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IAIN
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With being a part-time idiot, I also enjoy writing... I've just unearthed this story, not to give a routine as such, but maybe it might shake someone else's brain instead and they find something in it...

please note, I write in a stream of consciousness style, so tenses and punctuation will be shot to pieces... I have also NOT given you the complete story, as it gets a bit overly descriptive and probably not suitable for all eyes on an open forum...hopefully this will be *enough* though...
_______________________________________

We both woke up not knowing how we got there. Inside some kind of metal and wooden cage, the iron bars like fangs sank into the cold dull earth beneath us.

At best guess, ten foot square was our prison and half a man high. The wood that interrupted those fangs seemed to almost breathe in tension, and they smelt of the dead and tears.

I tried, in vain, to burrow quickly like a scavenging dog to dig those teeth out of the ground – they seemed...endless.

My compatriot sat in silence in the darkness. We were illuminated by one slither of light coming in from the one crack in our prison, it gave us both air and vision.

The light stretched out, dividing our room in half. We sat like Siamese twins. Ying and yang prisoners in this fetid cell. Backs against our respective walls. I could hear him breathing. I became self conscious of that – could he hear mine?

It became our hushed metronome. A tick tock of breath, and it misting, forming ghosts out of thin air. And that air...it smelled of blood and fire.

I spoke up, brave and frustrated. “Hey...hey...you...”

Eyes flashed open, bright ice blue. And creamy white teeth. For a moment it was like being faced with a wolf leaping down from the heavens. The wolf spoke, soft and low. Comforting and calming in a way too.

“Yes...i am awake. So it seems...are you. I see that the day is waking up too...”

A finger, elegant and nimble pointed at the arc-light that separated our prison floor.

I cleared my throat, the air was crisp and tickling. I replied in the same soft manner “indeed...and where exactly have we awoken? Do you know?”

The wolf laughed. “And I was hoping you would tell me....It seems we are trapped in a mystery, as well as this cage...”

I nodded. Did he see it? It was still dark despite the impending morn. Just that javelin of light between us, jagged illumination. My eyes adjusting now. The man moved, stretching his legs, coming close to that stripe of sun. He seemed long and lean of build.

He rolled his shoulders and hips, then sat back in his corner – legs underneath him. I then realised I was sitting in the same ways. Imprisoned twins.



I was brave in my questioning - “So then sir, we know not where we are, nor our captors I suppose...but why should either of us be imprisoned this way? I have not wronged anyone...what of you?”

There was silence for too long a moment to be comfortable. Then those wolfish teeth flashed again and a low rumble of laughter came from that mouth.

“Wronged anyone? Sir...of course I've wronged people...what kind of life is this if you have not...Don't tell me, you have led a pious life. Helping the sick and the poor, a good faithful husband. You...hahahaha....you make me sick.”

He laughed again, those iced eyes flashed just for a second almost pure white. A trick of the light. I felt...angry. I knew I should keep my balance, keep my tongue firmly held. But something in me wanted to reach across this accursed box and slap that smile off his face.

I acted. I scurried across, right arm raised and lashed out – slapping him hard across the face. That beam of light suddenly blinding my vision. I over-reached. Falling on my own face in the earth and gravel.

A bold brass laugh erupted from this man. No retaliation. Just laughter. I think perhaps I would have preferred a beating. His face felt cold and granite like. My hand throbbed, and my mouth was full of grit.

He spoke “Get back to your side of the house will you, you utterly brilliant fool...”

I scurried back, quiet and as meek as a mouse. I couldn't bear to look at him in my dirt ridden disgrace. That sunbeam arm grew gently bolder. An inverse sundial across the floor.

Time stretched and contracted like an arthritic snake. Juddering and snapping. The air static in boredom and apprehension. The man spoke - “I forgive you – I was...i was rude. I admit it, and I apologise. I should have been more understanding all things considered...”

“Say no more about it...i'm...embarrassed if truth be known sir...my mettle was tested, and found lacking.”

