Edited by Hahli Husky, Jul 26 2012 - 01:01 PM.
Static - LSO COT 2012 - Team One
Posted Jul 08 2012 - 05:34 PM
Posted Jul 09 2012 - 03:45 PM
Edited by Hahli Husky, Jul 10 2012 - 01:01 PM.
Posted Jul 10 2012 - 01:24 AM
Posted Jul 10 2012 - 01:11 PM
Edited by Velox, Jul 26 2012 - 12:54 AM.
"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender
Posted Jul 10 2012 - 07:55 PM
Edited by Legolover-361, Jul 10 2012 - 07:59 PM.
Posted Jul 11 2012 - 02:08 PM
---For a second, it looked like a light winked on in the distance. I shake my head.“Did you see that?”“What, Ian?”“That light. I thought…” Maybe my eyes are playing tricks.“Did you see a light?” Alex replies, “Maybe the power is still on down there.”“I’m not sure. I thought I did.”“Let’s keep going then. It can’t be much farther.”I hope it isn’t much farther. It’s cold down here, and I think the darkness is starting to get to me. The surface of the tunnel wall is smooth against my right hand, and every now and then I feel a cold metal pipe or conduit bolted to the concrete. I tried counting them at first, but I’ve lost track. It seems like we’ve been walking for hours.At one point, I put in one of my earphones. Sort of instinctive, I guess. But then I thought it’d be kind of rude to listen to music with her behind me. All the same, I kept one earphone in. It was kind of a relaxing feeling, after all the craziness today…“So, Ian,” her voice finally breaks the awkward silence, “what were you going to do today? You know, before all this happened.”She’s trying to keep things light-hearted. Small talk—that sort of thing. I don’t like that, usually. But right now, it’s probably good.“I, uh, I was heading home, actually.” I grimace in the darkness. Home. Yeah right.“Oh, I guess your parents will be worried.”“Probably not,” I say with a bit too much sarcasm.“What?”“Uh, nevermind. Yeah…my dad—I don’t really want to talk about it.”“Oh…um…okay.” She fumbles a bit, and I feel bad. Shouldn’t have said that.“So, no school today?” she changes the subject. “I mean, you’re in school, right?”Great. I know she means no harm, but what am I supposed to say? Yeah, I ditched school today. On a whim. Whatever…“School was out early,” I lie. It feels wrong right now. Shouldn’t be lying at a time like this.“Wow, it’s funny how that works,” she says. I can tell she’s smiling now.“Huh?”“I said it’s funny how that works. You know, if school hadn’t got out, you wouldn’t be here.”It’s true. I wouldn’t be here. None of this would have happened to me.“It’s the same for me,” she continues. “I wasn’t supposed to be on this train either. I was going to see my sister. I didn’t know she was visiting until this morning, even.”“Wow.”I can’t think of much else to say. That’s how it works, I guess. And after all, it means I brought this upon myself. I had decided to ditch today. I don’t even know why. I’m not usually like that.“Oh hey! There is a light up there!”Finally a change! She’s right. I can see it too. I’m not going crazy. Just up ahead, around another curve in the tunnel.“Let’s go!” I say. “Maybe there’s an access door or something.”We both pick up the pace, making sure not to trip over the metal rails. Almost there…Suddenly, a noise breaks my concentration. A crackling noise. Static. What the…It’s my earphone. Still in my ear. It’s crackling like crazy. I yank it out and shake my head. Weird. Maybe they’re broken. We round the bend in the tunnel, and there’s the light. It’s an old fluorescent bulb mounted in the ceiling. Cobwebs everywhere. No doors or anything though. Still, it’s nice to be out of the dark.“Ian.”Alex’s voice is taut, harsh. I whirl around. What is it?She’s standing in the middle of the passage, staring down the tunnel. Her eyes are wide, and I can almost feel the fear coming off her.“Whoa, what’s the matter?” I move toward her. What is she looking at——And then I see it.It’s black. A wall of blackness. The whole tunnel is covered in it. I rub my eyes. Still there. This is definitely not normal. The hair on my neck prickles.“Holy…” I don’t even finish the thought. Alex is moving toward it. Her hand is outstretched, fingers rigid.“Whoa, stop! What are you doing?!” I yell.