Yes, it's been a while, but I am still here. I was simply uninspired. Let it be known that Jonny is my least favourite character in the whole show (although that is always subject to change), yet I had a lot of fun doing this. I almost made myself like him. It's not Jonny's POV, but I think you'll catch on as you read; ENJOY :P
I was there from the very beginning.
Well, I envision it as the beginning. I oftentimes wonder if there was anything at all before I came. Can one be the centre of the universe?
Regardless, ever since my beginning, since the first ray of sunlight on tanned skin, I was there. In the Cul-De-Sak, watching the events of the day unfold.
I fell from the back of a truck, I know, because I saw the truck driving away from me. I don't remember being on the truck. It seemed to be piled high with building materials and I later learnt that it was heading towards the new development sight. The development was eventually cancelled and the leftover materials were abandoned there. It seemed that no one wanted to move to Peach Creek.
I remember the bright blue sky, the fluffy clouds. The hot summer air beat down on me like some invisible force and I watched as the hours slowly ticked by. Eventually the heat let up as the sun slowly sank and I was found by something I had never seen before.
Two big eyes and a lopsided smile; the lopsided smile that you find on the simplest of children, before time changes them. And, oh, how time changed this one. I discovered this all later, of course. For now, I simply watched, bemused, as the somebody picked me up and stared at me, as though she had found something brilliant.
"What about this, Ed?" the somebody called out, grinning as she ran towards another of her kind. The other that she ran too, the one named Ed, appeared quite different, though. Unlike the first child, he was a little taller and still wearing a diaper.
"That's great, Nazz," he said happily, reaching out his hand for me. Before he reached all the way, though, another boy appeared at his side, a foul look on his face.
"Ed? What are you doin' here?" He demanded, and his voice was one of the most hideous things I had ever heard.
"Eddy! Nazz and I were gunna play circus and balance this piece of wood on our noses. See, Nazz even has the sparkles!" Ed held up the small bottle of pink sparkly liquid, beaming. Eddy wrinkled his nose.
"That's nail polish, Ed, for girls. Besides, you can't play with Nazz, she's a girl, and you'll get cooties!"
"What's cooties, Eddy?" asked Ed, following his shorter friend away absent-mindedly. I watched as Nazz frowned a little, pursing her lips and pulling at her blonde pigtails. She looked as though she might cry for a moment, before a shout from another child caught her attention. She turned and the sad expression vanished.
"Coming Kevin!" she said, running away. I was alone again, left to ponder the strange creatures that I had just witnessed.
For the most part, these beings seem to be of low intelligence. Surely there must be someone who rules over them?
I watched the night pass over me and the day started again. Today the air was thick, hot and suffocating. Clouds circled in the distance, but the sun still shone down on the street. The children were outside to play again and I waited patiently for something interesting to happen.
Nothing interesting happened until about mid-afternoon. A boy tripped over me, falling flat onto his face.
"What the hell?" he muttered, rubbing at his head and scowling.
"Don't say that Kevin," Nazz ordered, her pigtails bouncing, "My Mum says it's a bad word."
"Sorry," murmured Kevin ungratefully, glowering down at me.
I don't like this boy.
"Hey, it's still here," said Nazz, staring at me, "it's the piece of wood that Ed found yesterday."
"What's so good about wood?"
I really don't like this boy.
"We were going to play circus. Ed was going to be the clown, and I was going to be the ballerina."
"Ed's stupid," frowning at me, as though he had forgotten I was there.
"He's funny," Nazz said, as though that made up for it. Kevin scowled again, before getting distracted by something in the distance. Something I couldn't see. The two children ran off, not sparing me a backwards glance.
Atrocious manners, I thought, I wonder if they would hear me if I talked like them? Perhaps it would be interesting to have a conversation, even if their range of topics seems to be limited to a circus. What is a circus, anyway?
I yelled after the children, their names like a chant. They didn't come back and I wasn't sure if they couldn't hear me or if they were just very rude. Eventually I just called out for help. I didn't want to lie another night on the sidewalk, and the clouds drawing ever nearer made it seem as though it would soon rain. Although I didn't know much then, I had the inexplicable feeling that rain was bad for me.
"Jonny! You messed up my dollies!" screamed a small girl's voice in the distance, followed by a loud thumping noise. "Go away!" This was followed by some sniffles and the slow shuffling of feet against the concrete sidewalk.
The next thing I knew, another face was peering down at me. He didn't look too happy, simply curious, as though he had forgotten all about the bruise that some other child had left on his cheek. His eyes seemed to be lit up with a certain curiosity I had never encountered before. This boy couldn't see how the world worked, couldn't understand how people's minds ticked, but he longed to know. This boy hungered for information, just as I did.
"Hello," he said to me, and I was surprised once more.
Hello, I replied, can you hear me?
He stared for a long moment, before nodding. "Yes," He said, "I can hear you. I'm Jonny, what's your name?"
A name? I do not believe I have a title as of yet. Well, not one that I can remember.
