hells_half_acre: (lilypads)
Hi, it's been a while.

Sorry about the long absence. I've been settling into Vancouver and going through my regular content and discontent phases. I've been writing, but just haven't been in the sharing mood that much.

Here's something weird I wrote:

WHITE DRAGONS )
hells_half_acre: (Default)
Since I'm not that great at updating with interesting, well written thoughts or stories, how about I update with a silly not-so-well written story?

I was cleaning out my desk drawers last week and I came across a story I wrote when I was young. I'd guess that I was nine years old, seeing as how I didn't know how to read until then.

Reading it now, I can actually see that I haven't changed much over the years and, really, my adult behaviour should come as no surprise once anyone reads the story.


I guess the moral of the story is that you should enjoy life and not let anyone tell you differently. Some other lessons learned are: try to be polite, but if that doesn't work, then it's alright to use brute force; don't kill people; if you accidentally destroy something, help rebuild it; and, if there is no fruit available, horses are a viable source of nutrients. 
hells_half_acre: (!!!!)
Here's the beginning part of a story I wrote last week:

So there I am, freeing the hostages, when it suddenly occurs to me that it had been your birthday three days previous.

"Damn it!" I exclaim in a harsh whisper, startling the man who is shimmying under the fence that I am doing my best to hold up for him. His large brown eyes lock with mine in panic.

"What is it?!" he asks between frightened breaths.

"Nothing, go!" I reply. I wave my hand in the dismissive commanding way that has become all too natural. I remember how you had yelled at me, not long ago, about my work habits bleeding into our home life. You are not to be commanded, but the truth is that I am far too used to being obeyed.

The man scrambles out from under the fence. His feet have not traveled more than a foot, before the hands and head of the next person appear. They have also heard my muttered curse, they look at me with the same panicked confusion, but know enough not to voice their questions. This one has green eyes with golden flecks, like dark moss that has been exposed to the sun too long. I've always been amazed at the colours contained in the iris.

They are the last in the compound. I cover our tracks as best I can on the outside of the fence, but I know they'll easily track us. We'll double back to the ravine before they even discover the escape, but it won't buy us that much time. It is two days up the river, and one of its tributaries, before we'll reach safety. Two days of hiding ten odd people from search parties. I only hope they don't have scent dogs.

If I had remembered your birthday before my trip, I would have left at least a card. "Sorry I couldn't be there, but...hostages and all. Miss you, love you." Maybe something a little more sappy. Something more romantic. You do put up with so much - allowing me to have a secret weapons cupboard in our sitting room, not trying to peek into the safe in the bedroom, pretending you haven't picked up the code my colleagues and I speak in.

"What do you mean you signed me up for the weekend conference? You know I hate those things...oh fine, so it's just an excuse to get away from home. I swear you should just get a marriage counselor...right, you don't believe in conselors..."

Of course that all somehow translates into: I have to go south, rescue a dozen or so hostages and then hike two days down a ravine with them, hoping we get somewhere before hunger drives them even more crazy than they already are.

Luckily I've got that commanding nature to me. They follow me like hungry puppies. You wouldn't yell at me about ordering you around if you were with me in the ravine. No, I think you would. You have never been intimidated by me, it's why I love you. I find myself missing you at the thought of you undermining my authority in front of the hostages. It wouldn't have been good though. They need someone with authority. They need someone infallible, not some idiot who forgot it was your birthday and didn't even leave a card. What if I died here?

I figure I should probably get you something nice to make up for it. I need to make it seem like I had been thinking of your birthday the whole time, as if, for some reason, I had planned it this way. But no, there is still the problem of having not left anything behind. If I had remembered, I would have.

I'll be apologizing no matter what then. So what I need is a present to show that I had been thinking of you. That I did in fact remember, just a little too late.

As we reach the first hideaway - carefully crafted by me a few days earlier - I decide what needs to be done.

"Is anyone here an artist?" I ask. Many brilliantly wide eyes all turned to me at once, questioning, confused. It was gorgeous, and I wish for an instant that I was the artist.

