Die Stadt, und die Stadt #WritersWednesday

nightmare wallpapers

 

Was passiert? What’s happening in this city? Smiling faces have disappeared, hoods are on, ugly trolls march in the streets…  Some disrespectful punks have pinched my venerable old bike!! The friendly round little diablotins have morphed into ugly scumbags, the air smells of sulphur…

A few days away, and this is a different place, what’s going on? Is someone trying to tell me something? Have I outstretched my welcome? Is time up? Or has there been a shift in space-time, are we in 2019, or in 9102? Have the magnetic poles inverted?

Have I dreamed? Or is the nightmare now, this, this unknown city, which only ressembles the one I once knew?

Image source: http://wallpapers-xs.blogspot.com/2012/04/nightmare-wallpapers.html

Turrets #writephoto

Turrets

pinnacle

 

When we left – how long ago was it? – it was summer. As we look over the tall trees, disappearing through the dark, icy air, we know that, here, wherever “here” is, it’s winter. But we don’t feel the cold, we just know it is.

Through the foliage covered with snow, the vision of a dream-like castle, its spires and turrets, appears, emerging from the mist. Is it a dream, or a nightmare? Are we lost, have we taken the wrong turn, on whatever road we followed?

Are we elsewhere? When did we leave the warmth and light of our city? This world is grey, and, now, we cannot guess what horrors await us.

A witness in the night

warrior_angel___23_06_12_by_lucastorquato27-d5mlyi7

Acknowledgement lucastorquato27.deviantart.com

I wasn’t at my best, hot, bothered, coughing, feeling sick. But that’s the time she chose. We hadn’t had a real talk, the way she wants, for a while. Evidently, I had been working, making progress, trying to move forward, damn.

The shimmer around her was an omen of what was to follow: the bitter complaints of a very dissatisfied lady, or rather ladies, since she was wearing all their faces, at once. I could tell she was furious.

“You have been at it again,” she said, as I was trying to focus on her shape in darkness, almost frightened, “yes, don’t play the innocent, it ain’t working, Monsieur le littérateur, de mes fesses, you are! First you set me on with a couple of robotic morons, and in uniform, just showing what a lamentable case I am, in your words, Sir!”

What the heck was she talking about now… It must be about the story, the girl… “Yes,” she resumed, pointing a vengeful finger at me, “You know perfectly well what I am talking about. No respect for anything. The last thing I know I am described, hopeless, as a sort of female predator, but, just a minute, not only that, an immoral kinda despicable spy. Yes Sir, no denying please! And once again, no discussion, no consultation with me: to hell with your feelings, girl!!”

I was speechless, which was probably best. I urgently needed the loo, but she was in the way, less than a meter from the bed. I had a sweat.

“Besides, you are now setting me up, again, as a complete idiot, a kinda pussy cat, ready to roll over for that distinguished, and rich, of course, lady. I assume you modelled her on your wife! YOU are, Sir, the despicable character in this story…”

There was a pause. Her shape was getting a little vaguer, was she going? Bad luck, she must have been thinking.

“Just one word of warning: don’t, just don’t set me up to become her lover! This is not me, I am not like that! I…”

I risked a word, to my peril,

“You mean, you don’t like women?”

“You, innocent you, you know perfectly well this is not what I mean, I am a human being, I have feelings, I let you know! I am not someone you, or that slut, can pick up in a club, and then pack up like, like…”

“This is not what I…”

“Shut up! You don’t even know what you’re doing. You use creatures like me as if they were your slaves, no respect, no real understanding, is this what you call writing?”

Another pause. I was by then desperate, but she gave no signs of wanting to move on.

“I am not going to have this. Not again. You never put things right. You start something, you don’t finish. And I, am the victim! I had enough!”

I attempted conciliation.

“I’ll rewrite those scenes. You know what work in progress is, don’t you?”

She was laughing, how beautiful she was in her anger…

“I despair. Your punishment will be your own readers, I mean the few who risk approaching that… well, pretend story! I am going home, where you cannot touch me!”

