Monday, September 26, 2011

Bitesize fiction. "I hate you"

"Are you going to go already?" He kept pressing the keys on his keyboard lazily, killing monsters in a video game. He didn't even glance at me and I was growing impatient.

"You're the one who should go and apologise. You were a right ass back there!" I waved my hands emphatically towards the door.

"I'm sure I did nothing wrong. She really deserved every word." he commented, not bothering to raise his eyes from the computer screen.

"Did she? Those words were very hurtful, you have no excuse." I began to pace the room, fuming. The monsters in the game growled and the keys clicked.

"I don't like a whiner for a girlfriend. If she can't accept some things about me and won't give me some time out, I really don't want anything to do with her anymore." His tone was flat, as if he were just talking about what a pity it was that it was raining tomorrow.

"Are you that selfish? I thought you really loved her." I grunted, glaring at him.

He simply shrugged. "I guess I didn't."

I strode up to his chair and gripped his collar with one fist and drove the other in his nose. His head snapped back and a small trail of blood started trickling from his left nostril. He finally looked up at me with unreadable eyes. "So you were just playing games with her? She's my little sister, you know you will pay for it, right?"

He wiped the blood off his lips with the back of his hand and offered me a small smile. It wasn't friendly, it was a little sad and disappointed. "I know you don't really care about your ditzy sister, so stop the theatrics. You and I both know I only went out with her as a favour to you." He paused for a few meaningful seconds. "So, basically, it's your fault too."

My eyes went wide. In a hidden corner of my mind, I had to agree with him. I didn't want to show it though.

"She wouldn't flinch a finger for you if you were in danger, but I would. And I know you would do the same for me. So, really, leave her be, she'll be fine." His eyes were honest and he spoke calmly, despite the blood staining his face and shirt.
I felt my grip on his collar falter. "I hate you!" I spat for good measure and let go. I handed him a box of tissues I found in his room and sat down beside him, defeated. He was right, absolutely right and I was a fool for denying it. With all his flaws and arrogance, I realised looking into those eyes that I said "I hate you", but in truth, I meant something completely different...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Street fights

My hands were burning and trembling and I had the desire to clench them into fists. I felt utterly helpless and I knew it showed in my actions. I was afraid to speak, knowing I'd stutter as soon as I opened my mouth.

"What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?" They all laughed and it sounded like a hoard of hyenas. They didn't know any better, I was smarter than all of them put together, but they were simply too many. My heart was racing and wild plans flashed in my mind.

"Oh, are you going to cry? Little baby, you will make your pretty face look ugly!" More laughter and a few catcalls. They started edging towards me, as if cornering a prey. In truth, I was their prey and they just wanted to play with me a little before...

I lifted my eyes to the one standing right in front of me and spat "Good thing I'm not both ugly and stupid like you."

The thug's expression changed to one of surprise. "Oh, my! An attitude! Our little mousie has a voice. Let's run before it gets too angry!" The same roar of laughter.

"Gentlemen, let's not get too excited, mm?" A new voice resounded behind me. Everyone turned towards the newcomer. "I don't want to beat you all into a pulp. Please, let's be reasonable."

"Who are you?" The biggest thug inquired with suspicious eyes.

"A friend of mousie's here." He winked at me. "You'd do better not to mess with my friends."

The leader of the band tried to grab his collar but missed and hit the pavement with his face instead. Another suffered a similar fate and by the third thug crouched on his knees holding onto his belly, the rest decided to scatter, leaving their friends behind.

"Come along, let's go."

I looked at my friend incredulously. "I didn't know you could do that..." I was obviously gaping, because he just laughed.

"You learn new things about me every day, don't you? Now, let's get to the restaurant. I got extremely hungry waiting for you to show up. And beating bad guys for you sure worked up an appetite..."

I punched his arm lightly and chuckled. He took my hand and we headed to the restaurant, listening to the poor hurt thugs cursing and groaning in pain behind us.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bitesize fiction. The wild west

"Once upon a time, long looong ago, when I was still young and had just met your grandmother, I used to be a sheriff. Everybody in our little town respected me and knew better than to cause trouble when I was on watch." The grandfather paused to take a long drag from his pipe and to look at his grandchildren with sparkling eyes. The little ones were all ears.

