Sunday, 2 November 2008

Literary Section IX

It's baaaaaaack!Well, after a fashion. As you might remember, the Literary Section had started with Prometheus's story, split into seven parts. After typing in the Aftermath, I had told you that you would have to wait until the sequel had been written by yours truly. Thing is, events have taken an interesting turn with Prometheus and I had to interrupt my writing the promised piece. No, I have NOT given up on it, not by a long shot. However, it seems that if nearly a year has not been enough to produce it, it's going to be a rather long process.

In the meantime, some other ideas have been popping into my head, one of which is a detective story, part noir and part science fiction, told through the pages of a journal-- But I am getting ahead of myself again. Dim the lights and put on the "Temple of Love" by Sisters of Mercy, sit comfortably into your armchair, on the floor or wherever it is that suits your fancy and start reading the mysterious, bloody and ravaging tale, of...

2 Fools and 300 Sins
Act I: Carnival of Fools
Prelude: "Simplicity"

It ran... ran through streets drowned in mud and free-flowing gutter water, as the unyielding, torrential rain drove cold needles in its muscles and plastered its long hair to its slim skull. Still it ran. Sloshing through filthy puddles that near resembled small lakes in these disrepaired streets, it ran. The coppery dye had half bled away these past few days of constant hiding, fearing and - yes - running. It was no sense of direction that led it to its destination but rather, an inevitable web of irony, lies and sins. Oh, yes, there were many sins in this terrible affair, past and present equally. As for the future, for all its self-centered existence, it knew that the prospect of a future was, at best, an optimistic view on things. Still, it ran, as most who are beyond hope and hopelessness will do.

Now, you have to understand, to the mundane eye, this was no scene of elaborate drama, no noir angle, not even cheap horror flick footage. Passerbys who bothered to spare a glance, saw a creature dressed in a peculiar assortment, of what might have once been clothes of dark fashion. However, the days of running and hiding and slumming had turned this - perhaps once - elaborate attire of pins, cute skulls, stockings and frills, into a very impractical hobo's outfit. It is really beside any logical point to discuss what had been an elaboratre hairstyle and make-up, as the only thing visible was a tangled, odd-colored mop and if one spared a second glance, tears and bruises of mascara, the lips bleeding gloss.

Judging from its general stature (somewhat augmented by what looked like utterly ridiculous boots in such a weather), its build and the - invisible in its running pose, arms wrapped around it tight - small bumps of soft flesh below its collarbone, one would call it female. In fact, purely scientifically speaking, it was a woman in her early 40s - however, as it had discovered, science and life seemed to be at odds. No, more appropriately, science had not yet accounted for the sheer, maddening weirdness of reality.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, for it has reached a very old building, at least twice renovated and burned down again, at this particular moment in time, boarded up. The LED-sign has been long cast into darkness and the abuse, both of its history and the weather, have almost completely covered it in a shroud woven of filth and muck. Ah, but it remembers the entrance reserved to the soul-keepers of this place of yore and amazingly, almost in a stroke of ridiculously improbable luck, it yields to its desperate efforts at gaining entry.

After it closes the door to the deafening sounds of the outside world and the sadistic persistence of the rain, it collapses in a heap of aching knees and sore body. Though it knows it must not sleep, as each passsing moment may bring it closer to... Well, its view of what exactly threatens it is so distoretd and unclear, that it would insult the esteemed reader. Nevertheless, its smudged eyelids weigh more than the Earth itself and it sinks into a slumber of unforgiving dreams. However, it is so exhausted, that the dreams seem distant echoes of darkness.

Suddenly it wakes but dares not open its eyes. How long has it been and how closer have-- But in the near-silence of its own breathing, it hears nothing stir, nor drag, nor scratch. It's small comfort but better than none. Still, its eyes remain sealed with dripping make-up and dried-up tears. New tears of despair and perceived injustice wash some of the muck away form the sticky eylids and yet, it squeezes them shut, accompanied by its own moans. Another small eternity passes and it recovers some presence of mind. It has found temporary shelter but not safety - no, safety is an illusion long dispelled. However, the dead and the ghosts of memories from this place are far preferable to what might be closing in.

It remembers the general outline, though the debris has altered it some. It fumbles down short steps, to the - more or less - circular center space. The railing used to have candles; now, if this ridiculous luck holds-- some are still there, quite a few in fact. Wonderful. It sets its heavy load beside it and searches for its lighter. There it is, still working: obediently, it lights up and passes its light to three of the remaining candles. No chance of warmth but the shelter from the rain, the silence and the sudden presence of even these meager flames, gives the hunted a moment to pause and look at the geometric, stylized sign on the zippo. New tears and moans emerge, more briefly this time.

It sits down, shivering, and draws the rectangular object near it. Nothing but the case is wet. The crafty bastard had a way with such things, it thinks, as it carefully opens the case. It removes the black tome from inside and sets it on the dry ground, for fear of ruining it before reaping the secrets inside. It's simple black, with only the occasional blemish of use. A magnetic strip keeps the cardboard covers shut, a Japanese ideogram burned on the front: "Simplicity", he had said. How this thought bings it terror! However, for all its apprehension, it must know, it must witness as only he who did not forget and apparently, did not forgive, could.

The magnetic strip does not resist much, and the covers give their place to creamy-white paper, filled with small, inky handwriting. It is this moment it had longed for, since losing all hope of claiming unlawfully, what it had truly desired. This terrible moment of truth. This man's memories. It closes its eyes, takes a deep breath and starts reading:

September 6th, 2028

Blast this verdammt weather! I had hoped that the summertime would hold a little longer but it's just my luck: the humidity just had to go up, two days before the opening and the old wound has been acting up like a real bitch. Ah, to hell with it, I will just...

[To be Continued]


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