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Shadowplay (it's just a start, I think)
This is the story. It starts out like so many others: a life inserted into this world of so many others, each feeling their own joy, their own pain. The door opens.
A world seems to stretch from horizon to horizon. George Richardson knew it went so much further but as that was all his eyes could see he let it suffice for his reality. The cars sped by, every once and a while one of the drivers would glance at him, mild curiosity shot through their eyes like lightning cross a cloudy sky. George never understood that, when he drove it was like a dream, going from point a to point b seemed surreal, as if the moments speant behind the wheel of a car were in a different time, far removed from that of standing still on the ground. He'd tried smiling at the drivers as they looked at him standing on the front porch of his house (proud for them in that they had this ability he did not) but he gave up once the realization hit they probably couldn't make out his face, just a figure seeming to stand out for a moment like a flash of colour from the shades of the house behind him. No response.
How like life, George mused as he sipped at his coffee (okay, as he gulped it) and inhaled the poisons of the cigarette in his hand. The world outside seemed like a picture, a fine oil painting rendered so like reality as to be indiscernable from its model, yet still not real. If you could steal someone's soul, would it make you that person? Millions seemed to thing so as they fork out billions of dollars each year to the greedy gods of entertainment, caught up in the illusion of 'if that were me'. How could it be different? And indeed if it could be, would we truly have it any other way? This is where evolution's led us, and as the throngs of individuals give up their lives in pursuit of an illusion there are those who toil to establish their own form of reality, their own permenance in a world that just seems to be passing by from point a to point b.
George puts his cigarette out by wetting it in his mouth with saliva. The taste is funny and like charcoal. He lets the remaining spit drip to the ground (fluid back to the earth, we are all in the circle, he thinks) and goes back in the house. Point a to point b.
What if there is no point?
The days pass by, the houses blur into colours' wash, as life goes on. Every once in a while something significant seems to happen, if only because those particular moments seem to be reverse reverberatons from a dream he'd had years ago. Then he dreampt it, now he lives it. He starts seeing the moments before they happen, little things, then it's back to the wash again. Colours blur and you can see there's a face, but you can't tell the expression.
All over the world we cry, we laugh, we smile, we scream, we speak, we yell, we listen, we live, we die. All for this. Colours blur and memory is another moment lived before it's gone...
The canvas bled colours onto the easel. Richardson had a feeling about this one. He hadn't painted in years, yet the motions seemed to come like he'd been doing it everyday of his life. Tighten up the shapes with a couple shades of grey and lines of black. There, finished, at least for now.
"Honey, I'm running into town for some groceries, do you need me to pick up anything?" Sylvia called from the adjoining room. Richardson looked out the windows of the walled in porch, watched yet another car fly by. Something black, spots of grey primer concealing rust spots. "No, thank you though sweetheart. Oh wait a sec," he rifled through the pockets of the wind jacket he'd tossed over the chair leaning against a green wall. "Could ya get me another pack of cough drops. I'm out."
Sylvia's blonde haloed head peaked around the door frame. "Those things'll rot your teeth out, besides, you don't have a cough."
Richardson grabbed his jacket, "Exactly why I don't have a cough, sweets. Although you're probably right about the whole 'rot your teeth out' thing, better get sugar free." George beckoned with one arm as he pulled his jacket on with the other. Sylvia embraced him, half in half out of his jacket. "Do you want me to go with you hon?"
With a quick peck on the cheek, Sylvia smiled. "No, I'd kinda rather have a bit of time alone."
George shrugged the rest of the jacket on. "I'm gonna take a walk then. I'll see ya when I get home," he pecked her cheek back and was out the door.
Sylvia watched as Richardson strolled down the walk, his almost feminine grace always sent chills up and down her spine. Once he was out of view, her eyes fell on the painting he was working on. Her husband had been pencilling for Ideal Comics for so long, she'd almost forgotten his dream of being a fine artist. She couldn't remember the last time he'd actually cracked out the oils. Although she could tell the canvas was still wet, Sylvia was overcome by a yearning to touch the colours. (Fade & reset)
Her fingers mated with the texture of the oil paints, revelling in the silky smoothness of the colours as they bled onto her skin. She remembered...
- The House of Dead
I've been writing short stories for twenty years. After having written the first half dozen I noticed a character, always in the background, influencing the others. Once noticed, he began to work his way...