The Everlasting Change – by Dalmatia Fleming

The Everlasting Change – by Dalmatia Fleming

Eric removed his glasses, sighed lightly and pushed his hair out of his eyes. He grabbed his beer, leaned back in his chair and put his feet up on the desk. His skin was moist with perspiration from the humidity. Eric liked this weather. He grew up in Seattle, a different latitude altogether, but after living in New York City for six years and attending Columbia University, he got used to the heat. In fact, he couldn’t get enough of it.
Eric put on his flip flops and went outside. It was about time for Senorita Amarillo to appear, the wild Scarlet Macaw that Eric had befriended. She was crazy about fruit and would stop by around this time every day. She was now very close to eating right out of Eric’s hand. He could almost make out her individual low-pitched, throaty squawk from all the rest, as a mother could recognize her own baby’s cry. But if not, he could always identify her by the larger than average patch of yellow on her wings, hence her name.
Eric leaned on the railing of the deck and gazed out into the Amazon Rain Forest. A peaceful feeling swept over him. It had been about two years since he had moved here…
… Eric stopped at Chumley’s for a beer on his way home. It had been a particularly bad day after a string of many. He was lucky enough to snag the last seat at the bar and pulled out his smart phone to begin the search. He needed a vacation, a place where he could really get away, someplace no one else he knew had heard of or gone to before. And this would be a two week vacation. Unheard of in his field. It also had to be warm. It was fifteen degrees in New York City at this time. So how about South America Eric thought. He checked to see if anything caught his eye. Ahhh… this just might be the thing… a twelve day retreat in a Shipibo Shamanic healing center near Iquitos in Peru, offering intensive ayahuasca / plant spirit healing retreats.
The alarm clock went off the next morning and Eric noticed that his mood had lifted. Somehow it was easier to get out of bed. He showered and dressed in record time. Coffee and bagel in hand, he pressed his way onto the subway car. He was lost in thought and nearly missed his stop but fortunately his buddy was nearby and yelled to him. Eric squeezed out of the car just in time. Off to Lehman Brother’s where he worked as a stock broker.
After yet another bad day in the long parade of bad days, Eric decided this was it. He booked his trip.
It was an unbelievable experience. A different ceremony was practiced almost daily. There were male healers, female healers and plant doctors. The process was so profound; Eric could tell that this would affect an everlasting change in his life.

Two weeks later Eric returned to New York City and his job. He gave moving notice to the superintendant of his apartment, gave away most of his belongings and made arrangements to put a few prised possessions into storage. When the timing was right, he gave two weeks notice and quit his job. He was going back to the retreat center in Peru to help run the business and become a Shaman in training…

…Senorita Amarillo appeared. She landed on the railing of the deck and slowly teetered over to Eric’s hand. Mango, her favorite! She picked a piece out of Eric’s hand. WOW! That was the first time she did that! Eric slowly stretched out his hand in an attempt to pet Senorita’s head. She backed away. Eric smiled. He would have lots of time to work up to that. Eric gazed out into the rain forest and smiled. Who would have ever thought that at the age of thirty he would be a Shaman in training living in Peru!

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on March 17, 2014, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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