WritersBlock's Writing Thread 2010-01-27 17:00:30
So, here's my dumping ground for all my creative shit. You may like it, you may not, but in this thread we'll keep things in some sort of order. This is my thread, so that means my stories/poems/whatever only. I don't want people posting their poems or stories, or linking to their poems or stories asking for criticisms because get your own damn thread. Here you can discuss my work, praise, criticise, tell me it's complete shit, all that's fine. I'm open to those who wish to suggest improvements. I'm also open to those who wish to suggest a challenge of some sort. I don't know, be creative. As long as it's good and I have time, I'll consider.
If you want something more organised than a thread, I've got most of my stories posted here for your convenience. If you would like to discuss something about anythign I've written in those blogs, that would be encouraged too. Maybe label your post with what story you're talking about at the top to make things easier to organise.
Anything else, feel free to suggest after I've posted this story I finished today.
I started writing this sometime yesterday morning and I've been working on it on and off for the past 20 or so hours. I'm itching for some sleep, so I'll just post it and run. I started writing it to vent some feelings as the result of a really shit day, and I feel like finishing this story (the first for the year) has really turned things around. I hope you enjoy it.
Yes, it's unedited. I wrote through it once, I did not edit it. Please forgive any mistakes I may have made.
A Fear of Great Heights (pt 1/2)
Sometimes I'd prefer to be a single-celled organism floating through space. No purpose to carry me. No thoughts or emotions to drag me down. I'm a coward, plain and simple. And if I'm going to tell you my story, you need to know this. I hate crowds and I hate stress, and I can never seem to go a day without avoiding them both. Whenever I get stressed or uncomfortable I like to listen to my music, the louder the better. With each passing day it seems to be growing louder and louder. Like jet engines in my ears, it soothes me.
My house is right around the corner from the train station, a quick walk home by the pale light of the streetlamps. Sometimes I walk around the block before going home, there's something about the deserted roads in the night time that's very relaxing. I just drink in the world as it would be with the volume turned down, and I think to myself, this is peace.
I opened the front door to a familiar squeak upon the hinges and I took solace in the fact that I was home. I brushed my fingers along the dusty banister as I walked to the kitchen. A staircase I had never used, leading to an upper floor I had never even set my eyes upon. Each day I tell myself that today is the day I'm going to climb those stairs and see what's up there. But today is the day I never do. A shiver ran down my spine from the moment I touched the wood, and what lingered on the banister were the fingerprints of what could have been.
I flicked on the light switch to see the kitchen was in the same state in which I left it; slightly dirty, but otherwise reasonably tidy. I walked over to the sink, and pried open the window to let the breeze in. The cool air is a presence I can enjoy, especially on nights like this that are uncomfortably humid. I rinsed my hands and face in the sink and with cupped hands I drank a few mouthfuls of cool water. Then I heard the wailing of sirens nearby and the squealing of tyres and I shut the window. A quiet night is a good night.
The morning came with a fist hammering at the back door. Joe. He invited himself in and put the kettle on. I was already half awake when he started knocking, but I usually needed that extra irritation to convince myself to get out of bed. Joe is my coworker and friend, one of the few people that I can enjoy spending time with. I showered and dressed and came out into the kitchen, following the wafting aroma of bacon and eggs to a plate laid out for me, along with a hot cup of whatever was in the cupboard. It looked like tea.
"Thanks Joe" I said, and sat down to eat the food he had prepared.
"Any time. Gonna climb those stairs today?" Joe asked, with a nod towards the steps just outside the room.
I stopped chewing my bacon to shake my head. Not today, never today. Maybe tomorrow. He nodded and took his emptied plate to the sink and ran hot water over it.
"When?" He asked.
I chewed the bacon a bit more, mulling over the question I knew he would ask. He always does. I always take the time to think, even though I've always got the same answer. I let the chewed up, greasy piece of bacon slide down my throat with a slurp of lukewarm tea.
"When I'm ready."
He nodded again. "I'll be outside when you're done with your breakfast" he said and walked out towards the front door.
I chewed on another piece of bacon, although I distinctly felt that the taste had gone and I was chewing on cardboard. My mouth felt dry, and the tea did nothing to help. I got through about half of my breakfast tasting the same before I finally tossed the remains in the bin and slid my plate over Joe's.
The front door locked shut with an assuring snap, and I slid the single key into my pocket. Joe and I didn't speak when we walked to the train station, nor when we were on the train itself. He knew I liked it better that way. This time of the morning, there aren't usually many people on the train, and they don't talk much either. And with Joe there, I felt like I didn't need my music to distract myself from their wandering eyes. Besides, the gentle rhythm of the tracks was music enough.
This was how I lived my life, the to and fro between work and home, home and work. Joe was someone I could count on. We always caught the morning train to work, but I always caught the evening train home alone. That was something that couldn't be avoided, and to some extent, I felt like I needed it. The train going home was usually almost empty when I caught it, and even the train station isn't too bad, but unlike my home, I never know if it will be empty or not when I walk through the doors.
This night there were two young guys and a lady sitting aside from them. I sat on the far end of the train and put my headphones on. Volume up. The doors closed and the train started moving and the two young guys stood up. I didn't like that, people shouldn't stand on trains. I reached for my pocket knife, I didn't want them coming anywhere near me. They looked at me, but I kept the knife held in my pocket with one hand and turned the volume up with the other. They walked over towards the lady and grabbed her arms, one each.
She tried to pull her arms back, twisting in their grip, but she only managed to pull herself off her seat. She yelled at them to let go, and she kicked as much as she could, but they just laughed and snatched up her handbag. I could hear over my music even though I turned the volume higher and higher. It was at full volume, screaming in my ear and it didn't protect me from the noise and it felt like her voice was stabbing at my ears. One of the men opened up her purse and stuffed it in his coat pocket. She spat at him, her face twisted in panic and hate, and he pushed her into the seats. She stumbled over closer to me and I realised my hand holding the knife had become slippery with sweat.