It’s been a while my friends, but I still lurk around the corners of the site here. School has started and brought with it a torrent of things that need attended to. However, I do not wish to speak of school, for I already have two to many of those posts and am beginning to sound redundant.
Anyway, I have taken a break from writing for a while. Not something I really decided, but I had been needing to focus on some other aspects of my life while preparing for school and working a job, so not a lot of time had been left to me. However, even though I am tremendously busy, I am starting back up on my writing. In the upcoming week, probably by next Friday or Saturday, I will be posting a short story titled, “The Nail Maker”. It’s something like Tolkien’s folk-lore type stories. It was definitely inspired by them and I will be directly influenced by the style they are written in. Any constructive criticism will be welcome and I hope it will at least be slightly entertaining. Please have a wonderful week and keep doing what you love!
Not exactly what I was promising, but my project with the game has come back up and I felt like writing this. Hopefully you enjoy this little flash fiction and take something away from it.
11:50 p.m.May 17, 1886.
He listened. Ten minutes. His heart beat to the hand of the clock…his clock.
His name? There was no longer such a thing to him. Long ago had he forgotten that silly little thing. Forgotten to his quest. What quest? Why, to live forever, to find Time and…well…there are some things that can go without being said straight out.
The night air brushed its fingers through the man’s coarse brown hair. His dark eyes took in the scene before him; an old squat shop made of brick and a roof made of wooden shingles. The windows were shuttered on either side of a solid wooden door. No light peeked through the cracks, leaving the store in complete darkness. It gave the illusion that it was vacant, but he knew that people lived in there. His experience told him so.
He shivered with glee, he could hear the ticking from where he stood on the street. His silhouette cast dancing shadows in many directions as he stood in the candle-lit street lamp’s light as if they were mimicking their owner’s feelings.The sound of a man whistling in the distance faded away, lost to the night.
The man took a look at his watch and then buried it in the pocket of his dingy leather trench-coat. 11:51 p.m. May 17 1886. He would have to act quickly.
He listened. Nine Minutes. His heart beat to the hand of the clock…his clock.
Swiftly, like a shadow, he rushed to the door of the small brick shop. He could have easily battered down the door if he had a mind, but no, that would have been too much noise and too much time that he did not have. Soon he would have it. He picked the lock in exactly two heartbeats.
Sound exploded in his ears. The hundreds of clocks within the shop ticked away the seconds. Right in time with the damnable mechanism on his wrist. They were of one mind and he cursed them all.
Closing the door behind him, he rushed upstairs. His fingers itched to wrap themselves around those ticking things and cast them to the ground. For now he had to wait. The stairs were solid as well and he was able to climb up silently, soft as a maiden’s breath. He moved methodically, checking each room for the inhabitants.
The man took another look at his watch.
11:52 p.m. May 17.
He listened. Eight more minutes. His heart beat to the hand of the clock…his clock.
The man opened the door at the end of the hall. There, inside, was another man. A time-worn face drooled quite unceremoniously into the pillow that his long, graying hair had suffered a ruffling from. No clocks dwelt here. The sleeping man must find the silence to be a sacred thing.
A knife was pulled from the man’s old dingy coat. It was long and sharp, the surface unmarred by time, use or rust. It was a sort of ritual. After each kill -yes, he had to kill them, the clock-makers- he would go and make a new blade from the pieces of clocks. Melt them, fuse them, and sharpen them. Each one an atonement for what he did here.
To kill time, he had to -must even- kill them.
The knife slid into the man’s neck without the slightest resistance. The sleeper opened his eyes and locked with the man holding the knife. They held each other’s gaze and then as if resigning, the sleeper slowly closed his eyes and went without uttering a noise, the knife left in his throat, blood spilling and collecting in the sheets of the bed.
The sleeper would be better for this. Everyone would.
The man looked at his watch again.
He listened. Seven more minutes.His heart beat to the hand of the clock…his clock.
Once downstairs again, the sounds of ticking and gonging and tweeting was deafening. Each a resonator, a counter of seconds. Constantly reminding, reminding, reminding that he was running out of time, time, time.
Rage, pure filthy rage enveloped the man. His dark eyes grew wet with tears. The absurdity, the fact that a mere object could cause him so much pain, pain, pain, pain, pain.
He shakes his head. His heart is still beating, he is still alive.
He does not need to look back down at his watch.
Listening, ooh listening. Six more minutes. His heart beat, beat, beat to the damn hand of the clock…his damn clock.
