Welcome to Benny's Writing Nook. I will show you teh stories. I only really created this because I came 3rd in the RRR writing competition, and maybe somebody wanted to read my submission. It's pretty crappy and cheesy, but anyways, here it is.
AXIS OF ETERNITY - THE RESCUE
No. They will not allow it, you think. But despite their rules, in spite of their regulations and laws to protect bank tellers from harassment by strangers - you know you want to kiss this woman. But I hardly know her, you tell yourself. “May I help you, sir?” she chimes. She is a slim maiden with long copper hair and a short-cut fringe. Her favourite colour is white, and her favourite fruit is mango. Her ice-blue eyes stare into yours, with what you fantasize to be deep longing, to leap into your arms and ask for that one kiss, the one you’ve been dying to experience since the first moment you laid eyes on her. But it is strange. You don’t think this. You, a westerner, a mere foreigner in the presence of all these fancy-living Triportians, one who stands in awe of the most basic and assumed of things. What fuels the engines that bear the forceful load of an island with a population pushing 2 million? Where was all the metal that they used to construct the turbines, to feed the rich hungry mouths of the millions of the rich, to clothe them with colourful gowns that draped down past their toes in such a pretentious manner? What of that trickles down to the hundreds of millions living on the ground? “Hey, beautiful,” you say with a confident stride, “You don’t like like you deserve to work here.” “Get over yourself.” “Temper, temper,” you say, tilting your hat over your eyes. “A woman of your status should not dare to talk as confidently as you have right now. What is your name?” “Kina,” she says, “What’s it to you?” “Nothing, it’s just I would expect less from a woman.” A harsh thing to say, but it’s true. You certainly don’t endorse how this place treats the opposite gender in general, but you tolerate it because that’s just the way it is. The discrimination is even worse in the Hadlands, where the sexism is far more apparent. Memories of the Hadlands, that cesspool of a town, the agony and injustice - there exists in your brain memories that you wish to forget, but can’t. Atrocities committed by man that made you lose faith in humanity, ceasing to be forgotten. But that was 15 years ago. “I am my own person,” Kina says with an acerbic edge, leaning on her elbows casually. “I choose to be who I want to be, and no wandering ranger is going to convince me otherwise.” You freeze. Wandering ranger? Where did Kina get this information? You wonder what else Kina knows about you, your crimes, and... your apparent warrant for arrest. You become angry at the thought of her peering at your personal files. “Who you wanna be, eh? And do the authorities take a liking to you?” Kina smirks. “I be who I want to be, and the authorities are the scum of the earth.” “You didn’t do anything to upset them?” “Let’s just say I’m not a complete angel.” But Kina’s eyes are that of an innocent child. No more than 17 years old, by your estimates. She could be even less, if she had had an early growth spurt. But you still want to kiss Kina, because she is so beautiful and innocent and clean. You wipe the thought out of your mind. You are 10 years her senior, what are you kidding? You don’t stand a chance with this girl. And there might not have been a chance, if everyone had not ducked at the same moment, if the entire lobby had not shouted in a frenzy of fear, if that single gunshot had not been fired into the air, and if the man with the immaculate red satin suit and cleanly trimmed white hair had not entered the building with twenty of his comrades, ordering everybody in the building to put their hands up high where he can see them, and to turn over all weapons they may be holding. “Hello, boys and girls of Triportia,” he hollers, rusty revolver in hand, cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth, as he takes a small knife from a female rogue’s open hands. Examining the hilt, he checks the quality of the metalwork. “Mastery of smithing,” he says. “Pity this gem is absolutely worthless.” He throws it in the bag of everyone’s other confiscated weapons, as the crew continue to gather small hand-axes, adventurers’ broadswords, shields and the like. You can tell by the purple markings on the back of his left hand that he is a mage of destruction. The purple satin suit and the apparent arrogance are typical of those who practice destructive magic. “Where are the goods?” he cries, letting five more gunshots in the air, screaming in adrenaline-fueled exhilaration. Everyone crouches further down, with a few cries, and all is silent. That is, except for a small continued sobbing in the corner opposite the entrance, near one of the supporting concrete columns. It continues for a few moments, you closing your eyes and lowering