"Really, Pa? And the bad guys? Did you catch any of them?"

"Sent them to jail? And shooting and horse chases and...?" the smallest of the three was getting very excited about the story, flailing his hands around as if shooting imaginary bandits.

The grandfather laughed holding his belly. "Yes, yes, there were lots of adventures. Have I ever told you the one about Jack One-eye?"

The children scooted closer, shaking their heads. "Tell us, we don't know that one!"

"Well" the old man sat back comfortably and blew a few smoke rings. "Jack One-eye was a very bad man who always tried to steal money from the bank. He never got away with it, of course" he added full of mirth. "One night, he gathered a few of his friends and planned the robbery of the century, according to him. Unfortunately for him, I also have good friends that help me. And one of them heard them discuss their attack at the pub."

If the toddlers' eyes could have opened a little more, they would have probably looked like little saucers.

"They had heard that I was going to go away for a few nights to visit my uncle and aunt in the next village. So, they thought the time was just right! But I outsmarted them. I pretended to leave, took my horse and bid everyone goodbye so the thieves could see."

"And then?" little Timmy blurted out.

"And then I went and waited in a valley close by and came back in a carriage with a friend before nightfall. We gathered men with guns and clubs and waited for them hidden in the bank." The grandfather was pleased at how attentive the children were listening, careful not to miss any word. "And when Jack and his band busted in the bank, we surrounded them. They were trapped inside and outnumbered."

"Did they try to fight, Pa?"

"They were not that stupid. They knew we were three times as many. So they surrendered and we took them all to jail. The town was quiet and safe again."

"Wow, you were so smart, Pa! I want to be a sheriff like you when I grow up and catch bad guys."

"No, I'll be the sheriff and you'll be the deputy." the oldest argued.

"Now now, don't fight or I lock you all up in your rooms tomorrow and we can't go on a picnic. I will teach you how to ride a horse, do you want to miss that?" The grandfather gently scolded them. They all went quiet. "Now, give grandpa a kiss and off to bed."

After the little ones have left, he sat back down and smoked his pipe. The children were happy and loved his stories. When they might have grown a little more, he would consider telling them them that he had been a simple farmer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Broken Pencil Poetry. Licking the blackboard

Ambition can make us break any barriers that might stand in our way, but it can also make us break ourselves in the process. Obsession is like a vehicle that drives us when we believe we are in control and it literally runs on illusions as fuel.

It also gets rather boring at school, staring at the blackboard all day long.

I believe I've said enough about the next piece. Enjoy!

Licking the blackboard

He's licking the blackboard,
Always licking the blackboard.
The blackboard is full of chalk
Making his tongue white,
And still he's licking the blackboard.
The blackboard is cracked,
His tongue is smeared red with blood,
But he would keep on licking the blackboard.
The blackboard grows thin
And his tongue meets the wall behind it,
And he continues to lick the blackboard.
The wall grows thin and erodes into void,
Yet nothing could ever stop him
From licking the blackboard.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Rupture II

I crush the cassette in my sweaty palm, hearing the plastic bending, but stopping before cracking it. "So... it's over. You're gone and I never did anything to stop you. If anything, I just pushed you into it, little by little, until you just leaped into the abyss yourself."

My head probably hurts from crying, but the only feeling I can still perceive is the burning hole in my chest and the sickening feeling in my stomach. "You idiot! Why? Why..." I don't even know anymore. The world is trying to spin the other way around and all my words have run dry.

"Come back? I promise to help you, we'll get over this together. We will talk about it like adults, figure out a solution, so you can restore your sanity and be happy. If only we'd have given it a try when we still had the time..."


"I don't even know how the hours and days have passed by. I vaguely remember crying my eyes dry and attending your funeral. I remember your friends and family in black, I remember them glancing at me, whispering among themselves. I know they blame me. I blame myself too, but there is nothing I can do now.

