We were walking through lower Price Hill; however the street layout looked more like Northside. There was a maze of dead end streets that ran into dilapidated abandon factories and warehouses. I knew it was Price Hill because it was near the Ohio River and I could see the street over pass.
So there we were walking and trying to find an open street that led to the highway. I think that I was with my wife, but I cannot be certain. I just remember walking and wishing that there was a way out of here.
I then remembered why we had come this way and what we needed to accomplish. We walked into one of the factories. There were two of us, but now we were three.
We were inside this large, musty room. The cinder block walls were damp. The cement floor was covered with a thin sheet of water that was leaking from a pipe. Hundreds of eyeballs were squirming around the floor. They were rolling about on their own power. Suddenly they all looked at us and scurried to our feet.
Before us in the adjoining room was a rusted steel door with huge hinges that had been welded to its mass. It was heavy, rusted and hard to pry open. We tore our finger open clawing at it, but finally it swung towards us. As it did we jumped into the next room and slammed that door behind us.
The room was full of neatly made up beds with yellow flannel blankets that had animal designs on them. In each bed were two or three little girls. Each frightened child was about nine or ten years old. One of them looked exactly like my niece when she was that age. This one told me that they were all taken from their homes and they were very, very frightened.
I couldn’t believe they had not attempted to leave, since there was a door leading to the street and the interior was visible, though barely, through some filthy windows. My friend threw something heavy at the plate glass and the window shattered in a thousand pieces. Carefully we climbed through the shards out to the street. We then began kicking on the locked door until we broke it wide open.
We did not notice the old car outside. It was an ancient Ford Pinto. It was dirty and had at one time been yellow. Now there was flaking blue paint that was trying to cover up the dirty yellow original finish. A greasy looking young fellow jumped out of the drivers side with a long barreled revolver that he pointed at us. We didn't pay any attention to him. Our concern was only for the children safety. We did not realize that he was their captor.
He too wasn't paying attention. Immediately a Cincinnati police officer held a gun to his head and said, "I think you ought to put that thing down mister."
The blackheart lowered the gun's barrel and without a word surrendered it to the cop.
I looked around and said, "My Lord, look at all the guns in this car!"
On the car seat was another revolver. It was newer and was made of blackened steel. There was also a 45 caliber automatic pistol and a huge black automatic assault rifle. There was an assortment of other pistols and knives on the floor of the car. By then dozens of cars with sirens blaring surrounded the street. The police arrested the bad man and confiscated the arsenal and the car.
We talked with them for a long time as they whisked the little girls to awaiting squad cars to be reunited with their families. The lady that was one of the three vanished. I was now left alone with the young man that was with me. I told the police that we were walking over to Good Samaritan Hospital. They thought that was a good idea and wished us well.
Let me point out that this all took place on State Avenue in Lower Price Hill. I recognized the broken down storefronts and tenements. If you are not familiar with the area, the inhabitants are mostly poor Appalachians whose families migrated here from the coal mines and farms of the rural Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. They probably would have been better off staying there, since the work wasn’t all that good here. And now the third or fourth generation is still here and still down on their luck, existing by the skin of their teeth and government assistance.
My friend and I walked across the street to Burnet Avenue to Good Sam. If you live around here you would realize that these two streets are separated by probably a good ten or fifteen miles and that Good Samaritan Hospital is in a section of Cincinnati called Clifton. It is not at the foot of Price Hill. In fact Good Samaritan isn't even close to Burnet Avenue. At one time there were five hospitals on or near Burnet. We used to refer to it as Pill Hill. But Good Sam was on the other side of Clifton. However we found ourselves walking up Burnet to Good Sam Hospital.
We had to walk through the construction that was going on at the Hospital. They were doing a total remodel, which is something that never ends at non-profit hospitals. We walked into the new entrance which lead us to the hospital's newest feature which was called The Mosaic Museum.
The Mosaic Museum was about six or seven dimly lit rooms that featured walls made of small tiles that had skillfully been applied to make designs that celebrated the marvels of the healing arts. The floors were all polished hardwood.
My friend and I had no intention of visiting this museum. We didn't even know about of it’s existence. We were merely trying to make our way to the other side of the hospital since he told me that there was some sort of station on that side. I wasn’t clear if it was a bus or train station. Perhaps it was a small airport.
It became difficult to make our way out of the museum because all of the Ladies Aide were there for the Grand Opening. We had to dodge over-dressed, over-perfumed wives of executives, bankers and doctors to make our way to the museum entrance. It seems we had made our way in through the back door and we were taking the reverse tour.
When we were finally at the other side, we walked out the door and back to Burnet Avenue. Instead of heading up the street we were now heading downward to the station.
My friend said that he was going back home to his family in New Mexico and bid me farewell. I thanked him and said good-by. I was alone, but not for long.
I next found myself in some sort of a airplane, flying saucer or jetplane. I’m not sure what it was or how I got there. From the interior it may have been a car, but we were not in traffic. We were way above the traffic. And once again I was with two different unknown people. The older man told the younger boy that was driving to pull up above the Big Mac bridge.