your head. This lady is going to get herself killed. The outlaw widens his eyes, looking around the room. His ear leads him to a column on the left-hand side of the chamber, where a shrivelled old woman with a fur coat is crying. “Dear, don’t cry,” the outlaw says, stroking the old lady’s thin white hair. “You’re only going to die.” The old lady lets out a howl that sends a shiver down your spine. Her body is shaking, and her wrinkled face is covered in tears. A female archer, tall and slim, strides up to the outlaw, shouting threats in his face. One of the outlaw’s followers immediately lets loose a net-gun, which propels a trapping net at the young lady, pinning her to the ground. The archer writhes under the net, and the old woman bursts out in tears, kneeling beside her. “Your pitiful resistance does not amuse me,” he shouts. “You are insolent fools! Come here!” The outlaw grabs one of his fellow heist men, a short stout man with a sack over his right hand, and leads him to the safe door. “Come here,” he orders, dragging him to the lock that opens the safe. The outlaw just stands there, as if waiting for some kind of reaction from the man with the sack on his hand. “Well,” he says, nudging the man with the sack on his hand. He waits a while, before lowering down to the sacked-hand-man’s level. Looking the sacked-hand-man directly in the eyes, the outlaw rests his hand on the conflicted man’s head. “Open it!” he yells. The sacked-hand-man’s eyes roll into the back of his head, and he takes the sack off his right hand. He reveals a shrivelled hand, deformed as though it were put through a blender, shaped and contorted into an unrecognizable mass of a hand. The sacked-hand-man calmly mutters a few words in a different dialect, and his hand transforms. It mutates, changing shape to fit the keyhole. His hand has transformed into a key. He uses his newly-formed hand-key to open the safe door. “Finally,” the outlaw says, “And now, since you are completely useless to me-” Immediately fire rushes forth from his hands, incinerating the sack-man instantly. There is a cry of shock from the people as they witness this murder. You are slightly unphased, for some reason, and you find yourself somehow admiring the man's courage, despite his utter brutality. “Shut up! I order you to shut up! And someone take care of this immediately!” A few of his minions hobble to the safe door; it takes about ten of them to unhinge the tonne-heavy iron safe door. Gems. Millions of bright gems, in a marvellous array of colours and cuts: enamelled gold, amethyst and pearl, opal, purple amethyst, turquoise, tigers-eye, ruby, lapis lazulis, tourmaline, aquamarine, garnet, sapphire, even diamond. But above all, the Axis of Eternity. The Axis of Eternity sits in a glass case. Its splendour is evident even to the least art-educated of beholders. The countless faces of the gem sparkle, sending shards of light scattered across the safe’s walls. The gem is a sight to behold, a true beauty, and priceless in worth. Only by the King’s edict is one able to have access to the gem. It shines with a brilliance unrivalled by any of the other gems, making the others seem dull in comparison. “Well, what are you waiting for? Move in!” The minions are hurriedly taking to work, grabbing the gems and placing them in hessian sacks, when there is a large rumbling, accompanied by a distinct fluttering sound. It’s an Air-Train. Air-Trains are a curious phenomenon. Utilizing quantum rails for support, the vehicle has the capability to fly through the air just like a passenger airplane, transporting passengers to their destinations via near-invisible rails, but faintly visible as ghostly lines of light. The Air-Train comes to a screeching halt, the hover propellers at full speed, struggling to keep it in the air. Criminals open the entrance to a cabin full of passengers, who have been taken hostage by the baddies. “It was my fault, my fault we’re late,” a fat man with a pig’s face snorts, emerging from the train’s cockpit. “Sorry I’m late, Sire Kith. I won’t do it again, Sire Kith.” The pig-faced man’s face is apologetic (well, as close to apologetic as a pig’s face can get), looking down every few seconds at a small gadget that you can only say looks something like a coffee machine. It has two glass orbs separated by a black body with a big red button in the middle. Sire Kith greets his compatriot with gusto, even shaking his hand amiably. But his smile turns to a frown, and the pig-faced man’s smile disappears too. Sire Kith doesn’t let go, zapping the pig-faced with a couple of thousand volts, burning him to ash. “That’s what you get for being less than on time,” Sire Kith quips, grabbing a handkerchief from his chest pocket and cleaning his hands of his follower’s ashen remains. He grabs the coffee-machine device and walks towards the safe. Your hands are still behind your head, crouched on the ground. You find yourself