Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Silent Room, Part 15

WNP: He could feel the energy coursing through his veins.

Number 11

The trip back to the farm house took much less time than the trip away from it.  So much less time, in fact, that the sun hadn't even begun to change the sky into more varied colors and tones. Perhaps the day had lost just a bit of its heat.  With the sweat still dripping from his shirt and brow, he wasn't entirely sure.  The house, however, was not quite as he had left it. 

There was an energy about it now that had not been there before.  A pulsing wave had begun to cours through his veins with the heavy thrum of the silent room before he even stepped across the sharp edged border that marked the separation of the dusty fields and the broad lush circle of grassy yard surrounding the house.

He paused for a second, his gritty, dust-caked foot suspended in limbo above the waving welcome of the grass. What, he wondered, was the silent room? And how did he know it thrummed?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Silent Room, Part 14

Prompt from Copper: “[his] eyes were beginning to flash with lights-- spots of pink and purple, yellow, and even a few sparkling silver fireflies.”


Grenfelder wanted a nap. 

It had taken him the better part of a day… or maybe it had been days, plural… to make his way back out of the hold of the recreated fantasy world and to remember the burning paper with its strange list of items. 

In fact, had he not come across a small patch of Johnny Jump Ups with their cheery yellow and purple faces, he might never have remembered. Johnny Jump Ups had been the one bone of contention between his grandfather and his mother and the topic of many a friendly argument. She adored them and planted them everywhere she could get them to grow in their gardens at home. She had even tried to pot them up for their kitchen table once. His grandfather, however, had absolutely despised them. No mocking little dandies for him when he could have a rose of any variety instead. Even as he stared at them and watched them dissolve into a low clump of pale pink fairy roses it had begun to niggle at his brain and bring him back into an awareness of the false nature of the gardens.  He had been tired before he had started.  Now he was beyond exhausted.

Geraniums, Stone, Blue checkered... something.  He turned the list over in his mind again, looking for something, anything else.
There were no geraniums and no blue checkered anything hiding in this garden that he could find. And the stones, there was such an abundance of stones. The impossibility pressed in on in him.

He started the list of his process over again in his mind as he circled the garden again.

He had started first with the eight stones in the main path. It was definitely none of those. 

After that he'd moved on through the rest of the stones lining the pathways. It was none of those either.

Then he had moved on to the hundreds of smaller rocks and stones incorporated into the gardens. His grandfather had apparently found it necessary to incorporate every stray rock and flat stone and brick that came his way into his design plan. It made for beautiful borders, enchanting walkways, and fascinating fountains. But it also made for hard going to find just one, particular, out-of-place stone. 

Twilight was settling in now, and his eyes were beginning to flash with lights-- spots of pink and purple, yellow, and even a few sparkling silver fireflies. His hands were cut and bleeding; he was beginning to feel a bit faint from adrenaline and lack of food. 

Apparently being in a world all in your head didn't save you from the real world difficulties of not eating and running your bare hands across the surface of rock after rock. For a moment the cupboard doors from the first room hovered before his eyes, cracked open brimming with all of his favorite foods. If only he had taken to time to eat first before he had picked up that flour jar. Even now, he could leave his search in the garden and go in to the kitchen with its cheery apricot walls and freshly baked chocolate cookies. He tried to push the thought away even as his eyes drifted shut in longing. A warm chocolate chip cookie melting on his tongue, soft and gooey, the chocolate oozing...

He rounded a corner near the mermaid fountain on yet another circuit of the garden and saw with relief a bench hiding in among the lush greenery of a weeping cherry. It looked broad and solid enough to take his weight. A chance to rest. 

 With a sigh of relief he settled himself down onto the rock studded concrete bench, his foot scuffing forward against one of the paving stones making up the pathway as he sat. And promptly fell through it with a hard resounding thump. He struck his head on something in the fall. There was a haze of pain, the world narrowing in, and then everything went black.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Silent Room: Part 13

(The prompt doesn't obviously connect to the actual writing, but I think I took the feeling/sounds of emptiness and silence and things not quite adding up in writing this)

Number 11

Number 11 had been walking for hours. The sun had passed high and hot and was deep into the sweltering, burning part  of the day.  He must have started out in the morning, though he hadn't realized it from the height of the sun.

Sweat ran in rivulets down his arms and back, down the backs of his knees and calves. The heavy fabric of his coveralls itched and stuck, pulling at him as he walked.  He wished he could strip and leave the coveralls behind. Wished he had brought the coffee thermos with its two swallows of coffee with him. It would have been extra weight to carry, but it would have given him the hope of finding water to fill it with.   Whenever he found water that is. Even a muddy creek was sounding appealing at the moment.

The last of the cheese biscuits had been eaten up some time after the morning heat had made it clear that the biscuit would either disintegrate into inedible particles or be saturated with his own sweat if he waited too long. He had opted to eat them.  After that he had forced himself to be thankful for the napkin to wipe his sweat away rather than regretful. He lifted his feet in perpetual motion, forcing away the memory of the biscuits and the coffee. Again.

The field went on and on ahead of him.   Rows of turned earth running away from him as if he was the center of its universe. Ahead of him a distant row of trees lined an edge that never arrived.  He was starting to feel as if he was caught in as endless a repeating loop as the one he had left behind.  For a moment he would start to feel as if the trees were drawing closer. Then, energy restored, he would take a few more sure steps forward... only to find that somewhere in those few steps the world had shifted slightly and the trees were as far away again as they had ever been. 

He thought about dropping his napkin, just to see if he came on it again a half mile further down this dusty imprint he was calling a track.  Even as he thought it, he pressed it to his forehead and watched as the trees literally shifted away from him as he walked toward them.

He stopped. Lack of food and water was obviously getting to him.

He turned in a slow circle, taking in the vastness of the fields, looking for any deviation or change.  The fields with their neat exact rows stretched seamlessly away from him.  Trees rimmed the distant edges in all directions, except for the one from where he had come.  He turned back toward the direction he had come, staring at the even rows as if they could speak and give him answers if only he knew the right questions to ask. The house itself was no longer visible.  He had another choice to make.

Keep going forward with no food and no water and not even a hint of forward motion toward anything that resembled people and where he would be forced to sleep on the hard packed earth under the wide open sky.  Or return back to that strange empty house with its haunting demon dreams and its slim possibility of food and water.   The basket of food this morning represented that someone knew he was here. Or there.  Maybe they would come back again.   Could he face dreaming again if it meant someone gave him food?
His shoulders slumped, and with the exhausted plod of someone past the end of his reserves and running on brute willpower alone, he began the long walk back the way he had come.