Gossamer Tears in a Patchwork Heart

If this isn’t bravery, I don’t know what is
Entering again with your second little lamb
Trying when advised even though you were the statistic
Arriving at the place where your heart stopped beating
Where his heart stopped beating and yours with it
Bravery isn’t falling off cliffs or high dives into the ocean
It’s not wrestling crocs and swimming in Amazons
At least not for me
It’s walking on your own two feet toward the dark stain of past blood
Erecting an altar and saying, “God I’ll try again.”
It’s letting the shiny gossamer tears reflect the light boldly
And not wiping them away.
it’s announcing my heart is a patchwork quilt of ragged, messy stitches
But it’s warm
It can keep us both warm
I have everything to lose, but my heart will add another patch
Let me hope and try again
If this isn’t bravery, I don’t know what is

– from Gossamer Tears in a Patchwork Heart
(Coming in 2020)

4 thoughts on “Gossamer Tears in a Patchwork Heart

      • Will do. SPOILERS BELOW!!!!

        Basically the librarians (super-smart people who protect mythical artifacts and keep the world safe from bad ones) and their “guardian” (a soldier lady) are called to a science lab where an experiment blew up magically and the scientists have turned into a bunch of zombie-like people.

        At first they think they are caught in a timeloop that restarts every time one of them dies. Ezekiel Jones, the youngest of the group and super-cocky, is the only one who remembers what’s going on and what has happened. He gets frustrated very quickly that no one will believe him about the timeloop, because he’s such a jokester, and he has to prove it every single restart. They get stuck trying to get past a locked door, repeatedly setting off the alarm and dying, until eventually one of the other librarians figures out how to get past the electronic lock but it’s a very illogical solution, which frustrates Ezekiel even more since he’s the world’s best thief and he’s never been bested by an electronic lock before.

        After they figure out the first door, they get stuck at another obstacle where a boiling hot pipe is blasting steam. In desperation, Ezekiel grabs the pipe with his bare hand and shoves it out of the way. The group get outside and run for the gate, thinking perhaps they can get beyond the radius of the timeloop, but the gate shuts, the zombified scientists mob them, and the loop resets again. They try again and again and Ezekiel burns his hand again and again, and there is a moment when the guardian is wrapping his hand and she asks how many times they’ve looped so far, and he answers in the 60s, and she asks if he burns his hand every time, and all he can do is nod, and she’s got such a look of heartbreak on her face.

        (see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDEpZgJFa_0)

        But they never make it before the gate closes and after the umpteenth time he has a melt-down after the reset, and kicks some boxes. And the boxes transform into health-packs that instantly heal and grenades and they realize it’s not a timeloop but a virtual-reality-game-come-to-life. Which explains why he’s the only one to remember – he’s the main player – and they realize he has to get his entire team to the exit alive in order to win and break everyone out of the game (and heal the zombied scientists). And the gate they’ve been running for is a fake exit – one of those impossible-to-get-past obstacles because the game is steering them elsewhere.

        And that’s when Ezekiel starts tricking the team into a room and locking them in. Because he can’t bear to watch them die anymore. He wants to figure out how to get through, dying alone over and over, until he masters how to get out and then he’ll come back for them.

        He quickly realizes he needs the one girl to teach him physics for the lock so he only lets her accompany him until he learns that first step. Then he has the guy librarian teach him plumbing until he doesn’t need to burn his hand anymore to get past the pipe. He finds a large room full of milling zombies and realizes this has to be the final obstacle (there’s a small room on the other side that is the other exit). So then he needs the guardian to teach him how to fight so he can get past the zombies.

        As they look over the room full of adversaries, she asks him how many times he’s tried now, and he tells her he’s lost count: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v1oLvMrAtY)

        Eve Baird (the guardian): There’s a story soldiers tell. World War II, Market Garden, Allied assault behind enemy lines. What happens is, these allied troops have to cross a river. First wave of soldiers get in their little pontoon boats, get halfway across the river, and the Germans just open up their machine guns and just cut them all down. None of them make it. These two colonels are watching the bodies floating in the river, and one of them says, “those are the bravest men I’ve ever seen.” The second colonel points to the second wave of soldiers getting in their little pontoon boats, getting ready to cross the same river, only they saw what happened to the first guys. They know what’s coming. And that colonel says, “No. Those are the bravest men I’ve ever seen.”

        Ezekiel Jones, his eyes all glisteny : Lost count the amount of times you’ve told me that story.

        Eve Baird : Why did you let me tell it again?

        Ezekiel Jones, looking like a forlorn puppy : I like the way you look at me when you tell it.

        Eventually Ezekiel gives up on trying to fight his way across the room. And so he cheats – he climbs to the roof, runs across, and uses a grenade to make a hole so he can jump into the room. The game resets since he was alone but now it’s glitchy because he broke it by cheating. So they know this may be their last chance to escape. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVAO5vLLcck)

        He gets the group up to the roof, down into the room, and they run into the final room/obstacle. There’s a huge cavernous hole in the floor and they each have to get to the shining exit door on the other side. But it’s too wide to jump without assistance. But Ezekiel has grenades and a plan to get them across – they jump as far as they can, he throws a grenade, and the blast boosts them across. It’s not something that would work in reality but it’s an accepted gaming technique.

        One by one, they jump over and he throws the grenade and they get across. Until he’s the last one. And then he reveals that he is out of grenades. But he’s just glad he finally was able to save everyone. And then he jumps, but without the boost he doesn’t make it and disappears down the chasm. The others run through the door, and the virtual realty world whisks away and they all “wake up” in the normal science lab, with the saved, confused scientists (who have no memory of being zombified). And Ezekiel Jones is asleep on the ground but when they wake him up, he doesn’t remember anything. He’s been reset to the beginning.
        ——-
        I loved this episode and the only thing I was sad about what Ezekiel losing his memory at the end. While I was relieved, in a way, that he wouldn’t have to remember all that pain and suffering, it was sad to see his character develop so heroically and then have him zap back to his old, cocky self. He always was my favorite character and still was after this, but it was bittersweet to see his potential fulfilled and then rewound.

        A montage of his moments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK3QBfusEVI

        (I realize this sounds like a very morbid episode with all the dying but you never see anything happen – there’s no blood, no violence, just a bunch of mobbing zombie guys who don’t even look gross.)

        Like

      • Oh my staaaaaaars! That’s beautiful! Wow. Powerful. Kind of thing I wish I wrote, you know? Those are my favorite stories – the ones I wish I had written. ❤
        Yeah, a terrible copout to have him forget everything! Waaaah
        Thank you for sharing! *goes to watch the YouTube links*

        Liked by 1 person

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