paralyzed, your head racing with options as to what you can do to save these innocent people. You look at a nearby elf archer, and think of grabbing her bow to use against Sire Kith. But somehow, you don’t want to risk the chance of being burned to a crisp. You consider calling the emergency services for help. The mobile phone that you purchased from the corner store is still in your pocket. But you remember that you forgot to purchase credit for your phone. Without phone credit, the mobile is next to useless. You need a distraction. “Let those people go, you punk!” You turn around to look at the accuser. Not like this, you think to yourself. This is not a suitable distraction. It is Rina. Her copper brown hair extends to her waist, and her icy blue stare is fixated upon the villain. “You will not terrorize these people while I’m sitting here and watching!” You gotta admit, she’s got guts. But she’s a kid. She has no experience whatsoever. What’s she going to do? Suddenly, you see the glint of metal pass by your face, as you realize Rina has thrown something at a great speed. Sire Kith deflects the metal object with his staff, sending it crashing into the wall. It was a four-pronged shuriken, and it lay glistening in the sunlight by the door. “Dear girl,” Sire Kith says, outstretching his staff towards Kina. This can’t happen, you think to yourself. Not today, not this way. But there is nothing you can do to stop it. Your legs are frozen, paralyzed in crouching position, helplessly hanging. You try to awaken yourself from the paralysis, but your lips can’t even move. Your cunning ranger skills smell the distinct waft of red lilies. And then you realize. What you are smelling is a body-sleeping poison. The reason why everyone in this room is paralyzed to death is not due to fear, but due to a gas having been released to stop people from standing up against the villain. Somehow Kina had been able to break free of the poison, but now it was too late, she was going to be blasted to smithereens. But this doesn’t happen. “I like you,” Sire Kith says, walking up to and grabbing Kina by the collar. “Put me down!” She struggles to give a fight, but Sire Kith’s brute strength is enough to force her onto the train. His followers tie her up, and she continues to struggle against them. But it is of no use. “Oops, almost forgot!” Sire Kith walks up to the glass cabinet containing the Axis of Eternity, producing a red seal. The King’s Seal! The King protects that with his very life! It’s impossible that this man could have got the king’s seal, unless... You feel your finger twitch in anger. Sire Kith uses the seal to open the glass, holding up the Axis of Eternity, examining it in the light. He gazes at its beautiful form, looking at it from various angles, before shrugging in a non-affected away. “Meh, it’s good enough,” he says, and turns to board the train. “See ya later, suckers!” And he lets out his maniacal laugh as he takes away with the precious gems. You lightly leap to your feet as the train starts to leave, sprinting towards the train and jumping into the air. Your hands catch the railing on the back of the Air-Train, and you go zooming through the air along with it. It seems to take all your strength to bring yourself on top of the railing, when a minion enters the back entrance with a crowbar, ready to kill you off. You grab his crowbar with both hands, giving him a menacing headbutt to the face, before licking him on the head with the crowbar. He falls off the edge of the train, a few miles into the shrubbery below. You enter the train, to find yourself surrounded by passengers. Only these passengers have tape over their mouths, and they’re screaming to be saved. There seems to be no minions nearby, which is odd. You start to untie one of the passengers, who gives you a scared look in his eye. “It’s OK,” you start to say, before you receive a baseball hat to the back of the head. Recoiling from the hit, you realise a minion has appeared behind you, who was disguised as a passenger the whole time. You grab his baseball bat and choke his neck with it. Another minion appears, and you elbow him to the face. Tripping up another appearing minion, you kick two in the head either side of you. Well, that turned out rather like an action movie, you think to yourself. You run through the door to the energy room, pushing a baddy aside as he is shoveling coal. You see Sire Kith go up a ladder with your girlfriend tied up. You follow him up the ladder, and as you emerge at the top, he punches you, sending you flying across the traintop. You almost fall off the edge of train’s roof, and your mobile phone goes sliding off the edge into the abyss below. The train tilts to the left on a corner, and you and Sire Kith slide across the roof. You grab the side railing of the train, hanging on at the edge. You pull yourself up, kicking Sire Kith in the face. He falls face down on the metal