Sunday, 1 June 2008

Let the Blog Story begin!


When I woke, I couldn’t open my eyes. They were stuck together and I had to pick at them with my broken fingernails. Pick, pick, pick, slow and patient, until they came unglued.

While I picked, I listened. I could hear the wind whining from outside the hill cabin, and the creak of snow and burdened wood. There was a heaving in my chest too, but I couldn’t hear the others’ breathing anymore and I didn’t like that. I didn’t trust it.

And the smell was still everywhere, a sharp, cold odour, like zips, like money. A whole mouthful of grubby coins. I didn’t want to swallow, but I couldn’t help it. My throat was rough and dry; my lips were cracked. I scrubbed at my face more vigorously, wiped my knuckles over my mouth, but the air went on clinging to me. A second skin of dirt and ice.

Then there was a new sound. I thought that it came from somewhere behind me, but I couldn’t be certain. A soft popping, no louder than the crack of a pulled knuckle.

All at once, my eyes were open.

For a moment, I saw nothing but pale blue light.

Your turn . . .


Leatherdykeuk said...

It hovered for several seconds before my eyes adjusted, pupils narrowing from the wide dilation needed for the surrounding darkness. The light flicked away and I bobbed my head, following the beam as it picked out details of my prison.

Metal walls rusted into blooms of ochre and orange reflected some of the light as it flicked this was and that, teasing secrets from the darkness. It settled on Sasha like a misshapen dragonfly, wings of light outlining her hollow cheeks and eyes and lips covered with the same crusted mucus that I’d so recently picked off.

I tried to speak but my dry throat produced no sound but a hollow rasp. I remembered the tube and the scrape, scrape as it went down. I retched and a gobbet of… stuff… left my mouth and landed on my arm, glistening in the reflected dragonfly light.

The beam flicked back to me.

“Get a medic! We’ve got a live one.”

Michael Thricksos said...

An angry flurry of spindrift hits my face, pushed by cutting cold. Dark outline across the blue.

"What have you done to your bandages?" Comes a voice moving closer. Strong hands stop my recoil and pull fabric tight across my face.

"Who are you? Where am I?" I half scream, pushing my back against unmoving wood.

"Calm down. I'm Irdle, the group guide. We span on snow near Burrard's pass, the pickup turned over and the tank set alight. You're pretty badly burned, it got your eyes. You've been on morphine the last 24 hours."

Sharp numb in my left buttock. "Our guide was called Pete, Where are the others?"

"I'm the second guide. They're dead Ann-Marie, I'm sorry."

Mother calls me that, no one else. I don't know this man.

Sudden pressure on my shoulder, I flinch falling to the floor before being pulled to standing. Tight rope being wound around my wrist.

"The snow cornice above us is about to drop, we have to move out. Kits weather station is about 12 miles from here."

My roped wrist whips and I lurch forward. Spindrift sizzling at the back of my throat, dissolving caked
blood below my nose.

Lady X said...

And then I realised that terrifying fact that petrified every nerve in my body and sent my heart into spasms,

‘I can’t see, oh my God, I can’t see anything, I actually, I'm blind’, I stuttered as I thrust my arms out feeling for bodies and searching for warmth. But all that I could feel was the hard wooden floor, now littered with tiny pieces of glass.

I had never felt fear like this. I could sense tension in every muscle of my body and my brain felt like wire mesh. Slowly, I was able to lift myself into a crawling position. The pain that I felt as the glass dug into my hands and legs was actually a relief. But I could barely move.

In my head, I raced through the events of the night before. We were supposed to be celebrating the engagement of our friends Jenny and Mark. But it had all gone so wrong. Confessions of infidelity had sparked a row and Mark had smashed up the kitchen in anger. I know that I had tried to stop him but I didn’t know why he had been so angry at me. Why did he want to hurt my eyes?

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Deleted for editing reasons.

Michael said...

Then there was another pop. And another. It was bone. But whose?

I blinked repeatedly to try and get my eyes to focus. They wouldn’t. All I could see was blue. I thought it was the sky at first, but it couldn’t have been; I was faced down. I needed to see where the popping was coming from. It was frightening me. Why was my neck hurting so much? My face pressed into the wood and snow.

I tried to move, but there was an excruciating pain running down my left arm which ran into my neck. I was stuck completely prone. Then there was another noise: this time from the front. Two colossal ski boots appeared by my head. Before I had chance to see who it was, one of them crashed into the side of my chest. I clambered onto all fours ignoring the pain in my neck, arms and now my ribs. I couldn’t catch my breath. Blood dripped from my mouth.

