Home is located naturally in New Orleans. It’s the most logical place for such an operation. Not in the city itself, of course, but approximately half an hour to the north, in Gentilly, ironically named, on the grounds of an old plantation; plenty of rooms, space for the residents to roam around, porches, on both levels, to sit on and take the air.
No sign is posted on the building. Since it’s situated away from populated areas it does not attract passers-by. But if a lost tourist did happen upon it, they would think it just another picturesque, Southern plantation, insignificant.
It is in fact an institution— a retirement home. But not for just any person who happens to be retired. In order to live here you have to be very special. Home is what the residents call it. They say, “I live at Home.”
If the building did display a name it would be: Home for the Aged, of the fantasy oriented, or to be politically correct, ‘real world’ challenged. The administrators do not wish attention drawn to the house. I’ll say one thing, the inhabitants are the most diverse you can find in such an establishment, or anywhere for that matter.
I am Madam Devereux. I think you will be amused by my little narration. Don’t try to go Home. You won’t find it.
Two of the residents at Home are named Jasper McFee. Odd one might say for two people with the same name. But not much at Home could be considered normal in the ‘real world’. Even though the real world might at times seem fantastic.
Jasper McFee was one hell of a guy.
Both of them. Each unique in his own personality and circumstances.
Jasper #1 never speaks while Jasper #2 is best described as loquacious.
Jasper #1 is as beautiful as an unicorn; his eyes reflect a pain greater than any mortal could ever imagine. When humans, and others as well, look at him their hearts ache and they find it incomprehensible to explain the ugliness of desire that marks the first Japer McFee.
Jasper sits on a bed, naked save for a diaper. He not only never speaks but as a rule sits immobile. His few actions, when he does move, are minute yet smooth. If he exists in any world it must only be in his mind.
No one is sure how long he’s been here. If we could turn back the hands of time his story would be clear. But even at Home, time travel is fictional.
Mostly his eyes are glazed and distant, but sometimes his black orbs flicker as if thoughts chase each other through what is left of his mind. After each episode of “consciousness” golden tears resembling ichor stream down and drip off his chin. People wonder if he dreams but if he does they don’t want to know the substance of his dreams.
Maybe he wasn’t a hell of a guy. Maybe he was a king or a god. But we will never know. He never utters a sound.
No one could say how long he’s been at Home. Forever?
The second Jasper McFee said he lived in Hell but was Home now. How he landed in Hell was quite the story having to do with manipulating computer programs, hiding from law enforcement, dabbling in the black arts and gardening. But that was for another time.
Odd with all his tales, this one he never told.
Hell wasn’t as bad as he thought it might be. He still worked with computers, didn’t have to worry about law enforcement since his boss was the law and still maintained his garden. The garden was located in the section of Hell called Eden.
Jasper #2 tells amazing stories but the special gift that brought him Home remains a mystery.
He’s the kind of guy where you never know if what is spewing out of his mouth is fact or fiction (fact being rather loosely used in this context).
Of course at Home all the residents have their stories, and considering the clientele all the stories seem fantastic in the ‘real’ world. But Jasper #2 told extraordinary tales that didn’t fit in with known possibilities. His fabrications are like the wings of an albatross a huge span covering much ground. A few of the folks at Home are locked in silver cages on nights of a full moon which is considered normal behaviour at Home.
Jasper told his stories in the dining room or the TV room or when a nurse attended to him, or even if he was alone. Staff leave a sound activated recording device going in his room to catch the dramas he tells himself. When he felt like spewing out a story, or when bored, he just did it no matter where he was or who else was in the vicinity.
Jasper #2 spun his yarns in the activity room in the middle of a game of Pool. He would suddenly stand his cue up on the edge of the table, hold it with one hand cross his right ankle over his left and use the other hand to gesture while he spoke He looked uncomfortable standing like that but he spoke with ease chuckling through every story he told.
His wardrobe consisted of flashy primary coloured shirts of the sort some tourists wear, Hawaiian shirts, usually with jeans that appeared as old as Jasper himself.
One day he told the assemblage about the sweat shops of Hell. The sweat shops of Hell manufacture chip implants inserted into lawyers, politicians and insurance company personnel. Perhaps it didn’t sound so bad but it was meticulous work and very detailed, demanding fierce concentration. If one thing didn’t work right demons flogged the worker until they learned to take greater care in their effort. Jasper indulged in huge detail on the method of performing the job correctly.
The sweat shops of Hell is one of his favourite topics and he tells it often. Too often. When he starts in, people lose interest and wander away to whatever they had been doing. One can hear the same story just so long. And since the time spent at Home was an eternity, maybe the sweat shops of Hell is listening to Jasper McFee #2 telling the same tale over and over and over…
At the end of each adventure people said, “Good one, Jasper,” but he’d just smile his lopsided grin, shrug like he didn’t care if you believed him, and something about that look on his face made you sober up and stop laughing.
Jasper McFee was one hell of a guy.
Blogophilia Week 30.6 – The Hands of Time
(Hard, 2 pts): incorporate 2 Fleetwood Mac song titles
(Easy, 1 pt): mention ‘a full moon’