Wilby Lake


Wilby Lake

By Malvoyant Berserker

“I take it you already know, of tough and bough and cough and dough, 

Others may stumble, but not you, on hiccough, thorough, tough and through.
Well done! And how you wish perhaps, to learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word, that looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead; it’s said like bed, not bead, for goodness sake don’t call it “deed”.
Watch out for meat and great and threat (They rhyme with suite and straight and debt)

A moth is not a moth in mother, nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there, nor dear and fear for bear and pear.
And then there’s dose and rose and lose, just look them up and goose and choose.
And cork and work and word and sword, and do and go and thwart and cart.
Come, come I’ve hardly made a start.
A dreadful language, man alive!
I mastered it when I was five.”                                                                     -Richard Krogh

There’s a lake at Wilby Lake.

There’s a town called Wilby Lake that used to be right next to Wilby Lake. Now,Wilby Lake is at the bottom of Wilby Lake. Because some years back, the St. Lawrence got so high, the town built in the lowlands two kilometers away, flooded.

There’s rumored to be zombies in Wilby Lake; zombies of the inhabitants of the now underwater Wilby Lake.

There’s a bus stop that stops right at the fringe of Wilby Lake, that bus stop has stopped there a long time ago, but busses don’t stop there anymore.

Confusing, eh?

Driver’s exam, after months of practicing, it all sums up (or down?) to this, driver’s exam to get my driver’s license. I ised driving left the highway (the highway, route 250, is an east to west road, I ised driving west, left), with a red faced instructor sitting in the front passenger’s seat, thinking about earlier. I runed into some trouble a while ago, before I geted onto the highway, I hased ‘a close call’ (not sure what that means but the instructor sayed ‘it was a close call’ and he isedn’t calling someone on a phone) with a yield sign. I doedn’t get the yield sign, it‘s a metal triangle that does not have pointy angles (what triangles shalled have) with a red outline. I checked the dictionary once of the world ‘yield’ to understand this annoying road sign, the definition sayed nothing about red or white triangles without pointy vertices, but did sayed yield means to ‘give up’. During a terrifying driver’s exam like the one I ised taking, a yield sign sure discouraged me a lot, based on the definition of the word, maybe I shalled just ‘yield’ the test and pull over (driving terminologies are confusing, pullover is a type of sweater, right?). Anyways, what happened at the yield sign ised this; I seed the yield sign, thinked of the definition I finded in the dictionary, and forgeted what I hased to do upon seeing a yield sign, because it’s as if it’s telling me to give up the test (and I still don’t know what the yield sign means), so I stepped on the brake in the middle of an intersection, the impatient guy in the car behind me started honking his horn which sounded like a toucan and I geted distracted and the instructor ised looking at me radiating the message ‘do something!’ I doed the first insensible thing I caned come up with and I stepped on the gas pedal and the car raced across the intersection at the speed of 80 kilometers at a road that has a speed limit of 50 kilometers, and I doed that during a red light. Oh I shall never forget the sounds of fifty car horns honking at my car (actually the examination company’s car) and how much is sounded like an orchestra of toucans. I think the instructor taked off forty five points for that stunt.

Then I ised gathering speed (but there are no speed for me to collect) on the highway and reeling from that traumatizing experience at the yield intersection, it’s all ‘yield’s fault. ‘Get off at the next exit ramp.’ the instructor sayed. I ised puzzled, get off what at the next exit ramp, who, what? I sayed ‘Do you meaned me to get out of the car at the next exit ramp, sir? Is there some mechanism in the engine I must check?’ The instructor looked at me in a ridiculing way. ‘What do you think I meant, Mr. Sims?’

‘I think you meaned I shalled get out of the car at the next exit ramp, correct?’ I replied.

‘Mr. Sims, do you take me for a fool?’

‘Would I trade you for a fool? Of course not! You are too good a person…’

‘KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD!’

I ised very surprised because I ised just looking at the instructor while he talked to me, it is basic politeness. ‘Do you mean I shalled take my eyes out of my sockets and leave them on the road?’ I asked, being polite so to make sure I geted his point correctly.

‘No! You foolish fool! I mean for you to look at the road while you drive, not at me!’ If what I hased learned ised correct, the strange expression to describe the instructor’s expression willed be that he ised ‘losing it’. I isedn’t sure what ised loosed but I ised very concerned.

‘Mr. Instructor, shalled I drive you to the hospital for an examination? You look quite red in the face, redder than before, sir. Perhaps it’s a heart attack.’

By then we hased passed the next exit ramp which I shalled have ‘get off’ at, whatever shalled that be, the opportunity hases passed. I doed not get an answer from the instructor, who’s face ised getting redder still, so I asked a perhaps more understandable question, remembering to keep my eyes on the road, ‘We hases just passed the exit ramp you telled me to get out at, shall I get off the highway at the next next exit ramp?’

‘Yessssss, pleeease do by all means DO IT!’ The instructor’s face ised as red as a red hot chilly pepper, I wonder if I shalled ask him again about the hospital examination. ‘Will you like me to take you to the hospital for a heart rate check?’ I asked, being very polite.

