My current motto for my writing, speaking and teaching journey is “build relationships.” For so long, I invested all of my resources into getting something – getting more books sold, getting more readers for my blogs or just getting more recognition for what I was doing. These last several months have been all about growing, creating and expanding relationships without expectation of return.
The Rocket City Bloggers have been a wonderful way for that to happen. I meet with these other bloggers online on a regular basis. We also meet for lunch or dinner at least once a month. The Rocket City Bloggers are interesting, a little quirky and a LOT of fun – which is why I am here today.
On January 16, 2014, The Rocket City Bloggers will be hosting Downtown with RCB. In honor of that event, and to help generate a buzz for the event, several of the Rocket City Bloggers are participating in a serialized short fiction piece. It all started over at Huntsville Hashtag with Keith Parker. He handed off the story to Amy Jones at Capturing Average. Amy kicked Ray over to Tina Leach, who in turn handed the tale over to David Hitt at Stories in My Pocket. David was kind enough to leave me staring into the abyss of the “Clark Kent Room,” but it was fun joining in the journey there.
The story will continue until Ray gets lost in his memories or we find an ending.
The Man Named Ray Leyden, Part V
. . . group of out of the ordinary characters; out of the ordinary more because of their actions than because of their actual looks. Ray should have suspected something because of the noise coming from behind the door. Even if he had, the image in front of him would never have been the one he expected.
The guy in the middle was rapping, the tune threatened to throw Ray into another flashback. He held on to his thoughts and pushed the memories down. The scene unfolding in front of him was odd enough without him adding his own mix of bizarre.
The man was surrounded by four women, all swaying together in time with the rhyming rhythm. All at once they all held up their hands and shouted, “Yeah, you know me.” It seemed to be planned, but it still caught Ray off guard.
The group had their backs to Ray, but he was certain they would turn and notice him after the squeal he had emitted when he had been surprised by the actions of the women. He looked down at the drink in his hand, up at the group and then up above him at the door. He half suspected that somewhere between the hall and the door marked “Clark Kent Room” he had stumbled down a rabbit hole.
He breathed a sigh of relief when none of the group turned on him. They were too caught up in their little routine to notice that he walked in. Ray took advantage of the moment and slowly eased back out into the hall, pulling the door lightly closed behind him.
Ray looked up at the door one more time. The group could still be heard through the door now that Ray knew what was there. He considered for a moment that sprinting for the nearest exit might be the wisest thing he could. With all that he had experienced so far, he decided that catching his breath and regaining control over his senses might be a more wise choice. He made his way to the second floor and found a quiet spot away from the rest of the crowd.
“These people aren’t normal.” Ray shook his head.
“And you are? You? The same person that nearly got run over a few moments ago because he was playing in his memories while playing in traffic?” The voice was not new to Ray.
“Fine. Maybe I have been a little off balance, but did you see them?”
“I saw them. I heard them. But you do get that everyone in this room right now sees YOU and hears YOU and you are currently having a conversation with yourself.”
Ray looked around at the others in the room. It was not the first time he had a conversation with himself. It was probably one of the first times he did it for an audience. One lady smiled and nodded in his direction. Ray smiled back and then dropped his head to answer the voice. “Great, now they thing I’m not normal.”
“Being normal is over-rated.” It was not the voice in his head this time, but the voice was from his past. Ray looked up and saw Sandy standing just a few feet away. “I, myself, strive to be peculiar in everything that I do.”
“I’ll give you unique.” Ray was glad that she had found him before someone else in the room decided he needed to be carted off.
“And I will be honored to take unique.” She reached over and took his arm. “Now, I promised you some introductions and it is introductions that you are going to get.” She pulled him down the hall and back to the room where he had started.
Ray was happy that they were not going towards the “Clark Kent Room” until he saw the group where Sandy was headed. The man in the middle was the one from the room and Ray was certain that he had been caught.
“Hey all, this is my friend Ray.” Sandy went around the group and made introductions.
“Nice to meet all of you.” Ray reached out to shake each of their hands. When he got to the man from the “Clark Kent Room” he . . .
Ray’s story will continue over at Tinaleach.com – things could get interesting (and knowing the Rocket City bloggers they probably will).