Fork in the Road (Part 3)
I pulled my backpack off and felt the weight of it let go and slam on the ground unexpectedly. The strap hung loosely in my hand, testing my patience and resolve. I gripped the strap tightly, resisting the urge to throw it. I succumbed to the temptation and flung the strap through the treeline into the brush.
I needed that strap. The other would give way and break quickly without it, and I'd be left to carry the backpack awkwardly. The pack was more ergonomic with two straps, but the pack was getting lighter. With every meal I had and every day that passed it seemed to weigh less, almost nothing now. It might be possible to that. It might last long enough with a single strap.
Sighing, I relinquished the idea. I set the bookbag down with the pockets facing forward on the trail and went to fetch the broken strap. It looked just beyond reach. Laying down on the path with one arm supporting my head, I reached for the strap. It felt just out of reach. Willing it to move closer by any means, I started to beg. If only a bit of wind would sweep the frayed threads within my reach for a moment. If some creature would just bound across and scuttle away pushing the strap within my reach. Maybe a spell of rain would start on this dry day and swell the strap so that I could grasp it.
Frustrated, I let my head sink down beside the trail's edge and hoped I wouldn't have to resign to a life with a single-strapped pack. I slumped forward and I felt my hand brush against a piece of dry wood hidden in the dense brush. I waited a moment, expecting the worst. When nothing happened, joy and urgency struck me. I grabbed the damned stick, and used it to retrieve the strap quickly. Without a single hesitation, I picked up the pack singlehandedly with a force which threatened to break the remaining strap. I had to run.
Fork in the Road (part 2)
All I remember of the first day was mother rushing me to the forest's edge, gently pushing me toward it with my backpack swinging in her hand. My pack was lavender that day, new without patches, and the straps hadn't broken yet. I could hear water sloshing and the hollow clang of the matching metal flask inside. The dirt path to the forest was dusty, kept barren by the mowers on their way to the barn. My tennis shoes scratched the surface as I stumbled and dragged my feet. "I love you, sweetie," I heard my mom mumble. "Keep yourself safe, and please practice the things you've learned. Follow the path and don't turn back or you could get lost." As we met the dense treeline our footsteps became softer and we slowed down. She stood in front of me and huffed, out of breath. She smiled when she bent down to give me a hug. Our clothes smelled dry like the dirt clay path. Her hair was sweaty and wet my cheek. It ruffled against my ear, muting the forest sounds- mostly annoying cicadas. I reached up into Mom's hug and she held me quietly, breathing heavily into my neck. Her breath was hot and made my skin itch a little. Her shoulder nudged my chin a little hard as she squeezed me. As I looked ahead, I saw her shirt was wet and the path ahead moistened as it went further in the forest.
I stared in the corner while my thoughts ran empty, my face numb and vision blurring. The corner blurred, it filled with the texture of wood, the cracks deepened and seemed to protrude from the wall. I could see them morph into divots, scales, and eyes in the vision. What a peculiar figure of my imagination. I fixed the blur in my vision, snapping suddenly attentive of my sanity. What a horrific mess I must deal with now. I leaned over to reach for a towel to wipe away the sigils. From the empty corner, smoke blew over my hand.
I Hate Being Alone
Despite the fact that I wanted to be there, I hated music school.
I hated the practice. I hated the music. I hated the three 0-credit-hour classes I had to take for my major.
My classmates were charming enough, but I grew to hate them, too. I yearned to relate with them, but didn't know what to say. In my experience, conversation always started with someone else's introduction. And even then, half the time that person would never reach out to talk to me even if I reached out to them. Being at music school made me realize I'd never learned to properly socialize.
I hated my whole life.
I hated my whole life.I hated my whole life.I hated my whole life.I hated my whole life.
Looking back- I hate the fact that despite the crowds of people JUST like me, I felt alone.
The Fork in The Road
A fork in the road came to view slowly, a few fronds in the middle of the road grew taller and thicker. The sunset sank from the sky, peeking through the treeline in the deepest shades of pink like that of the hibiscus back home. Reflecting on a memory, I felt joy from a distance, if not for a moment.
-Having finished up a day on the hot beach, I made my way past rows of houses. My flipflops flapped against my heels as I walked beside the road throwing sediment up my legs as they caught every loose patch of sand around the grass. I knew what Grandma's house looked like. I would know it when I saw it. All I had to do was find it. Looking left and right, I passed many a sunglassed flamingo, sun, and crab, many wicker chairs, welcome mats, and pun-clad flags- and FLOWERS! Grandma loved flowers, so I picked some. Finally I caught sight of the familiar house surrounded by hibiscus bushes with large deep pink flowers. I needed to find trimmers. There were always some in the shed beside the house. I made a pit stop there and then dismembered the bushes. I liked to pick the lightest flowers. They didn't quite fit the look of Grandma's house. I burst my way through the door, ran up the creaky steps, announced my presence, and proudly presented my findings high in the air for everyone to see.-
I caught myself smiling; that felt wrong. I looked down in mourning the loss of that joy. The road at my feet was nothing more than dirt and gravel. I noticed my gait, left, right, left, right. The weight of the food in my backpack grew heavy, pulling me down as I walked. My heart sank and my breath shallowed as if I'd been holding my breath. Had I been breathing? Inhale 1…2…3… Exhale 1…2…3…
Why am I smiling? What's wrong with me? Those days are long gone and she is gone. *Heavy shallow breathing* I'm so tired. I couldn't sleep last night. I didn't eat last night. I've got to save the food I have. Should I eat?