‘JUST GET THE CAR AND ME OFF THIS HIGHWAY IN ONE PIECE! THAT IS ALL I ASK! OH GOD WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS???!!!’ The instructor entered this unexplained tantrum and I geted scared, so I pushed the emergency stop light button and exited the highway on the next next exit ramp and I drived, no, speeded down (going south) the road, towards the general direction I think the hospital is located. Ahead on the side of the road ised a yield sign…I HATE YIELD SIGN! I ised already nervous, I promised to take my instructor, who is suffering from a terrible heart attack (in the seat beside me, he ised wheezing and sputtering and flapping his arms) to the hospital, then that yield sign hased to show itself in such an urgent time! I glanced at any sign of a road sign that reads ‘Hospital Road’, where theBurnsHospitalis located on, and I found one! The sign sayed ‘Woody Parkway’, what, PARKWAY? This road I ised driving on is a parking place? I slammed my left foot on the brake pedal and the car halted in a screech of rubber tires and dust, my instructor’s seat belt ised so unprepared for this jolt that it let goed of my instructor’s body, and his head crashed onto the window of the car and the hit knocked him unconscious in the middle of his tantrum. I hoped his heart can handle such a violent shock. All I needed to do ised get off this parkway and move onto a proper driveway to drive my sick and unconscious instructor to the hospital. SLAM CRASH! That is how I describe what happened in the next second or two. I seed in the rear mirror the front of a freight truck crashing into the back of my (the examination company’s) car, the back trunk lid flyed into the air and the rear window shattered, my (the examination company’s) car shaked forward and crashed onto the Woody Parkway sign. The instructor waked up. He looked around at our rather uncanny situation and begined to cry. The positive thing about this ised: his heart attack seed to have retreated.

I hased arrived at the place of driver’s license testing at ten o’clock in the morning, the test ised supposed to take less than one hour to finish, so I ised very shocked to see that my watch sayed two o’clock in the afternoon when I leaved the police station. This ised what happened after the fright truck slammed into the back of the examination company’s car: (the truck driver ised obviously breaking laws-quite unlike breaking sticks-because he ised driving on a parkway, any good driver shalled always know that park means stop, and drive means go) the police arrived at the scene in the speed of turtles, four squad cars, along with an ambulance parked on the parkway. My instructor ised loaded onto a stretcher by two paramedics and carried away, to the hospital at last! I think he ised still in a mental breakdown when they loaded him onto the stretcher. All this happened while a fire hydrant nearby burst and everyone geted a shower. It taked the courage of three police officers approach, tackle and handcuff my hands behind my back, they also considered the possibility of a Hannibal Lecter mask, I overheared this lying on the ground facedown. In the end, they decided against the mask because I doedn’t look ‘criminally insane enough’. Then there ised an interrogation that lasted all the way to two o’clock, I finded it strange that the police always gets to talk first (I understanded everything), to summarize their long speech into a sentence, I’ll say they are charging me (this apparently have nothing to do with an electric chair,I am scared for a moment there) for property damage, causing mayhem, and third degree murder. I ised about to argue that third accusation when the officer telled me to shut up and quit being stupid, to which I responded that I have an IQ of 115 to which he counterattacked by quote ‘so, if you’re so smart them why did you endanger the lives of people around you and your instructor whom you seem to love to much, eh? It you really do have an IQ of 115, which I strongly doubt, you’d think twice before calling us to the scene you’ve so unlawfully caused, eh?’ I must admit, I ised speechless for a while before I sayed that I doed not call the officers to the scene, they comed on their own. The officer sighed and sayed I ised ‘an idiot and menace in one and a danger to society’. The officers added one more charge to my list of wrong doings, it ised the red light I runed at the much hated yield intersection, disgruntled and discouraged, I canceled the speech to tell them my side of the story and sited there in silence waiting for dad to bail me out of jail for the third time (every one of those arrests ared misunderstandings, I swear truthfully that I get arrested only because people don’t understand me and call the cops because they think I’m dangerous, but I always make my point perfectly clear, I understand myself so why can’t they?). Seeing that I’m no longer the argumentative ‘idiot and menace in one’ a revelation before, they looked expectedly at me and burst out laughing, one of the four officers (and the rest behind the window screen) laughed so hard he hased to lie (he doedn’t tell a lie) on the floor. ‘Aren’t you gonna tell us your wacko side of the story now?’ One officer asked me. ‘Oh! It’s my turn? Why doedn’t anyone tell me?’ I sited there with confusion writed across my face (terrible metaphor). The officers laughed even harder. I doedn’t get to finish my version of what really happened because my dad bailed my out of jail (through a phone call) right before I geted to the exciting part about getting off at the ramp. My court hearing will be holded next month, no doubt dad will consult the lawyer and make up a story labeling me with a stress disorder (no I ised not stressed out at the license exam, it ised my ninth attempt to get my driver’s license so I can drive the Ferrari dad buyed me when I ised four years old, a bike is more my style anyways) and I willed be off the hook (uncanny metaphor, pardon me).

The officers who unkindly escorted me to the interrogation room now unkindly escorted me out. They unkindly returned my possessions and unkindly rushed me out of the police station without giving me a chance to go relieve myself in the washroom. I checked my watch, is ised two o’clock (I ised surprised), I decided call dad to thank him for bailing me out of jail again. His secretary answered, I telled her to give dad the message after his tenth meeting of the day. Before I walked to the bus stop to go home, I peed in the rosebush in front of the police station, as a show of gratitude towards their hospitality.

