Short story thread.

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by EmmZ, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. EmmZ It's an animal thing Registered Senior Member

    I rather enjoy a tinkle on the keyboard, so I thought a short story thread might be in order. Please offer your critisisms or comments to mine and please feel free to post your own creative literature.

    Foetal Imprisonment

    I am plugged into the machine. Can you hear me? I have been living all my life inside a cocoon I had no idea I was in this corpsen shell. I head the clamouring outside but the dark, ebony waters dulled the noise. I could think, but I was trapped, which no amount of thumping could free me from this prison.

    Days, weeks, months had gone by now. How long would I have to wait? Who would come and help me escape? Holy shit if I could just breathe! SOMEONE LET ME OUT OF HERE! but still nothing. Why do they laugh everytime I try to push my way out? Oh shit...

    The walls are caving in. She, the walls are caving in. What the fuck am I going to do. The walls made of flesh, like an acid burned alien and filled with rotted fluid. Where am I anyway, how did I get here? I can't remember... I can't remember where I was before this hellish prison appeared.

    Here it comes, I can here it coming. At the same time every day pulped food enters my body through a tube, I think they put that in me when I was unconscious, or wherever the hell I was before I got here. Wherever the fuck I was I must have done something terrible. Maybe I killed someone. Maybe I killed a newborn child or fought in a war and speared some guy because I was seriously pissed off.

    I'm going to die in here. I'm going to die. The walls, they're caving in, they're coming in around me. God I really, really don't want to die in here. Oh no, NO God no, what the fuck is happening. The walls, the walls! SHIIIIT I'm out, fucking thank fuck I'm out! Waaaaaaaah!

    Fuck, I can't speak. I can't talk any more. I can't talk, why can't I talk? The fluid's damaged my cornea I think. My senses seem dulled. I think they let me out but I'm not sure what the fuck they're going to do to me. The laughing, the incessant laughing.

    After a few days my body stops aching. I think the fuckers wrapped me in dough or some shit. I think they gave me narcotics, I can't move properly. I must have been in that fucking prison for ages.

    Okay, my eyesight seems to be returning, I can hear a little more clearly. I can grab at things, I can hold onto a huge finge... shit, I'm a baby. I a goddamn motherfucking baby man. How the fuck did that happen? Wow! It's like I... I... wait, hang on a second. Fuck, that means that every time I die I'm actually... What was I saying. Oh yeah, I... What...


    E. Pulman©2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2010
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  3. kenworth dude...**** it,lets go bowling Registered Senior Member

    You stare at the screen blinking in front of you.
    It doesn’t stare back.
    It blinks.
    You don’t.
    5 hours until it’s over; you think.
    You know; you know without doubt that this changes things. As your fingers hover over the keyboard, searching for the beginning to the letter that has changed everything you stop worrying and start panicking. Your eyes flit away from the screen, the only source of light in the room, and take in what’s left of your possessions. Light stumbles to the edge of an empty wardrobe, then fails.
    The cup/ashtray has a bouquet of cigarettes sprouting from the top and the shadow cast from it falls over your last attempt at the letter; a mass of hieroglyphs and scribbled corrections….definitely made the right decision to switch to writing on a computer… more fuck ups. It has to be tonight.

    You tell yourself not to lose my plot, not to loose all the details too quickly.

    Suspended over the last 30 minutes you wonder what else has been happening in the house next door.
    None of my fucking business.
    The crack in the wall yawns. Only 3 inches of plaster separating you from…well…none of your fucking business. But, you think, what if something DID happen, isn’t it your duty to intervene?..<
    You lean a little bit closer to the crack, listening for a chance. Your mind wanders and you break through the wall just in time. Everyone’s hero.
    There is a crash; you sit upright…none of my fucking business.