"Wh...why?" a timid voice asks amongst the group.

"I need a sculptor, a wood carver.  I know it's a trade around here." I reply, perhaps my tone is too commanding, perhaps I am making them nervous. I pause for a few seconds, when no one speaks, I continue in a softer voice. "It's alright. I was just wondering." I smile in the way I remember you always smiling, when we first met, and you had been trying to put me at ease - as if no matter what I did, I could not disappoint you.

I give a few more instructions on where to sleep, hand out the extra bug netting that I had stuffed in the bottom of my bag and tell them they better double up for warmth and protection, that I will be waking some of them to take watch when I get tired. I doubt any of them will sleep anyway.

When everyone is set up. I sit on the ground and look up through the tree canopy in the hopes of seeing the stars. I can, just a little. There is a rustle behind me and I see the gorgeous brown eyes that had overheard my curse by the fence. I raise an eyebrow in question, but most likely it goes unnoticed in the dark.

"Um...officer?" I smile, people never know what to call me.

"What is it?" I ask. I don't usually learn names if I don't have to. I give everyone nicknames in my head, assign my own back stories.

"I..." he begins, "I'm not an artist by trade, but I have a talent for it - the woodcarving that is."

I smile, I can't help it. The gods must be smiling too. Brown-eyes smiles, and I think of him sculpting in his spare time - wood shavings lying around his house, the ever-present wonderings about whether he missed his true calling at some point along the road.

I look around, using memory more than anything to find what I'm looking for. There's a fallen sapling, that lies not far off from where I have been sitting. I find it, embarrassingly groping for it in the dark. I unsheathe my machete and quickly chop a good piece off. I move back to him, handing him the wood and taking out one of my small jack knives.

"Can you carve something out of this? An animal perhaps? A human figure? Something beautiful?" I ask in a hushed hopeful whisper. The confusion is still present in the brown eyes, but suddenly I see the mouth quirk upwards in a smile that seems to say that he thinks I might be insane, but he's oddly happy about it.

"Yes" he answers.

"Don't forget to sleep." I say, slipping back into a voice of command, "and collect all wood shavings, we can't leave a trail." He nods a little frightened and submissive, and crawls back to his bed-mate, who has been watching us uncertainly. Everyone probably saw, but as long as I don't acknowledge they did, then nothing has changed. They'll never admit to it, and no one is bold enough to question the artist.

By the Sea

Oct. 25th, 2007 01:06 pm
hells_half_acre: (cape spear)


"Did you love me?" He asks, breaking the silence that was not silence. The seagulls crying and the constant noise of waves hitting the rocks below remain unending.

"More than life, " she answers with a smile. He cannot tell if she was surprised or not at his voice. How long had they been sitting there, themselves silent, dangling their feet over the edge of the cliff, gazing out onto the never-ending waters, listening to the wind, the gulls, and the waves.

"Hm" he responds ambiguously. More than life. He wonders why he did not ask her until now. He should have asked when they were alive. Would it have made a difference? He furrows his brow at his own confusion, and turns his attention away from the fine lines of her face, back towards the water.

She doesn't seem, to him, to be at all disturbed by their current circumstances. She does not seem to question where they are. He waits, for a time, for her to ask something of him, but she does not. She seems strangely happy. No, he thinks, not happy - content.

Looking around again, he takes in his surroundings. The old rock, lichen, low plants. The rocks tower above the sea, but are worn down with wind, rain, time. One of the low plants is red, he gets the feeling it's Fall here, wherever they are. A slight chill on the wind, though the sun is warm, the earthiness of everything, the feeling like things are coming to an end.

"Why am I in your afterlife?" He asks, still looking around, remembering how she loved the sea, the rocks, the fall.

"You aren't. I'm not dead." She answers, and he turns back to look. She's remained unchanged, looking not at him, but out across the sea. The wind plays with her hair. He finds himself wishing she would look at him. He finds himself wishing that her hair would stay still somehow, that time should stop. Maybe it had already, he suddenly thought. How long had they been sitting here? Is there time in the afterlife?