I live in the west end of Burns,New Brunswick, and the police station is in the east end of town. If I walk, it will take less than two hours (Burns has a small population of five hundred, and a small area of six kilometer squared), but the sun ised shining in a cloudless sky and the ultraviolet ised intense, I doedn’t want to get a tan yet, so I taked the bus. Bus Route 67 crosses Burns from east to west and to Wilby Lake and back; the Wilby Lake terminal is no longer used, so Route 67 only goes as far as my (my family’s) house on the east end and back. The older town maps still indicateWilbyLakeas the terminal for Route 67; there are no new town maps that indicate otherwise. It is rumored that there are zombies living inWilbyLake, a Burns urban legend.

The bus Route 67 squealed to a stop at the bus stop I standed.

I walked onto the bus, it ised an old bus, the seats ared yellow, the fan louder than a foghorn, and one seat hased a green stain on the armrest; looked like a vegetarian dinosaur vomited there. I sited down in a window seat at the back of the bus. Everything about the bus ised old, the only thing new about it ised the bus driver, looked like someone replaced Old Tom, the new driver ised young and crabby looking, an annoyed twenty something years old who looks very annoyed to be driving the bus. The afternoon sun (not much different from the morning sun) shined through the dusty window of the bus, it ised driving right Piploe Place (it is as a matter of fact a road rather than a place), a ‘place’ with a name that sounds like pillow with a ‘p’ sandwiched in the middle (sandwiched, really?). I taked out my media player the third (mp3) from my jacket pocket and remembered that I forgeted to bring earphones when I leaved for the exam in the morning, drat! Then, my cell phone (it has no cells in it, in fact, it is not even a living thing) ringed, actually, it played ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson, but apparently ‘Thriller’ is a ‘ringtone’ is the appropriate term to describe what the purple little telephone is doing. I taked my cell phone out of my other jacket pocket and sayed onto it, ‘Hello?’

‘Hello! You maniacal maniac!’ My driving instructor’s voice shouted from the purple little telephone, I ised happy beyond belief to hear his angry voice, the show of his temper meaned his heart attack and trauma hased retreated.

‘Hello instructor, I hear you sound better than at the car crash, has your heart attack retreated?’ I sayed onto the purple little telephone.

‘YES! And YES it has retreated, no thanks to you!’

It taked me a while to figure out what he meaned by that, I doedn’t, so I sayed ‘are you still recovering in hospital, if you are, I hope you get well soon, although it’s nice that you are already well and ‘hearing sharp’.

‘YES! I don’t thank you GREATLY for your comments, now here’s the dough; I’m only risking my well being to make this call so I can tell you happily that you’ve FAILED your driver’s exam, so not to risk losing a few more minutes of my lifespan in connection with YOU, I’d leave it at that. Have a terrible day, Mr. Simpleton Sims, bye…’

I hated myself (such a terrible exaggeration, I never hate myself, only people with low self esteem hate themselfs) for interrupting him, but I hased to so I can point out the loopholes in his speech, and to inform him that there is no need for him to emphasize ‘I FAILED the exam’ (I’ve FAILED it nine times already, this is my tenth). ‘Mr. Instructor, you don’t need to spend one bit of your worry on me because I failed the exam, I’m perfectly adapted to that, I’ve failed the exam nine times already you know that? This is my tenth fail, maybe I’ll get lucky on the eleventh try. And you telled me to have a terrible day, but it is already the afternoon of today, so I guess I can only have half a terrible day, would you like to rephrase your sentence to (imitating his voice) ‘I’d leave it at that and have a terrible half day, bye…’’

‘BYE, BYE, BYE! YOU MANIACAL MANIAC! I DON”T WANT TO TALK TO YOU ANOTHER NANOSECOND YOU HEAR?! I DON”T WANT YOU A THOUSAND FEET NEAR ME OR I’LL HAVE THE COPS ARREST YOU AND SEND YOU TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL YOU DIG?! I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOU, AND I ESPECIALLY DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT YOU! NOW GET OUT OF MYHEARINGRANGEAND BYE!!’

Before he caned slam his end of the phone, I hases one more question; I asked him quickly and politely ‘How many points doed you take off on my driving performance?’ There ised quietness at the other end of the invisible receiver of the purple little telephone. Finally after a few crucifying moments (that terrible exaggeration!) later, I geted my long awaited answer, and then a slam.

I sited there on the bus seat shocked with wonder, I puted the purple little telephone back into my other jacket pocket and my mp3 in my jacket pocket and stared straight ahead, breathing heavily. Wow, I sayed to myself, 192 points off, the pass score is at 32 points, that’s a new record! My 5th exam result ised 158 points off, my best worst score until now, I geted to get home and tell sister. Before I can imagine the look on my sister’s face when she hear the news and tell me what an idiot I am, I thinked aboutPillow Placeand sleeped instantly, wow ised I tired! My head leaned against the dusty window of the bus and I sleeped feeling the consistent vibration of the bus window glass as the wheels hited another bump on the road. This ised much better than listening to my mp3!

Drum…drum…drum…Bump!

I waked up.

