NikNaks' Fiction Fun
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May 31st, 2010 (4:43 AM). Edited June 2nd, 2010 by NikNaks.
Join Date: Jun 2009
Is having a thread of random writing snippets alright? I'm not writing a story, but I'd like to get some feedback on shorter pieces on varied subjects. If not, where do I go?
Anyway, enough chit-chat. A description of a city. It's a little grim. You have been warned.
Noise. All around you a constant barrage of sound beating on your eardrums. A symphony of a city that's always busy and alive. Blaring horns and warbling market sellers combined in one aural vibration. It's impenetrable, yet wonderful. A disorientating mess that leaves you in awe of man's power. Even at night, the cars still growl, machines still hum and the indigenous population communicate through constantly evolving speech. A modern marvel. The pinnacle of our age.
At least it was. It's quiet now. Some say it's just asleep for a while. It'll wake up soon. But I doubt it. The market choir no longer sings its fruit and veg. Cars lie dormant in the streets, their drivers long since gone. Machines just sit there, waiting for that switch to bring them back to life. It's just an echo now.
Now it's the smell that hits you first. A stench that knocks you back a hundred yards, of putrefying flesh, both man and beast. Fifty million kindred souls destroyed in an instant, but their bodies lie and rot and stink. Your nostrils flare as if you're inhaling death itself. But we're used to that by now. It's just the same wherever you go. There's no escape.
Some say we're the lucky ones. The Chosen Ones. We're the ones who can redeem us. Bulls***. We're the ones who get to die slowly and painfully, dredging through filth. I'd rather have gone quickly. Like the rest of them. Not wandering around in this hell-hole.
I used to live in the suburbs. Green grass and trees as far as the eye can see. It's calmer there. No bankers scurrying to the office. No traffic pounding on your skull. It was beautiful. On a clear day, you could see the tower. Majestic and proud. A real icon.
It's still green, of course. The verdant fungus growing everywhere ensures that. But there's no blossom in the spring, no flowers in he summer, no crunching leaves in the autumn. The only things that crunch now are bodies: fragile bones of a forgotten husband; a mother's delicate hand; a child's head.
I should be depressed right now. I've probably just gone mad like you. To think that that shop there was a café once. Oh, they did wonderful cakes. Cream that just oozed out of sponge; jam that tasted as if it had been made of Eden's fruit; and the finest tea in the world. You could taste it streets away: mouth watered at the end of the road. It's a culinary marvel. And it's next door to the launderette, so you can always hear the whirring. Constantly churning Mrs Miggins' bloomers. Always turning.
I miss the noise. It excludes you and yet it envelops you. It's the sound of life. Of industry. Of normality. But it's just an echo now. Just an echo.
He sat, vigorously rubbing his temples. His eyes widened and he started to write furiously on yet another sheet of paper. Holding it up to the light, the grin faded. Soon, the crumpled paper was flying towards the bin which was already overflowing. He put his face into his hands. Letting out a sigh, he blinked as his eyes began to succumb to sleep.
As the dawn was beginning to break through the blinds, orange-red light bathed the room. The mahogany desk stood proudly in the middle of the floor, the chair and its occupant sitting alongside. A taffeta rug, slightly worn at the edges, covered the floorboards, paper strewn across it. Despite the room's lavish furnishing, the walls themselves were bare and cold, the plaster peeling away slightly at the corners.
The light from outside became brighter, and it caught the nib of the pen, still wet with ink. Only one leaf of paper was left alongside it, with the startings of another poem left without any real definition.
He could see Persia again. The sand around him was an unusual shade of orange, almost red. He was sweating badly in the heat. Walking down the dusty streets, he passed many street vendors, occasionally stopping to look at one, but not to touch it: the Persians linked touch to sale. After what seemed like no time at all, he had arrived at the very edge of the market. He had the distinct feeling he had been here before, but couldn't think why. After all, he had only arrived a week ago. With his wife on his arm, he spotted a beautiful rug. He thought it was taffeta, but couldn't be sure. He tried to ask her if she wanted it, but with the hustle and bustle of a busy market, the best he could do was gesture wildly. She seemed to understand, and smiled.
They walked away, content with their afternoon's shopping. With a long evening ahead, they decided to take a walk around town, taking in the rich culture that surrounded them. The sun setting behind them, they hurried back towards their hotel, taking shortcuts where they could. As they rounded a corner, a dark figure moved in front of them.
His eyes were caught by the rays of light, and he blinked. Had he been knocked out? His blurred vision could still make out the reddish sand around him, but the room was cold. Wiping the sleep from his eyes, he could see a window, and plastered walls. With a groan, he realised that he was still at his writing desk, and another night had passed without success. He stood up unsteadily and stumbled towards the door. He sat, still groggy, and ate his breakfast.
As it happened again and again, he greyed more and more, his demeanour declining. Some nights, he could barely sleep at all, which didn't help his writing. He thought he had got over the loss of his wife at that market, but the memories had recently come flooding back. He tried to block them out: he threw the rug away; he put away her photograph on his writing desk. But it didn't work. He was powerless. He was drifting.
For days, he roamed the house in a rage, smashing things with his fists. He destroyed many of his prized possessions, like a framed copy of his greatest work. He even smashed windows. Worried neighbours called in to see what was wrong but were driven away by the seething figure in the doorway. Without eating, his figure quickly became frail and thin.
He rocked gently from side to side, holding his knees to his chin. His eyes stared blankly at the opposite wall, completely oblivious to anything.
He’s still staring, I imagine. That was how I found him, one cold evening. And that was how he was buried. His pale, clammy flesh was in stark contrast to his blazing eyes. I tried to wake him, but it was no use. He was already long gone. I just wish I’d been able to see him when he was alive, just once. After all, he was my father.
So, there you go. Any comments at all? Anyone want to request a description (not that I'm lacking ideas or anything)?
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