutton stomach was sticking up as her back
arched and lifted her light blue crape shirt almost to her chest. She was
thinking of something really good because she made bubbles with her mouth and
sounds like a motor boat. She is so funny. But she's pretty too. She has long
smooth muscles and she was stretching them while she bent back and finally
squealed and fell still.
Cassy is my best friend even though I don't
hang around with her at school. I live next door and I'm kind of a lot older
than she is but we know about some important things so we have to be together as
much as possible. We don't always have to talk to understand each other but I
couldn't figure out why she had been squirming on the porch.
I said, "What happened?" and she
said, "I helped someone." She seemed like she was tired but she was
still explaining what happened.
Cassy tells me the whole story.
Colored By Animan
She said that when I wouldn't let her on the
swing she decided to wait till I went to sleep so she could flip me on to the
floor. She went behind the swing and lay down on the edge of the porch and was
feeling the waxy leaves of the shrubbery and smelling the tiny sweat olive
flowers when she looked up at the sky. She said she was thinking how high the
sky was and she thought, "Space is so big that probably all the time there
is someone who is trying to talk to me." "Mmmm" she heard in her
thoughts. She was used to her imagination answering herself, so she continued
thinking about how big the universe is and how she might not even notice most of
the time that people from all over that gigantic space might be trying to reach
out to her. "Mmmmm!" she heard in her thoughts as clearly as if I said
it to her. She started to think, "I think to myself every minute. Am
I….?" "Mmmm!" she heard in her thoughts with more urgency this
She liked this idea she was having and though
she played little games like this with herself before, she felt like she wasn't
really answering herself this time. She thought a series of questions like;
"You are talking to me?" "Do you want to tell me something."
"Is this my imagination?" Each question was answered in her thoughts
with the same urgent and clear sound until she realized she was only asking
questions which could be answered with yes or no answers. So she looked up at
the darkest blue part of the sky and thought, "What do you want to tell
"Then I think I went to sleep because I
saw pictures like I was dreaming." She said.
The pictures were not perfectly clear at
first. There was a big figure with a flower on top in front and figures running
across behind. She could see the one in front had a long dark green face with no
mouth or nose. There were two darker green oval eyes and a big rubbery yellow
and pink wilted flower instead of hair. The flower was laying sort of back on
the head. She could see the plant man was looking in a mirror at himself so
Cassy could see him through his eyes as he saw himself. "I was looking
through his eyes." She said. Others dashed around lifting and carrying each
other. Off to one side Cassy could see down into a technology filled room where
plant people were being shot down as they made attempts to enter. On the other
side she could see huge vents in the ceiling which were partially opened because
of the bodies of plant people trapped in them. Those who were pulling the bodies
from the vents were also being shot and were falling to the ground.
Cassy could see through the eyes of the plant
man as he stood up away from the mirror and ran through the city. There was no
place where she could see the sky except where the bodies held the giant vents
slightly open. Where she could see out, the sky was dark and the stars were
shining. In some parts of the city it was obvious that the ceiling was thousands
of years old and it was carved and painted with beautiful pictures. The plant
man stopped running and let Cassy look at one wall for a long time. It was made
of orange stone that was almost clear so it glowed from the lights behind it.
All around the sides it was carved with little designs and she could see many
layers of the designs through the millions of tiny hand carved shapes and
There were rows pictures in the center of the
wall which were not painted. They were made of tiny colored stones patched
together like a puzzle. The ancient pictures told a story. The pictures at the
top showed plant people dancing and doing everyday things with the light rays
pouring down on everything. Below the happy scene was a hellish row of images of
winged creatures coming from off the planet, swooping down and tearing plant
people apart. Plant people were all over the ground with their flowers ripped
The next row of images showed the construction
of stone ceilings and lookout posts. The plant people are lighter colored and
more wilted but some of them are dancing and rubbing their flowers together
under the ceilings. Next the plant man unrolled a large chart and held it
against the beautiful wall. It took a while to figure out what the chart was,
but when it did come clear Cassy knew almost the whole story.
The chart showed that the whole planet was now covered by high tech metal ceilings, giant vents that open like blinds to let the light in, that close to keep the seed eaters out. The chart also showed close ups of automated stun gun towers located at regular distances from each other on the surface of the planet. Under each tower were control rooms that are also protected by stun guns and the whole thing is powered by enormous solar panels on the metal surface. The chart had a picture of one of the stun guns shooting down one of the seedeaters.