“No, no sir – not at all. It took a brave, brave man to strike me. Some would say foolish. “

“Ah...a bit of a brawler are you eh? “

“you could say I was a fighter, yes...i have tasted many a pain, much blood in my mouth and splinters in my ribs...”

“Why? What are you? A thief?”

He snorted a laugh, and tutted. “A thief? No no no sir. Nothing as tawdry as that. Yet, you pose an interesting question...What am I? What am I indeed...Shall I tell you?”

My fingers ran across the bars as I replied “I do not see us leaving this place any time soon, do you?”

That wolf-mouth flashed once more. In the pale illumination, he nodded in agreement. “Let us have at it then sir, I shall tell you my story...

I have seen the moon at night, bright and brave – its face an impartial judge at the sins that I have committed under it's gaze. I have bathed in that glow, I have danced under dying stars – knowing that I was outliving that part of the universe.

I have murdered kings and queens throughout this world. Felt their life ebb out, their blood my art, their skin my canvas, my hand my brush. I have eaten still beating hearts – gouged out eyes with these very thumbs and played marbles with them.

My suit has been muscle, sinew and bone. My waistcoat their broken ribs, my cowl their scalp – hot upon my hair, dying it a ruby murder.
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TJ Halford
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Great story. would love to read the rest.
TJ Halford



"Imagine what is Possible"
Balaram
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Big Thanks Iain--but-but-it's not enough!
Harlequin
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An intriguing story. At first I imagined a situation like the Saw movies. I'd love to know more about these prisoners.
Christopher Gould
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Not content, but great content!
The Moon is now to be found in the constellation of Gemini:
https://www.geminiartifacts.com
RicHeka
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I am no literary critic Iain.....but that is some excellent descriptive writing! I REALLY got a vivid mental image of the scene.
Tony Iacoviello
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Thank you for posting this. It is an excellent piece and brightened my morning. I just wish I could return to the thread later, and find the next section to the story.
KOTAH
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Great 'teaser' now give us the 'pleaser' ending, PLEASE.
you certainly make great use of your word choices. Can you write?
Man, can you ever !

Kotah
Eddie Garland
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Thanks Iain!
IAIN
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Thanks fellas...some I can't post cos its a bit rough...here's some more...this is the mysterious man in the corner, talking to the man that tried to strike him...
_______________________________________________

"You have not lived, until you have died a thousand times. That sweet sorrowful pleasure of feeling yourself dip down into the lakes of hell, only to suddenly find yourself swooping back up onto this dirty mantle called earth – anew, full of vigour and fight. Ready to do as you want again, and again and again...”

I was agog. Mouth open. His eyes urged me to speak “Are you jesting sir? You sound...mad...”

“Mad? Yes, in a way I suppose...mad in the sense of seeing the terrifying truth of this world – that it is utterly futile, I may kill kings and queens, hear them roar or yelp and teary. Yet even my acts of naked violence, revenge or honour – even that, those moments of living, even they do not matter...and that is my eternal curse, sir...

I sat with a Japanese warlord, high up in the mountains where the air is cold and thin – we sat in meditation and joy for three months. Just he and I. He was...my friend, I suppose. And yet, even after those shared pleasures of contemplation and concentration – one night, I approached him whilst he slept and was poised to slit his throat. I remember it clearly, his eyes flashed opened, and he saw my raised hand and smiled. He said calmly 'ah, so I see you have finally awoken...'

I shed a tear as I plunged my fingers into his kind and forgiving eyes, gouging them out and swallowed them whole. His body convulsing and thrashing in silence. I placed my mouth over his, and inhaled his last few breaths. I carry him with me still, in memory. I honour him even now.”

This madman smiled softly, and bowed his head. My heart was racing, nay, begging to break through my chest and run away, leaving me to this lunatic. Yet...yet, there was something 'real' about all this. My head was a spinning top, a maze of questions and answered I didn't really want to face nor ask.

He continued. The sun's lick of light moved its way across the gravel and dirt. It was getting brighter and longer. Slowly licking its way towards the corner. If, when we awoke it was pointing North. Now it was North-east. Time was moving on, would our captors reveal themselves? And would this madman with me prove his worth against them?

