I really like donuts, y’see.
I really like donuts, y’see.
I later determined they were collecting these things to create a wreath. But still, it was damn weird to walk up to the door every day and see a growing pile of pinecones.
When I write my story, there will be no hero. There will be no happy ending.
There will be an infinite sadness, a streak of pain painted across the night sky, an arc of red against a field of black.
There will be blood, and a wailing, and a gnashing of teeth.
And ponies. There will probably be ponies.
* * *
My main character will not be a white male. No, my protagonist won’t even be human, or sentient, or recognizable as a character. It’ll be a bacterium, or a fugus, perhaps a particularly plucky protozoa.
There won’t be a determined, independent woman in the story, either. No humans at all, except maybe as the setting. Or the antagonist. We’re pretty antagonistic towards every other living thing in existence, it seems, so we’d make pretty damn convincing antagonists.
* * *
I don’t really think I’ll have a theme, or follow much in the way of writing conventions. Everyone’s done pretty much everything you can with stories that make sense, that follow narrative structure. Hell, everything’s been done with stories that don’t follow narrative structure. I’ve read Joyce and Bely, I know all about that whole stream of consciousness nonsense.
My story will be told through pheromones and suggestive twitches of flagella.
* * *
It won’t be a long story. There’s no need to go on for thousands and thousands of pages, hundreds of thousands of words stacking up like bricks in a wall or CDs on a club kid’s nightstand. There may only be a single word to my magnum opus. It’ll be a word that rolls over the tongue, one that lolls about in the mouth, coating everything in a thin film. Something like “lugubrious,” or “gibbous,” or possibly “sumptuous.”
Or maybe it will just be a description of some hardcore bestiality for a thousand pages. I’m not set on anything just yet.
* * *
Ultimately, no one will read my story. It will exist only in my head, if even there, and only for a short while if at all. I’m not entirely certain the world is ready for my work of speculative flash fiction featuring an unknowable protagonist and us as the antagonist. It’s a bit of a stretch, really.
Also, I haven’t found a publisher, and I’m sure as hell not gonna self-publish.
George walked hesitantly to the bedside. The girl lay in bed, asleep, her face creased with pain. He reached out to brush the hair out of her face, but stopped just short. Touching her would break the spell, bring an end to something he couldn’t quite describe.
He turned his attention to the bedside table. It was covered in simple crayon drawings of a man in red and a green dragon.
“How is she?” a voice from the door asked. George turned slowly to see his mother standing in the doorway, a look of sad concern on her face.
“She’s sleepin’,” George replied quietly. “I think she’s hurting, mom.”
“She is,” his mother said, “but the doctor says there isn’t much we can do about it.”
“I know,” George said.
George crept through the castle on quiet feet, his eyes darting around for signs of another living soul. He saw none. The castle, which appeared massive from outside, seemed smaller on the inside, and less imposing than George would have imagined. He took off his helmet and set it on the floor, walking slowly down the single hallway he found himself in.
The hallway ended in a single door of plain wood, a brass knob placed conventionally in the face of the portal. As George reached for it, he noticed his limbs seemed shorter than before, his muscles less-defined. He looked at his hands, saw they were small and soft. A sense of dread and foreboding stole across his spine, causing him to shiver involuntarily. He reached out once more for the doorknob, took it in his hand, and turned it.
Inside was a small room, the walls bathed in the shadow of twilight. Across from the door stood a small bed, its lone occupant a small girl with the covers tucked up under her chin. She looked remarkably familiar…
George and the girl set off away from the beach, quickly leaving the sand behind for scrub grass and low bushes. The land became more hilly again a few miles beyond the beach, climbing up away from the shoreline towards distant mountains. They walked for hours, until a castle came into view in the distance. “Is that where we’re going?” George asked. The girl nodded. They pressed on.
Eventually, they reached the main gate of the castle. It was an imposing edifice, all gray stone and iron bars. Like everywhere else they’d been, there was no one else in sight. “Where are all the people?” George asked.
“There are none,” she replied. “This is a place without life, except for you.”
“Except for us, you mean,” he said, feeling uncomfortable.
“No, I meant what I said,” she answered firmly, a look of sadness in her eyes. “You have to go on by yourself from here. I can’t go with you.”
“But…why not?” George asked, confused and upset.
“Because what lies inside is yours to deal with, yours to confront. This is where we have to part ways.” She took his hand in hers, held it for a moment, then let go, stepping away from him. George’s lower lip quivered for a moment, but she shook her head. “No tears,” she said. “You have to face what’s inside. Go now.”