Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Blog Story - Posts 2 and 3

2.

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.

By Chris, on blogspot

3.

Before I knew what was happening, I was on my feet, breathing out small ghosts, wheeling and stumbling, narrowly missing the roof beams overhead. Suddenly the pain was someone else’s, even the grind of my calf muscles, the weight of my skull. Far away, the floorboards groaned, but I took no notice, as I paid no attention to the stiff, dark mound of the others. I didn’t pause to check on them, but kept shuffling towards the door. It was easy.

We had been there for so long.

My fingers trembled against the freezing latch. Thaw – briefly, I let myself imagine it, with my cheek resting against the fur of tiny splinters in the wood. Then I pushed, and pushed again. The door opened, slowly, dismissively, as if the cabin had simply shrugged.

And I was nothing before the world outside.

Nothing before the vast, soft emptiness and the scent of winter like blood and stones. Yet everywhere was glistening; water was falling from the roof and trees, a beautiful ticking like so many quiet, uneven heartbeats. I lifted my arms -

And a voice came scratching from the must and shadows piled behind me.
“Wait,” Jed said. “Come back.”



Your turn . . .

5 comments:

Michael Thricksos said...

I turned and reaction split me down the middle like an ancient blade, swung from high with no tolerance for mercy. My two halves held together by a molecule of vacuum.

It looked as if his life had ironically been saved by the blackened frostbite where the lower arm should have been, but now the thaw allowed the blood to flow again, tick tick trickle, through and out the exposed cul-de-sac of artery.

A tear approached split second ejaculation but paused; I turned another way. The safety of nostalgia flooded my mind, clearing a path for my real time fear to trust the fall and step backwards. Tumbling, smiling, kissing, Venice, promises. Jed. Two molecules of vacuum and growing.

Ersatz constructions rising in my moment, walls to keep out the reality. We were together again, foundations of expectation, a roof of love to keep out the cold. Four molecules of vaccuum and growing. Tick, tick, trickle. Thaw. Half soul jumps ship and chooses survival.

I move toward Jed and he smiles through cracked, black teeth. Confusion as I pull whats left of the down jacket from his shoulders, place it over mine and move away through the snow.

Leatherdykeuk said...

I almost didn’t.

I almost ran into the snow white, snow blind, thawing emptiness. Would they still be looking for us after all this time? The drip, drip, drip of melt echoed my thoughts. “No. No. No.” I wanted to run; to become a black spot on the vast white of the mountain as I ran to civilization. I almost did. Almost. I turned back, my limbs stiff from such a long time lying in the semi-collapsed cabin.

“Don’t leave me.”

Jed’s voice faltered as if he could see the thoughts in my head. I wondered what his leg looked like now. Had it set properly? How long had we been stuck here? A week? Two? A month? The food ran out after three days. It couldn’t have been longer than that.

I leaned down and scooped up a double-handful of the melting snow then edged back into the gloom of the cabin. After the fresh, clean air outside, the cabin stank of sweat and something stinking. Sickly sweet, like honey left out in the sun. I rammed the snow into a tin mug and set it to one side.

Jed tried to smile through cracked lips.

Redsetter said...

I wheeled around, still a little unsteady on my feet. My head spun, like I'd turned too quickly and it was playing split-second catch up. I felt my dry lips begin to break into a smile as I looked back at Jed, but I caught myself. Something wasn’t quite right.

He stood by the cabin doorway, his left forearm bent at head height to lean lazily against the doorjamb. He was grinning, but it wasn’t the cheery grin he’d shown us all earlier, this was different. He held his head way too low, so that his eyes stared out from under his bushy eyebrows.

It was like my senses kicked into a different gear. I was at once aware of the background noise; the entire expanse of snow and ice was melting in a whisper, one drip at a time. But my befuddled brain paced ahead recognising Jed’s look as one of shear malevolence. Jed pushed himself away from the doorway drawing his right hand from behind his back. I could only stare open mouthed at the long gleaming blade as he put on his best Jack Nicholson voice and with eyeballs bulging called out
'Heeeeeere's Johnny.'

Angela H said...

4.

The pull of the thaw was compelling me to step forwards, out, away. I wanted to breathe the fresh wet air, to be shrouded by sky. To leave behind staleness, cold, fear and most of all, hunger.

I forced myself to turn. Jed’s eyes were hollowed in his bearded face. His nose scaled and raw. The bruise on his head was still a lurid purple. Now he was trying to sit up. His breath rasped out of his throat.

“Wait” he said, “please wait.”

He was shaking the sleeping bag next to him. I heard Theresa moan and the cry of her hungry baby. I knew I should feel pleased she had made it through the night, but now there were four of us. I could make it alone, but with injured Jed and exhausted Theresa, with her new baby son? But if I left them, I knew they’d be dead by the time I returned.

I was half out into the cool wetness. Everything glistened. Clean. Fresh.

I was facing a new fear – the fear of living with myself if I left them now.

“I’ll be back” I said, without looking at them.

Megan said...

The Blog Story is now closed - but only till the morning, when you can return to play again (-:

Once again, THANK YOU!!! you amazing writers - there are so many great stories here crying out to be written!