“Don’t touch it!”I don’t know what it is, but it’s not good. My earphones are crackling louder. I can hear them even though they’re not in my ears. What is going on?I leap forward, grabbing her shoulder, but she resists, twisting away. Stop! Stop! Fear is rising in my stomach, and I feel like I’m going to throw up. This can’t be happening. I reach out again, grabbing her around the waist, trying to pull her back.And then she touches it, and she’s gone.I cry out as I fall forward. She’s gone. Gone! I think I can hear her scream, echoing from far away. My eyes are closed. I’m breathing hard. What is happening to me?It feels like something is holding me down, a pressure in my head. Images flash in my vision…and there’s a figure. Thick and hunched…It’s my dad. His eyes are glazed over, drunken and stupid. He says something, but I don’t understand. I can feel that he wants something. He wants something from me. No. No!He lunges at me, and I scream——and then it’s over, and I’m stumbling back up. Something has me by the shoulder. A grip like iron, dragging me back, whirling me around. I’m helpless, can’t get away. It lets go abruptly, and I fall to me knees. My eyes are suddenly clear, and the sight of what stands before me makes my breath catch in my throat.It’s him.It’s the dead man.He’s alive.This cannot be real.Terror roots me to the spot. I can’t even scream. His clothes are torn, his arm still twisted, but he’s there. His face is bloody, but the wound on his forehead is gone. This can’t be real. It can’t be!“It’s real, kid.” The man’s voice is hard, deep.“Y-you,” I start breathing again. I can hardly speak, “You were—you were dead!”I stagger back. My stomach is turning somersaults. The man moves forward suddenly, faster than I would have thought possible. He grabs me by the shoulder and leans in. There’s something in his eyes that makes me stop resisting. It’s like he’s searching for something…searching me.“H-how?” I stammer, shying away. Confusion clouds my mind, “What do you want?”“What do I want?” he asks, almost laughingly. He lets me go, as if satisfied. “I want out. But it won’t let me.”It. I feel fear surge through me again, and the horrible image of my dad rises up for a moment. It. What was it?“How…” I can’t think right now, “How are you still alive? I saw you—”“—I know what you saw. Yeah, it almost had me there. It took the girl, didn’t it?”The man looks past me at the horrible black wall, frowning. Oh God…it had taken Alex. What was happening here?“It would’ve got you too. But it doesn’t want you. Not really.”“What does it want, then?” I ask, grasping for words. I’m tired, so tired. I can’t believe this is happening, but it feels so real.The man shrugs.“Me,” he says. “I can’t die, kid.”“I can’t die, and it wants me.”
Edited by Tolkien, Jul 11 2012 - 02:09 PM.
Posted Jul 12 2012 - 12:13 AM
Posted Jul 13 2012 - 03:02 AM
Edited by Velox, Jul 26 2012 - 12:54 AM.
"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender
Posted Jul 14 2012 - 12:03 PM
Posted Jul 16 2012 - 12:07 PM
---I awaken with a start, gasping. It’s dark, but there’s a light above me. I raise my eyes, and see that it’s a fluorescent bulb. It’s mounted into the concrete wall against which I’m leaning. Cobwebs. It’s cold, damp…I’m back in the tunnel.I start forward, confused. My limbs are sluggish. It doesn’t make any sense. I rub my head. No wounds. No pain. I can hear. Where’s Alex? What happened to me?And then I see it. The black wall. It looms to my right, just as before, cutting off the tunnel. An impenetrable barrier.Fear courses through me again. I thought I had escaped. To my left, the tunnel continues on, empty. I start to rise. Can’t stay here. I have to get back…have to go…somewhere…A noise disturbs the cool silence, and something moves in the darkness to my left, farther down the tunnel. A figure.It’s the man again. The dead man. I don’t understand. It can’t be real. Not again. I must have hit my head—“No, Ian. It’s real,” the man speaks. His voice sounds strained this time, gravelly. He steps forward, and I see that his clothes look even more ragged than before.“What happened?” I ask, “Did you do it? Is it over?”The man’s expression is unreadable. He purses his lips.“Ian,” he says, “do you remember what I told you before? About myself? It was after Alex was taken. I told you that we, myself and…it—We’re opposites. Like different ends of a magnet. Remember that?”I nod, feeling worn out.