I tried to picture what life would be like on the other side of those woods. I had no idea, really, if I was making the right choice. I could turn around. I knew I didn't want to do that though. Behind me was pain, death, deformity, and suffering. I could not stand it any more.
There was no where to look but ahead.
Allegory of a Coin: My Religious/Science Contemplations
Is it possible to predict the future? Chance is the likelihood of occurrence within a context. The more a context is explained or imagined, the more accurate we can be about the actual result. At what point is chance truly 100%, I wonder.
That context can be limited to an amount of time, space, content, and variables.
A simple example: A coin generally has a 50/50 chance of landing on either face.
Variables affect the actual result: there is a third surface to the coin which can be considered, the rim. Yes, it is POSSIBLE for a coin to land on the rim.
"What if the coin is being slammed down atop the hand after being flipped?" This introduces a new context to the coin being flipped. The tension of the thumb against the finger before the flip, the force at which the thumb hits the coin, where the thumb hits the coin, the amount of time which the coin is allowed to be suspended in the air, any wind in the air(caused by any number of factors weather, nearby bodies of water, etc), gravitational force in the area(affected by elevation at least)and so much more. The forces and variables influencing the coin as it flips is incredible. In the end, do most of them matter- probably not past the force of the thumb, where the thumb hit on the coin surface and time suspended in the air. Likely not. So is it necessary to define every single variable in the context? Only if the goal is to be 100% accurate. Is it possible to be truly 100% accurate? Possibly not- that would require some feat of defining infinity, would it not?
Probably too dramatic.
"Well, my writing is probably too dramatic. Sometimes inspired by ADHD-fueled research sessions where I get 3 hours into picking apart theology, history, or some subset of nerd culture. I once wrote an entire DND campaign based on lore around Merlin and 'night mares.' My favorite piece was a research paper about 'little vittles' where pilots flew candy to Berlin after WWII. When a piece is finally written, I pick through it until it's intelligible and clearly written. I put in way too much work and my writing usually ends up being some sort of rant, but I enjoy it!"
Writing in 3rd person then in 1st person dialogue. (Part 2)
This part 2. In an effort to improve story-telling though dialogue, I've written a narrative introduction and a single character's inner thoughts to tell the same story. Short, sweet, to be continued. Inspired by "The Rockrose and the Thistle" by The Amazing Devil. As always, constructive criticism is welcome.
Screams reach through the sky down the cliffs to where the demon lay, tearing through scale and flesh, calling on the demon to mend the pain. Unable to sleep and unable to resist the summoning, the demon looks up yearning to see over the sheer cliff. Shattering shards of rock and exposing slick pores of magma with each step and reach, they ascend toward the human plane. The demon slips and struggles toward the poor screams and The demon is a summonable curse whose deals cannot be broken. Once their victim suffers physical pain, mental torture, and the shadow of the ever-present beast
"I have no choices. I must ascend.
The cliff I climb to reach you is echoing with your screams. I feel your pain with every crumbling step. Each claw dug into the cliff shatters loose jagged rock, revealing pores in the cliff that ooze magma.
It'd be best if I stayed here's impossible to deal with this much longer. Your pain would be fleeting if you would just let it be. It's impssThe burn in my eyes clouds my vision… all of this struggle just to torment you. Why do you scream so loud? Why do you go through such onerous rituals to summon me.
You've summoned a curse to soothe your woes. The shrieks you emit now shall become colder, madder and plague our existence together. I have no way to help you but since I have no choice, I promise I will try."
In an effort to improve story-telling though dialogue, I've written a narrative introduction and a single character's inner thoughts to tell the same story. Short, sweet, to be continued. Inspired by "The Rockrose and the Thistle" by The Amazing Devil
Wind sweeps past rockrose and thistle, whistling over a cliff edge to cool an aged demon. The demon fights its purpose, driven by two forces, captivity and empathy. The demon was made to serve the wishes of misguided humans in the living planes. When summoned, the hellhound must answer to the call of the living. The nature of hell, though, carries the endless unknown. That when coupled with errant misguidance and vehement emotion can cause great disregard for consequence and further, turmoil.
"Zzzzzz…. Zzzzzz…… No… not this time. Not now. Not now.
A red string appears from the sky.
Nrgh, my eyes- I can deal with it. I can. I can. I've been here eons and decades. Hell has tortured me, hardened me, turned my scales to stone. There is no more it can do to me. Still… this pain won't go away.
Please stop, reverse whatever spell you've cast. The kindest thing I can do is to leave you alone. Do not turn to me for help. Whatever pain you're experiencing is nothing like that which you would suffer under me."