The Finger People
by Mark Rapacz
They had a gentle beginning from a bored mind, when both lull and fancy become fused and interpenetrated to form one imagination. I, their creator, was staring into oblivion. I was oblivious to the restaurant, to the people around, to the clitter clatter of dishes and other unseen things, but also reasonably excused from certain scenarios in the world that destroy inventive wit. I was blissfully unaware of a world at war without reason and peace, without life and liberty, and without imagination and innocent high jinks. The jinks of the world are much too high, and much too serious, so I grasped my pen when I was calmly detached. Creation began by my fingertips and upon my fingertips. I was creating life in the little eatery. I was creating whimsy and I hardly knew it.
What came forth, to my surprise, was a series of finger people. All of them pale, but all of them original. There was a short one, a tall one, an old one, a dark one, and a baby one. They all bowed their heads to me, the Creator. They bent low in a grateful dance of admiration. The baby bent at the waist, the short one followed, and the rest followed suit and repeated the dance two or three times. It was a wave, choreographed and performed in utmost jubilation and satisfaction of life. I was delighted because I gave them life. I saw how good it was.
And so it happened in the few minutes after their birth, their personalities grew clearer. They had permanent expressions, a frozen visage that trapped them in their personalities. The baby, the little one, the first one, was all smiles, happy to be there staring up at me, as I was happy to be staring down at its dot of a nose and eyes and its half-circle mouth. My imaginative mind greeted the little fellow with an imperceptible grin, and he smiled back and telepathically goo-goo'd, ga-ga'd, and giggled. I was tickled pink as they say.
I moved to the next. A lady. She had curly hair, long lashes, and plump lips. Her expression was plain but gracious. Around her waist was a beautiful golden belt. I did not know why she wore it. I was attracted to the glitz and glamour sparkling around her tiny waist. I gave a small smirk and I received a royal bow. It was good.
The middle one, the tall one, was shocked, scared, or excited, but permanently in the thralls of anxiety. When I gazed upon this erect creature, the other finger people bowed as the middle one stood tall. My company outside the finger world was appalled. I assumed their disbelief was caused by the new guest who arrived at the table, the middle one, the tall one! He stood still in disbelief. I made a motion to salute this fellow, but he quickly retracted and hid among the others. He was peculiar, but I liked him the way he was.
The next was wearing dark shades and had spiked hair. He didn't smile or frown, but had an expressionless dash for a mouth. No personality escaped through his hidden eyes and his straight serious lips. His hair, the spiked hair, said to me, inaudibly and symbolically, he didn't need me. He was too cold and beyond the casual hello or slight acknowledgment one would generally give their creator. I didn't feel much for this one. Maybe I felt pity, but hardly even that. I created him the way he was, and he neither cared for nor loathed his existence. He was indifferent to me, as I was oblivious to his creation, and all of their creation for that matter. Our feeling toward one another was mutual.
Finally, I greeted the elder, the short chubby one. He was old. He had a mustache and he was smoking a pipe. He wore a gentle face and had equally as gentle admiration. I wondered what it was he knew. He was content with the puff of his pipe. His eyebrows were up in eager anticipation of only he knew, but it seemed he liked it, not only what was to come, but also waiting. He was patient. I gave a word of approval and he curled over in agreement. I envied this one. He knew the score as they say.
And so it happened at the moment between random meanderings and thoughtful reality a bird flew by, and a horn honked, and someone kicked my chair. My brain was jump started into real life again. The finger people were temporarily lost and their fate was left to them. They were on their own because I had other engagements. I had to participate in my series of word, gesture, and movement responses that keeps the world going or at the least convinces others I was still alive. I had to confirm my existence.
My day wore on, as the finger people's lives wore away. I put my hands in my pocket, picked up books, shook hands, and did many other necessary things with my hands. The time finally came when my word, gestures, and movements were no longer necessary, so I was free to be absorbed into my wistful self again. I wondered how my finger people were doing; I wanted admiration and some company. I remembered how good it was. I raised my hand to my face; I brought my people to me. I expected joy, jubilation, and excitement. I looked at everything I made, and found my people smeared into the oblivion from which they came.
About the author:
Mark is from Minneapolis, MN. He is an unknown writer, but doesn't even know if he can assume the title of "writer." He only has one credential, his first book, which he wrote in second grade. His book was innocently and humbly entitled, "When I Grow Up." It's his best work so far. He laminated it himself. His mother said it was "just wonderful."