roof, before pulling himself to his feet. Blood fills his teeth, and a demented smile emerges. “You can’t defeat me,” he says, wiping blood from his mouth, “I’ll just die, that’s all.” “You took the Axis of Eternity,” I say, throwing a punch to his teeth, which he dodges, giving me a knee to the groin. “I did it to save Triportia,” he says, flooring you with an uppercut. He pins you down to the ground, his elbow in your neck. “Saving Triportia from its disgusting self. Ridding this wretched city of its unabashed consumerism and capitalism! Don’t you dare tell me you have more noble aspirations!” I turned the pin on him, looking up at Rina’s icy blue eyes. Seeing her tied up like this was fairly distressing, considering that any sharp turn might send her toppling off the edge. This guy has a point, you think to yourself, however twisted he might be. He socks you one in the face, and reverses your pin back on you. “You’re doing it all the wrong way,” you shout above the raging wind. “Stealing is bad, you know this.” He starts to strangle you with both hands. You feel the air escaping from your lungs, but there is no way of getting it back in. You feel yourself start to black out, but you push it away. “You’d do the same if you knew what was at stake,” you hear yourself say, but you’re not sure if he hears your whisper over the noise. The blackness spreads inwards, as you hear Rina scream. Your last memory is of Sire Kith mouthing the words ‘for Triportia’, a smile on his face. But you have thought one step ahead of him. The train races through a tunnel, as his body is hit with the full force of the moving concrete, and his body flies through the air. You rub your neck, watching his purple satin-suited body fly down into the forestry below. You untie Kina, as she jumps into your arms, sobbing. “Thank you,” she says. “Thank you.” You hold her close to your body, and lightly kiss her on the forehead.
Jun 28 2012, 04:31 AM
You won third for a reason Benny, don't diminish yourself. The story has very good pacing (until the rushed ending) and just needs a little work on the balance of dialogue and narration, and some of the dialogue content could use a little work (the verbal showdown between the pro and antagonist was pretty anticlimactic). You quickly created a potent lore by using stereotypes but then developing them to your own ends by placing contemporary issues (feminism, consumer-capitalism) in this distant society. It really made the world feel more real by giving it a little history and suggesting its background wasn't necessarily all smiles. Basically, just spend a little more time on it and you'll have a really good fantasy piece.
Jul 6 2012, 09:29 PM
Here's another weird one I wrote called "The Discolouration". It's about mental illness and stuff. Beware: it's kinda scary. But only a little bit.
Diprose is normal. Diprose is sweet. Diprose is a real sweetheart, darling. Yesterday, Diprose ate a small apple. He felt good about that day. Argumentative, even. Was that a change? Did that feel normal, George? Did that feel the way that you thought it would feel, George? But no matter. Diprose went and ate two slices of peanut-buttered bread all by himself. No force required. It was a cinch! You wouldn't even know he was a killer, from the way he behaved now. Of course he was on his meds. Everyone had to be on meds in the hospital. I thought he might have been dangerous, I thought he might have been insane past his brain. If you mind the idiom, George. But he seemed perfectly fine, perfectly fine indeed. They gave him a half-blue, half-white pill for breakfast. They gave him a half-red, half-orange pill for lunch. And they gave him a fully gray pill for dinner. I observed the doctors taking their measures precisely, putting just the right amount of this drug in one pill, and just the right amount of that drug in the other pill. They used a machine to compress the powder into a small semi-plastic casing, which was coloured uniquely to differentiate the variety of pills from each other. I would imagine if there was any mistake, even a small one, that there would be dire consequences for everyone involved. The entire procedure was blatantly clinical: from the puke-green rubber gloves, to the pristine white lab coats; from the plastic goggles with the black straps, to the carefully polished shoes. It would take a certain personality to be able to do this kind of job. I certainly don't think I could handle dealing with these deranged maniacs, with their multiple personality disorders and psychopathic behaviours. I mean, sure, they're on the meds, but that doesn't suppress the whole thing. Even with the meds in their systems, they may still have the desire, however small, to keep trying to find something that will make them feel. That action that will make them feel anything. Experienced doctors say that a lot of murderers in the state area are mentally ill. They send them to