Wow, I seed wilderness outside the bus’s window; that must be a mistake, there are no national parks in Burns, and hills, green hills in the distance, and mountains, on the other side of…a lake? Everything willed beed nicer if I ised here to enjoy the view instead of to wonder where in Burns ised the bus going. I doed some sightseeing from my position at my window seat and yes, I ised right, the bus ised traveling on Piploe Place, the place on which bus Route 67 make its rotation on, a sign nearly engulfed by rust proved right, and the lake parallel to the road, a crystal clear lake of shining green water, Wilby Lake. I hased never goed toWilbyLakebecause I hased never left the town of Burns except to go to the golf country (it is not exactly a country) club with dad. This ised new, I just hased to ask the bus driver why ised he driving the bus here (the bus hased long ago passed its terminal station, the stop outside the Sims Mansion, my house, obviously he’s made a mistake) and criticize his sense of misdirection, dad telled me that if I ised going to take over his company in the distant future then I geted to learn how to scowled people.

Inquiring the bus driver about his sense of misdirection willed hases to be postponed, because the bus comed to an abrupt stop. Drat the bus driver, doed he hases to brake so hard?! The moment the bus stopped abruptly ised the moment I loosed my footing (footing is apparently not the foot exercise I thinked it ised) and tumbled to the floor.

‘Terminal stop,WilbyLake! Everybody off!’ the driver called.

I picked myself up from the ground (no I am not broken in pieces) and stomped to the front of the bus. I tapped the bus driver on the shoulder with my middle finger. In response to that, the guy slammed the headphones he ised wearing (he’s wearing headphones on his head, under his explosion of un-kept hedgehog hair) and shouted unkindly in my face ‘Wha’ dya want?!’ (I ised right, he is Old Tom’s replacement, because Old Tom never slam his headphones he never wears on the steering wheel and shout ‘wha’ dya want?’ in my face).

This ised a difficult situation, according to dad’s teaching; when a ‘co-worker’ is not co-operating, I shalled just ‘fire’ the guy, if I am in authority to do so. But I doedn’t think I ised in authority to ‘fire’ this angry bus driver because…I doedn’t really know, so I taked dad’s second option, to counter-un-co-operate. I shouted back to the driver ‘Wha’ dya want?’ in the best imitation I caned master.

‘You were askin’ me man! Wha dya want??’ the guy shouted.

‘I want to know where this bus’s going! That’s what I want!’

My response maked the bus guy shouted even louder. “Oh, so dat’s what cha want, ta mess up my day! Disrupt my driving this bus! Jeopardize my lousy job? We’re both young people, mate! Don’ cha see dat? We shoulda understand each one better than this! Why dya pull this on me? Man!’

‘What d’ I pull?’ What doed ‘pull this on me’ mean?’

‘Is this another joke, man? Do I look like a happy guy to ya? Even if I ain’t, which I ain’t, I don’t need ya to cheer me up. Here’s your stop, it’s terminal, get off my bus and get lost.’ as he sayed this, the front doors slided open from their rusty hinges.

I ised perfectly stunned, ‘This isn’t my stop, and as a matter of fact this isn’t a bus stop at all. You passed my stop.’

‘WHY DYA PERSIST TO PRANK ME LIKE THIS! WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS! WHY??’ the driver cried out, he swinged his arms in the air as he ranted on about what an annoying prankster I ised.

‘Cut it out! (I don’t mean he shalled cut himself, luckily there are no scissors nearby, or else he might cut actually himself deliberately) You’re the driver of this bus! You know where you are; long past the terminal station!’

‘WHY, why must you play games with me, oh WHY…?’

‘I demand an explanation for this!’ According to dad, I shalled never be the flag tossing guy in an argument (the flag tossing guy is the loser, dad explained, the flag waver is the winner, he sayed when I sayed I doedn’t get it).

‘Ya do? Well how do ya explain that?’ the hysterical bus driver pointed to a rusty sign in the clearing ahead of the bus that faintly reads ‘Wilby Lake Terminal, Route 67’, right at the fringe of the lake. ‘Is this the terminal of my bus, Route 67, or is it? Eh? Ya sayin’ this ain’t a stop? Y’a sure a true idiotic idiot if I ever know one.’

‘You’re telling me you don’t know the bus route of Route 67? Why you are an idiotic idiot if I ever know one.’ I mimicked his sentence because I ised certain that this driver ised a nutcase, if not, he ised a sheltered teenager who just leaved his home yesterday. Everyone in Burns except this guy I just meeted knows theWilbyLaketerminal is no longer in use and the bus terminal is outside my family’s mansion onPillow Place.

‘‘course I know the bus route of Route 67, I know ‘cause I ‘ave a map at home!’ saying this, he thrusted an old 1982 edition of the town transit map into my face, I readed it and concluded that this bus guy ised more idiotic than I perceive.

‘You’re telling me you don’t know the 1982 edition of the town transit map ised the last edition ever published because everyone except you knows that the bus terminal of Route 67 no longer stops atWilbyLake? The route of Route 67 ised shorted to theSimsMansion, my house, in 1983! In 1982 the printing press burned down and the town just let it be, no printing press, no new map, no revised bus route! Surely you heared the announcement some way and know they shorted the bus route, even without a map!’

The bus guy looked at me in a lopsided fashion and burst out laughing, just like the policemans did at the station. With his anger hysterics subsided, the bus guy sounded like a completely new person, laughing, he sayed, ‘so yer the son of Mr. Sims, the wealthiest guy in the Maritimes? Oh man! Ha, ha ha-ha! Gosh man ya gotta be kidding me, ha-ha-ha! Oh gosh! Oh! Ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-HA! You, son of a billionaire businessman, ha-ha, are ya kidding, no yer not, you ised too stupid kid…ha-ha!’

