This week, we return to Becky Whitt’s surrealist story about the universe living within young Katie’s kitchen. Whitt illustrates the tiny, seemingly insignificant moments that can amaze and and astonish, reflecting on the little things in our lives that inspire awe and meaning. Take notice of the intricate detail and imaginative whimsy that are weaved throughout this absurdist tale.
Katie’s Wondrous Universe
However, Katie, unknowingly, proved to be harder to eat than the universe had figured. He was content though, in biding his time. Eventually Katie would gather enough of her objects of wonder to complete the house, adding the final touch to the portal that would set the ellipses in motion. Though she had no idea what she was working towards, all the objects she collected were connected in some way. Lady Moira’s teapot, Deacon’s rope, Dimitri’s lost silver spoon, Sir Charles’s boots, and Feliz’s love. They all culminated around and within Katie, adding to her enigma of meaning.
The last object was an award that was given to Katie. This very prestigious award, the Nobel Peace Prize, was an anomaly and therefore devoid of true meaning. How had she been nominated, and by who? Nobody had any answers, and therefore no real understanding of the events.
One man, Sir Charles’s nephew, by pure coincidence, wrote both the obituary for Katie’s father, and the coverage of her award.
The obituary read:
A man of uniqueness and intense interest in the wonderment of the world and forever a child at heart who will continue to live through his daughter and the sensibilities left behind, Wilson is survived by his only surviving daughter Katie of Canterbury Park, Avenue B where she still lives in Wilson’s house which is now her house. Throughout his lifespan, Wilson worked hard to procure objects which furthered his own sense of wonder but did little to further anyone else’s as evidenced by the fact that the Business Bureau and finally the Governor himself denied Wilson’s petition for museum recognition of his cabinets and his house as a whole.
The clipping read:
Though none could be prepared for this surprise winner, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize goes to Katie Wilson of Canterbury Park. An anomaly and enigma in itself, there is no knowledge of her prior to tonight’s ceremony. It is said that she is the only surviving family of Mr. Wilson who’s lifestyle was critiqued heavily during his lifetime. It appears that Katie has chosen the same path as her father, as she is apparently continuing his work.
Katie’s Nobel Peace Prize went into the house and under the bathroom sink where it hung on the water piping with a thin piece of string once found lying underneath a car. The day Katie found the piece of string, she had had a piece of sticky gum stuck to the underneath of her boot. The gum that had gently tugged her sole to the cement each time she took a step, had grabbed the string as well and dragged it behind her until the next block. Whereupon, Katie had stopped to scratch her foot and therefore found the piece of string, to her great surprise, obvious delight, and immense elation. She had promptly tucked the slightly sticky and very dirty string into her front pocket, then whispered a covert “thank you,” to the hitchhiking gum which had proved itself to be not a barnacle or parasite, but a good friend and traveling companion which had paid for its trip with an invaluable object.
This string, was a piece of the original rope which Deacon had used to tie up the mast on his ship. The rope had once been inches thick, but, through the many years, it was slowly stripped down until it was merely one single strand. However, it was this strand which bore the most significance, because it was the innermost strand, and therefore the very core. Because of this, the universe had taken a liking to the string, and was hungry for Katie to offer it to him. The universe had liked Deacon too, and his quest for a knowledge which could never be known. Here too the string was akin all the other wondrous objects, because it had both infinite and zero meaning, all at the same time.
As soon as Katie was done with her cereal, she placed the bowl in the sink but promptly rinsed off the gilded spoon. This, she knew, was a treasured and lost heirloom to Russia. It was of immense sentimental value because it was the same spoon from which the youngest daughter of Russian’s oldest political family had taken her first sip of castor oil, thereby making it a national monument. This spoon was then given to the Secretary of Historical Preservation to preserve in their National Museum of Moscow, one Dimitri Valnischecov. Unfortunately, the Secretary tasked Dimitri, the head of the Artifacts Department, with delivering the silver spoon to the museum. Dimitri was to pick up the package from the State Department office, and deliver it immediately to the museum. However, Dimitri, an almost certain alcoholic and very poor drunk, opted for an extra drink of vodka on the train which contributed to the first of several bad choices en route to the museum. The most important pertaining to us is the loss of that silver spoon in an impromptu bet with some very unsavory and quite drunk miners. Unknowingly, Dimitri had lost the bet to a man named Kosav, who had been looking for that very same spoon. Kosav was a shipmate of Deacon’s, and had joined his quest for wondrous objects. It took Kosav six months to deliver the spoon back to Deacon, who accidentally gave it away as a present. Years later, Katie found it at a yard sale and had purchased it for fifty cents. Though it was itself an object of wonder, the spoon was necessary for Katie in that it was the only spoon she had in the house.
That night Katie sat on the porch among the various items that mocked up the outside display. Feeling slightly like an absent center herself, she tried to ignore the consuming hunger. Since the very moment Katie had placed the award under the sink, tied tightly with Deacon’s old string, she had felt off center, and off balance. She felt restless in this world, and hungry for a new adventure. Katie had never felt this way before, had always been content with her life and sensibilities, but something was coursing through here which was not all together her own.
Jumping off the porch, Katie tripped out to the front yard and with the intent to repaint the sign announcing the house. What had previously read “Rare House of Wonder” now simply read “The Center.” Intending to write “The Center for Wonder,” Katie became distracted by a scrap of paper drifting past with bright writing on it. The scrawling letters asked, “How old is your soul?” and Katie paused to think. Could it be that people were of different ages? Was it the wonder that is present in the absence of meaning that leads to other worldly chances, or is it simply the being’s ability to acknowledge wonder because of their soul’s presence?
Mere seconds after dropping the paint brush, Alice felt a rush of cool air, and twisted around to stare at her home which was pulsing and twitching. Throughout the day the objects had be shifting progressively further to the right, and now they were circling in frenzy. Katie could only feel a sense of, well, wonder, as she looked on. The house was an ellipsis, a consuming circle frantically moving around the universe’s portal in the kitchen pantry. It was this feeling of wonder that shocked her, not the fact that the house was moving from its center outward in radiating waves. It was only now that she was looking at the actual center of it all, that she felt the completeness that only comes from Wonder.
The award had been the final piece in the circling ellipsis stabilizing the outside to provide the center. Ultimately, though, it was the sign acknowledging and directly conversing with this phenomenon that started the catalyst in motion, slowing sucking up everything in the house, moving from display to display, tucking away the spoon, the teapot, the award including the string and gum, the porch, and finally dear Katie. Though it was really Katie that the universe had wanted all along, everything was consumed until all that was left of the world of wonder was a lonely wooden sign reading “The Center.”
The world can be full of fantastic details; it just takes a keen eye and an eager reader to see it. In a story such as this, the whimsy of childish delight and the tribulations of the real world merge into a sweet story about a young girl who simply wants to feed wonder into the universe.
We look forward to some exciting new writers in the coming weeks along with some interviews and book reviews. Check back in with us next Sunday to take a sip of that sweet talent that Words, Pauses, Noises has to offer!