Monthly Archives: September 2011

Light Shines Through the Cracks of Darkness

My Indie Ink Challenge this week comes from Niqui. The challenge:

Violin music in the dark

This weeks challenge was really hard for me to get done. Not so much because of the prompt (though it did give me some trouble) but because I’m working 50 hour weeks right now and it’s been really hard to find time to sit and write. Anyways, I managed to get enough time to lock myself in my office and come up with this story. I hope you like it.

My challenge actually went to Niqui as well. You can read the response to my prompt, “Falling from a mountain of broken bodies,” here.

Enjoy!

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A set of headlights trails behind me way too close and blinds me through the mirror. I always have an inner debate with myself about whether or not I should just slam on the breaks with both my feet and teach that tailgater a lesson. I have never been in a car crash, I wonder what it feels like.

I can never bring myself to actually do it. What a shame; it would make the night much more interesting. No matter, the car has already passed me and driven into the nighttime oblivion.

There. Over there. In that house I just passed to the left, are two lovers embracing. The moon is full, and its light shines through vertical cracks of closed curtains. It creates bars of moonlight and darkness. It is exceedingly beautiful; as the man looks into his lovers eyes, through the bars, he finds himself trapped in a prison of beauty.

I know this because I have seen it. I have looked through the walls. I can see Everything.

Unfortunately, what the man does not know is that the woman- in about three hours time- is going to smother the man to death with a pillow. She’s been sleeping with his best friend. She is in love with him. And the two decided that the only way that they could be together is if they took the man out of the picture. As it were.

It sounds like the plot of a lazy soap opera, I know. But you would be surprised by how often real life emulates TV. Not vice versa, though. It has never ever been vice versa. Trust me. I can See.

The house is behind me and into oblivion now. Oh but this house. This house here up the road. It’s a sad story.

There is a boy, no more than seven or eight years old. Young, real young. He can hear the sounds of his mother and father fighting. Fighting and screaming and throwing and then fucking and moaning. This poor boy, he has had to endure the sound of it every night for as long as he can remember.

The boy, he is actually a musical genius. A prodigy; that’s the common term. His parents don’t know about it though, about his gift. See, one day as his parents were fighting he ran into the basement. He hoped that he could escape the noise. But he couldn’t.

Luckily, he found something in that basement. A violin. It belonged to his grandfather. The boy was maybe five years old. He didn’t even know what the thing was, sitting in its case collecting dust. All that he knew was that the thing made noise. Enough noise to drown out the sound of his parents.

Every night he makes the pilgrimage to the basement with a flashlight and picks up the violin. The boy has played every night since he found it. No longer is it simply about making noise. He uses the flashlight to shine a beam on sheet music- which he taught himself how to read, while teaching himself how to play- and plays beautiful music in the dark. The light is off so that his parents do not see what he is doing. He doesn’t need to worry about them hearing the music. Not ever.

I can hear the music. It is haunting. It is beautiful. The house has passed into oblivion.

Everything, I can see Everything. I can’t control it. It’s a blessing, but more so it is a curse. A fucking nightmare. You can not keep your secrets from me. When we’re introduced, I can see all of your triumphs. But I also see your Sins.

There, over there. That is my house. I stop and pull over. I get out of my car and walk to the door. I look up.

On the roof I can see Me. I am looking down to myself, looking up to myself. I am on the roof and I want to jump. I’m going to jump, head first. I don’t want to walk away from this one. Break free from this curse, this fucking curse.

No, that’s the easy way out and you’re not one for taking the easy way out, are you? No I’m not. You’re better than this, it’s a blessing too, never forget that. How so? What about that boy? From tonight? He has had it way worse, and you know what he does, he creates beauty from tragedy and you were able to see that. I guess you’re right. Good, now calm down.

I look up again and see myself. Playing the violin in the moonlight.

I can never bring myself to actually do it.

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Maybe We All Just Want to be Ghosts, in the End

Well, hey now, looks who’s back on the Indie Ink Writing Challenge!

I took some time off mainly out of pure writing exhaustion, with my reporter job kinda taking all the creative juices out of my head. Writers block sucks. But the last month or so I found myself really wanting to write some fiction again. So here I am.