"I don't understand," he says. It comes out desperate, scared. The ocean is suddenly overwhelmingly large. His own voice startles him. He wants her to smile again.

"What makes you think this isn't your afterlife?" she asks him calmly, she glances around as if everything is as it should be, and then finally shifts her eyes to rest on his. He calms some, when he speaks again, his voice is steady.

"Well," he starts lamely sliding his eyes back to the ocean, "I guess I thought it would be like a city. A city full of interesting people to meet."

"You don't like it then?" She asks and he looks back at her. He's used to gauging her moods, but now she speaks without emphasis, without indicating if she wants him to like it or not. He can only be honest.

"It's just not what I expected, I guess," he says, "It's not that it's bad. I mean, you're here, and I've always enjoyed your company," he smiles at her, in the way he always did, to let her know that she meant something to him. "It's just, well, I don't know where I am and it's a little unsettling."

"That's easy," she replies, and he can see the spark in her eye, the mischievous smile she always used to get when she knew something he didn't. "You are in Fall: the end of something. You are by the ocean: the edge of what is known; but, you are also in the Fall: the beginning of something. You are also at the edge of something unknown."

"That's cheesy, and frankly doesn't help" he replies with a roll of his eyes. Her smile brightens.

"You are also not alone," she says, and her smile softens. He thinks, perhaps, he should have asked her if she loved him back when he was living. Maybe things would have been different. He wonders, if she is not dead, what she is doing now. Part of him wonders how she can be living and also be here with him. Maybe this is not really her, the thought scares him.

"It wouldn't have made a difference." She replies, and covers his hand with hers, "You knew without asking, anyway. We were both well aware of that."

He stares at her, as if the lines of her face were unfamiliar, as if for the first time seeing her as something other than who he thought she was.

"How..." he begins, but stops. 'And the other questions?' he wonders.

The mischievous grin returns and his heart speeds up in response.

"Who says you're dead?"
hells_half_acre: (l'interpide)

The toilet is broken.

Remember when life was about fast cars and beautiful women, getting drunk on a saturday night and staying that way until next tuesday. When we used to take off to foreign locations on a moments notice, sit on the beach, chat up the locals, overthrow the crime boss with enough time left over to paint the town red with the bastard sons of millionaires and concubines. Remember the time we stayed up all night crouched below the dock, waiting with daggers for the prince's yacht to come back to port, only to find out he had been drowned at sea...how we laughed as we tucked our disguises back into the bottom of our bags. Remember the time you had finally had enough of my constant teasing, and threw me down in the long grass, tearing off my clothes as I laughed at finally finding the limit of your resolve...

No, neither do I.

In the end, it always just comes back to broken toilets and trying to find things to do on the internet to keep myself entertained.

(posted based on Sherrie's love for this piece of writing)

hells_half_acre: (oberreid)
I searched for you everywhere. I desperately needed to find you. It became a hobby, a routine, an obsession. I traveled great distances on the smallest of clues. I toured cities with my eyes constantly scanning the crowds of faces that were not you. The more I looked the more the colours and shapes blended, the more difficulty I had remembering how to recognize you as you and not someone else. I saw countless people, I learned languages when I could, and stumbled through broken tongues when I couldn't. I talked with many, but they hadn't seen you. They wished me luck in my search. They seemed to agree that it was important that I find you, though I never thought to ask why they felt that way. I don't know if they were feeding my desperation or simply taking their cue from it. I suppose in the end it doesn't matter. I moved on quickly and confidently in new directions each time, believing that in the next place, you would be there.

I touched everything I could. The importance of sense memory is far too often ignored. I felt the smooth marble and the warm stone. I have felt both the roughest and finest of sands slip through my fingers. The warmth of the sun on my face and the cool of a sudden heavy rainshower were welcomed equally, as I tried to imagine you welcoming them as well. Perhaps down the street, just out of reach.

