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Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

In.

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Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

Forever (563 words)

Death may be gone from the world, but I still wound up in hell. I've seen nothing but a slide-show of faces against a drop-tile ceiling for centuries; the faces as interchangeable as the tiles.

The world rejoiced when death stopped, but never considered the implications. Death was gone, but pain is as eternal as life.

I’d left to pick up a gallon of milk. I never saw the car that hit me. One minute I was starting through Green and Allen Drive, the next the world spun and there were shards of glass flying everywhere. Pain roared through my body and fell silent.

When I woke, my daughter’s face hovered over mine. A drop-tile ceiling framed her head. She was six then. Her eyes were red and wet, and her golden hair hung over me like a canopy.

“Daddy? Daddy, are you awake?” I tried to form the word, Yes, but my mouth refused to cooperate. My chest clamped tight around my heart. Her eyes were wide and a slight smile born of hope was forming on her mouth. All I had to do was move, acknowledge her in some way, and that smile would blossom. I threw my mind into the fight of moving, straining until my brain throbbed.

Her smile faded, and her mother came and collected her.

For countless days this experience would repeat itself. Her face hovering over mine against the drop-tile backing. The hope burning in her eyes diminishing slightly each time. The throb of my head and the stabbing pain in my chest as I failed to move dead hands and a silent jaw. Her tears falling as her mother pulled her away.

One day I woke to nothing.

As years stretched on my only companions were my thoughts and the parade of faces that marched across the ceiling. Nurses and doctors, they would pass in and out of my vision and life. No face repeated for long.

I lingered through centuries. The faces flashed like strobes. I wanted to scream, to force some sound from my body. I struggled against the restraints in my mind. I could almost feel my arms moving as they lay limp and useless beside me.

I woke one morning to find the face of a nurse hovering over mine. A faint smile touched her lips, but she had the blank gaze of a widow remembering her lost love. A strand of blond hair curled down from under her cap. Her face stirred lost memories.

She stayed with me for most of that morning. Finally, she stood up and started toward the door. Her footsteps echoed in my soul. They stopped. I felt the passing of each second. Slow footsteps approached my bed and the nurse’s face reappeared. Her eyes were aflame and her gaze seared into me.

“Please,” she said. “Give me some sign you’re still in there.”

My body lay still, but I thrashed under those eyes. I was certain she would stay if I could move. My mind flailed, imploring my eyes, my fingers, my toes, something the just move. The moment stretched, growing thinner as each second slipped through my dead fingers.

She stood up, the blaze in her eyes extinguished. She nodded to herself and wiped at her eye. She turned and walked out of the room. Her footsteps never faltered. I howled inside.

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

I'd love some feedback.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3598931&userid=110783#post424306174

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

In!

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

My apologies to those familiar with the geography. I can only tell so much from google maps.

A Dream Vacation (848 Words)

Jane grabbed the armrest of her seat as the train jerked into motion. She leaned toward the window, then turned and flashed a smile toward Sean. She reached out and grabbed his hand.

“I can’t believe we’re almost there,” she said.

“You’re going to love it, Jane.” He squeezed her hand.

“And you’re sure we have reservations?” His smile faltered and she wished she hadn’t asked. “I’m sorry. You told me you have everything in order, and I believe you.”

“Thanks. I appreciate it.” His smile returned, although not as broad as before.

She turned back to the window. She bit her lip as she watched Liverpool fade into suburbs and fields.

“So where are we staying?”

He laughed. “Come on, now. I said it would be a surprise, and I meant it. You’re not going to get it out of me.”

She stuck her tongue out at him, but her stomach sank. No, she thought, he’s come a long way since then.

The call had come almost a year ago to the day. It was a week before her parent’s 30th wedding anniversary and she’d been a month away from a big performance review. She’d been coming home from twelve hour days and staring at pamphlets for banquet halls and caterers with numb eyes. Sean had volunteered to take care of the catering and assured her that everything was ok. Three days before the party, Sean pulled her aside. He’d forgotten to make the reservation.

They found a replacement, but the night after the party she packed a bag and sat next to it on the bed for hours. In the end, he promised things would be better and she put her things away. Sticky notes started cluttering the walls of their apartment. Three months ago he called her at work. He started talking the moment she answered the phone.