I felt confused, abused, abandoned. As she disappeared I could hear her laughter down the dark corridors of my imagination. I was alone, morning was still far away…

 

Image: Warrior Angel – 23-06-12 by Lucastorquato27 on DeviantArt

The Man Who Feared His Past #WritersWednesday

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He dreamed of speeches he may have made, once, as a much younger and more confident man, to audiences he held in awe, of intractable dilemmas he would have resolved, in another age, perhaps another world: what he feared most was his own past. Long forgotten antagonists were reappearing, more menacing, whose names he could not remember, but he knew, how much it had cost him, then, to chase them away.

And, now, they were back, vengeful, demanding, seeking retribution, wanting him to pay for what he had imposed on them, for his treachery, and for being, now, the mere shadow of himself.

It was as if all those distant years were coming back to him, forcing him to replay, to prove, again and again, that he was still able to fend off the Enemy. Like so many tentacles from the depth, voices he did not want to hear, questions he did not want to answer, faces he had thought forever forgotten, all, were surrounding him, insisting, clamouring for his undivided attention, and perhaps, apologies. He was drowning in his own memories.

In the middle of the night he was seeking a lone friendly face, a long lost friend, but only saw the hordes of maleficent creatures from his distorted life. In the morning, grateful for the dawn, he asked himself: is this hell?

 

Image: The Appearance of the artist’s family via Marc Chagall, via https://artist-chagall.tumblr.com/

Obelisk #writephoto

Thursday May 4

obelisk

 

I must have lost consciousness for a long time. I don’t remember who I am, I don’t know where I am. Was I travelling? Where did I start my journey?

I look up, alerted by the sound of waves. It is dusk. Is this desolate shore my final destination? On whose orders did I come here? Or have I just materialised here, from nowhere, other than a maddening nightmare?

I look up and see the obelisk, the sentinel… In my mind a message is forming: “You were expected long ago.” Expected? By whom? When? Was I on a mission? Have I failed?

On the horizon, the golden globe is sinking. Is this my world? Am I alone? I hear a low humming floating in the air. The temperature is quickly falling. The sound seems to be coming from the monolith…

Is this an alien world?

Nightmare #TheDailyPost

Not sure how to participate?

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You haunt our nights, not the you, seductive, smooth, sexy, not the one we meet in full daylight, but the one whom we cannot name. We see you in the shadow, beyond those trenches, beyond the cloud of blood and murder: for you are the Enemy, armed and pitiless, the one we, humans, fear.

And yet we fight, under a sky without light, where no stars shine. We fight and sometime push you back, you and your legions, and then we have to take shelter, in the depth of night, carrying our dead comrades with us…

There is no end, this fight will last forever, as dawns succeed to nights, and we pretend to live, and then the nightmare begins, again.

Image: Crow and Moon, by Valya. 2016, via valya47

#BlogMeMaybe: May 8 – May I tell you something about myself?

Guilt

Crash

In “On Writing”, which is also a concentrated story of his life, Stephen King describes how, while on a walk, he was run over and nearly killed  by a mad driver. I too brushed with death in a car accident, some twenty years ago. And it was my fault: a brief loss of attention, tiredness, the usual story: that evening I should not have been driving at all. But I don’t not want to tell you, reader, about the circumstances. All car crashes are, in some way, due to one main reason: being there at the wrong time. What still interests me about that crash is the way rehabilitation came, the slow journey to recovery, mental and physical.

First there is a sense of guilt, of utter responsibility: the other driver I could have killed, his family, my family, my employer, whose car I wrecked, mankind in general. And of course there is the pain, the multiple fractures, the painkillers, the gloomy hospital wards, what one reads, or thinks one reads, in other people’s eyes. The first year is plain hell: guilt, pain and remorse. Concentration is impossible, there is always a loop back to that instant: the fraction of a second when it happens, when all goes dark. Sleep, normal sleep, is an old memory, now is the time of awake nightmares, restarting anew every night.

In the second year rehabilitation is merely a dream. But there is at least a chance to start exercising again, slowly, to walk, to read a bit. The shame is there, the fear of being damned, the total loss of confidence. There is also the realisation that “going back to normal” will not happen. The new normal is this: not only remembering, but having the accident constantly in mind, as a tune for ever imprinted in one’s skull, never escaped from. Another year goes by, work has changed, real world events unfold, people die. Slowly the awareness of the triviality of one small incident grows.

And then new habits are created: the daily life become a series of small exercises, attempts at recreating an order. Over a decade the body adapts, the pain is still there, but diffused, some strength comes back, and with it some confidence. And, today, I think I was just plain lucky.