‘Hey! I’m not stupid! I hases an IQ of 115! It’s you who’s faulted! Don’t you know that there are no new editions of the town transit map since 1982? Don’t you know that in 1983 they maked Route 67 ends outside285 Pillow Place, my house?WilbyLakeis an invalid terminal station! No bus ever comes out to this abandoned station anymore because THIS IS NOT THE TERMINAL! (Wow, doed I have a temper!) The map is wrong and city hall never bothered to change it! So take me back to the east end of Burns, where I’m supposed to get off at, where my house is!’

The bus guy suddenly has a very serious expression. ‘No can do, man, your bus fare only goes so far as the terminal station, and I’ve carried you an extra twelve kilometers which I should make you pay for, but since you unkindly tipped me the proper bus route which I didn’t know and since you’re an idiot, I’ll drop the fare price for that twelve kilometers. But unless you have another fare, I’m gonna be dropping you off right here and you’re gonna have to walk the twelve kilos back to Burns.’

My response, of course I doedn’t have another fare! Doed I expect my dad to give me a whole stack of bus fare so I caned roam where I please? No, I doedn’t expect my dad to give me more than two tickets for a trip to the driver’s exam course and back, and I hased no money to buy a fare because my dad never ever gived me allowance (so much use for a leather wallet I always leave at home, eh?). What I sayed ised, ‘no I don’t have another fare, but after this route mishap on your behalf you should deliver me back to my stop free of charge.’ My firm accusation ised met with a firmer rejection, ‘no can do, man. The transit guys strictly instructed me to drop off passengers according to the distance of fare they pay, and this ain’t an exception, you’re on your own.’

‘What??’ I screeched, ‘this is absurd! (Ooh, my temper is getting the better of me, and the worse?) This misconduct is all your wrongdoing and therefore you shall pay the price by delivering me back to my rightful stop, now start this engine immediately!’ I stomped my foot to increase the effect, I caned see that the bus guy ised greatly intimidated by my outburst; perhaps he hased found some respect for me after I extinguished his rudeness.

The bus guy acted so quickly and swiftly I hases not a chance to dodge before he leaped from his chair and elbowed me with such force in the ribs, I falled out of the bus through the open sliding doors that ised open all this time. I landed on my bum, rising dust, making me get a coughing fit.

The bus guy standed in the doorway of the bus and apologized apologetically, he sayed, as he sited back down on his seat ‘sorry, I have no other choice, and a…work on ‘heared’ will ya…ha-ha-ah, HA-HA-HA!’ the doors slided shut and the engines started with a roar (while the bus guy howled in hysterics). The bus doed a U-turn in the dead end clearing ofPiploe Place (dead end, what a negative message for drivers; even worse than yield) and rised more dust driving away while I tried to run after it.

‘HEY! OPEN THIS DOOR THIS INSTANT YOU IDIOTIC IDIOT! OPEN THIS DOOR HEY…!’ I keeped up with the front sliding doors of the bus and rised my palm at the bus guy, giving him a Moutza, before tripping on a rock, I landed in a spray of dust and doedn’t get up until I harvested all of my boiling anger to stand up and start swearing.

Five minutes passed, and the sky ised just about to turn orange from the setting sun, the wilderness and inhabitants ofWilbyLakeheared a loud interruption to their quiet afternoon routine. ‘DRAT! DRATING DRATED DRAT! DRAT THAT DRATED BUS GUY! DRAT HIM! DRAT, DRAT, DRAT AND DRAT! HE LEFT ME HERE! UNBELIEVABLE! DRAT THIS! DRAT AND DRAAAAT!!!’

The ranting continued for ten more minutes while the sun becomed nothing more than an orange shaped pancake in a vanilla milkshake sky. That ised how appetizing and beautiful it looked until the lake water starts bubbling twenty feet from shore. A very dense mist settled on the surface of Wilby Lake, I caned understand the horror stories parents telled their kids and keeped them scared enough not to go anywhere near a one kilometer radius of Wilby Lake, because the scene looked like one from a very gruesome horror movie, in the intense moments right before the actual ‘horror’ happens (don’t take that literally, I geted that from the internet, and I have never seed a horror in my lifetime). If the scene ofWilbyLakeI ised in ised from a horror movie, I say the set designer hased done an Oscar worthy job, but since I isedn’t staring in a movie, please pause. I caned feel the tension being injected into my nerves system through an invisible needle holded by the hand of fear. I am relatively calm and collected (I ised not scattered in the first place) in situations when fear takes hold of me and whispers itself into my veins, so I standed my ground and waited for fear to expire. What happened, instead, ised first, an object shaped like a rotten watermelon breaked the surface of the still lake, right where the bubbling ised at. While this ised happening, the sun continues to dim. Moving at a consistent rate in my general direction, the watermelon growed taller into the top half of a person, at this point I thinked about running for my life (what persons do in movies), but as I finded out then, fear has its effects on muscles. The ‘person’ ised advancing towards me, ominously, like the little mermaid coming out of the ocean to embrace the sailor in the Disney movie, not good; the sun hased sinked below the surrounded hilltops, they no longer look green but instead a sleek grey, perfect timing for the monster to unveil in a horror movie, not good; the ‘person’ comed out of the mist of Wilby Lake where the water ised knee deep, its silhouette suddenly detailed (by some kind of miracle I ised looking at a scuba diver and not the latter which I shall not name). Instead of screaming, I observed the ‘person’ I seed. What I seed ised a grey corpse drained of blood with no eyeballs in its sockets (yet there is life in these holes), messy hair cover or uncover the scalp in patches (bad hair day plus bad hairdresser all combined), a drooping mouth (some teeth ared missing), the face of this ‘person’ ised a reminder of how rotting but living carcasses looked like. It ised wearing torn clothes with deep gashes in its chest, bones poked out of its colorless skin in places that gived the impression of cement. The ‘person’ reeked of mud and swamp water. It stayed in the water five feet from where I standed and uttered a deep moan that confirmed what I thinked I confirmed, I ised not looking at a scuba diver. The eye sockets I ised staring (staring and staring, can you tell them apart?) into are of a zombie from the submerged town ofWilbyLake. Not good.