Then the plant man scratched a big X across
the underground control rooms. There had obviously been some malfunction in the
control rooms. Cassy was crying when she thought that must have been how the
people outside were stunned and why the vents were shut on people trying to get
The Wall of Storys
Before the plant man rolled up the chart and started running again he pointed at the sun on one side of the chart. Then he pointed at the solar panel on the dayside of the planet. Gesturing wildly he then pointed at the solar panels on the night side of the planet. With his finger he circled the planet many times indicating the rotation of the planet. He was letting Cassy know that the solar panels start to run out of power when the light is off of them all night.
Then he was running through the chaotic
streets again. Pale plant people were leaned against the walls. Some were being
carried and some were beyond help.
Before long the plant man was back outside the
control room where bodies were being pulled from the vents. But this time Cassy
saw the stadium sized vent room was full of infants. Every cute little plant kid
was reaching up toward the ceiling with their multicolored flowers open and
facing the slightly opened vents. There seemed to be a mist growing just above
their heads as some of the thousands of kids were bouncing excitedly and others
stood perfectly still. It was a colorful and awesome sight that suddenly crashed
to the ground.
The sea of infants fell like a sea of leaves,
curling in shuddering heaps as the vents snapped shut snipping off parts of the
older bodies still trapped in them. As the body parts fell to the floor adults
sprang from their knees and scooped up the kids. They were rocking the kids in
their long arms when fin-like shapes spread out of the parent's arms and
enclosed the little stunned plants. Cassy's host plant man moved close to one of
the parents and petted the face of the little one in her arms. The plant man
opened the child's flower to reveal a partially coiled gelatinous thread-like
mass coming from the center. Then the plant man pointed at the vents and walked
back to the mirror where Cassy first saw him.
At the mirror Cassy could see her host making
himself comfortable and gathering objects that included the rolled up chart,
some kind of pen or marker and a small round metal disk. The plant man unrolled
the chart on the table in front of him and used the marker to draw directly on
the mirror. He drew three planets and a star all in a row. The star was on one
end and a little cartoon of Cassy was on the planet on the other end. On the
planet closest to the star he drew the towers, the solar panels and little lines
coming out of the vents toward the middle planet. Some of the lines had both
ends in the space and some of the lines were landing on planet that was in the
middle between Cassy and the plant people's planet.
I asked Cassy, "What did all the pictures
mean?" She said that she didn't get it at first but she said the plant man
kept pointing at the solar panels on the night side of the planet and pointing
to the pile of stringy stuff in the kids flowers. She said, "Then the plant
man pointed into the mirror and I knew that I had some part in all this."
She finally realized that the plant man needed her help.
The plant man's gestures were becoming more
jittery and desperate and he unrolled the chart again and pointed at the solar
panels on the night side of the planet. Cassy started thinking of the picture on
the mirror. The sun was on one side and the strings were coming out the opposite
side. At that moment the plant man became very excited and began pointing wildly
at the stringy stuff in the kid's flowers. He stretched the string out and
pointed toward the vents. Cassy then thought that maybe the stun guns on the
night side of the planet might have less sensitivity so the kids could stream
out of little cracks of the vents. At that moment the vents cracked open again
and the kids flowers started popping open in their parent's arms. The parents
sat back down on the floor, as the children stood as tall as they could. The
misty looking strings started rising from the kid's flowers. The plant man began
jumping out of control and pointing at the vents and the drawing of the empty
middle planet on the mirror. Cassy said, "I was trying to guess what he
wanted me to know about the planet between his planet and earth and right when I
thought about the middle planet the kids behind the plant man started unraveling
and turning into the mist that was growing above their heads. Their flowers
disappeared first and then their heads and the plant man went wild."
She told me, " The kids looked like they
were unraveling into a stream of cells that were flowing out of the vents. The
kids became headless and were jumping up and down and every time I thought about
the middle planet a burst of their bodies would disappear out of the
vents." She said, "I could feel them coming toward me through space in
tiny streams, so I got really excited like I was having the best dream I ever
I told her that I saw her and how she was
squirming all around.
Then she started telling me about the parents.
She said, "The parents looked really sad and some of them reached to touch
the last bit of their kids before they shot up and through the ceiling. Some of
them fell to the ground as if they fainted from sadness. The host plant man was
running to pet some of the parents and then back to the mirror. He pointed to
the middle planet and then back to assist the parents." Cassy said, "I
could tell he wanted me to keep thinking about the kids going to the middle
planet. I could feel it when the majority of the kid's body weight was outside
their home planets gravity and then I could tell when the first ones started to
touch down and reassemble themselves on the middle planet." She said,
"The parents could tell when their kids landed too because their sad
postures turned happy and they bounded all over each other."
She said, "I could feel that all the
parents were happy with me and then I heard you talking to me." She looked
at me and I asked if she could still hear them. She was quiet for a few seconds
and then she said, "I don't see anything, but I feel like they are