    He sits there silently. Impassively waiting for his chance to interject but you won’t give it to him. You know that once he’s had his say the fun will be over and there will be no chance to get back to... well... your story. Logic has a way of ruining things. The best things.
    So there you are, either way you lose. There is a third way out but that isn’t working at the moment; the letter remains unwritten in front of you. Pixels screaming to be used; fingers hungry.
    Silence envelops you, holds you tight, you have already stopped every clock in the house to stop the ticking that drives you mad. You start to think that the silence is worse. The pulsing in your head as regular as the hand of a clock marks time passing without development. It’s not even the letter that is the problem, its how to start. The first word is key. Too short and it seems as if no thought has gone into it, too long and it seems verbose, arrogant, deceitful, disgusting.
    You settle on “you” and then immediately delete it, only 3 letters, no good. Plus no one uses “you” to start a letter, far too direct. Like an overbearing middle manager.
    The silence is broken by your neighbour turning on the television; you look through your window to see his silhouette settling. Even through the layers of curtain you can see his protrudence, his violent interruption. Doesn’t he know how important this is?~! You’ve talked to him about it before, you remember that much.
    Maybe he forgot, the little things don’t seem to matter that much to everyone else, it’s only you that gets this …… FUCK HIM, you raise yourself half out of your seat your fingers gripped tightly around the arm rests before you catch yourself. You’re pretty sure that such a minor offence doesn’t deserve major retribution, pretty but not completely. Mental note made against future offences you turn your attention back to the screen. Fuck.
    Coffee will help you think, you rise out of the chair, the whisky you had to help you relax announces itself and you sit back down. Regroup and then try again. Success. You know exactly what to you want to do but your legs are fucking around, stairs could be tricky. You step out into the corridor and the ghosts of your housemates flash past. Rebecca on her way to work rushing down the hall toothbrush in her mouth half dressed in a white slip that gave you nightmares that tortured you until you began to torture her. Bye bye Rebecca.
    Jason walking down the corridor on his way to his next pickup, stopping to ask you if you want any, pushing his hair out of his face nervously. Even though you’d known each other for 6 months he still half expected a DEA agent to burst out of your skin. The death sentence for buying a couple of ounces a week and watching Disney movies. He’d moved to Nottingham for a course a few months ago. Then after that, nothing. Just you. And for a while it worked, good even.
    You snap back to the problem at hand. To a sober person stairs don’t present any kind of a problem but to a drunk….a slightly paranoid life loving, death fearing drunk….a plan is needed.
    You settle on a backward crawl down the stairs, not dignified but necessary. The worst that could happen is you will knock a couple of teeth out and maybe get carpet burn rather than lying alone with a broken back and legs for three days until someone heard your shouting.
    You reach the bottom and a feeling of ill deserved triumph rushes through you, people usually only get this kind of euphoria at the top of the mountain or after earning their first million. You try to decide whether this is a good thing or not then decide you don’t care.
    You stumble into the kitchen, the lino sticks to your feet.
    The plates in the sink stare at you. Not today though, their unwashed judgment will have to wait until you have less important things on your mind.

    You know but you acting like you don’t know.

    Nononono, plates don’t rap, and even if they did it would be darker. His plates would have a story of endless abuse and neglect to tell; Used then left to stew in their own mess until their next turn on the sordid rotation arrived. Clean for 5 minutes and then their cycle starts again.
    If the objects you owned were people or if this were beauty and the beast they would have either killed you or run away long ago.
    Apathy isn’t good for developing relationships with objects.
    Your lighter would have a begrudging fondness for you and maybe your favourite hat would have a certain warmth toward you but other than that you are the plantation owner. They will let you use them for their function but if they could they’d rise and take over in an orgy of dishwashing and general care.
    You open the cupboard door quickly, unwilling to admit even to yourself that you are half worried the unused spices will attack you.
    Instant coffee made, you think about the journey back upstairs, up drunk is easier than down drunk but still.
    The coffee in your hand you ascend. Go up. That’s it. Each step on the worn beige carpet seems to take an age but you get to the top.
    The net curtains at the top stir in the wind, you don’t remember leaving the window open. Terror seizes you.

    The window closed and all terror averted you move back to your sanctuary and close the door. No curtain twitching here just shadows. No real light just half-light, mistrust.
    The unreal glare of the screen grips you, once you are locked into that tractor beam of light nothing outside of it matters, but the moments before are the only times you feel lonely in the house you have turned into a mausoleum.
    As cavemen around a fire, the screen is your security; as long as you look at it the shadows behind can't touch you.
    The sounds of cars strobe through the room, mixing with the light to form a tangible thickness.
    Briefly you dwell on the people driving by, what kind of people drive at 2am, normal people?

