Seeds of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski

Seeds of Foreverland

Tony Bertauski

It’s time.

His father’s voice always sent a wave a panic through Harold. It carried a rich, stern power that could crush his confidence with a single word or a grunt. This time it was coupled with the cryptic message.

It’s time for what?

“I think I broke my arm,” Harold said.

That, he reasoned, might sway his father to ease up on the punishment for nearly smashing the basement door off its hinges. He was already hurt, wasn’t that enough? Besides, it wasn’t his fault. John chased him into the house. What choice did he have after shooting the kid in the eye?

It took a long minute for his father to stand up, and another minute to let go of the bed. He walked with the shuffle of the undead, teetering when he stopped at the bottom of the steps. In the eerie light, greasy gel reflected from the middle of his forehead.

“You hurt your arm, mmm? Your mother has endured so much more and you hurt your arm. Don’t make me come for you, Harold. You must come out on your own.”

He swayed a bit longer. When Harold didn’t move, he went to a work space near the foot of the beds and sat down. From Harold’s vantage point, he could barely see his mom. But the walls were in plain view. They were lined with shelves that contained glass boxes and wire cages, the kind that would contain pet snakes or parrots.

But nothing moved inside them.

“Take it in, son. This is your inheritance.”

Harold still feared his dad, but it was that moment he sensed something warm in his voice. It was as close to fatherly as it had ever been.

Your inheritance.

“What are you doing?” Harold asked.

“All of this, son, will change the world. It will change our concept of reality. It will unlock the doors behind which God hides. And it will all be yours.”

He paused for effect, letting the words sink their teeth into Harold. A smile appeared to soften his face. He popped open a tube and massaged his forehead with a new layer of gel.

“What… what did you do to Mom?”

“Don’t cry, son.”

“I’m not crying. What’s wrong with her?”

“This is all her vision. She discovered the true human potential. Now come here.”

The words dragged him from the corner. Harold’s arm was numb. He stood in front of his father like a specimen. Mom lay so still that he couldn’t be sure she was alive. He didn’t notice if her chest was rising and falling because there was something attached to her forehead. The cable seemed to be glued to it.

Her hand lay on the empty bed next to hers where his dad had risen, as if they were holding hands in their sleep. On a wrinkled sheet lay another cable, the one his father had removed from his head. It wasn’t magnetic or glued. The end of it was long and wet and pointed.

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