There was always a time after I arrived somewhere that I felt I was close, but eventually that feeling would fade and I knew deep down that you had moved on. At that time, I would start searching the maps, the transportation routes. I would study the natural flow of people and try to picture you among them, lost in the anonymity of the crowds, another face blending into the faceless.

Slowly in the years that I searched, subconsciously as I fed my obsession, I lost track of the why. I left the answer behind in pieces unnoticed as I traveled. I was happy in my search, and did not miss the question or the answer. The search itself became the justification. 'I search because I must', and it wasn't until I found you that I realised that justification was not enough.

I did find you, eventually. I was shocked. You weren't in the crowded streets or in seclusion. One day you were simply there, beside me. The search for you was over and I was at a loss. I rejoiced, overwhelmed that everything hadn't been for naught. My shock was disheartening at first, I feared that I had given up hope unknowingly, I feared that my confidence had been a lie in the end, but that wasn't the case. I had always held hope, and my confidence had been real. The shock came not from the finding, but rather from what I had lost. That missing answer, now scattered from my footsteps by the wind.

All this time searching and I had lost the knowledge of what to do with you once I found you. I sat you in the corner and began to tell you of my travels. I told you of the faces that weren't yours and how over time they became simultaneously too distinct and too well blended. You listened patiently and recounted your own travels. We were amazed over the times we had been so close to each other, yet did not meet. We laughed at the times we had been far apart. I never asked if you had been searching for me as I remembered searching for you. I was afraid of the answer no matter what it was.

We stayed that way for a long time, sitting in the corners of each others rooms, collecting dust on a shelf like so many of the souvenirs of our collected travels. I tried to remember the reason for the search, but it was lost. I saw you sometimes in deep thought, and I wondered if you were trying to do the same. I could remember the rough sand hard and awkward under my fingernails. I could remember the cold marble smooth and cold against my skin. I could remember the sun's broken reflection in pools of rain. I could remember looking at faces that blended and could still hear them speaking distinctly. I remembered the search and the wonderful beautiful things I had seen, felt, and heard.

I was surprised one day, when the familiar feeling returned to me that you were far away. I could see you sitting there in the corner, a look of deep thought and a small smile on your face. The feeling remained, and I found myself subconsciously searching the maps, the transportation routes, and the natural flow of people. I asked you on that day, if you would join my search. I still remember the look of confusion on your face and the way it slowly dissipated into a slow smile. Yes, you said, and we began the search anew. I still had to find you and you still had to find me, and together we had to find ourselves and each other.

Ponk

Oct. 22nd, 2006 10:30 pm
hells_half_acre: (Clouds)
    Ponk
    Seth awoke and tried to focus the numbers on the alarm into something other than a red blur. 4:27am. He slowly allowed the information to sink in, while wondering why it was that he had woken up so early even though it was quite obvious that he was still exhausted.
    Ponk
    ‘Ponk?’ He thought, sitting up and furrowing his brow in the dark.
    Ponk
    “What?” Seth detangled his legs from the sheet, cursed under his breath, and walked as fast as his sleepy muscles would carry him to the window. He raised the blinds, just in time to see Vincent throw something at him. A small stone hit the window pane.
    Ponk
    Vincent waved excitedly as a bright smile spread across his face. Seth grinned despite himself and opened the window.
    “Vin? What the hell is it? It’s four-thirty in the morning!” he called down in the sternest whisper he could manage. “You obviously aren’t dying, what the hell is so important?!”
    “Happy Birthday!” came the smiling response. Seth couldn’t help but laugh.
    “Thanks. I’ll be right down,” he said, shaking his head in mock disapproval.

hells_half_acre: (meanwhile)
It's a little known fact that back in High School I started writing a novel. The last time I wrote something new for it was about 3 years ago, unfortunately, but I do have 15 parts of various lengths saved on my computer. In a fit of boredom today, I read them all again. Some of it is not bad, and I can't help but think I should start working on it again. It's sort of a hard genre though...in that it's a completely ordinary book, save for the fact that I stole a basic idea for it from a Russian science-fiction movie called Stalker. Which makes it a regular old novel, only there's just a small thread of science-fiction running through it. I also have six main characters, only one of which is a girl. Anyway, before I get too sidetracked explaining too much, here is a segment from my unfinished novel Meanwhile Road:
**