My strange friend continued.

“Here's the secret not many know, and I tell you this now as my compatriot in this ghastly grave – life is futile, there is God and the Devil, and neither care not a jot about you. Pray all you want my friend, be good, be saintly even. And it matters not. You will go to heaven or hell depending purely on where you truly think you belong.

There's the truth. Embrace it. People go where they know deep down where they belong. If you think what you are doing in life is right and correct, be that charitable or r*ping, you'll find yourself in that heaven for all eternity.

You have a soul. That is your essence, that is what drives you, and compels you. It can save or *** you. It's a vicious and vicarious mistress. Treat her right and she in turn will treat you too.”

The sunbeam crept onwards, I could see more of this man's face now. Elegant, almost feminine at points, a softer set of eyes now too in this lessening darkness. Long wavy hair – handsome I must admit. Tall and lean, strong of shoulder. He looked almost as if he could do what he claimed to have done.

More of these truths now from my confined story-teller. This started to feel almost confessional. I found these stories...fascinating if truth be told. Even if they were true, or even true in part – then...by God, what atrocities has this man inflicted and witnessed?!

He continued...

“I take your silence as carte-blanche to continue sir...and so I will. To feel feral and full – aye, that is what it means to be a man. In our true sense I mean. Flush with the thrill of chaos. Blood pumping, head clear and pure of thought – to take a life. To be there with them as you extinguish their boring, dull little candle flame that they insist on calling 'life'.

I curse mankind for all eternity. My contempt and venom is for the tepid, damp, cretinous beings that spread themselves across this fine nature – spreading their vile seed across the face of mother earth herself.

I have waged wars, country against continent, set king against kin, man against woman, child against parent. Hoping that one fine day you will all snuff each other out – and let nature balance itself once again. You are foetid, dismal pubescent creatures with no thought nor care. You want money, finery, and worst of all...you believe in love...”

He spat after that, as if it was the worst word in the world to say.

I had to interject there. As soon as he mentioned love, my mind spun back to my family, I wondered if they knew where I was -where they looking? I hoped with all my heart that they were safe...please God, let them be safe...”And what is so wrong with love, sir? “

He shook his head in annoyance, and made fists of violence as he replied. He was measured and yet urgent at the same time as he spoke. He spoke as if to educate me almost. As if I were a child.
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Tony Iacoviello
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Bravo. More please...
MissMage
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Wanted to throw in my compliments too. Please continue.
TJ Halford
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Awesome writing Iain
TJ Halford



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IAIN
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Last bit then...
____________________________________________
I had to interject there. As soon as he mentioned love, my mind spun back to my family, I wondered if they knew where I was -where they looking? I hoped with all my heart that they were safe...please God, let them be safe...”And what is so wrong with love, sir? “

He shook his head in annoyance, and made fists of violence as he replied. He was measured and yet urgent at the same time as he spoke. He spoke as if to educate me almost. As if I were a child.

“Love? That word is nonsense and an offence to my very being. Its a dirty lie. Please, do not convince yourself otherwise. It is a phallasy written by poets and writers to get themselves into the beds of stupid women.

We should be free to rut like dogs, **** and be free. No love, come now sir, pardon the play on words – but come come...” he laughed at his own joke and continued.

“Take your engorged p***k and **** the life out of what you will. Ars*s, animals, knots in trees. Who cares? Love makes you a liar of your emotions. Love makes me...sick! People lie to one another, they convince themselves and their others that they do things out of love – when its not. Its for their own stupid, selfish selves. You don't buy gifts for someone because you love them – its because you want something in return. Sex, a gift in return, to have them treat you well for a short period of time until the next gift. Treating each other as dogs. And yet refuse to **** like them! Ridiculous!”

He laughed and cosied up into his corner, shutting his eyes. He said “And that is that my friend, you now have the two real truths in life. Share those gifts with others if you make it out of here alive...good day...”

Birds were singing nearby, the air was fresh and alive. Reality was outside of this cage. I spoke...

“Listen...can you hear them? The birds? We must be in a forest or similar surely?”

“I know exactly where we are my good man.”

