Themes: 

Another creative project of mine is a Novel, dubbed "The Child on the Playground." It could be classified as paranormal fiction.  

The “logline”: A troubled individual with psychic abilities encounters a ghost-like child, who he begins to suspect holds the key to resolve his life and relationship woes.

Underlying this plot, the work explores a number of themes, including spirituality, relationships, and humanity's interconnectedness.


Excerpt:

[Interrupted from an important trip by strange circumstances, Daniel finds himself following an enigmatic, ghostly child, through an equally enigmatic small town...]

 

   I follow this road for some time, and eventually come to a very large school. It is a huge structure built almost entirely of small yellow bricks. A daunting feeling ensues as I approached the structure, which appears to be a relic from decades past. 

As I pull up to a stop sign, a playground comes into view, though no children are there. Everything is surreal, as if I have entered some alternate dimension. Though my head is clear, it feels like a dream. What was strange moments earlier, now seems commonplace. 

I pull over, as if drawn by some magnetic force. Exiting the car, I walk toward the modern playground equipment, which looks incredibly out of place next to the antiquated school. After standing there a moment, I begin recalling all the strange incidents throughout my life—those evanescent impressions seen from the corner of my eye. An epiphany occurs: The only reason these phenomena were so fleeting, is that I had not completely opened up to them. It all fits together. 


A hint of the chills runs through my body for the first time in years. The sky suddenly grows darker, though no rain clouds can be seen. Then, an apparition begins to appear. It starts as a bright, silver point of light, then expands into a vertical line. It looks something like an old TV turning on. The line begins to unfurl, like a scroll, into a flat surface resembling a giant mirror, though no reflection is seen.

As I stand there, entranced, unable to move, this “mirror” begins to form an image. It is this same place, but transformed. The school, in the background, looks about the same, but the modern playground equipment is replaced by a rusted swing-set, a broken merry-go-round, and a tattered see-saw. These long-forgotten archetypes seem to beckon. My thoughts race, but I feel removed from them, dissociated from all but the true essence of my being. From this state, I watch my mind ponder this uncanny experience. Then, superfluous thoughts vanish, as I see the boy appear within the apparition.

The boy looks to be around six or seven, has light blonde hair, and is using one foot to draw in the dirt. More children begin to appear. A familiar scene takes shape, of children playing at recess. The boy looks happy, as he begins walking around the outskirts of what appears to be the designated play area. He gathers some small stones, sits down, and begins placing them next to each other in the sand. After some minutes it becomes a cross between abstract artwork and an imaginary city. The boy smiles at his creation, looking as if he wishes he could pick it up and take it with him, or maybe live in it.

I then see another boy, on the other side of the playground. This child has an embittered countenance, void of any youthful joy, as if he had long-abandoned his childhood. What should be childlike bliss, is replaced by a hollow emptiness mixed with anger. This child’s eyes embody all that anger, and those eyes keep glancing at the first child. I have a sudden, sick feeling in my gut.


The images begin to fade. The mirror-scroll rolls back together into a vertical line. Then, the line grows shorter till it is a point again, and then, it is gone. I have a hunch, however, such visions are far from over. It is now clear, the ominous feeling I had, while approaching exit 70, was about this child. It is also clear, the circumstance that brought me here—the rental car losing power—was no accident.

Who is this child on the playground? I wonder. He seems like a ghost, but one that doesn’t jibe with popular descriptions. 

Although… what does that even mean, right? Maybe this is how spirits truly appear. Or… maybe they appeared differently to different people!

Are these visions some kind of message from this ghost-of-a-child? 

Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work?

Along with the barrage of questions, and an ever-present sentiment of “what the hell is going on?” there is something euphoric and exhilarating about the situation. Normal life had become stale, tasteless. This child on the playground provides a new sense of adventure and wonder. The timing works out. I haven’t called my aunt yet, so she is not expecting me, and at the moment, I have no other immediate responsibilities.


** If you're interested in this book, and would like more info, you can send an email to: contact@davidwdonner.com