Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heart of life : #2

The Ship in the Backyard.

It was a bright sunny morning, contrary to the cloudy weather forecast Maggie just read on The Daily newspaper.

“ That’s one worry off the head. It wouldn’t be that hard a drive to our new home, now”, her husband said.

With all the packing and shifting, all that Maggie wanted was to get over with this whole thing.

“The Dirkins are visiting us for a final goodbye”, he continued, frantically dialing some last minute calls.

Maggie’s eyes turned moist, blurring her sight as she buttered her toast. They’ve been neighbors ever since Maggie got married to Phil, eight and a half years to be exact. It’s not easy to separate from such wonderful people. Sometimes she wished they hadn’t decided to shift, so far down south.

Two toasts popped up the toaster, bringing her back to reality.

“Rikie, come have your breakfast.”

Maggie ran to the bedroom to answer her buzzing cell , taking a bite of her buttered toast.

“Phil, could you please help me with this? And put the rest of the suitcases in the car.”

“And where the hell is Rik? Could you find him? We need to leave in an hour.”

Maggie turned and walked past the cluttered things to be packed.

“Mark called.”, she called out.” He ‘s sending that folder you asked him”.

“Phil?”

“I heard you”, he yelled back.

Just then the doorbell rang. Maggie hugged Mrs Dirkins and welcomed her husband and son to the living room.

And thus minutes went by with calls and packing and yelling and neighbors.

“Phil, did you find Rik?”

“No, why don’t you check his room. I’m held up now.”

Maggie did not find her five year old son in his room. She couldn’t find him anywhere in the house.

“Rik? Where are you? It’s getting late.”

“I heard him in the backyard talking to someone”, Mrs Dirkins said.”He’s probably with  my son”.

Maggie found him there, still yapping, as she had said. She walked to him. But where is Ted Dirkins?

“Rik? Who are you talking to?”

“Nobody.”

“Did Ted come by?”

“No”.

“Okay, now why don’t you get back in there and eat your toast. Time to get dressed.”

Rik stood up, glanced at the bushes beyond him, and walked to the back door, holding his mother’s hand.

Maggie turned back and looked around.

Was he talking to himself?, she thought.

******

Rikie looked through his binoculors. His ship has not yet returned . Rik couldn't be a part of this expedition as he had to look after the treasure they retrieved the previous day. So, he decided that, his assistant, Pirate Bug would captain The Rik today.

He sat down and started summing the gold and money from the Rikie Island. He counted 5000 coins, and thrice the amount of 100 dollar notes. He stuffed them all into the back pocket of his pants.

Just then he caught sight of a ship sailing towards him. He could make out Pirate Bug standing at the wheel, steering the ship.

Rikie began his first "voyage" when he was four. His father took him to a harbour, some thirty kilometers away, on a Sunday morning. It was the first time Rikie saw a real ship. And the first time he learnt the meaning of words like 'captain', 'harbour', even 'pirate'.

"I want to be Captain when I grow up", he told his dad, after much thought,on their way back home.
From then on, he has been spending all his playtime at the backyard of their house, to play what he calls "Captain Rik's Ship game".

And thus became his imaginary world with a ship named The Rik(a toy boat that harboured itself under the shade of the orange tree when not on a 'voyage'), the Rikie Island( an imaginary island he conquered and named after him), his assistant 'Pirate Bug'(a black bug that Rik managed to tie onto his toy ship), and the treasure( of round stones, twigs and leaves that took the role of gold and 100 dollar notes).

Pirate Bug anchored the ship and came to him.

"You're late."

'We had issues Captain. We were attacked. Fought them all though.It's all in the ship captain."

"Good work.I can't take it all with me. Bring them when you sail to our new harbour. "

"Can we join you, Captain?"

"No. If you're seen again, you might be dead. You remember what happened last time, don't you?"

Maggie happened to find her son's toy in the backyard one day.  She nearly freaked out when she found a pair of bugs tied onto it. She had strictly forbidden any kinds of such behavior from him, thereafter.

"Yes Captain Rik, I remember".

"There are things we need to talk about. There's a new Island up there, I heard. No time to say much.We''ll meet again tomorrow."

Just then he saw a shadow in front of him.

"Rik? Who are you talking to?”

“Nobody.”

“Did Ted come by?”

“No”.

“Okay, now why don’t you get back in there and eat your toast. Time to get dressed.”

Rik stood up, looked at Pirate Bug sail away, and walked to the back door, holding his mother’s hand.

******

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