Jasper McFee for Blogophilia 30.6


Home. Photo by Susan Koenig

Home. Photo by Susan Koenig

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.

***

Thankyou to Monkey  and Alcar for contributing to this write from the prompt Jasper McFee was a hell of a guy

****

written for

Blogophilia Week 30.6 – The Hands of Time

Bonus Points:

(Hard, 2 pts): incorporate 2 Fleetwood Mac song titles

(Easy, 1 pt): mention ‘a full moon’

 

 

 

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27 Responses to Jasper McFee for Blogophilia 30.6

  1. Tyler/Chuck says:

    First??

    Interesting place, wonder if there is one (or something akin) for the non-retired??

  2. Bettie says:

    Great piece here .. Hugs

  3. VR Barkowski says:

    Oh, intriguing characters these Jaspers #1 and #2! Given that most fiction writers are “real world challenged,” I wonder if we’re all destined for the Home one day? BTW, I recognize Home. It’s Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. Been there many times but had no idea of it’s secret history. 🙂

    VR Barkowski

  4. My mother was a Jasper 2. Tell stories all day long and by the end you didn’t know which way up. We have a lot of them down here.

    When I saw the picture, I thought it might be Carville, which was the last Leper colony in the US. Which is another type of “home”.

  5. Blue fooldude says:

    I do believe that I would be home at Home. Very interesting characters you have here and I am fascinated to learn more about Jasper # 1!

    • Sue says:

      not sure you reallly would fit in. Can’t tell you about Jasper #1, not my character

    • Josh says:

      Heya. #1 was originally done as a writing prompt reply set in a different setting. The unicorn was a reference to a previous tale in the setting, and the idea was that Jasper had been a king — perhaps a real one, or of music, or the title was more metaphorical than true — who had bargained with something from Outside the universe to cheat death but made a very poor bargain of it as he lacked any capacity to share who he (or she) had been with others.

  6. Marvin Martian says:

    There is something mystical and mysterious about these two Jaspers that the hands of time seem to not touch them. Fascinating Read!
    8 Demented points Earthling! 🙂

  7. Head spinning tale Sue…. clever write indeed… I had the curious thought that 1 & 2 were the same, but separated into good side/ bad side. Most of us try to hide our bad side… maybe Jasper expelled his and created a living entity… ok I ramble now.
    Great write.
    Sharonlee

  8. Josh says:

    It would be neat to see more of this, if only to learn why/how Jasper #2 ended up retired to such a place….

  9. Amusing tale, I must confess Jasper #2 sounds like an spy from hell

  10. Doris Emmett says:

    Both Jaspers sound like interesting characters…each in their own way…but are you sure this place “Home” does NOT exist??? Very much enjoyed 🙂

  11. Sue, this is really good. I could imagine the place so clearly even without the picture. Jasper is an amazing character.

  12. Diana J says:

    Very nice write!

    ~~Diana J

  13. Pingback: The Bench for Blogophilia 31.6 | sassyspeaks

  14. Ah, I get the *collaboration* you were talking about now that I’ve read this…

    BUT, you probably should have linked directly to my Jasper short, and to Alcar’s Jasper short. I noticed my ‘Monkey’ link goes to the prompt, and Alcar’s to his main page. THEN you should have linked back to your Jasper short.

    I like you merged my Jasper with your Jasper 😉 Two becoming one character. And yes, sweatshops in hell is always funny 🙂

    That was a fun read, Sue!

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