this hospital, Thompson Mental Centre. It's a mental hospital, and it holds people who are sick, George. Sick in the head. Doctors drug them up, to pacify them enough to manage them - it's a very controlled process. First they give the patients their meds in the morning, wait for them to kick in, and then about half an hour later, they'll open the doors and let them wander. The patients are directed to the mess room, where they hop in line to receive their daily rationed food. I've tasted the food before - it's good, but not great. Their patients aren't slaves; they deserve a good meal. Slowly the patients will hobble to their seats, with their plates as full as they can allow. There are no second servings in the mental house. And after breakfast, there's washing to be done. The patients take turns washing their own clothes, and returning them to their rooms, where they have their own dressers. There are only single beds in the facility; no-one is allowed to share beds, for obvious reasons. The doctors treat them like human beings, but they are still dangerous. We have to remember that each of them is capable of the worst kind of crime - murder. It scares you a little, but it also makes your compassion rise. Which is a potent combination. I have watched and observed their lives for a little while now. They seem to be mostly at peace, away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday world. They are almost glad that they don't have to put up with being laughed at, or having to struggle with everyday chores. Their conditions, although various, share one common denominator – they all are uncontrollable by human will. No mental patient is there by choice, unless you count the mental injuries caused by human incidents such as car crashes or excessive drug use. In that case, they have received the consequences of their actions. After all my observations, I can say that overall they are nice people. They have manners, they speak nicely and politely, and they seem normal on most days. Again, this is while the meds haven't worn off, because they sometimes do, George. And George, this is when things get quite freaky, because they might have an epileptic fit, or they might try to attack somebody, or scream loudly. When this happens, I prefer to leave the room, because it's not nice to see. These things are never nice to see. Now I come to Diprose. Diprose is normal. Diprose is very normal. But then again, he's also different. I saw him for the first time on 17 May, 2005. He was tied up with belt-like restrictors on his wrists and ankles, on a slightly reclined surface. His eyes were rolled back in his head, and he was muttering very indistinctly. I tried my best to calm him down, but he wouldn't respond to anything I did. That was before the nurse entered the room, and told me to stop fighting him. I replied that I didn't mean to do any harm, and backed off him. It was a hard ordeal, since I felt that I knew how to control him, but he was so distant, so very far away. This incident would play on my mind for the next two and a half weeks. I fretted about visiting him again, because I wondered if he would recognize me from that day. You see, George, he was a very good-looking man. He wasn't clean-shaven; in fact, his beard was quite rugged and dirty. I wondered if the nurses had bothered to clean him up or dress him in any way, because his clothes looked worn-out and rotting. But they probably couldn't get their hands on him anyway, because he was in this rabid, uncontrollable state. They tried to feed him tomato soup, which he almost swallowed. But he had spat it out violently, and attempted to shake himself free for a few hours. By the third week the room stunk of cold, stale sweat. They had managed to get him to have half a can of tomato soup, but he wouldn't finish the rest. His body was coated with thick sweat, George. It was the most horrible thing. You would've thought they had the decency to scrub him down, but they were too afraid to even touch his slowly deteriorating body. His skin began to well up with sores, ranging from his neck to his feet. Pus seeped from his wounds; it was a truly horrid thing to experience. By Monday they had chosen to bathe him. They took him off his stand, expecting resistance, but there was none. They lowered him into the warm bath, and scrubbed him with wet towels. After removing him naked from the bath, they covered his sores with ointment, and they replaced his decrepit clothing with a fresh hospital gown. I was relieved that they had taken such care with him, but angry that it had taken them this long to do it. Oh well, at least it was done. I was glad about that part. A few days later, Diprose opened his eyes for the first time since he had entered the clinic. They were bloodshot red, and as soon as they opened, he struggled in his seat. He was securely pinned down, so I had nothing to worry about. After coating his wounds with a