Hungry fingers, long awaiting this moment, grab the first contraption and cast it to the floor. Then the next, the next and the next. Each losing its parts, each falling to the ground. This was merely procedure now. He knew how they all worked, all counted, and how they could be stopped. Time was desperate. Some of these were harder to destroy than most, he knew that he was close to victory. He could live, would live. He laughed as he worked.
Listening, listening, that’s all he could do was listen. Five minutes, more clocks. His heart beat to the clock…his clock, the one tied to his wrist, counting away ‘till his time was to close.
More and more clocks fell victim. Silenced forever, never to tell others just how much time they had left. He would escape time, outsmart it. Time had enslaved humanity, all they could think of was just how much time they did not have.
Listening.Four more minutes.
More clocks thrown to the ground.
Two minutes left.He had even destroyed the watch that had sat on his wrist. The store was a mess with pieces of clocks lying on the floor, certainly a scene to behold. However, it was beautiful. The most beautiful thing that the man had ever experienced. Thump…
And then frowned.
His heart. It still beat…beat…beat…beat…
Time was still very much alive. He was alive, therefore time was alive.
“NO!” He shouts the word, as surely causing the silence to flee into recesses unknown as if he had poured a bucket of water over fire.
11:59 p.m. May 17, 1886.
He knew exactly when he was. His heart, his damned thumping, ticking heart. Keeping time, reminding him of just how much time was left. A single, solitary minute was left.
He fell to his knees, feeling about for something, anything. He sobbed, tears blinding him, making him curse. It was unfair. Here he was, trying so hard to help, but time would not let him. If only he had more time!
He stopped. More time. He needed…more.
“No escape.” The words barely escaped from between clenched teeth. His shaking hand furiously cleared tears from his eyes and then fell onto the hand of a clock.
Cleverly carved into the shape of a pointing finger.
He could not escape.
He glanced down at the hand, the one that pointed.
Picked up the piece.
And drove the piece into his damned, ticking,thumping, counting, laughing heart.
12:00 a.m. May 18, 1886.
He fell forward and instead of silence greeting the new coming day, or the gong from a clock, it was the passing breath of a man who only wanted to live forever. Time counted on…on…on…
The march is endless and I am caught in the current of its continuous tide. The waters fill my mouth and lungs, causing me to spit and spew what words I can in order to keep my head above the waves. Others that move through the waters do the same thing, and I can’t help but feel that it is in some way all pointless. I suppose that in the grand scheme of things, what we do matters, but it is hard to know that when you taste the salt and grime of a particularly harsh wave.
School, a word that makes people think of a multitude of things. Actual learning is not usually one of those things when thinking of the experience, though it is the reason that we go. At least, that’s what we like to tell ourselves. The point that I am trying to pass on right now is the excuse of why I haven’t been writing lately, and why I have apparently fallen off of the face of the earth.
If I were to simply state that it was school that was keeping me away from my writing, then that would be a bold faced lie. Work, television, and video games are huge culprits in this crime. I have finished my first year of college as of three weeks ago and I have been content to sit back and let my brain rot away for that small hiatus. Now, however, I’ve been itching to do productive things, and so writing has decided to take the seat in my mind once again.
Within the next couple of weeks, I’ll be settling back down into a schedule. These things of course take a bit of time, but when I do, you can expect to see Wrath and his miserable plight taking flight once more. Ideas dance with different masks, eager for me to discover who they really are. I look forward to the challenge in rigid anticipation, and Wrath will once more adorn the pages of this blog.
Farewell for now; much more frequent delights are coming soon.
I want to go ahead and apologize for the length of this post because I don’t have time to go back and edit it to a more manageable/bite-sized length. Also, because of school and work, as well as a new writing project that came up, the posts of my book will slow even further. This may be the last post for a long time until I finish school for the year and figure out a schedule for my other project. Anyway, I really hope that you enjoy this one and don’t worry, I will finish the book.
The sudden voice from behind pulled Wrath out of his reverie, tearing the old feeling out of his chest.
“What if I told you they were no longer here?”
Wrath turned slowly, trying to keep from exploding at the man in front of his family.
“I beg your pardon?” A nasty smile spread slowly over his features.
The man repeated himself without a skip, “What if I told you they were no longer here?”
“I still don’t understand your meaning.” Wrath felt his anger flair back up, warming his stomach and quickening his breath.
“Just look.” The man gestured.
Wrath did not want to, but he felt the glow in his stomach turn cold and become a dull throb. Slowly he turned back, trying to keep the smile on his face.
His smile turned into a snarl when he turned. Nothing. He saw nothing! His family had disappeared!
