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Beneath the discarded paper and false worries is a picture of you. I shift the waste paper and hurl the various manila envelopes into the air in frustration, but they flutter mockingly to the floor. Finally I get to it.

The image is confused at first. I flop down in the seat and slash at the lamp switch. The focus is blurred to begin with but I soon fix in on the solid fraction of last year. Your eyes still flatter me, your lips curl politely towards the sky.

The green and flowered backdrop flops out around you. Your body slides over the page and my hand begins to cave silently under the pressure of the image. Its silent flowing movement tears the air, my hand, now shaking uncontrollably, makes a dash for the fading image, but instantly retreats towards my side and lies effortlessly there for a second. Then after a brief recess it lifts itself back to the table and thumps the light to a halt.

Being plunged into darkness so quickly brings my mind to a stop. All the emotion and fear that had been quaking through my eyes suddenly became centred within the soft and controlled pool. But as my eyes began to shift into clarity, or some sort of similar sensual awareness that quickens the assessment of the situation, I began to feel myself falling. No. Not falling. Collapsing. Tumbling. Rolling into a spiral of frictions fractions of ideas. I was plunged deep into the dim construction of the room. Beyond the walls, beyond the boundaries of the floor and ceiling.

My eyes flick around the new space. I donít even try to discuss the structure. My thoughts are drained by the photograph that still bleeds uncontrollably beneath the surface. Immersed in the flame lit and silent atmosphere of my vile internal monologue. But for the first time under complete consciousness I realise that my monologue has split.

A duologue, then a conversation, then a debate breaks out from the calm spirit atmosphere of the vacant cell that I find myself occupying. It gets louder, more aggressive. One voice parades its idea in front of the other. Something about a boy, something about death. But itís unclear. Itís not just unclear itís veiled. Somethingís shouting over the voice, somethingís holding it to its secrecy. Another voice pounds after the previous one, arguing about a blind confusion. She seems to want me to think, want me to knowÖsomethingÖbut the voice itself is disorientated, it doesnít seem to understand or follow the original argument.

A cough. A spitting leaking, desperate cough echoes from the centre of the space. It leaps above the voices, drowning them in a repetition and monotony. A conveyer belt of noise emulates from the cough. None of it has any grounding or solidity, each sound falls over with the next ripple, giving in to the slightest challenge.

The vibrant colours of the harassing cough slowly and carefully disintegrate into a pale steady buzzing and once again I pulse through the floor, bleeding into the now fleeting scenery. And there he is. The boy the voices were pleading with. The silence beneath the course vulgarity of the disorientated argument. Suddenly the soft darkness shoots into a sharp focus. There, crouched, is the boy who never grew up.


------
Remember my friend, despite all you are, all we are, the universe will tick on, long past our departure.


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Comments

The following comments are for "Steaming and Filtering"
by Thea Veol

Thea
There are things to like and dislike about this piece.

What I liked:

You have a great sense of imagery - you want to paint vivid pictures for the reader.

I loved your last line. Great stuff.

You definately have a solid grasp of grammar and syntax, and you know how the switch things up and make sentence structure interesting.

What I didn't like:

Sometimes you went over the top with adverbs and adjectives. Here's an example...

'My thoughts are drained by the photograph that still bleeds UNCONTROLLABLY beneath the surface. Immersed in the flame lit and SILENT atmosphere of my VILE internal monologue. But for the first time under COMPLETE consciousness I realise that my monologue has split.'

These words don't really add anything to your imagery. It bleeds 'uncontrollably'? I get that, but show us how (in blotted streams that keep running?). The old 'show-not-tell' trick. Or 'vile'. Vile has double duty, because not only does it not add to the imagery, but it comes off as sounding a bit pretentious or overwrought. Think about the contexts in which you hear vile used most frequently. For me, it's in caricatures of the pompous, or similar comedic depictions.

My biggest qualm with this piece is that, while the language was great, it was too abstract and meandering to draw me in. There was no character development to make me care about the events in here, no concrete struggle in which I could immerse. It just seemed like a drawn out description, not an actual narrative or plot. Still an enjoyable read, but it could be so much more!

But that's just my take, so use what you can and then throw me out :P

Andrew

( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: June 18, 2005 )

Thanks and reply.
Indeed, your comments, especially the one about the lack of narrative, are very accurate. However, i will attempt to clarify two of the points.

First let me start by saying that I'm only 18, so my grasp of narrative and plot are very poor. however, this piece was intended to be the beginning of a larger short story (i was going to write this in a comment but forgot!). so i'm working on that at the moment, but it'll take some time.

Secondly you comment on 'Vile'. I'm from England, i guess you're American, but can't be sure, but none the less 'Vile' is a word that i would usually associate with disgust and rejection. I certainly didn't mean to come across as pompus, lol, or comedic, it was simply the word that i felt fitted the surroundings.

I take your point about my use of adjectives. again, perhaps a feeble excuse, i blame this on my age and the fact that i have read very little. So i can offer no purpose, it's simply my current inexperience.

Hope that's cleared a few things up, thank you for your comments.

Adam

( Posted by: Thea Veol [Member] On: June 18, 2005 )

Thea
I'm actually Canadian, but I agree, vernacular might be different from place to place ;) I was just giving my side of it :)

I started writing when I was 18, too. I'm 20 now, and just by writing and reading I think I've improved quite a bit. My advice, though unsolicited, is WRITE. Be consistent. And when you aren't writing, READ. In fact, I think you should read as much as possible, far more than you write. But look at me, blubbering on! LOL. Anyway, keep atter, you're a good writer already, just be daring in your own writing and unrelentless in your critiques.

See ya around!


Andrew

( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: June 18, 2005 )





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