"You don't have a name?" asked Jonny, eyes widening, "that's terrible! I have to find you one at once!"
And with that, I was picked up by Jonny, and carried into his house.
When I was placed down, I was instructed to wait a moment. When Jonny left, I was glad to see that I had the full view of Jonny's room from the perch on his bed. It was sparsely furnished, and from being pulled up here in a little basket on a string, I knew I was in the attic. Several plants hung from the ceiling, and a few more sat in pots on the floor.
Odd for a bedroom, I mused, but then, I guess that I have no idea what a bedroom is meant to look like. Perhaps this is considered normal. I later discovered that it wasn't.
Jonny soon returned with a handful of crayons in his small palms. He stuck his tongue between his teeth and frowned, looking as though he was trying incredibly hard to focus. With an unsteady hand, Jonny drew (as I later saw them in a mirror) a crude pair of eyes and smiling mouth. I don't know what purpose they served, but from then on, I was no longer a piece of wood in the children's eyes; I was a piece of wood with a face.
Apparently, to them, there's a big difference.
So, what now?
"I don't know," Jonny said, throwing the crayons to the floor, "I still don't know what to call you."
Something that screams superiority? I suggested, but it went unnoticed. Jonny rocked back and forth on his heels for a moment.
"How about Bob?"
No. Not Bob, that sounds simple.
"Well, then," Jonny stuck out his bottom lip, thinking, and "how about Woody?"
No, not that... if it has to be wood-related, at least make it less obvious.
Jonny thought for another moment before smiling, "How 'bout Plank?"
Plank... Well, as good as any I suppose. It doesn't exactly radiate importance, but I suppose no name does when one does not know to whom it belongs.
Jonny stared at me vaguely for a moment, before smiling in a strange sort of way.
"You're a real laugh, Plank, you know that?"
Really? Well, I suppose that's nice...
"You and I are going to be great buds, I can already tell," exclaimed Jonny, jumping onto the bed and sitting cross-legged.
Yes, I'm sure, I said, and to my surprise, being budswith Jonny didn't seem as bad as I would have thought.
I soon became used to Jonny's odd timetable.
At nine o'clock each morning he would be forced to go outside and play by his Mother and the door would not open again until dinner time. Lunch was something he was expected to find by himself. Usually Jonny would just slip an apple into his pocket and eat it later for lunch. Sometimes he would forget and I would have to remind him. Sometimes even I would forget and he would go looking for berries and eat them at lunch time. The berries gave him a bad rash on his stomach.
Jonny spent his days doing much the same thing, trampling through the surrounding forest area for anything interesting he could find; bird eggs, squirrels, turtles in the creek, acorns and wildflowers. On the days where he didn't do this, he would attempt to talk to the other children.
Although there were several things that Jonny didn't pick up about people, I know I did.
Eddy and Ed, the two boys with the same name and completely different temperaments. I realized soon that Eddy was not a particularly nice boy. He was a cheater, sly and oftentimes manipulative. Yet there was also the other side to him; the annoying, attention-seeking side that I would experience more as he got older.
Ed was something of a mystery to me. Always happy, always smiling; he reminded me of Jonny in a lot of ways, and for some reason that drove me to like him. He was stupid, clearly, but his imagination far outweighed his academic limits. Yet he followed Eddy like a puppy and I was quite sure that that would be his downfall.
There was Rolf, the strange foreign boy that no one could understand. Despite this, he didn't seem to mind Jonny as much as the others. Rolf's eyes seemed to sweep over everybody and accept them as they were, including me.
In the way that Ed blindly followed Eddy, Jimmy followed Sarah. Cruel, irritating, spoilt Sarah, who was a year younger than Jonny, yet acted as though she was queen of all. Jimmy was spineless, wimpy and Sarah was his protection. Jonny seemed to spend more time with them than anyone else, probably because of the age similarities. Sarah was tolerable at the best of times, and the way she often rolled her eyes at Jonny's stories made my blood boil over. Well, it would if I had any blood.
Kevin and Nazz were different again, and seemed to stick to the labels I'd put over their heads when I'd first met them, bad-mouthed and foul-tempered, and blonde and ditzy. For all her stupidity, though, Nazz was kind.
When Double-D arrived, I hoped that he would become friends with Jonny. It took me only seconds to realise that he would never be happy talking to Jonny. His paranoid behaviour, in conjunction with his proper way of speaking brought me to the conclusion that he was not at all interested in stomping through muddy puddles on rainy days. To my surprise, he chose to become friends with Ed and Eddy. How that friendship works is still a mystery to me.
The children didn't react kindly to me at first. Kevin snorted, Nazz appeared sceptical and Eddy's eyes lit up because he figured he had another person to scam. Although I was no longer a plank of wood in the children's eyes, I was still an inanimate object; only an imaginary friend and nothing more. Eventually, though, after watching Jonny having conversations with me, they seemed to accept things as they were. I knew they would never truly believe that I was alive. Perhaps Sarah and Jimmy, who approved of all things imaginary, would laugh and acknowledge me a few times. Double-D, when he arrived, would smile weakly when Jonny introduced him, because he knew better than to protest to something like that. Ed would appear to hold conversations with me, but in all honesty he was simply spewing nonsense from his ridiculous shambles of a mind.
