Well, school is going really well. I'm really serious about trying to become a better writer, so I've decided to post a couple of the things I've written for class. I'm terrified of showing other people my writing, which is the main reason I'm going to do this, but I would also really like some feedback. Please don't be afraid to post what you think, even if it's to say that I'm an r-tard. So here we go.
This first piece is a very short short story. Our assignment was to write a piece using supernatural characters or circumstances, and if possible that has a moral. I don't think mine has a moral; possibly something about perspective, but you can make the call.
The mob surrounding me chanted with primal zeal, and Aristotle Nance prayed for my soul. The preacher was a giant of a man; easily over six and a half feet tall with a snowy white moustache and a matching mop of shaggy hair covering his oversized head. He looked the way Mark Twain would look if his skin had been removed and stretched over a new frame, much too large. His suit was white. His shirt was white. His hat and tie were white. Everything down to his albino Alligator skin boots was the same empty hue. His smile disturbed me. It was calculating and presumptuous. I could see the insanity hiding behind it, and I was afraid. And he didn’t just smile at me. It was like he was smiling through me. Its arrogance made it penetrating. His teeth were stark white and perfectly aligned, and his perpetually growing smile was a glowing crescent in a void of leathery, over-exposed skin. I wondered if his smile hadn't been stapled onto his face by God himself.
The floor on which I lay was stone cold and full of cracks and craters from years of industrial use, and the sadistic looking metal door directly in front of me groaned in resistance against the thunderstorm raging outside. Lightening illuminated the greasy windows on the north side of the room coating the mass of hooded strangers with a bright blue glow. The light inside the room was dim at best save for the lightening, and the air smelled of mold and rotten fish and blood – my blood.
I had been undressed save for my boxer shorts, and the silver threaded rope that bound me about my neck, torso, wrists and ankles cut into my pale skin as easily as a scalpel. I had never been tied up before. It was terrifying. Every instinct I had told me to struggle until I was able to free myself, but the more I squirmed, the more it hurt; the more I moved, the more I bled. My body reeled with disgust and my chest burned with bright white pain as I coughed, blood spraying the inside of my mouth. The wide tape sealing my lips shut prevented me from spitting it out, and I was forced to swallow it back down. They had beaten me quite severely. They had beaten me while I lay tied and gagged, and I had never known emotion as strong as the fear and hate that blazed unchecked in my soul like a mid-summer wild fire. I looked at the faces around me, but recognized none, and my bare chest rose and fell with heavy, panicked breaths. The chanting was maddening, and it burned itself into my mind like a brand.
“Ashes to Ashes! Dust to Dust! Kill the boy! You must! You must!
“An eye for an eye! A tooth for a tooth! So sayeth we with provident truth!”
Burns covered my arms and legs, still fresh and pulsing, and I let loose a muffled scream as one of the Preacher’s disciples hammered me with a handful of salt. The pain made me want to twist myself inside out to get away from my own skin. Aristotle Nance raised his hand to the fevered crowd, and they were instantly silent as he began to speak.
“The beast, through stealth and deceit, comes to us in many forms. Look at this boy! He is battered and burned and nearly broken! And we will break him, yet. Do not be fooled, friends, by his youthful form or the warmth of his eyes. Nor be swayed by the burns on his back or the pain in his screams. Evil lives inside this child, be sure.”
Monosyllabic reports of approval and agreement sounded through the crowd, and the Preacher kneeled down to whisper in my ear.
“Sorry it’s gotta be this way, kid,” the Preacher said with a lilt in his voice that could only be taken for amusement. “I mean, we’re all victims, right? And I don’t have time to sift through the flocks and pick out the innocents. The end is quite nigh, and I have much work to do.”
The voice of my twice dead father spoke harshly inside my head, mocking the chanting crowd.
Ashes to Ashes! Dust to Dust! Kill the priest! You must! You must!
The Preacher reached into his deep coat pocket and removed a silver crucifix and a spike of light sanded beech wood. He began chanting in Latin.
An eye for an eye! A tooth for a tooth! It’s you or him, buddy, and that’s God’s honest truth.
I screamed as I rolled away from the Preacher with all the force I could muster, but he placed the silver crucifix flatly and purposefully on my forehead. My world flashed white with searing pain, and I buckled under the weight of his incantations. And his smile was positively Cheshire. He plunged the beech wood spike into my cold, still heart, and I died.
The next piece was from an assignment to write about a dream or some other surreal subject matter. The dream I wrote about was a very short but very memorable dream I had last year when I fell asleep during the 4th or 5th hour of a twin peaks marathon. It's divided into three sections, obviously, and it doesn't really follow any type of standard form. I'm too lazy for that shit. You may like it. You may hate it. Let me know.
What were they talking about?
Jazz and… vodka? No not jazz and vodka.
Jazz and… weed? Heh! Probably at some point.
Jazz and… something naughty. Definitely something naughty.
Jazz and sex maybe? No no no. Definitely not jazz and sex.
Jazz and… something bad, something twisted, something immoral. Something ungodly.
Jazz and… murder? That was it. Damn.
And something by Poe. He always brings Poe into it.
Deep into that darkness peering
Long I stood there wondering
I can never remember that last bit.
And some Floyd. He simply can’t resist adding some Floyd.
Theory & Distraction
The old lady had come undone, no longer a woman but a mountain cut down by time and rain; a revered and mystic place where the natives did not go. Her gnarled, mahogany shell trembled as she raised her twisted hands to the moon-soaked summer sky, and her voice existed like thunder and lightning, resonant and bright and terrible.
“Chile! Chile! You cayn’t see heaven fo da stars!”
My head spun, and starlight filled my smoky eyes as the sweet, dirty jazz wafted from everywhere seizing my mind like a siren song. It teased my memory, like a new mutation of something that’s only vaguely familiar. But the dead girl under the Willow danced just the same, and I could not bring myself to care.
“Step back, boy!” the old lady bellowed, and she cackled as I paid her no attention. “Step back, boy, and you’ll see!”
The dead girl folded herself to the almost-Clifford-Brown. She bent backwards to the could-be-Bird, and even the dragonflies were captivated, hovering motionless in the boiling air.
“Wake up, dude!” the skeegy hippie hissed into my ear. My body recoiled, startled, and my glasses slipped off of my face and onto my lap. I glared at my roommate standing over me smiling, the bright colors of his Grateful Dead t-shirt burning my sleepy eyes.
“Man, why did you wake me up? I was having the craziest dream,” I yawned.
“A dream?” he asked in his stoned, oh-so-east-coast anti-drawl. “Dude, what IS a dream? What IS reality?”
Oh, Jesus Christ, here we go.
“You know what Poe says?” he asked excitedly.
“What,” I said deliberately enough to be rude, trying not to roll my eyes.
“Everything we see and seem…”
All you touch and all you see…
“Is but a dream within a dream…”
Is all your stupid little life will ever ever be.
I looked at him with obvious contempt and laughed.
So anyway, that's the shit I've been doing. It's not much, but I spent some time on both of those. Please don't hesitate to post and tell me what you think. All comments are welcome. Everyone have a great day!