The zombie moaned again which turned into a cough which turned into a bigger cough. The zombie lifted a flap in the scrap of clothes he ised wearing and lifted a part of its skin, it taked out two connected white potato shaped thingies and gived the thems some karate smacks holding it in the other hand, then it stuffs them back into its chest and coughs, spits, and sayed, ‘hello there, mate.’

My lower jaws unclenched and stretched to as low as my jaw muscles allow, my jaws ared wide enough to take a full bite out of the Gage Canadian Dictionary (third edition), not exaggerating. I doedn’t know that zombies caned talk, nor take out their lungs to karate chop massage them (what other explanation caned there be with the two potato smacking?). I doedn’t say anything.                                                         

‘What wind blows you here, mate?’ the Zombie asked, its voice sounded like the sound the Iron Giant maked being electrocuted by the high voltage electricity generator, at first, then its voice becomed more average humanlike, less Treebeard.

‘W-well, the weather forecast sayed nothing about strong winds blowing people around.’ I replied carefully.

‘I ain’t heard nothin’ bout the weather forecast, mate, say what’s a weather forecast?’

‘It’s a report from the weather network that broadcasts weather predictions.’

‘You meant fortune telling?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Predictions of the beyond, of the yet to be, of the weather of tomorrow, that’s voodoo as I see it.’ The zombie crossed its arms.

“No, meteorologists do it scientifically with satellites that rotate around in space, they observe wind patterns on earth to determine the temperature and weather related thingies, and then they broadcast their predictions to people on TV.’

‘Still voodoo, but hold on right there, what’s a TV?’

‘It’s a condensed spelling of television.’

‘What’s a condensed spelling of television?’

‘It’s a TV.’

‘You just told me TV’s a condensed spelling of television, why’re we back at TV?’

‘You don’t know what a TV is?’

‘Nor a condensed spelling of television.’ The zombie uncrossed its arms and re-crossed them. It looked dumbfounded.

‘A TV is…a thing…that let you watch things.’ I doedn’t know how to explain a TV.

‘You mean eyes. Is that what people call eyes these days?’

‘Yes, but a TV is not part of our body parts, it’s a gadget you look at that shows you things you can’t watch with your own eyes.’

‘A mirror?’

‘No, it’s a television.’

‘What’s a television?’

‘I don’t know.’ I forfeited on explaining television to this pioneer.

‘Do you reckon what a TV is then?’

‘It’s a condensed spelling of television, which is a television.’

‘What you’re sayin’s that they’re the same thing all along?’

‘Yes they are.’

‘So a TV, a television and a condensed spelling of television are of no difference?’

‘Er, you geted most of it,’ I sayed, this looked like no time to be grammatically accurate. 

‘You have a peculiar dialect, I must say, what region ofCanadayou from? Rupert’s Land? Why it’s the first time I heard geted.’

‘Well, it’s not exactly a dialect, it’s the way I speak.’

‘What is the way you speak, mate?’

‘I don’t like to talk about it very much.’ I say, honestly, English I finded ised and still remains a very hard language to learn. Why are not all verbs same in their past tense? Where does seem fit into saw see and seeing? Why are there three different meanings of the same word row (although I heared there are more such words in Chinese, all the more troubling)? When is and when isn’t an expression (you want a piece of me, how can I, I am no cannibal, and that is only on away from cannonball)? The similarities yet complete differences with the words, quiet quite, evolve involve, elusive exclusive, accept except (I used to use except on both occasions), and countless others! I caned list them all. Why must get past be got while pass past be passed, get past be geted seed so much easier.       

‘Do you like to talk about it very little then?’

‘Yes…wait I mean no…Hey, is that meaned to be a mind trap?’

‘What’s a mind trap, mate?’

‘It means a statement meaned to confuse the mind.’

‘Well, I have no shadow of an intention to confuse you, my apologies mate. I say, much time has been passing since the last time I surfaced, my knowledge of the world is rusty. Fill me in! Now, what name do you go by, good fellow?’

‘My name it’s Sims, Simcoe Sims, afterSimcoeCounty. What’s your’s?’

‘My name’s Y, nice to meet you.’ as the zombie sayed this, it extended out its hand and shaked mine.

‘Y? Do you mean why? What do you mean why?’ I ised puzzled, once again.

‘No mate, you must have misheard, my name’s Y, capital letter Y, Y P Ford, P after my old man, P and Ford’s the family name.’

