|The Curious Geometry of Christopher Formax
Author: Diegenesis PM
Taking a much-needed break from the NERT scientific research centre in Switzerland, young prodigy Christopher Formax returns home to his fundamentalist aunt Gable and permanently ill sister in rural Devon, England. Upon arriving he is immediately embittered by his aunties over zealous Christian upbringing of Christine, and confronts her with mixed results before setting out to re-Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,703 - Updated: 01-08-13 - Published: 01-05-13 - id: 3089539
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The Curious Geometry of Christopher Formax:
PART 1: The world that was:
At a very specific point in time, a fisherman in rural England was horribly convinced that if he did not reel in a catch, be it trout or pike, his consistently ill sister would finally die. He turned anxiously to his bait.
Worms writhed seamlessly into the mass of flesh coloured maggots, long fleshy bodies dropping down from their polystyrene prison into a plastic one. They struggled together with great energy, wriggling and shitting on each other as the fisherman re-arranged his fishing lures for today's excursion, first by size, and then by colour. Carefully lining up the edges of the tackle box with the planks in the row boat, the fisherman took the weathered sculls in his hands and continued rowing further across the lake, out into its deep glassy centre which by its nature was always bottle green and burgundy at around fall.
The boat rocked as the fisherman found purchase in the still lake, and though the water level was only a few inches from the edge of the boat the equilibrium he possessed was unchanging.
What aided the fisherman on his quest however, was that he always seemed to know where the fish would be. At any point in the day an almost supernatural divinity flowed from his natural judgement of the lake and its wildlife, steadfast and sure in the undulating current. It was a gift, he had admitted, to be able to re-integrate into nature at a whim, and then disassociate oneself when it was fitting.
He gently tugged back on the oars until the boat floated motionless.
His fingers reached toward the swirling invertebrates, but then recoiled hesitantly. Then the fisherman did something odd.
After a moment the he took a metallic spool from the tackle box instead, and wedged it under the clear plastic tray. This was done in such a way so that the invertebrates fell on one side of the clear tray, squashed up on the plastic edge. Now the forty-five degree incline offered them an escape. Their hopes were complete when the polystyrene container was placed beneath them, the fisherman proceeding to tap and knock the creatures back to where they had started, but thankfully away from their dual death of a drowned-impalement. To an observer this would have seemed cruel, but the actuality was the fisherman was offering them an escape.
The small creatures fell through the air quicker than the fisherman had anticipated, consequently landing with little faint slaps.
This process was repeated for a full minute until only three maggots and two worms were left in the clear plastic precisely. The fisherman stared sadly at the unlucky winners.
A rough hand took hold of a maggot between forefinger and thumb
"Sorry, fella's I've given you a chance now..."
Without another second of hesitation the maggot was plastered over the barbed hook releasing a small bubble of internal fluid that sat on its rubbery skin.
He pulled the line back and cast the maggot away not forgetting what would happen if he didn't secure a fish in the next few minutes. The man could have kept fishing all day of course, if it prevent his sister from riding her oxygen tank into the great here-after but the challenge would end, he knew, when the novelty chime, disguised as a king fisher on the lakes' edge sounded for five-o-clock.
True enough the sun had unlocked itself from its final position in the sky and would be destined to drown itself in the lake only a couple of hours later. The tedious action the fisherman had taken with the maggots and worms had in fact been the fifth repetition today, an environmentalists' instinct that bordered on obsessive compulsive. That was the part of fishing he could not understand. How and why should creatures, who had done nothing wrong before hand could be so wastefully gathered and sacrificed to
Either way he had a life to save.
The lure hit the water with no audible sound and as evening fell into night the fisherman watched the near invisible
He was fooled once or twice when he thought he'd seen the bright orange thing bob in the water, or felt the line on his fingers become firmer to the touch. In either case it was getting dark which meant the long and short of it was no fish had been caught on this day. The mind-game to save the fisherman's sister had ended, emphasized seconds later by a synthesized quacking sound coming from the plaster king fisher quarter mile away. That was it then. The man slowly reeled the fishing hook in and stowed it away in the base of the gnarled rowboat. The hood of his yellow parker slid away to reveal a young man barely out of his twenties.
'Of course it was all just a game' he had thought to himself sculling back to the shore.
'…It was a challenge for personal merit brought on by compulsion. A frivolous exercise meant to give me the illusion of altering an unalterable disease. The answer won't lie in fish.'
That was the explanation. But although these existential games were just flights of fancy, as a coping mechanism to grief they 'served there purpose' and nothing more.
Gradually the lanterns of the makeshift jetty grew closer whereby they could illuminate Christopher's whole face. And it was Christopher's face, purely because it could now be seen. Dark brown tufts spitting out in all directions, above black-framed glasses so deeply set to his eyes, one would've thought their removal would collapse his brow line. Steering the rowboat closer to the walkway Christopher slung a length of rope around a wooden post and the bow of his vessel. A seafarers knot made short work of the mooring line allowing Christopher to walk back to the rent hut in double time. Only that he didn't use that time, the whole point of today had been to waste it.
He had taken up fishing two years ago as a much-needed release from Christine's condition becoming steadily worse as she grew older, as well as from the mounting pressure of his bastardly demanding workplace. It had always fascinated him that despite the length of time in which man had hunted the slippery animals, the methods for hauling them onto dry land had very much stayed the same. Nets and lines didn't need grounding in formulae to make them work; there was only bigger and smaller, offering fishing as the perfect excuse to be idle for hours at a time.
There was also the additional appeal of the isolation.
'Besides, there's no chance of anyone talking to me out on a lake, because no one in history had been able to walk on water', he had often thought to himself serenely. Being a borderline case for Asperger's syndrome often meant it was desired and even neccerssary that these fishing trips be undertaken as frequently as possible, even if it meant sacrificing other engagements.
But now he was back on dry land, meaning that the abysmal reality of his day-to-day life had come seeping back into his mind again. Most prominently there stood out the recent 'dis-agreement' at the work place. He shuddered to think of its connotations on the very civilized world in which he lived. But then it was hurled back into the vault again, and buried with the rest of his 'angst-generators'. Not a moment too soon either.
The familiar fishing shack had just appeared from out of the leafy shrubbery that suffocated the northern half of the lake. Christopher unbuttoned the waterproof parker that clung to his sweat-stained vest and followed the sandy shoreline up to the rustic log cabin. A faded sign in the shape of a great eel read:
'Fishing Monty's, boat and fishing equipment hire.:
'Inquire within for a WHALE of a time.'
Christopher had always hated that damnable joke, knowing full well that whales were salt-water mammals, and so in order for the pun to work correctly the shack would have to be located next to the ocean.
Regardless of the infuriating text, Christopher walked up to the entrance of the store, tackle box and rod in hand, and pushed against the stained door. A silver bell sounded off as he entered the shack, startling the old man that had been snoozing in a broken office chair. Christopher ejaculated a hasty apology, but when the old man saw who it was, he was pleased to have been awoken.