second dressing, it became clear to us that he was slightly placid now. They gave him his meds, and he popped them down without hesitation. At lunch he popped down another pill. At dinner he popped down another pill, more gratefully. In a few weeks he started to regain his natural colour. His nature became even more placid, and tameable. I was surprised at how humane he had become. The nurse said that he was almost ready to be released from his restrictions, but on the condition that he be placed in isolation from other members of the ward. I agreed, and sure enough, in a few more weeks, they released him from his chair. They released him from his chair, George. He was finally free to walk around the cell, albeit slowly, as if he were very dizzy. There was a slight discolour in his right leg, though. The nurses thought it was nothing. They explained that it was just due to him responding to sudden changes in his environment. Soon his leg will be used to the walking that he was experiencing, the colour of his leg will fade back to normal, and he will experience strength starting to come back in his bones. But to me, it was apparent that his leg wasn't getting any better. In fact, I could see that the colour was spreading to his left thigh. There was slight immobility to his walk, as if the discoloration was tightening the joints, restricting their rotation. It got worse over the next few days. The discolouration spread to his left thigh, as I had observed, and then decided to make its way to his left wrist. Over time, the disease spread, and in a week, everything except his neck and his shoulders was fully paralyzed. The nurses didn't know what to make of it, as he lay there paralyzed on his bed, a blank expression on his face. They had their theories, one of which involving the lack of proper air conditioning in his cell room. It was supposed to be agonizing, each of his joints feeling the pain in turn, as if the skeletal system was being twisted fiercely at regular periods in time. But he was a mute, so he couldn't even communicate his frustration except with sporadic fits that he would have from time to time. But I could see the pain in his eyes, the constant depression, and the overwhelming fear. The fear, George. It was everywhere, even in my soul. I was scared. Scared for a man that I hardly knew, yet had spent so much time with. I was beginning to wonder why I cared about him so much; he was a mental patient, and he had committed murder. I was not supposed to empathize with someone who had done such a bad thing. But nothing separated the bond between me and him, George. At 18:50, 19 June, 2005 Diprose was pronounced dead for unknown causes. Officers came, wrapped him in a black bag, and escorted him out of the premises. They took him to an autopsy chamber, and uncovered his body at precisely 20:37, 19 June, 2005. They could not prescribe the cause of his death. At his funeral, his close family and school mates were the only visitors. His family remembered his bubbly personality before the accident, and how he never remembered to properly tie his shoelaces. His school mates sung the school song that he had loved before he became ill, and they all cried together. They left briefly after this, and the cemetery was quiet, George. Quiet except the sound of my breathing. I could hear myself now. Here, where nobody could see me. Deep under six feet of cemetery soil, breathing air for the first time in 37 hours. I was finally awake, I was finally free, George. Here in this coffin I had created for myself when I had decided to make a deal with fate, and drive drunk with my six best buddies. It was for a bet. I kept speeding even though they had told me to slow down, George, slow done. We crashed in an alcove of trees, and two of them died due to my actions. But I lived, George. We both lived. You and I. And now we are bound together, as the wall that separates ourselves from the world will not quit, nor will it go away.
Jul 7 2012, 12:44 AM
I enjoyed reading "Discolouration". It flows as I would expect of a story based on the information you have above the spoiler. ^^ Good work overall, do keep writing! It's intriguing and I'm curious as to what your next story will be about.
Jul 7 2012, 04:11 AM
Thanks X-M-O! What is your feedback on the twist ending?
Jul 7 2012, 01:21 PM
Discolouration creeped me out, but in a good way. I got shihvers. The ending was pretty good too.
Jul 7 2012, 04:40 PM
Well, I didn't really see it as a twist ending, it seemed to flow naturally in that direction. Maybe it's because I'm numb to twist endings after reading so many books and watching so many films and television series. ><
Jul 30 2012, 02:42 PM
Hey guys. Decided to write a short story that probably turned into a novella as soon as I decided to add backstory to the character. It's about a man who encounters a ghost who is strangely familiar. No spoilers, I've probably already said enough.