    He knows the answers to these questions beyond the paranoid speculation you discharge but he never shares.
    You suspect it’s because he assumes, correctly, that you would not believe the simplicity of the answers.

    A high pitched whirr, a moped, a teenager going home after a night- where?- in a park drinking cider, going home to the tractor beam in his living room, parent sedated on the sofa, creeps up the discoloured stairs strewn with remnants of meals eaten alone in his room.
    A purr, a saloon, a man driving home from –where?-………..what was he doing? – he’s nervous, fingers searching the steering wheel for a grip that comforts him, he exhales purposefully, he checks the seat next to him for…

    You need to stop.

    You take a sip of the coffee and light a cigarette without taking your eyes off of the screen.


    Your eyes narrow as you inhale, the contest between you and the screen has reached stalemate.
    You take another sip and steel yourself for action, the stalemate has to be broken so you decide to go to the shop to give yourself and it time to cool down, too much tension kills productivity.

    He audibly sighs, a sound between resignation, disappointment, and sympathy. He knows there is no point in saying anything, you are beyond judgment.

    The fact that he doesn’t even bother sends a pulse of shame deeper than anything you’ve felt through your body.
    You start to justify yourself and then stop, pick up your coat and leave.

    Outside you exhale deeply and a cloud of smoke tainted condensation escapes. Images scroll through your mind of yourself as a child pretending to smoke using the condensation. As with all childhood memories they are sepia and limited to four happy seconds, that’s where it started and now, well, rhythm is a dancer.

    Walking quickly you soon reach the shop, it seems the beam has attracted other stragglers, you shuffle into the pool of light in front occupied by a can of Red Stripe attached to an unbranded man, his gaunt stubble pocked frame covered in Adidas.
    As you enter the shop you glance up and catch the CCTV camera staring at you, it doesn’t look away though you hold eye contact.
    Its quizzical, amused gaze stays with you as you amble around the shop.

    It’s only as you start down the second aisle that you realize there is nothing you need or want but by then the shopkeeper has noted your presence, as have the main camera’s offspring. The chicks are strewn through the shop, covering all angles. Under pressure you pick up a can of Red Stripe and head for the counter.


    As you walk away you exhale deeply, the condensation scatters, floating shimmering through the air towards the street lamp, as you pass the lamp you turn to follow its path. The Red Stripe carrier notices you watching your breathe escape and smiles, you return an embarrassed smile as you turn back to the path.

    The cold in your lungs revives you, you inhale deeply.

    You look down at the footpath and notice the imprints of others, trails left behind. On the frost covered cars there are handprints, you drag your fingers along the doors letting your fingers explore the voids. As you approach your house you see the glare of the computer radiating from the window, his shadow looms large. Without breaking stride, you pass.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2010
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I went to the edge of the cliff where I jumped off and died!

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    The end:shrug:
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    This is good stuff! Since this thread will undoubtedly be scrutinized by agents looking for the next best-selling author, I proofread the posts and corrected a few typos.

    Ken, I capitalized "Red Stripe" since it's a trademark. If you meant to leave it in lower case as a metaphor, feel free to change it back. If your time limit for editing has passed, PM me and I'll do it.
  8. kenworth dude...**** it,lets go bowling Registered Senior Member

    nono,thats fine..bit weird,but fine

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  9. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Er, if you can tell the story in the first person then obviously dying wasn't the end...
  10. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

    I'm no literary critic but certain things turn me off a book. Typos spelling & grammar are a few. Don't take these criticisms too seriously.

    Could be seen as redundant especially since the author is inside a womb. Dark would be fine but no need for using ebony for describing what is obviously blackness. There is also a reference to a possible damaged cornea then eyesight returning. We get couldn't see.

    Rotted fluid? Decaying or disintegrating just doesn't fit when describing fluids. Perhaps souring or fermenting might have been a better choice.

    I counted the use of the word 'prison' three times, shell and cocoon once. Trapped, free me, & walls are all consistent with the incarceration theme. Too much of it and again we get it.

    I liked the story though. The ending wasn't what I expected.
  11. kenworth dude...**** it,lets go bowling Registered Senior Member

    hmm.,no book deal yet.
    how odd.

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