“I wanted to help you understand,” he continues. “In truth, it’s a bit more complicated than that. I’ve lived a long time, Ian. Long time. It’s quite a gift. I’ve wandered the world for lifetimes…”He stops for moment as if catching his breath.“But always…always I’m pursued. He—it—pursues me. Really, he’s more like a reflection of me. I’m alive, you see, but in him there is no life. I’m a man; he’s a…an ‘unman.’ He can only take life, feed off of it—the conflict and the struggle. I’m eternal, and he craves the life I have. We’re drawn to each other, always. It’s, well…It’s a tiring existence. And now you’re a part of our struggle.”I shake my head, frowning. This is crazy. I don’t want to get pulled any deeper into this. I want out.“How am I a part of any of this?” I retort. “It wants you! I’m just a kid on a train.”“No you’re not, Ian. Not just a kid on a train.” The man’s eyes widen, and he steps forward shakily.“You’re a part of this because…because I know now that it has to end. This has to be finished, and you can finish it, Ian. We’re very much alike, you and I. We live lives of…conflict.”There is a stirring in the black wall to my right, and I whirl to look. It ripples, swirling like vapor, and then something emerges. I shy away, fearing to see the dreadful puppet-form the thing had taken in the street.But no…this is worse. It steps forward, unsteady on its feet. Dull eyes stare at me, and the sound of a bottle shattering on the concrete echoes down the tunnel as the image of my father moves into the light.“C-conflict,” the image says with sluggish lips, “Yeah. Ain’t that right, Ian.”It isn’t real. It isn’t real. I try to close my eyes, to look away. I can’t. There is no escape this time. No firm hand to pull me away. I’m trapped, helpless.“Yeah, dad,” I reply.“Ian,” the man says from behind me. “It was no accident that you were on the train today. You know that, right?”I do. I had chosen to be there. I had made a decision.“I know…” I reply.My throat is tight as the memory rises in my mind. The image of my dad leers down at me, and it’s like a raw wound deep inside. It had been another argument. They were all alike. Shouts and curses and words that hurt, though neither of us would ever show it.“I hate you,” I had said. “I hate you. I’m not coming back.”The door slammed, and my feet pounded the porch as I left. I heard the creak of hinges behind me as my dad stumbled out, barely sober. His voice was thick when he called out. Almost like he was choking.He had called to me. Called out.“I’m sorry, son! Oh God, I’m sorry. No more of this. I-I promise.”The crash of a bottle shattering on the paved steps made me jump, and I turned, one last time. I thought he had thrown it at me, but he had only thrown it down on the step.“I hate it,” he says. “I hate what…what it does to me. It’s like it eats me alive. I’m sorry, son.”He slumps sideways against the porch-rail, and I see that his face is a mess of tears. They drip down his chin.“Don’t leave…I don’t know how to go on by myself.”It’s horrible, this feeling. Sadness. Guilt. Conflict. No. I had to get away…had to run. Run!And I did. I ran all day. Left it all behind. I hardly remembered where...It was all a blur. But finally, things had become clear, and I felt calm seep into my heart. Weariness. The station was a mess, people milling about. It had been a relief to sit in the quietness of the train-car, close my eyes, and get lost in music.But I still hadn’t decided what to do yet. The train was carrying me closer to home. Back to my father, back to that terrible conflict. Closer and closer…Where else could I go? Still…“Ian.” The man’s voice breaks in on the memory, and suddenly I’m back, leaning against the cold wall. My father is still there, staring me down.“You have a choice, Ian,” the man continues. “That’s what makes us different, you and I. You can make choices. I…I am eternal. I exist, but I don’t change. There’s a life for you out there. There’s a resolution, but it’s in your hands…”The man pauses. His eyes cloud over, and I see his legs shuddering. A rumble fills the tunnel for a moment, and he winces. But then it passes.“I can’t stop it, Ian. Out there, in the street. I can’t stop it, but I can’t let it take me. I am life, and it has none. We conflict. But in the end, I don’t have the strength…” He’s breathing hard now. His face looks paler.