I'm sitting here in front of your grave. Are you there, under that pile of soil? Are you here, an unseen ghost? Can you hear me calling out to you?
I'm sorry! I wish I might have opened my eyes and seen your suffering. I wish I could have returned your feelings."

On your grave, I set down a withering red rose and the bullet you've shot through your heart. "I'm sorry... I'm sorry I can't follow you over there. I would only break your heart again. So... sweet dreams."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bitesize fiction. Rupture

"I want to crush you like an ant." A long pause, interrupted by the sound of grit teeth. "Do you know how evil you are, how heartless?" There was no answer. "You drag me after you on an invisible leash, always tugging a little harder when I try to get away. Always ready to prove to me that I can't live without you."

The silence grew heavy, like a dusty old blanket thrown over reality. In the distance, a bird sung a few tentative notes, then went quiet.

"How can you have so much power over me? If you said 'leave everything and follow me', I would without hesitation and without question." The voice trembled, weary and defeated. "Every day, I wait for a clear, honest answer from you. I never get any... Only smiles, sweet nothings that probably mean nothing to you."

Footsteps, hurried, sounding as if they might have had a purpose, but instead, stopping and turning around, treading over the same spot over and over again.

"Don't, I know what you would say. You would be reasonable and calm. Tell me I should take care of myself and not worry over such nonsense. That you want me to be happy." The steps quickened. "Then you'd turn around and turn my heart inside out again. Just like you do every single time. I can't work, I can't eat, I can't sleep and when I do, I dream of you. Sweet dreams where life is so simple, where all my questions have answers and where I don't let myself get dragged around by you. And after that? I wake up and reality feels even colder."

The pacing stopped. The bird started chirping faintly outside. A smile.

"I want revenge, I want to break free. I want all my dreams to come true and finally be happy. I wish I'd never woken up this morning. Right after that part when you said 'I love you'."

Silence. Even the bird stopped singing. The world lay in expectation. And then, a gun shot.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Questions greater than ourselves

I went to the bathroom to wash my face after a few long and tedious hours of staying up a bit too late. I look in the mirror, but the image looking back at me is somewhat alien. I am aware of every move I make, wondering if maybe someone else is doing everything and I'm just an observer.

There are a few questions that have troubled me many times before.

Are we identical with our bodies and with our minds? Is there a unity within us or are we a strangely put together puzzle? I often feel that these parts of me are somewhat strange, only brought together by accident and not really fitting. Not fitting to one another and not fitting to my needs.

This might sound odd. But let me continue...

What is the connection between body and spirit (and mind, if you'll accept it)? Why do they need one another? What is this individuality?

I often imagine myself being someone else, living their life. Sometimes I become hyper aware of my own individuality. And that is when I begin to question its purpose.

Why are we who we are? What factors dictate that?

And also, the fundamental questions: who were we before being born and who will we be after we die?

There are beliefs that we are part of a greater spiritual organism (I believe some call it Gaia), sort of like a primordial soup. We get out of the soup, live our lives and return to the soup and enrich it with the new flavours of our experience.

Could this hold any truth? What sort of beings are we in reality? What is the purpose of our lives?

I guess we will only find out after we die. I hope... It would be really dreadful if we didn't.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


For those of you who don't know, my favourite literary genre is science fiction. "Literary genre?" some might ask. Despite rather popular opinion, science fiction is not a subgenre, it is a supergenre. Many writers deal with more complex issues than alien invasions and such popular themes.

Lately, my laptop has been broken, so I took out my two favourite books and started re-reading them. They were written by the Strugatski brothers during the period of the Russian communism. The stories are full of satirical portrayals of the situation back then and philosophical issues.

In one very interesting and amusing episode, the main character travels into the future described by literature. However, everything in that place was as real and credible as how well the author had described them. Most characters were transparent, some were doing very ridiculous things. Some were wearing only the few articles of clothing the narrator had mentioned. The entire atmosphere was very comical and unrealistic.

Imagine that for a while. Now imagine all the cardboard characters you have noticed in some less well-written books and stories. Writers, imagine your stories in such a world. I also wonder how see-through my own characters are.

It makes you think though. How about us real people? Would we be solid and believable or transparent ghosts?
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