Chapter 2: The Sun Woke the State
A shifting of pancakes built an attractive fragrance that grew from the kitchen, filling the whole house. He shuffled on the nolumium floor fumbling spatulas and various containers, choreographing steps from one side to another. It was early for some, but not for him. Keith was an insomniac when it came to finishing projects, even if the deadline wasn’t fatal. Morning was especially his favored time of day, full of opportunity and sparse of distraction.
When the just about prepared meal came to a frame of resting Keith raced up stairs to stir the loves. First he gently knocked the door open to his own space where his wife was still softly dreaming in a heap of quilts in a soft dim. The brightest object about the room had to be her hair. It reflected the end of a candle with its red texture and geographic scope. It went everywhere and attracted all eyes as it passed. Keith sat on the edge of his own bed near his wife, whose name was Katy, and gave a small peck from his lips to her forehead. She knew immediately what it meant. Her lips left its non-expression sleep state to a full grin.
“What time is it?”
“You always ask that.”
“What time is it?”
“What time did you get to sleep?”
Keith couldn’t help but to mirror her grin at this comment.
“Breakfast is up, come down.”
She rolled over, and Keith expected her appearance in a baker’s dozen minutes.
He then knocked quietly on the neighboring door which was his daughter’s room. There was a faint shuffle from inside he could barely hear and could distinctly know. Keith pushed open the door and found his daughter, whose name is Kelsey, to be lying with a tilted fake smirk in a pool of window light. Stepping over books and toys he stepped inside with the soft feel of the carpet under his soles. Her follicles were as frenzied as her mothers and even brighter in hue. Keith felt she was the miniature twin or inaccurately thought reincarnation of her mother. This made him love her even more.
Her smirk shivered more and more as he approached. As he sat on the edge of her mattress she couldn’t contain it anymore; she raspberried a laugh.
“Why you little!” Keith jokingly teased as he tickled and tormented her sides where the nerves were tender to the touch causing even more laughter. Kelsey kicked and churned with her eyes clutched closed from the torment of silent pain. Color reached her pale checks. “Daddy! Daddy! Stop!!! Ahh!” This was almost a daily routine.
He stopped. “How long have you been up for?”
She turned her head to the clock’s face and quickly calculated. “One hour, 14 minutes.”
“And what have you been reading?”
Kelsey folded up an edge of her fleece to show a ruby flashlight and a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Her dad picked up the classic and rapidly flipped through the pages. “Ahh! The tale of Alice through the rabbit hole encountering all sorts of randomness, not to mention several beheadings by Charles Dodgman, also known as Lewis Carroll.” Kelsey looked troubled. “The author of this book had an author alias… another name he went by… for some reason…Guess he wanted to protect his identity.”
“Why would he ever want to do that?”
“I really haven’t a clue. I’ll Google it for you.”
“I wish I could be like Alice; travel to Wonderland.”
“Yeah? Why is that?”
“To have tea with the Mad Hatter! He’s funny,” she said smiling through sparkly white.
“He’s mad, like your old man!”
“Maybe we’ll have our own tea party here, right in your own room. You’ll be Alice; I’ll be the Hatter… Fluffy can be The March Hair… and… Mommy can be… the Red Queen.”
She laughed again.
“Don’t tell your mother I said that.”
She agreed with a nod of her head.
“And when we come from the room, it’ll be the same time that it was when we started. Everything will be the same, but our experiences.”
Keith had a sudden warmth sweep over him, not the kind that you feel with skin but the time you feel. There was something about the design of time ceasing to tick and tock, never aging or changing in condition. This feeling stemmed from his devotion for his Alice and his Queen of Hearts and bloomed from the joy of being able to have the titles associated with them. “Father” and “Husband”.
He placed the children’s satire back on the sheets and hinted “If you’re hungry you’ll find a treasure downstairs in the shape of the moon.” Her eyes widened and she leapt from the confines of unconsciousness. The gallop she made rattled the stairs and the airwaves. Keith followed in a more dignified manner.
When they both reached the destination, the dining room, they partly demolished the workings of the morning’s labor. Plates covered in flap-jacks, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and toast complimented by orange juice and black coffee shaped by porcelain cups. The heat of the kitchen still echoed into the dining room proving it to be a more comfortable atmosphere for the pair. As expected, the matron of the family made her lovely entrance wrapped in a sapphire colored bathrobe.