Wrath whipped back around and lashed out at where the man stood. He curled his fingers ever so slightly to make an imitation of a claw, ready to gouge the man’s eyes out. But instead of feeling skin gather under his nails, his hand flew through thin air. That did not stop Wrath’s attack, however, and instead he carried on his momentum and swung his sword with the other hand in an attempt to severe the neck of the man. Still, Wrath felt no impact of any sort and was forced to stop in shock, not quite sure what was happening. The man stood calmly, smiling and holding his hands behind his back.
“Oh this is fun! I knew I had picked a good one!” Wrath was further surprised by a tone in the man’s voice that he thought sounded giddy with excitement. The man laughed.
“What did you do with my family?” Wrath demanded.
“What do you mean?” The man splayed his hands and shrugged his shoulders in an exaggerated manner, acting the perfect innocent.
“Where are they?” He bit off each word, making each a separate statement.
“I didn’t do anything to them, and I haven’t the slightest notion as to where they could possibly be.” The man shrugged again. “Honest!”
Wrath was not pleased and he gripped his sword even more tightly. “They were there. You and I both saw them. Heard them. Where are they?”
The man smiled and put on a face that screamed of a mock sympathy. It was infuriating.
“Where are they? Tell me or I’ll gut you right here on my floors!” Wrath’s voice was thick with hate.
“Aye? And how did that work for you just a moment ago? Honestly Wrath, what on earth do you think is going on here?” The face of mock sympathy became angry. “Don’t you see what has happened to the world out there? How can you talk of building walls for a society that no longer exists? How can you be standing here inside with your family while the society that you were suppose to help is outside tearing itself apart. Come to think of it, there is no more society, just creatures. Well, human, but more creature than not, all given into desire. What about helping them?”
Wrath stood, letting the man talk, still not trusting, but becoming confused once again. How did this man know about the argument that he and Randyl had? What did he mean by society being ruined? He obviously still had a home here, with his family. The man continued.
“This society has been long dead. You are the last. You and I, actually. Leave behind these fantasies and I can give you real death. Real peace. An end. No longer will memories like this haunt you. Don’t you want that? You told me earlier that you did. Would you give it up for something as feeble as memories like this?” The man stopped speaking, giving Wrath a chance to answer.
Wrath thought. And instead of the calm that the man was no doubt expecting of Wrath, he instead felt his anger coming back in waves.
“How can you say that? How can you say that my family is not important, that everyone I used to know is now dead? I’m trying my best to stay alive, to make a bad situation into a good one. I know that there are monsters out there, but I refuse to believe that everyone is dead. I talked with Randyl. We are still working on the wall. Just a part of the city was invaded by the creatures that walked the forest around the city and we were working on that!” Wrath fought tears. “How can you say any of this?”
“Memories, Wrath. That’s all these are. The wall was left unfinished hundreds of years ago. Your society is no longer there and those people that you talk to? You are imagining them.”
“How can you say that?” Wrath was shouting now, tears streamed down his face.
“Wrath.” The man tried to get his attention, but Wrath was not listening. All the pain, frustration, fear and helplessness that he had been feeling for years was suddenly becoming too much for him. His breath became short and his vision faded. There was nothing fair in this world left. Everything was being taken away from him, and there was nothing that he could do.
Then everything went dark. Time passed as he tried to reason with himself, with the way that things were. Wrath felt cold again. So cold that he felt that even had he been sitting in the middle of a blazing fire could his bones be warm again. Nothing in the world could dispel the cold and deep sorrow that permeated his soul in that moment. It was all becoming too much. He wanted to die. This man promised death…but at what cost?
Still, the voice was with him; faint but ever present. “Wrath. All is not lost. You can still join your family, but you must do something. Your family has been gone for a long time. What you have been seeing was your mind coping-”
“Then why did you not leave me to my fantasy?Let me cope, don’t tear it all away.” Wrath interrupted, his voice bitter.
“Because there is a plan.” The voice said.
“I never volunteered.”
“No. But you were chosen. And I beg you to comply with your calling. There is no one else who can do what I am asking.” The voice said, pleading.
Wrath was silent for a while, then, “Convince me since I see no reason.”
“The only reason you need is my word.” The voice said, “However, if you seek more than my word, know that you would die eventually if you kept up this fairy tale that you try to live. A single person in a world of creatures that once use to be family, friends, merchants, kings, princes, paupers, writers, singers, beggars, men, women and children cannot stand alone and live. For you are alone. If you do not act, the world will plunge into oblivion. The exception is that the souls that are in the animate and dead bodies, your soul, will remain. The god that created you would leave and you would be left conscious and aware and alone.” The voice seemed to run out of reasons, but instead finished, “ If anything, I know and you have said, you do not wish that upon yourself. That is why you have fought. That is why you have not thrown yourself on your sword. I am merely pushing you along on the journey that you were suppose to do yourself.”