I knew I had to react. The boots didn’t move. The popping continued from behind. Pop, pop, pop. Then a whine.

Where were the others? Whose were the feet?

What was going on behind me?

Chris said...

It hurt. Screaming pain at the brightness. Open and close the lids, screw up my eyes. Wait until the pupils shrink to pin points to accommodate the glare. Barely move the muscles, my body so stiff, so cold, beyond cold. I turned my head slightly. Saw the humped bodies of Jed and Theresa, huddled into their sleeping bags. I couldn’t tell if they were breathing, still alive. It was all too quiet.
Apart from the popping, the clicking. What on earth was it? The sound was so familiar and yet in the emptiness of my mind I couldn’t make the association, couldn’t forge the pathway into the past, spark the connection. Plop. Plop. Ah! Slowly, agonisingly, a word or two swims up. A tap? No. There were no taps. Painfully I moved my head again, forcing my skull across the fabric, which pulled the tangles in my hair and dragged at my scalp.
I could just bring the window into my line of vision. From where I lay on the floor I saw only whiteness, the unchanging, unshadowed glare of snow. But an infinitesimal glimmer of movement. Then another, and another. A drip. It was a drip. Thaw.

LiteraryMinded said...

Then I noticed the shadows on the walls, bubbles, the slow shifting sunlight above the water. I was still in the undertow. Beneath it all. Pop, pop. I spun around. At the bedhead a mask, behind the wall, behind the glass. I waved to the bubbles rising from the breathing apparatus. I jumped up frantically. I was still naked. He had been tapping. Pop, tap, pop.

I wasn’t back in the cabin at all, as I had dreamed. It was worse than being under snow, where it had begun. It was lighter and yet more empty.

But he couldn’t see, the diver. An obscenely large piece of coral, or a rock. Maybe even just a raised surface on the ocean floor. That’s what Annie had said, hadn’t she? That’s all it looked like from out there. In here, we were pressurized. Fed and clean, for sure, but lazed with scented pills. Gluing our eyelids closed, making us serene, accepting.

But the morning pills were missing. As were my fellow captives.

NGO said...

Behind the colour wash and the receding glittering solar specks at the backs of my eyes it sounded again. Now like a piece of cadaverous cartilage giving way. I shook aside the matted frozen carpet of my hair, turning. Through the hole where the stove pipe had been, the bird peered. Its beak gripped the edge of the wood, splintering the cedar shingles.

Under the tawny fur mound, a slow movement and a rising of frozen breath stirred a dilute hope that the knifing cold had spared some of them. The fetid imaginings of the night seemed cleansed by the aching cold and antiseptic daylight. I turned, fully awake.

The bird flapped down, a comical burlesque queen in a creaking black dress. It staggered forward a little then re-balanced itself, its head tilted, its eye an enamelled emptiness.

It seemed to carry the biting metallic scent on its dark plumage. My chest rattled again, a cuprous vinegary burn in my lungs. I recalled the machines on the hillside, the chains, the oil and the drifting russet cloud.

It shook itself and I could see now the empty spaces under its raised feathers and saw it had come here to die.

Sam said...

My eyes adjusted to the brightness and the blue light resolved into a naked bulb hanging from the apex of the cabin ceiling. It moved in the breeze.

I sat up, scraping at my eyes and blinking to remove as much of what stuck my eyelids together as possible.

The cabin window was broken, cold air pushing past the shards of glass into the room. Behind me I heard the soft cracking noise again.

Panic began to set in, my heart raced, the cold air felt like a ball of knives as it tumbled down my throat, sucked in by the convulsions in my chest.

We had been walking for two days when we reached the foot of the mountain. The storm hit as we turned upwards towards our goal. At first the wind and snow was just an annoyance, a hindrance to be endured.
But the force of the storm grew, snow beat at us, the wind pushed us against the earth. We scrambled up the mountainside, clawing at dirt, rocks, and roots to pull ourselves up. We found the cabin and forced the door open, falling inside and wedging the door closed against the weather.

Megan said...

This blogstory is now closing for the night - but what can I say? The entries across all three sites have been stunning. Thank you everyone so much for your hard work, generosity and creativity, your pieces are incedible and I'd love to respond to so many of them.
Come back in the morning to see where we might go next, and to keep on playing.
Thank you all so much,

Chris said...

They're great Megan, aren't they? Just a small request - I'm not very technological but I seem to think it might be possible to organise your blog so that the latest posting is first? As opposed to the last being last? For me, it would make it just a bit easier to access the most recent stuff? Not a big deal, just a small point for you to think about. I think (not sure) it's part of the set up options? Or maybe I'm just doing something wrong when I connect to it!