A nearby helicopter pilot watched in amazement as we flew above the Ohio River and passed the cities below. The young boy driving swung the ship around and down towards the traffic on Fourth Street, buzzing atop the cars and frightened drivers. We were spotted by another helicopter and a few jet airplanes.
Inside the craft I watched from what I guess was the back seat at the boy in the front seat. The steering wheel he gripped reminded me of an old classic car. It was big and made of light colored polished wood. I couldn't see the dashboard. The older man was saying, "Be careful Johnny, your going to cause us to crash." But Johnny wasn't listening.
One more time we went up in the sky, up above the bridges that span the Ohio. We came down and perched on the flat portion of a hill on the side of Mount Adams, in the yard of an A-frame building. This was the same flower shop that is in Bellevue Kentucky on Donnemeyer Road. Somehow it had now transported to Mount Adams. Two women came out of the flower shop. One was somewhat older than the other. The ship opened it's hatch like a giant clam. I could now see what I had been riding in.
It was indeed some sort of space craft. It appearance was similar to one of the old three man space capsules of the 1960's. It was bronze in color. Although the capsule was enclosed in some sort of burnished metal, you could see through it's walls from the craft’s interior. Behind the capsule was some sort of engine and rudder. I suppose it was an engine, however it made no noise.
As the top of the capsule slowly swung back I could see why we could all fit into this small craft. We had been shrunken down to our essence. Each of us looked like a sort of squiggly piece of chewing gum. We were red, blue, dark green, and yellow. I don't know who yellow was.
He never said anything to me while we were flying. I was blue. The older guy was green and the younger fellow was red. We all sat...uh were laid out on this big lime green vinyl cushion. It probably wasn't actually vinyl, but that's the best way I can describe it. I don’t think that they still use vinyl in more advanced civilizations. The older guy and I got out and suddenly were normal sized again. We talked with the ladies.
The older one said that she was in pain. She laid prostate on the grass and her clothing disappeared. I massaged her back and back side for a long time and she said it felt good. Eventually she said that she felt much better. We told them we had to leave. The older lady stood up and her clothing reappeared. She said that she was not letting us go anywhere without taking her. You know I say she was older, but she was actually about my same age. It’s just that I’m not a kid anymore. This lady looked very much like my wife, but somewhat different. As we all approached the craft we again became gum sized. Away we went, rising slowly at first and then we got up to speed and headed skyward.
Once again the older man, who was the captain was shouting, "Slow down son and take it easy!"
And once again Johnny wasn't listening. We followed the route up I-75 high above the traffic below. By now it was twilight, that time between night and day when the sky looks like it can't make up it's mind.
"Pull up Johnny! Pull up!" But it was too late. Apparently we crashed. I guess being the size of a stick of Wrigley's gum softened the blow as I didn't feel anything. We found ourselves on another hillside similar to the one we had just left.
My lady friend and I got out and walked into the small house on this hill. No one was there, but the door to the cottage was opened. The living room was small and the walls were covered in old fashioned flowered wallpaper that was huge prints of wildflowers.
The chairs were old high backs covered also in flowered print fabric. They all had doilies on the armrests and the chair backs. The wooden floor had a big woven rug. We walked into the old kitchen. It was spotless, but the fixtures were very old. The stove stood on huge legs, as did the tiny refrigerator. The floor was flowery linoleum. The sink had a wooden back board and side board and was painted with white enamel. We walked out the back door and saw a small grove of walnut trees that were planted very close together. Our ship was underneath the trees.
The hatch opened slightly and out came two sticks of gum. The captain and the young boy, Johnny. The chewing gum adventurers took on shapes more like malleable soda straws. They wiggled off the side and burrowed into the ground. The space craft also slowly sunk into the ground and vanished from sight. The grass above it immediately grew back..
All at once a thin green vine started springing from the ground and it grew rapidly. Not only did it grow in length, but in width as well. It took the form of another walnut tree, but instead of it's trunk reaching toward the sky, it grew horizontally and parallel to the ground before it's branches started to sprout upwards.
From the house we heard voices and people came out into the garden that was enclosed by the trees.
"However did you get this tree to grow like this? It's amazing. It's like having a natural backyard seat" one of the ladies said to the hostess. People gathered in the backyard under the lights that were strung from the trees and sipped wine from plastic goblets and made idle talk.
They were totally oblivious to the fact that right under their feet was a spacecraft from...who-knows-where.
Neither did they know that they were sitting on my friends who had taken the shape of a tree. Nor were they able to hear the high pitched beacon crying out from the uppermost branches and beaming a signal homeward. You see my friends figured that they would be here for sometime and thought it better to lay down and be comfortable instead of stand up for a few centuries.
As for the lady that I was with, well she looked much more like my wife when she was younger and I looked like myself only I was older. No one paid us any mind since we apparently could not be seen, although I think we were no longer looking like chewing gum. I didn't mind not being seen since I feel invisible in that sort of crowd anyway.
I looked at my friend and said, "What do you think?" She just smiled. I said, "I like it here. It's so peaceful do you mind if we stay? She just smiled.
It's Tuesday morning now. I am awake. I am making a promise never to eat a steak hoagie, a piece of pepperoni and sausage pizza and two dill pickles before going to bed ever again.