“Jane! I found the perfect spot for us to visit this summer! It’s a quaint little town in England, like we’ve always talked about. You’ll love it!” He wanted to do all the planning. “It’s the least I can do to make up for the party,” he’d said.

Jane felt herself pushing into the seatback as the train began to slow. Hedgerows at odd angles surrounded fields of crops out her window. As the train pulled into the station, she clapped her hands together and smiled at Sean. He reached out and put a hand on her leg.

“I told you we’d make it,” he said.

They gathered their bags and made their way outside. The station was a squat brick building huddling next to the platform with a ticket window facing the tracks. A bus sat idling on the road. Sean walked over to the window and set his bags down. The attendant’s head snapped up as she approached and she smiled.

“Hello. What can I do for you, sir?” she said.

“Does that bus stop in Argleton?” Her smile dropped.

“No, it doesn’t.”

“Well, can we call a cab from here?”

“You could, but it’s not going to do you much good.” She glanced at the person waiting behind Sean and smiled. “I’ll just be a moment,” she said. Jane’s hands started to sweat.

“Why not? We’re trying to get to the Meadowlawn Inn. I know this is the right station, I double checked!” Sean’s brow was furrowed, and his fist was clenched at his side.

The attendant sighed and took a deep breath. “There is no Argleton. It’s a fake town someone put on a map online.” Sean jerked back, his mouth working but failing to produce words.

Jane dropped her bag. There was a bitter taste in the back of her throat. “Ma’am,” she said, “are you sure about that?”

The attendant nodded. “Absolutely. We used to get five or ten people a week here to get their picture taken in the Town That Doesn’t Exist. Now, if you’ll excuse me…” She smiled to the next person in line again.

Jane turned to find Sean. He had drifted a few feet away. He was staring at the cement platform and shaking his head. Jane’s head felt as if she’d slammed back five drinks in the last hour. Her lip twisted into a snarl as she approached him.

“Sean. Sean!” His head snapped up. His eyes were wide and his lips were compressed into white lines. “What the gently caress did you do?”

“I don’t understand. I found this inn online. I made reservations.” He ran a hand through his hair.

Her eyes burned with tears and she bit her lip. She could feel crazed laughter bubbling up her throat. “Did you give them our bank card number?” All of the muscles in his face went slack. His eyes darted as though they could find an answer somewhere on the platform.

As his silence dragged on, she nodded to herself and headed back to the window. The knots in her back relaxed.

“What are you doing?” Sean said behind her. She turned back.

“I’m going home,” she said. “Good luck in Argleton.”

--------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argleton

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

:siren: Space Filler Elegance Challenge #2 :siren:

Home (149 Words)

It was the summer of 1932, and Rose stepped up to the plate. The boy on the mound’s shadow stretched to the third-base line.

“Rosa!” She heard her mother’s voice, but it slid past her concentration. There was only the rough grain of the wooden bat in her hands and the boy standing on the mound. He wound up and threw, and she swung.

The crack rang in her ears. Needles dug into her hands and up her arms as she raced towards first base and continued on. Ritchie was at third waving his arms in circles toward home.

Her legs pumped down the third-base line and she dove into home. The solid thwump of the ball smacking leather followed her by a second. She rose to silence as her mother approached.

“Rosa Maria, how many times...” The tirade washed over her, and she grinned all the way home.

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

Because my timing is perfect for weeks to come back to this thread: In

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

Leave

My first thought when I woke up was, Oh poo poo, I’m dead. I floated on the mattress like some misguided demon in heaven. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been in a bed that wasn’t some slab of a cot. Most nights I slept on the ground. It was also unmercifully quiet. I heard nothing but the faint sound of running water and my thoughts. My ears ached for the chaos of sound they were accustomed to.

I was so loving tired.

I sat up, ignoring the shrill pain behind my eyes, and lit up a smoke. It tasted like the rear end-end of a mule, but the hangover was bad enough without tempting fate. I sat there staring out of the window. The city was a mix of the shattered skeletons of buildings and those few that remained untouched. There was no sense to the destruction; some blocks were utter ruin with a single building standing pristine among the rubble while others were untouched aside from a single home of ash and broken stone. The sun shone crimson through the ruins as it rose.