A MAN AND HIS GHOST - CHAPTER 1 (unfinished)
“Fear is the idea that we are our bodies.” ~ CHAPTER 1 ~ Mark sat in the middle of the forest, his jeans drenched from the wet, his bones chilled from the storm, and the overwhelming scent of the forest blocking out everything but the pain. He was lost, and he knew it. Ever since he had passed that rock that he was sure he had seen the time before, he knew that he had just been going around in circles. Contrary to his fantasies, this was not the straight-line shortcut from town A to town B. And the realization was just hitting him now. Clumped over in a ball in the middle of the forest bed, a light fog had descended upon the mountainous terrain, raising the humidity to somewhat uncomfortable level. Soon he would have to get out of here, make haste, and get to the next destination. But where was that “next destination” exactly? Mephistopheles’ chambers? Was Death himself lurking around the corner, waiting to reap his thoroughly dehydrated soul? No, Mark could not have that. Dying in a place like this would only bring pity upon him by his family, donated in large doses, accompanied by cheesy speeches and all that “we missed him dearly” crap. Where were they when he had been in crisis? Where were they when he lost his wife and family when he barrelled over the edge of the June-Kerrington Bridge at XYZ kilometres per hour, intent on destroying him and everything he loved, to go down in one giant splasheroony? Playful, wasn’t it? But more sympathy was piled on, and all of sudden now he was a “widow husband” who needed “comforting” and “consolation” and all that crap. They couldn’t bring back his wife and children if they wanted to. They couldn’t reverse the stupid decision he had made, that cost him the life of his beloved and wife and children. And they were shit at “consoling” too. He picked up a tulip that was lying on the ground, slightly wilted, as if it was struggling to stay alive. There was something strange about the placing of the tulip, and how it had been lightly resting on the bed of grass, rather than actually planted in it. It was as if someone had deliberately placed the flower on the grass. Surely Mark was imagining things. That was when he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Something was behind him, watching him, a presence that he neither felt nor knew. “Who goes there?” he yelled, refusing to turn around. There was silence, but Mark imagined a quiet humming, like the sound of a TV when it’s on a channel with no sound. “Who are you, idiot? Come on, come out of your hiding place, wherever you are.” He still refused to turn around, for fear of inciting his attacker. But he knew that the man would be creeping closer, directly behind him, so that when the opportune time arose, Mark would catch him by surprise and snap his neck. Another one of his fantasies. “Come on, I know you’re here somewhere!” A gust through the trees. Well, now he couldn’t just stand there – the wind would block out the sound of his assailant’s footsteps. Quickly he turned around, shouting a battle cry, before his entire face turned pale. Mark gulped a painful lump down his throat, and fell to his knees. His eyes were wide open, gazing at the foreign presence, his pupils dilated, his skin feeling the starting of a cold sweat. It was a ghost. A spectre, white and shimmering, with an open mouth, and black holes for eyes. It stood – no, floated – inches above the floor, staring at Mark relentlessly, as if it was searching his soul. Mark could hardly speak. “Who are you?” he spluttered, mouth gaping at the strange presence. The ghost continued staring, not making a sound. The low humming continued, however, and Mark realized that this was the sound of a ghost in his presence. As reality hit him, he took off on his feet to run, before slipping and hitting the floor. “Get away from me!” he screamed, charging off into the woods with all his might. He ran a few yards, before looking back to see that the ghost was following him. The ghost floated right through trees like they were nothing, disintegrating into a puff of smoke, and then re-materializing again, without losing pace. “I swear, if you keep following me, I will…” He wasn’t sure what he’d do, but he wanted to threaten the ghost anyway. The ghostly presence was undeterred. It followed him down the hill for what Mark thought to be a few miles, but really it was only a thousand yards. Running into a flowery clearing, he thought he had made it, when he hit a branch with his forehead with full thrust, with the metaphorical equivalent of a ton of bricks. He landed in a soft patch of flowers, holding his head in excruciating pain. The ghost just watched, floating above him like a mother silently watching a child having a tantrum. The pain turned to tears as he thought of what this ghost might do to him while he was lying down. Maybe ghost-rape him. Turn his soul inside-out and wear it as a ghost-suit. Make ghost-cupcakes out of his spiritual essence, and sell them to his ghost-friends to be devoured. They’ll all say, “Mmm, this tastes delicious”, and the ghost will say, “Yes, it’s made from pure Mark-soul”, and its friends will say, “Oh, I just love Mark-soul. The sarcasm is purely delicious. Exquisite.” As soon as Mark realized that the ghost wasn’t harvesting his soul and auctioning it off to the highest bidder, he forced himself to stop crying, as the pain his head had felt became a soft throbbing. He looked up at the spectre, staring down at him lifelessly, as if helpless to his plight. Mark once again questioned his sanity, with the notion that a friendly ghost was staring down at him trying to help him feel better. But he comforted himself, thinking maybe this was an illusion, maybe he was hallucinating from doing mushrooms or something. Of course, he hadn’t had mushrooms since he was in high school, but the thing about mushrooms is that you didn’t remember doing them, right?