Charlie stood at the edge of the woods, eyes closed and waiting. He took his breaths deep and slow. The birds sang to the sun, while insects hurried to make the most of their short lives. Charlie waited. It would come. It always came. He only had to wait. The wind blew softly through the tree tops, and in the silence that followed he heard it,

“Run.”

In that instant Charlie’s eyes flung open, his mind turned off, and all that existed was Running. The voice was never loud or demanding, and it never had any note of urgency. It was always the same. The constant voice from the past, exactly how it had sounded on the cold December night, in the ally behind the Chinese restaurant. The last words of his fallen friend.

He leapt over rocks and fallen trees. It was as though he knew what was coming before he saw it, but it had nothing to do with his mind. His body knew the Impasse, even the parts that he had never seen. He could never remember the way anywhere. After his run he would be left with the images of rock and trees, groves and hills, chasms and rivers, but there would be no memory of how to get to them, or their location in relation to each other. All Charlie knew was the Running. It consumed him and he became the sound of his breath, feet and heart. He was barely Charlie, he was only the Running.

When he ran he felt free, yet somehow chained. Christian was always with him. He was never sure where though. Sometimes it seemed that he was a head of him, as though it was the early days of their time together when Christian knew the streets better, and Charlie still had the urge to look back for the pursuers. Other times it felt as though Christian was running beside him, and there was the times that Christian was behind him, struggling to keep up. It had been like that in the final days. The Running had begun to consume Charlie, and Christian was beginning to falter.

Charlie knew that Christian couldn’t catch up, and all he wanted to do was stop and pretend that he was tired as well, but he couldn’t. It was too risky. Christian became better at hiding to compensate. Charlie would run, and then wait in a safe place for Christian to come out of hiding.

Charlie hated the days that Christian ran behind him, and this day was one of them. Sometimes as he was running in the impasse he could hear Christian running with him. It could be an echo, but Charlie always laughed when he heard it, and Christian would laugh back. The almost giddy laugh of a young boy. It seemed to dance through the thick trees, and for a brief instant Charlie would be free of the chain that held him to Christian. They were young and running, playing not being chased. There would no longer be any urgency or fear. It was times like those when the Running became a freedom, instead of a distraction. It became a pleasure and not just a natural drug.

Charlie slowed down and began to regain control of his body and mind. He started to jog and found that he had once again been returned safely home. He waved when he noticed one of the twins sitting on the back balcony.

Superhero

Oct. 12th, 2006 08:15 pm
hells_half_acre: (Clouds)
Just because I can bend gravity to my will, doesn't mean I'm a superhero. Perhaps I lack imagination, but I just don't see the appeal of wearing spandex and tracking down enemies. Mostly I just use my ability for mundane things. It's easier to find your car in the parking lot when you can jump up and hover a bit and get a birds-eye view. Sometimes when I'm in a particularly nasty mood, I'll rise 20 feet above my friends head and yell "Try getting me to talk about it NOW!!" and then wait until they furrow there brows in frustration, clench their fists, and storm off like some character from a japanese anime. I usually feel bad after that, but not quite enough to actually stop doing it. A nice thing is that I can choose exactly how much I want to weigh when I get on the scale. It impresses the girls at the gym, but deep down I know that controlling weight doesn't affect mass.

I suppose if I wanted I could save suicide jumpers. There's that one bridge in town that everyone uses, so they are easy to find. I tried it a couple of times, but they were never thankful, and most of the time they just waited until I was gone or killed themselves another way. What did everybody expect? I'm no psychiatrist, I can't REALLY help those people. I prevented a couple of rock climbers from dying, a couple of kids from breaking their necks. I didn't prevent them from falling completely, I still let them hit hard enough to knock them out or break a leg. It's important that they know they are mortal after all. I wouldn't want to prevent people learning from their own mistakes.

