Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pieces of the Bridge

I know, I know...I haven't written anything funny in weeks and you are all going through withdrawals. Sorry. I have been focusing very hard on finishing my novel. I expect the first draft to be complete tonight.

In the mean time, here is a sample, straight from the pages of my brain or novel. They seem to be one and the same lately. I hope you like it...even if it is not funny.

   Aren ran her eyes over the neat line where Kaden's hair met skin. She had begun to memorize every feature along the back of his head. It was the first time she had been allowed to dwell on someone’s features without any of the internal landscape bleeding into her mind. It was disturbing and alluring, like standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the valleys below. It felt beautiful, exhilarating, and frightening at the same time. So tempting to just jump. She couldn’t help but let her mind follow the curve of the horizon off into nothingness.

            He’s hiding something. No, everything. She sighed to herself. About time someone did! A girl could go crazy with all this stuff in her head. She smiled at his rigid pose. Do you know I’m watching you?

            The air wavered as though a sudden heat wave erupted in the middle of a closed classroom, Kaden as the epicenter. Aren realized that she had not closed her eyes for several minutes. Her eyes felt tight and dry. She blinked and when her eyes opened the shimmering was gone, but what had replaced it sent a rush of air through her teeth as she gasped with shock.

            Light blossomed around Kaden, a golden sphere that pulsated with warmth and life. Her eyes followed the contours as it grew brighter, gaining strength with each second. The air outside the sphere shifted and swayed. Aren was struck with the image of a sea anemone, though the sight before her put the beautiful animal to shame.

The sphere sprouted thousands of silver, translucent tentacles that weaved out into the ceiling and walls around them. She watched as one wispy arm of light passed lazily by her face and wiggled its way out the closed window. She could see it continued on, unbroken, until the trees outside blocked it from view. Some of these waving tentacles were barely visible, tiny threads. Others slashed through the air with massive, tree trunk limbs.

No one else in the classroom reacted or noticed as the silver tentacles pierced their bodies or intertwined around each other, spiraling away at every angle. They danced around Kaden as though caught in some mild current or invisible breeze.

Aren could hear them singing as they swayed around her, fragments of a high sorrowful melody that blended into the hum of the fluorescent lights and the barely perceptible flow of the air conditioner. The counterparts melded perfectly with life around the room, deepening the beauty of each breath, of every cough.

She imagined them leading out, passing harmlessly through everything they touched, carrying their songs forever outward into the emptiness of space. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. A drop of liquid hit her clasped fingers and she looked down to see that tears had begun to flow down her face. She blinked them away, noting the images stayed with her even with her eyes closed.

Aren closed her eyes and hummed to herself, watching the silvery strings around her pulse and sing along with this new sound. What is this? Is this what Kaden sees?

She opened her eyes and wrenched her attention away from the beautiful vision, forcing herself to look back at Kaden. He was sitting at his desk in the middle of his golden sphere, encircled by the waving tentacles of light. He looked comfortable, very much like he belonged there in the center of all reality.

Aren saw him waving his hands around him at the images that sprouted out of the base of each column of light. Her eyes widened again. She had been so preoccupied with the limbs themselves, she had missed this detail. Light wavered over the Kaden’s face as he pulled and pushed the images around. He was part of what caused the tentacles to sway and dance, moving the bases around him like they were pieces on a board game.

One image arrested her. Kaden held it in front of him longer than the others. She could see a rolling ocean below purple stone, a forest so vast that it could have been a whole continent, sky the color of her mother’s eyes with a great red slash through the middle. The song around her grew in crescendo. She reached out to the image with her mind and felt it call to her in return. She did not notice Kaden’s look of puzzlement as the image shifted.

All sound ceased. Aren looked around, feeling almost physical pain as the song ended. The silver light columns were gone and everyone around her was frozen in place. “Tracy?” she asked, but Tracy did not move. Aren reached up to touch her shoulder, but the world stopped making sense before her hand came close. It hung in the air as she caught sight of Kaden once more, sitting at his desk, the image she had seen floated directly in front of his face. She could still hear its silent call to her, but that melted away as she watched Kaden’s face twist and stretch into the image.

Gravity no longer functioned properly. Aren felt down shift to her right and forward, as though the world had just decided to lean that way instead of spinning round the sun. Aren tumbled out of her desk and drifted for a few seconds before spiraling in toward the disfigured face of Kaden. She caught hold of his desk and looked on with horror as the distortion of a smiling Kaden twisted and swirled around her. She held on and glanced to where the image hovered, but the image was gone. In its place stood a dark hole that reached out to her.

The hole shifted and swam before her as though sniffing her out. She slipped and spun as she clawed at the desk. The darkness touched her dangling feet and she watched them twist and stretch as they were pulled into oblivion. The entire lower half of her body followed her feet, stretching and spinning like pulled play dough. She expected pain, but only felt a tingling sensation start in her toes and flow upward.

She gripped the desk tighter, but the remnants of Kaden and his desk bent and twisted beneath her hands. The desk became a mess of string that spiraled away from her. The blackness swallowed her.


Candice said...

This is really good stuff, Charlie. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product on bookstore shelves in a few years. :)

You're almost done with the first draft? That's fantastic! Now for the fun part: The Re-Write! Woo Hoo! Good luck!

Brent Wescott said...

I'm not going to read this because, as River Song might say, "Spoilers!"

I mean, good job, man! You the bomb writer.

Chanel said...

Did you FINISH the first draft?

Why is everybody posting bits of their stories all of a sudden? I'm not jumping into this one.

But I like what I've read.

Michael Offutt said...

I liked this. If anything, I might point out that your use of adverbs is a little weak and you could use stronger verbs instead.

mark said...

Its been like 3 weeks ... your vacation is OVER.

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