‘Why, Y is an unusual name…’ I ised about to ask him why Y when he explained; ‘Curse runs in the family. One in every generation of the Ford family gets their names gender awry, mostly the male side, and every generation they don’t changes it just shortens it, I happen to be the unlucky one among my brothers and sisters. When I was born, the foolish midwife thought I was a girl so ma named me Yolanda, they didn’t bother damn give my crotch a second look. Folks finally noticed when I turned two years, so ma shortened my name to just Y but by some misfortune, a few people down in Wilby Lake town still calls me Yolanda. Same for my dad, his ma named him Penelope and didn’t get the name gender right ’til he was five, by then everyone in town was calling him Penny. Say Simcoe, why didn’t your folks name you after aNew Brunswicklake? Simcoe’s anOntario lake.’

‘My dad’s the chief of an Ontariobusiness corporation. He plans me to move toOntariowhen he retires to succeed his position.’ Dad telled me that I will move there soon if I just start acting smart; I am not worried, I hases an IQ of 115, remember? My sister worries about my future for me, too.

‘When you say a business corporation, do you mean theHudson Bay’s Company?’

‘Not this one, it’s called…I don’t know.’

‘Looks like the industrial revolution has flipped this world upside down like an egg in a pan, what other business corporations could there be except the Hudson’s Bay Company, that’s the only business corporation in all of Canada.’ Y shaked his head, he hased a sorrowful expression, ‘The Americans bought theHudson Bay’s Company.’

‘Oh, that’s unfortunate, now they just call it The Bay.’

‘TheHudson Bay’s Company, reduced to just The Bay? Oh lord!’ Y ised distraught, when zombies are distraught, they are no different from distraught human persons.

‘Yes, and now they only sell clothes there too.’

‘No fur? No trade? No land ownership??’ Y ised more distraught; and distraught zombies are a sight to see; Y goed over to a tree at the edge of the lake, a red maple, and banged his head on it, the tree shaked like a hummingbird’s wings and a squirrel falled from it and Y catched it writhing in its hand, then Y opened its mouth and stuffed the squirrel down its throat, it gulped. There ised a frenzy in Y’s stomach, then the squirrel bursted from Y’s stomach and scurried up the same red maple, leaving a hole. No blood comed flowing from the hole in Y’s burst stomach, and Y isedn’t troubled by it, Y comed back to me and sayed, ‘I eat when I feel depression in my wake.’ Only then doed I see Y fully stepped out of the lake, it doedn’t wear shoes, and its brown trousers are rags that end below the knee, and its feet are almost skeletons. A growing tint of black ash ised spreading along its skinny legs, Y realized this and quickly stepped back into the water, the black ash disappeared.

‘Don’t worry,’ I reassured Y, ‘Canadamay not hasesHudson’s Bay Company anymore, but it has Tim Hortons, which is every bit as cool as theHudson Bay’s Company.’ I gived Y a pat on the back, it ised wet.

‘Thanks mate, what is Tim Hortons, the new prime minister?’

‘Tim Hortons are fast food restaurants that serve really good donuts.’

‘Donuts…impressive, they’re a rarity in the Maritimes. I must taste one. Simcoe, on your next visit to my dwelling, could you bring me a batch of these Tim Hortons donuts?’

‘Sure, can’t you come with…oh right,’ my sentence trailed off here because bringing a zombie to a donut shop ised not a sensible thing to do, and still isn’t. Instead I asked, ‘What are you exactly?’

‘Why I’m Y P Ford, third son and fourth child of P H (H for Hannah) Ford and Jane Ford, brother of Geoffrey,Charlotte, Bartholomew, Humphrey, Fern and Atticus Ford. I was Christianized at birth in the chapel of my hometown,WilbyLake, and lived here for my entire life.’ Y sayed all this with profound dignity and asked about where I ised from.

‘I’m from Burns,New Brunswick, I ised born there. I’m the first and only son of Mr. and Mrs. Sims and I have a little sister (why that’s a tiny family!), but what I’m asking is…’ I doedn’t get to finish because Y cut off my sentence.

‘What you’re goin’ to ask is why I have no eye yet I can see and why I have no gills of fish yet I come from under the lake and all these peculiar details you may have noticed are beyond the capability of a living human?’

So Y knowed that it’s a zombie after all, I sayed, ‘Yes, you got it.’

‘Tell me, Simcoe, do you know of an undead?’

‘Of course, undead are corpses that walk.’

‘Exactly, Simcoe, exactly,’ Y gived me a pat on the back and sayed, ‘you know, I was born in the year 1910.’

‘Oh.’

‘And you know what else? I own a bicycle.’

‘Oh?’

‘And if you ever need a bicycle then you have mine to borrow. Owning a bicycle is one handsome kind of luxury inWilbyLake.’

‘O…kay?’

‘What wind blows you here, mate? I never got an answer to that.’

‘The bus I taked to go home goed past the terminal station and comed here, because the driver doedn’t know squat,’ I sayed, making a long story short.

‘What is a bus?’

‘A machine that carries people around…and I don’t mean a horse carriage.’

‘Oh is that so? Well then, when you visit again, could you bring me a bus? That’d be very helpful of you, it has been a long while since the last time I surfaced to greet folks, and that last time the bloke ran right down that path screaming.’ Y pointed to the dirt road I comed from in the bus, ‘I have much to know.’