“I’ve lived in this body for a while, but not much longer. I wish for a change. It’s in your hands, Ian—the change. I can give you the chance. I still have the strength to turn things back, but you must make the choice.”He raises an arm, pointing at the image of my father.“But first, you have to make this right. He’s a shadow, sent to stop you, to tie you down. But he’s real enough. Make it right, Ian. It’s decision time.”And in that moment, I know what to do. It all seems clear now, like a dam that has finally burst inside of me, sweeping away all the pain, all the sadness, the anger.Tears spring into my eyes as turn to face my father. Face him, and weep, and say:“I know you’re sorry. Dad. I’m sorry. I forgive you.”The words fill the space of the tunnel, and my father’s eyes suddenly seem to brighten. His face is clear, awake. He smiles a little and steps back, back into the black curtain, and then he’s gone.It’s freedom, pure freedom. The weight lifts from my mind, and I stand up, staring at the place where he vanished. The tunnel doesn’t seem so dark now. It’s getting brighter, in fact. I steady myself against the wall. The man is beside me now, and I feel his cold hand upon my shoulder.“Resolution, Ian,” he says. “It’s what we all crave, no matter what we tell ourselves.”The light is definitely increasing. The black wall seems thin now, insubstantial. There is a shuddering in the floor and the walls. Something is happening.“And now,” the man continues, “I can give you the chance to end this. I will use what strength is left in me…I can turn things back. I yearn for an end to this…this eternal conflict. End it, Ian.”“How?”“You’ll see,” the man points upward with a pale, trembling finger. He smiles.I look up just in time to see the fluorescent bulb hanging above us blaze like a white sun, piercing and brilliant. And then it shatters.Debris rains down upon me as the darkness leaps up. The man is gone. The ground shakes, and a noise fills my ears, deep and rumbling. I can feel it in the floor as I crouch, trying to keep my balance.Suddenly I realize that it’s not dark anymore. My shadow stretches on before me, long and dark, cast by a light shining somewhere behind me. Something bright, growing and growing.I whirl around and cry out just as the lights of the train roar up out of the tunnel and thunder over me—
---—A shock, and a deafening sound, and I’m back in my seat on the train. My earphones are in my ears, and there’s Alex next to me, and the people sitting, staring, oblivious, all around.And I know.I know what to do.The man is out there in the aisle. His hand grips the metal pole to his right. He doesn’t move. Not a muscle.“Sir?”I half-stand in my seat, and the man almost jumps. He turns and looks at me. His eyes are sharp, piercing. It’s only a moment, a fraction of a moment, but he looks……distracted.Crash. The metro heaves, and my stomach jumps into my throat. Shattering glass, and a sickening lurch, and time seems to slow.His eyes are fixed upon me, and mine are on his. Everything goes sideways, and the ground rushes up toward him far too fast.He doesn’t see it. I don’t think he knows he’s going to die.Not this time.But in that moment, as the world spins into chaos around us, I think he does know that this is the end.It’s over.The change is made.The eternal conflict.Done.His eyes remain wide open this time, and the moment blazes past in a cloud of color and noise and pain, and I’m lying in the aisle now, battered and bruised, but alive.Alive!People are screaming, shouts and calls. I hear Alex’s voice, and a hand grabs at my shoulder, pulling me up. Pain courses through me, but I can take it. It means I’m still here.My vision starts to clear, and I see Alex’s face, concerned. No more blood. She’s safe. Beyond her, I see people scrambling over the chairs. One man is crouching in the aisle, crouching over a single, inert form. He shakes his head.I don’t know how. I don’t know what I did, exactly, but I know that it’s done. He didn’t see it coming this time. I made the choice for him.I sigh and lean back. My earphones are dangling from my pocket, and I realize that I can still hear them, crackling away.It’s static—hissing, insistent, angry.I struggle to lift my hands, to raise them to my ears…And then it ends.
Edited by Tolkien, Jul 16 2012 - 02:26 PM.
Posted Jul 26 2012 - 02:48 AM
Edited by Hahli Husky, Aug 06 2012 - 02:58 AM.
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