Still, I can't be everywhere at once. I've got no sixth sense for danger, nor can I hear a woman screaming from across town. It's not like in the comic books where the superhero is always just in the right place at the right time either. If you think about it, how much of the stuff on the news are you usually eyewitness to? I guess it depends where you live and what your habits are, but I'm horribly average, and looking for trouble goes against all my basic instincts. Really, the only exceptional thing about me is that I can bend gravity to my will. it's not like I have skin made of kevlar as well, or that my reflexes are any better than average. 

No comic book superhero ever talks about the downsides either. The dreams where I'm so heavy that my bones are breaking. I can't move my jaw and I can't wake up. I can't move and there's a stranger in the room. I try to talk but my tongue is plastered to the side of my mouth, my ribs are pushing down on my heart and my lungs are deflating. When I wake up I overreact and now the ceiling is cracked where my head hit, and I have to where a bandana to hide the bruising. Honestly, who would be in the mood to fight crime after a rotten nights sleep and a fresh headwound?

Oh sure, when I first discovered my ability I was excited. Everywhere I wanted to go I jumped to - leaping tall buildings just like the original superman. The novelty wears off when you spill your coffee all over your suit. They just don't make those cups to withstand gravity experiments. Besides, walking is better anyway. There's something about the sunshine on your face, the anonymity of being part of the crowd. I didn't mind the blurry photos in the paper and the speculation, but then someone said I was "slightly chubby for a superhero." It was just uncalled for. I only weigh 80 pounds...at the moment.

Some of my friends that know about it think I'm just lazy. They keep bringing over design sketches for increasingly bizarre form-fitting outfits. They keep pointing out puppies and kids that I could have saved if I'd been there. But just because I can bend gravity doesn't mean I can see the future, I can't just show up at puppies' and kids' houses and hang out "in case" something should happen to them that day. They'd put me in jail for being a creep, and I'm sure the puppy or kid I didn't hang out with would be the one that fell off a cliff chasing a frisbee.

Another friend once told me I should dedicate myself to science. It's suggestions like his that keep me from telling people about any of it. I've never been good at science. I nearly failed chemistry in high school, and the only reason I passed physics was because it's mostly math. Naturally, my own skills on the subject wouldn't matter in the long run, because no matter what good intentions people started off with, I would surely just end up another mutant rat in the lab. Something to be poked and prodded and sent through mazes with various tasks to fulfill in order to obtain my proverbial cheese. There is also the worry of what they might use the information for. It would be great if I could cure cancer, but, call my crazy, I think gravity might just be the one thing on earth that DOESN'T cause cancer. No, I'm sure whatever knowledge they gained from me would be put towards mankind's great pursuit of killing each other. Just imagine crushing your enemies using nothing but their own weight. More cruel than mustard gas for sure, but it takes a few examples before new rules of war are implemented, and a few is too many in my opinion. As I told my friend, I may not want to be a superhero, but that doesn't mean I'm evil.

They don't understand. There are other ways to better the world. My gifts aren't going to waste. I just don't advertise. I sit on my front porch and I see the girl down the street bring her new boyfriend home to meet the parents. Little skinny kid and I can tell he's nervous. He goes to the trunk to get the bags, show her stern father he's strong enough to protect his only daughter, the bags are feather light in his hands and for a moment he's baffled, but smiles and doesn't ask questions. The father goes to take them and they are dead weight, "you're stronger than you look son!" The old lady next door and I both know that she shouldn't be able to carry all those groceries home at her age, but wouldn't you know it the bags seem so much lighter, and suddenly her knees barely hurt at all. Her grandchildren show up, and her husband gives me a wave, and suddenly he can swing his grandchildren up into the air just like he did when his own kids were young.

Just because I can bend gravity to my will, doesn't mean I'm a superhero. Like most things in life, it's not about what you do, but how you feel.

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