‘If I shall come again I hases to leave first, and whoa, it’s this dark already?’ the sky ised a dark shade of navy blue when we both looked up at the gleaming stars in the sky (they are actually airplane wing lights but I doedn’t think Y willed understand what a ‘big metal bird’ is). ‘I hases to go back to Burns or my sister will rip open my eardrums with her shouting, I hases to run.’ Y looked at me like I forgetted something, then he sayed, ‘you mean walk twelve kilometers on foot?’

‘Yes.’

‘Wait here just a moment, mate.’

Y waded back intoWilbyLake, its body and head submerged into the green water and a few air bubbles surfaced and extinguished. I waited ten minutes or so thinking about whether I seed what I seed, doed I really hased a conversation with a zombie? I concluded that since I hases twenty-twenty vision, I doed not hallucinate about a zombie encounter and I isedn’t dehydrated or mentally deranged enough to hallucinate such an elaborate conversation with the undead. Then a spot in the lake bubbled again.

Y waded out of the water carrying a bicycle; it’s not like the mountain bike I hases at home, the front wheel is huge, and the back wheel is no bigger than a frying pan. Y swinged it at me without coming out of the water, the bicycle landed at my feet with a clang, Y remained in the water; this bringed another question to my attention.

‘Y, why can’t you step out of the water?’

A surprising question my’s may be, Y isedn’t surprised, he recited a short poem. 

‘An undead man, dead or alive,

Shalt not leave thou sanctuary,

For where thou grave rests,

Is thou resting place for eternity.’

Y finished reciting the poem and sayed, ‘the lake is my eternal resting place and so I shall not venture beyond its bonds.’

‘Oh I get it. It’s kind of like house arrest.’

‘What is this house arrest you were talking about?’

‘Never mind.’

‘You know, mate? I don’t get you very much.’

‘Yes,’ I agreed, ‘and I don’t get you very much too.’ 

Y recited the rest of the poem (there is a rest of the poem?). 

‘And if thou shalt leave thy sanctuary,

From dust you were born,

To dust you shalt return.’ 

‘If you leave the lake, you disintegrate to dust?’ I asked.  

‘Exactly, my friend, exactly, you have seen first hand what happens if I forget and leave my sanctuary to eat a squirrel, ash and dust is what made of me, and I can not leave the grave that preserves me.’

‘Well then,’ I doedn’t know what else to say, ‘I shall return to Burns and I shall not forget to visit you soon, and bring you a box of donuts from Tim Hortons.’

‘And a bus, goodbye Mr. Simcoe Sims,’ Y motioned for me to get on his bicycle.

I geted onto the bike and nearly falled off, I balanced myself and falled off because the seat is hard metal (I crunched my crotch trying to reach the low-lying handlebars), and the pedals are too high off the ground.

‘You’ll get used to it after two kilometers,’ Y called out, as I pedaled awkwardly away.

‘Goodbye, Y. Thanks are everything!’ I called out to Y, I doedn’t dare turn my head  around for the fear of falling off.

‘Mr. Sims?’

‘Yes? AH!’ I loosed by balance and falled of the bike, landing in an explosion of dust in the dirt. My jacket ised officially ruined.

‘Sorry! That was insensible.’ Y apologized. ‘I forgot to ask, what is your sister’s name?’

‘Simona, her name is Simona.’ I picked myself up from the ground (I ised in one piece, but that is a horrible metaphor I just used) and called to Y.

‘That’s a very beautiful name!’

‘Thank you!’

‘Gladly! Goodbye, Mr. Sims!’

‘Goodbye, Y!’

‘Farewell!’

‘See ya!’

‘What does that mean?’

‘Never mind!’ I maked a mental note to teach Y about modern English.

As I rided away unsteadily on the dirt path to Burns, I keeped thinking, what happened? The meeting with Y ised definitely not a hallucination, nor is it a dream (falling off Y’s bike willed hases waked me up already), so Y…what a peculiar name.

When I geted home and ised walking towards my home sweat home (that ised an expression, my home is not maked out of candy) on the driveway (I see dad’s spare car parked beside the garage on a driveway, where cars are supposed to drive, not park, I hoped dad doesn’t get a ticket), my sister comed out of the house screaming. ‘WHERE WERE YOU?! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO COME HOME TO PLAY WITH ME BY FOUR! WHERE DID YOUR DUMB BRAIN TAKE YOU THIS TIME???’ I thinked about taking the driver’s exam, the poor instructor, the police station, the dunderhead of a bus driver who dumped at Wilby Lake, the meeting with Y…I sayed to my sister, ‘Tell you what, why don’t I tell you about my day, it’s very eventful and I’m sure you’ll make fun of me afterwards and tell everyone in school what a fool I am, deal?’

My sister thinked about it and sayed, ‘deal!’ then she looked at the strange bicycle I hases and asked, ‘who gave you that?’

‘Oh, I just borrowed it from a friend, this is how I geted back home after getting left behind in a place far, far away, which I shall tell you from the beginning, let’s go inside.’

‘Ugh! Stop it with your nethanderal dialect and speak normally will you?!’ my sister stomped.

‘You mean geted? What’s wrong with geted, it is after all the past-tense of get.’

‘YES! Stop it!’

‘No way no pay, not in a million days.’

‘You are so stupid.’ My sister sayed, as usual.

‘Nope, I’m not stupid. I hases an IQ of 115, remember? It’s just that we don’t get each other very much.’ I gived my sister a hug and we goed inside, dragging Y’s bicycle behind.

The end

Published on 2011/03/18 at 6:13 PM  Leave a Comment  

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