My first challenge out of exile comes from Karla. The prompt:

You are given the opportunity to be invisible for one day. What do you do? How is the world different without your presence?

In retrospect, I just now realized that I forgot about the ‘one day’ part. Oops. Other than that this turned out to be really easy for me to write. I sat down at the computer with no direction, the first sentence came to my head as I was going for a walk today, as it was drizzling. Other than that I just wrote as it came to my head.

It feels good to be back. Enjoy!

You can read my prompt to Heather O. hopefully soon. Look forward to that, because I gave her a doozy:

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There, over there, in the rain you can see something. Just barely. Something vaguely humanlike, an outline. In that rain. The outline of someone or, god forbid something that should be there but isn’t. Nothing more than a ghost. A trick of the eye.

Chances are you wont even see it anyways. Will pass over it, not noticing, not looking Close Enough. Distracted by the kids, or the bills or your fears or what have you. Life. Failing to see what is right in front of your face the whole damn time. Not that it matters anyways.

Being a ghost isn’t really about being dead or the after-life or that bullshit cliché I-Need-to-Be-at-Peace-Before-I-Can-Finally-Rest crap. No, being a ghost is a hell of a lot more simple than that. A good word for it might be something along the lines of primal. Maybe. It’s really hard to define properly, is all.

Actually it’s not. Being a ghost is about one thing, and one thing only. Voyeurism. Something that we all wish for at least once in our lives. Probably a lot more than that, much more. Probably at least once a day, for most people. That desire to See but not Be Seen. To watch without being watched.

That ghost, standing in the rain, is a person. Just your regular 9-5 person. Cookie-cutter. Oh, and they’re not dead. It’s a temporary thing.

But see the thing is, anyone can become a ghost. Anyone at all. You just need to want it hard enough. To have the desire to be invisible. Not because you want to hide (you can’t become a ghost if all you want to do is hide, that’s too easy, and a little lame) but because you want to see, unrestricted. Have no fear of being caught.

We all act differently, depending on who we’re with and who we’re talking to. That’s just a basic fact of life, anybody could tell you that. It’s simple social conditioning; you simply do not act the same way with your college drinking buddies as you do with your, say, mother-in-law and they don’t act the same as they do with you in other situation.

The ghost is obsessed with this fact. To them it becomes an obsession. Being a ghost isn’t about becoming disconnected with people, it’s about connecting with them. In a way that you could never connect in a fleshy, physical and visible body.

Become a ghost and trail your lover. Don’t say anything (you can still be heard as a ghost) just Listen. Listen and Watch. See how they act, talk and behave in any and every situation. Every day. Only when you follow a person, unrestricted, will you ever be able to truly know a person. Who do you really know?

That outline in the rain, the one that you probably don’t see, even though it is starting you right in the face. That ghost has been trailing you for days. Weeks even. You don’t know it, and you can’t know it but that phantom is someone you know. Are you creeped out? Don’t be.

See, the thing is, being a ghost is about voyeurism. To see someone when they can’t see you. But it’s not about stalking. No. No stalkers can become ghosts. It doesn’t work that way. See, the ghost follows you out of love. Like, capital L, Love. They are not out to get their rocks off, there is nothing perverted in what they do. They just want to know you; to understand you, in all possible ways.

It’s a beautiful thing, to be trailed by a ghost. Because that ghost can only be a ghost to one person. You’re only given that gift when you want to Love. When you want to Love a person as completely and utterly as possible. It’s beautiful when you become a ghost to a person too. That means you are Loved by them as well.

There is this weird psychic aura between two people, or something. You can only become a ghost when you want to Love a person, but are only allowed to become one when that person wants to be Loved by you. It’s not uncommon for both to become ghosts to each other.

Soul Mates, it’s something like that.

So that shadow in the rain. Do not be afraid. Be happy, be welcoming. But most importantly. You need to Be Yourself. Completely.

Turn around, we are everywhere.

Look at that shadow, but don’t look. There is just one thing to know.

You Love and you are Loved.