“Why me?” Wrath asked.
“Why? Every being has a right to self-preservation and you are a part of that plan to it. Do not ask again, push the question out of your mind. It has been asked by every being in existence, all for different reasons. Don’t ask, just do you calling. The answers will come.”
“Fine. You have convinced me, even if it is for self-preservation. I do not understand, but I am beginning to realize that understanding will not come by sitting here.” Wrath said, “I think that I am ready. I do ask, though, to not ask me to give up any memories of my family. Those are the only things that keep me from giving in.”
“I understand.” The voice said.
“I am curious, though.” Wrath began, “Do you have a name?”
“You ask for something that is never freely given.” The voice paused, “But for you, for the sake of trust, I will give it to you. It is Relance. Not my true name, but close to it. I do not give you my real name for fear that it would kill you.”
Odd though it seemed to think that a name would kill a person, Wrath thought that he could understand why Relance would say such a thing. A feeling of immense ecstasy shook his limbs, making him shudder violently. In a flash, it disappeared. The feeling lasting only as long as it took for the name to pass over the tongue. Had a true name been spoken, Wrath would surely quit existence.
“Relance.” Wrath whispered, musing, again feeling the warm shudder, though his tongue seemed unable to say the name with sufficient grace and power, thus making the effect weaker.
The dark that shadowed Wrath’s eyes faded and Wrath saw the man’s face in front of his own. Instead of lashing out to hurt the man, Wrath only said, “Thank you.”
The man named Relance smiled.
Winter seems to have forgotten when it was suppose to arrive. Christmas was a few months ago and we finally get some real snow. The Sun will arrive on the morrow and steal this scene away, but for now, I’m going to sit inside, drink tea, study and write and generally enjoy myself. Today holds no tensions for me.
The fear that so many people struggle with, I think, is of being heard. No one wants to expose their hearts to the world to be judged and be open to the possibility of being ridiculed.
When the hard eyes of humanity is focused on one individual, the soul trembles in trepidation. The words are difficult to form, but they are released from the cage of the throat and out the gates of the lips none-the-less. The voice, if not carried correctly, will be ignored and shrugged. If carried on like a breath of wind, it will be renowned and glorified. More often than not, however, the voice is ignored and the soul is left alone to its shame.
Then is born the fear to speak at all. Even if the voice is only heard by individuals who take time to look at the words that are scribbled down on a page.
Don’t be afraid. Those who don’t care don’t matter, and those who care, matter. Words can not bite their owner, only those who carry malice in their hearts.
That entry that I promised more than a month ago. Apologies, but schooling has been keeping me under its heel. That, and I purchased a new computer, so I’ve been playing with that for a bit. Enjoy and please let me know what your initial reaction is. Coming slowly but surely.
The first thought that came to Wrath’s mind, was his family’s safety. This strange man with strange powers was scary and could not be trusted. If he could duplicate objects and merge them back together and then sit on a dusty chair and leave the dust undisturbed, what else was he capable of?
Obviously the man couldn’t be trusted, that much was apparent. Those who dabbled in the dark arts should never be trusted. They were necromancers, and those who cavorted with that sort were always dead in the end. Wrath tried to think of any possible reason why this man – if man he be- would want to target his family. Money, obviously being the first reason. However, sometimes these kinds of men were after something darker. The blood of a child, a dear wife, or even the whole family. Always to worship the evil Dark. Yes, Wrath had to destroy this man. This…necromancer.
Wrath bolted out of his room with the force of a thousand stampeding horses 8, breaking a hinge on his way out. The halls were a blur, his hair flying about in his eyes. His feet stomped, not caring how much noise they produced. His family would be in the dining hall eating like they had said. Inside his chest, he felt a scream of frustration welling up and forcing its way out. Eventually it came, and it echoed off the walls and marble floor. He screamed and screamed and screamed. Madness, anger. Hundreds of years of fear was pouring out of his throat as if he were on the front lines of an army. A thousand souls outside screamed with him, sharing his frustration.
The necromancer could not kill his family, must not. They were his happiness, his joy. A scum of society, a demon, was not about to take that away. Else he would die. He would burn the city, kill his god and bring about a new kind of pain to the world if that happened.
Wrath pushed his legs harder, screaming all the louder, cursing them for not being able to go faster. The palace was too damn big!