The water cut off. Moments later, Rob stepped out of the bathroom with a towel around his waist. He was tall and the way his muscles rippled distracted from his sunken eyes and the way his ribs shone too clearly through his skin. Nothing could draw attention from the puckered scars in his shoulder and just above his waist. No one who spent any time at the front lines lacked for scars.

When he saw me he smiled and life flickered in those tired eyes.

“I’m glad you’re up. I thought you were going to be out until leave was over,” he said.

I laughed. “You should know me better than that. There’s no way I miss this.”

“That’s what you said in Berlin. The MPs came close to wheeling you out.”

“Right,” I said, forcing my lips into a smile. It didn’t hold. “Rob, I need to get something off my chest.”

He came over and sat down next to me. He put a rough, calloused hand on my shoulder and squeezed.

I couldn’t look him in the eye.

“We can’t go back out there.” I forced the words out in rapid succession. He sighed.

“Look, John...”

“No, don’t give me that bullshit. If we go back it’s only a matter of time until one of us is dead. We’ve been out there for years! Who’s left from the unit we started out with?” He winced and shook his head.

“John, we run and we’re both dead for sure. For gently caress sake, they caught Hansen after two years and left his head rotting on a stick for weeks.”

I spat out a single bark of empty laughter. “Hansen was a moron.”

“He won’t be the only one if you think this is going to work. The generals own our asses for the duration. Our only hope is to kill more of those bastards than they kill of us.” He put his hand on my cheek and tried to turn my face to his. I pulled away.

“What kind of macho bullshit is that?” He stood up, his eyes smoldering down at me.

“We swore an oath.”

“gently caress the oath!” I said, rising to that gaze. “You and I are the only two left after three years of this poo poo and there’s no end in sight. People make it out all the time. I know you’ve heard the rumors.”

“And that’s all they are.” He stepped toward me and grabbed my arm. “John, no one gets out of here. No one. I know you remember that chip in your head, the same as mine. We run, they find us. It’s just a matter of when.”

I felt the tear burn in my eye and I pulled my arm away, pushing past him toward the door. In that moment, I hated him as much as I loved him. The thought of leaving without him burned in my gut. I heard him begging me to stop. Then I was storming through the hall to my own room. My gear was there; my rifle, my armor, the few belongings I was allowed. The captain would be calling ranks in two hours. I needed to be ready. The front waited for us.

---------------------

The next five months passed the same as the three years that came before it; weeks of quiet interspersed with moments of hell. This night was quiet. Don’t get me wrong, the not-too-distant sounds of shelling and rifle-fire were always present, but in our little section of the battlefield things were still. I was at the tail-end of a twelve hour shift guarding some hut-in-the-mud. I could see my relief trudging through the muck. It was Rob. He smiled when he saw me watching him. The smile was slight and hesitant. I turned and stared out into the empty nothing that was the front.

I never heard the shot. The impact of the bullet crashed like a wrecking ball in my left side. I was on my back before the pain hit, but the terror was instant.

Rob was there almost before I was down, yelling for a medic and telling me to hold on. I reached up and touched him with my right hand. He looked down at me and bit his lip.

“I’m sorry,” he said. Sometimes short good-byes are all we have time for.

I smiled as I drifted off.

I was so loving tired.

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

With a draft and half done already, count me in.

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

The Hunt

1,577 Words

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PzfzSTIajFdP4D9W_tt7K2RCnUWExmnNosoEgLe4KfI/edit?usp=sharing

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

In with dueces, 2 and 2

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

PROMPT: The Rat Princess and the Greedy Man

I Know Just What You Need 935 Words

(Removed for possible future use)

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2572&title=I+Know+Just+What+You+Need

Guiness13 fucked around with this message at 17:38 on Dec 15, 2014

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

Just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the crits from last week! Now I have something to work on for the next draft (and watch for in other stories). It's been forever since I did any kind of regular writing, and doing the occasional TD has been really helpful for catching the bad habits and working out the kinks.

And I still can't believe I missed that typo. I even had it circled on my printout of the first draft. Just missed changing it and didn't see it was still there until after it was up.

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

In

Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

In the Autumn
782 words

(Removed for possible future use)

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2690&title=In+the+Autumn

Guiness13 fucked around with this message at 17:41 on Dec 15, 2014

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Guiness13
Feb 17, 2007

The best angel of all.

A little late, but thanks for the crits!

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