Jul 30 2012, 02:58 PM
This is a curious story so far. I did enjoy it rather immensely.
I would note that when you say "his beloved and wife and children" that you probably meant to take out that first "and" so that it would read as: "his beloved wife and children". I'm anxious to read more about this gazing ghost. =D
Aug 1 2012, 02:33 PM
Hey guys. Just continuing the story that I wrote yesterday, because I see X-M-O really liked it so I guess I'd continue it
A MAN AND HIS GHOST - CHAPTER 2
~ CHAPTER 2 ~ Mark collapsed in a heap on the ground, his hands clenching at the dirt, the ghost gently looking on in genuine concern. He gasped for air, as a ton of bricks repeatedly pounded his head in synch with his heartbeat. Dizzy as anything, he tried to stand, and before falling, he groped a rock that slipped and lost his balance. Face flat on the grass, he heard himself mumble, "Leave the last cupcake for me," as he began to plummet down the hill. He was rotating, a ball of human racing down the forest slope, throat as dry as the Sahara, body bruised and heart discontent. At the bottom, he regained his balance, dazed and confused, his brain crying out for release. There in a puddle on the ground was water - sweet, sweet water - that he knelt down and gently drank from. There was a puddle a few metres from that, and then another puddle, until Mark realized he was drinking from a small pond. It was a glade of sorts, perfect habitat for a frog, or maybe a small reptile. He repeatedly brought his hand up to his mouth, but failed to cup the water in his hands. It was a ritual, the cupping of the hand to the mouth, again and again, but with no water inside. He felt the light pinch of a mosquito biting his flesh. He whacked at it with his palm, pulling it away to examine the patch of blood. Tears. These were mosquito tears. These were the tears that mosquitos cried when they died. Tears for their families, tears for dead children, tears for broken marriages. Tears of denial, blaming the spouse, mourning the loss, and dealing with the anger. The smell of a tulip, the taste of bitter water, and the circle of vultures overhead. They are going to eat you, Mark thought. They will eat your flesh alive and you won't be able to live single anymore. You hear me? There will be no life for you, nor your wife and your children. Because they died. Because you broke it off. "How can I bring them back?" They will take you and rip you apart. For all the things that you have done. They will rip your flesh to shreds and gnaw your bones like the leftovers of a roast chicken. "No!" They will stuff you with breadcrumbs and sliced apple cubes and feed you to the homeless. They will rip open your heart, tearing apart the sinews, and place it back together in the wrong order, so that you will feel nothing again. You will feel the reverse of what you feel now. "No, I hate you! Get away from me!" And you will die, Mark. You will die. Never forget that. Never forget that you will die. The ghost moved. A ghostly white hand brought up slowly from its side. Mark was watching it, as if from an armchair. Moved by its black holes for eyes, he reached out to the ghost too. The ghost and Mark brought their palms within an inch's distance. They had a connection. This ghost could help him. Help him put his thoughts back together. They fit together like pieces in a puzzle, the edges tessellating to form a new object, married together in a twist of fate. But in a flurry of fear, Mark snatched his hand away. Anxiety filled his heart, and his head was turned down. His skin was turned inside out, and his bowels removed. He lay floating in space, in some kind of space continuum. The ghost looked at him from Mars. Follow me to Mars, the ghost said. Follow me to the place where you can see the dead. I am one of them, and you will be too one day. Why not now? Why not here? Why not us. Mark woke up in a cold sweat. The fire was burning, and the ghost, ethereal, was floating alongside it, as if enjoying the warmth of the heat.Weren't ghosts supposed to not feel anything? Mark thought to himself. Why does this ghost enjoy the fire? Is it the warmth of the fire it enjoys, or is it rather the warmth of another being's company it craves? Malignant or benignant? How does one know?
Aug 1 2012, 08:24 PM
It's getting curious. =D Nice work on the visions and thoughts this guy is having.
Aug 1 2012, 10:41 PM
The plot thickens... Er-hem. Cliffhangers..Agh. Now I need to know what happens. I'm curious as to what exactly compelled Mark to drive off a road at such speeds but I suppose that'll be revealed in time, unless I missed it. Either way, it's good, I'm getting into it, can't wait for more.
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