I was never truly a person in anyone's eyes.
Except for Jonny's. To him, I was his best friend. The thing he'd always been wishing for.
Constantly by Jonny's side, I was able to observe life as it was for these people. The things that Jonny couldn't explain to me were easily accessible via television or a book from the local library. It soon became our usual habit to spend our night's side-by-side on Jonny's bedroom floor. Jonny would draw pictures and I would read book after book. Knowledge never satisfied me, because I was searching for an answer to a question that was unanswerable.
"What are you thinking about, Plank?" Jonny asks suddenly. I suppose, then, that brings us to this moment. This moment, on Jonny's roof, watching the stars. I suppose it's a mark of how capable Jonny's parents are that he's on the roof at the age of only eleven. They probably aren't even home yet. I wonder if they will show up at all in the next few days. They were probably so drugged up that they couldn't find their way home from whatever hippie rally they were protesting at. Well, I suppose that's just my thoughts... I don't really know if they're at a hippie rally. They are on several drugs though, I know that for sure. I've seen the results, and normally I have to keep Jonny from doing so. The park is a lot more interesting, Jonny, I'd say. He'd agree. He almost always agrees with me.
I'm just thinking about us, Jonny, I say, taking in the stars so high above us. Like silent guardians.
"What about us?"
Just about how we met. I was simply reflecting on that.
There is another moment of silence as Jonny searches for a constellation that he rather likes. Orion. That is what it is called. I can never find shapes in the stars. My mind doesn't work like that.
"Do you reckon those stars have voices, Plank? Like you do?"
Everything has a voice, Jonny, I say, as I know he wants me too, you simply have to listen.
Jonny strains his ears, frowning in concentration.
"I still don't hear anything, Plank," he complains, slumping back against the warm tiling. It is a warm night, after all.
Well, they are usually silent, I say, trying not to upset him. I hate it when Jonny is upset, especially over something so ridiculous. Silent guardians, you know. They watch over us, protect us...
"How can they protect us when they're so far away?" Jonny asks, "And silent? To protect someone, you need to be with them all the time, and talk to them. Tell them that it'll be okay. Like Mum used too. Like you do now."
Like I do? Really? Well, that's interesting. I know I've thought about it like that before, but I didn't realise Jonny had. I know that yet again I have underestimated his intelligence. Jonny is not a stupid child.
"Does that mean that you're like a star, then?" Jonny asks suddenly, turning to look at me.
No... I'm hardly silent, am I?
"To the others you are. Eddy says that he can't hear you and that you can't really talk."
And for a long moment I say nothing, becoming the silence that everybody but Jonny expects from me. And I know they can't hear me. Years of snide comments and bold exclamations have proven this so... yet I don't understand it. What I am, physically, is a Plank of wood. Yet I am so much more. A friend, a voice, a teacher. An imagination embodied, thought and freedom and love. There are so many ideas inside my mind, yet I have no need of a head.
It is scary to not know what you are.
Sometimes I'm not so sure that I'm real. Perhaps I simply am some bizarre manifestation of Jonny's mind, only here to reassure him that amidst all of the world's trouble, he is not alone. Like a person with Multiple Personality Disorder might elect a personality to act as a guardian of sorts.
And here we are again, back in a circle. A silent Guardian, though?
I can talk Jonny, don't you worry, I say at last, you can hear me, can't you? Besides, what does Eddy know? Less than a toothpick! Watch the stars, Jonny, it'll all be okay.
I wonder if Jonny can hear the lie in my voice... in his voice, since no one else can hear it. Is that what we are, two independent parts of one being? But, then, that's ridiculous... isn't it?
Jonny smiles calmly and settles back down to watch the stars once again, his eyes glowing with wonder. So many years and he is still as curious as the day I met him.
I know that however uncertain I may be in myself, Jonny will always be certain in me. Whatever I am, whether it is a miracle, a plank of wood, a demonic presence (after all, who knows? It's possible) or some extension of Jonny himself, I will always be there for him; to watch over him and to guide him.
A Silent Guardian.
Silent, only because most do not bother to truly listen.
Well guys, review and all that! Thank you to everybody who has reviewed and favourited so far. As I said before, I actually enjoyed writing Plank's POV. Also, to clarify, I really love the idea of Ed and Nazz playing together as children, doesn't that just seem adorable? Because Ed would definitely put on nail polish if he thought it would help him become a clown. And Eddy was the one to introduce him to the idea of cooties, which his brother probably told him about. Also, I love all of the characters, don't believe what Plank says about them (as much truth as there may be in what he thinks).
Yeah, rant over now. :D Review and I'll try and write something else quicker this time.