There! The dining hall. He could hear his family laughing, oblivious to the danger that they were in. He stumbled into the dining hall and was greeted by a wonderful, if surprising, sight. Relief flooded and Wrath felt himself grow weak with it. No one was being butchered, everyone was safe. It was a sight of his family happily spending time together. Let the strange man steal his gold, his jewels. He could get those back if that was really what the man was after, it was his family that was irreplaceable. His wife was spooning pudding generously into each child’s bowl. All were smiling and laughing, and a fire burned merrily in the enormous hearth. Servants stood by the doors, straight faces all with laughter flowing in their eyes.
Yes. They were safe. All safe. No blood magic here. No one was lying on the floor with their throat slashed open like some goat.
Wrath watched them. A smile spread on his lips. Happiness, yes. This was why he continued to dwell. Did not turn to the madness that lurked in the streets of the city. Did not give himself up.
A while passed. Maybe even days, again, time here did not matter very much. Wrath thought of it as both blessing and curse. The children played, their mother bouncing their youngest on her knee and singing over and over to the giggling child:
Come sweet Mocking Jay.
Do not be shy.
We want to see thou play
And listen to thee sing to the sky.
Come sweet Laustic.
Do not be shy.
We wish to hear music from thine beak
Until dawn dost fly.
The child would sing the words back, often putting his hands to his face, making a beak and then laughing afterward at his own cleverness. Servants stood diligently, never blinking, but watching their masters play with enthusiasm. The hearth burned eternally, always bright, cheerful. If Wrath could ask for heaven, this would be it. Now he remembered happiness.
That, of course, being an understatement. It is bloody cold and dry! However, here in the heart of winter, I have found solace in the confines of home and school. At home, I sit by a cheery fire burning in the fireplace or at my writing desk, wrapped in my sweatpants and sweatshirt, working with a mug of coffee by my side. It’s the kind of weather that has inspired poets and writers through the ages of whom all have written of their pleasure near a similar source of warmth in the harsh grip of a tantrum that nature calls winter. Melancholy is a great motivator for inspiration, a way of stimulating the mind and calling forth words that have proven useful for writers of all fields and degrees of age. This day is no different in everything but time; it is the same day that many writers have poured their heart’s blood on the page to express what lies within. That, however, is not what I am going to be speaking of today. This is going to be more of an arrangement of thoughts and new and old situations that have come upon me and demanded my life’s attention.
My studies are going well, though they demand most of my time, and so hopefully my absence here has not been noted too much. I still wish to share experiences and thoughts, as well as things that I write (a number of which I have not posted) as I grow further along in my future. So don’t fret in regard to that! More writing is to come, and this blog will become more than a simple diary.
My job at the bookstore remains ever a pleasure and I think that I have found a niche in the routine of the clockwork of the store. Being a book person, helping book people, talking of books with book lovers, is a constant joy and one that I wish to continue here in the future.
However, there are a few things that I am praying about to which I would greatly appreciate similar responses concerning my education and future career. Some things may be changing, though at the moment, they will remain unspoken of.
So, here in the warmth of my college hall, as I am typing this, waiting for another class to begin, another instruction to receive to further my knowledge, I am going to end this post. I will post the next part of Shattered here in the next few days. It will be the first part of chapter 3, though I have already started the fifth chapter. Perhaps it will be of some delight to you all! Have a wonderful day and don’t let Jack Frost take off with any bits of your ears or rosy nose.
I just received a little notification from WordPress telling me that I have had this blog for exactly a year. An exciting prospect, but it is also a little surprising considering that it has felt much longer. Going back and looking at some of my posts from the previous year, I have come to realize that I have changed a lot. When this blog started I was still writing the first draft of my book, finishing High School, quitting a job that I hated and getting hired at one that I absolutely love, graduating High School, making new friends, starting my second draft, starting college, and now that I am coming round for a new year, I am going into my second semester of College and all in the span of one year. It’s incredible how much has happened within that year, and I can’t wait for the next one.
Now, I am not wanting this to become one of those cliched posts where I try to say something insightful or meaningful -be that my intent or not- but I still can’t help but feel dumbfounded. I have been slowly making friends (or acquaintances if you wish to lower yourself to technicalities) here on WordPress through my blog and through the blogs of others and the whole process has been very gratifying. Seeing other people with the same kind of mentality that I myself hold is very exciting and encouraging. I love writing, as many of you know, and my dream of becoming an author has not died yet. So, to meet other writers and dreamers, albeit in a digital way, has been so very incredible in fueling my dream. I just want to thank all of you for the wonderful year that you have brought me.
To another one then!