“What?”

“I know where we are.”

“How? What did you witness? Do you know anything about out captors?”

“Of course. I put us here.”

“What? Are you mad? YOU put us here? Why? You are a lunatic...an absolute lunatic...and a liar!”

“You'll see soon enough, when the time is right. “

“What do you mean?”

“I grow bored of life...i wish to be a corpse, to grow roses from my ashes, to return to earth, to be...no more...and free from the curse of humanity once and for all. I have come to realise one last absolute truth. And that is...mankind will be its own undoing.

Not I.

And I can sleep at last knowing that ultimately, at some point in time – you will all be dust and forgotten memories. I can be at peace with that knowledge. You do not know how to live, you will fight, you will lie, you will think yourself better than the humble beasts of the forest and the skies and the beautiful oceans. And you are not.

So I resign from this place. Time is creeping on. Soon you will understand, and when you do. All will become clear. Can you see time never stands still?”

His left foot tapped the floor towards the ever increasing sunbeam. It was almost easterly now, this madman tucked into the corner in what was left of the darkness.

“I am glad it was you that I told this to. I know you will not believe me for another few minutes, but when it all becomes clear, and you know that I am not a madman, not a lunatic, but one of the few truly honest creatures you will ever likely meet – you will know that I honoured you with my stories and truths.”

As he said this, the sun seemed to blaze stronger. He gasped and smiled. He spoke one final time.

“Ah...mother nature is here at last, I can be at peace. Sweet, merciful release ...i welcome it...”

And with that, he braced himself against this iron and wooden limbed cage, this infernal elemental hand than threatened to crush up – and with his back against the roof, he pushed...our cage fractured and burst open as he stood up...

He screamed the longest cry I had ever heard. And yet, yet...he was smiling, tears of joy down his smouldering face. The sunlight burning and scorching him, making him a living molten mess.

He screamed, this burning phantom – he seemed to reach out to some invisible eternal form...in amongst the fog that escaped his mouth, he screamed out -

“Nooooo...nooo...i see it all now...the fogs that envelop my soul...i did not expect...THIS! Forgiveness? “

His form falling down in silence, flesh dissolving and burning up.

The cry faded out as his body sunk to the floor, kneeling - his burnt skull, charred black over sheer white – his head turned to face me as his eyeballs bubbled and dissolved. His hair fine spiders web flying into nothingness. And then his bodily essence seemed to crumble into dust. His entire structure ruined and spent. As if he never existed. His clothes consumed too. Then, like a whisper to the wind, his smoking half formed ashes blew away...

Nothing was left. Only the sounds of his voice running through my mind. Echoing around, twisting and turning like jesters limbs, making a mockery of all my other thoughts.

I could hear no birds singing. No winds blowing. Just the beating of my heart. And the sun became shy and hid away from my gaze, as I walked off into the forest...

it was only as I made my way back home, along a familiar path that it dawned on me, like the sun remembering to shine once more that ultimately...that madman, that...creature...was defeated by the thought of love...

And as my wife rushed towards me as she waited for me by the gate – my son romping with butterflies in our garden, blissfully unaware of my journey back home – my wife and I cried in relief and happiness...arms like vines around one another. The smell of her hair, the scent of her skin, the gentle touch of her hands around my face as we kissed. I could not help but laugh at my adventure – and my thoughts and senses returned to me like a faithful old dog.

I knew one thing as we all went to our beds that night – that man can be terrible and terrifying, yet he can also be true and rich in love. I made a promise to my wife, who laughed and kissed away my confessional tears – that though I may sometimes fall to my knees with the failure of my actions; I will always rise again and paint the skies for her, that no matter what comes our way in life – no matter what hardship or peril – I would honour her heart and soul by all my actions. By both falling and rising – as you cannot have one without the other, and all thoughts, all deeds and all songs we sing together – it will be borne out of my love for each other.
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MissMage
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I just wanted to let you know that I was really inspired by your writing, and I'm very glad you chose to share it with the Café. I like your writing style. Do you have more work? Is any of it published?
IAIN
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Thanks missMage, I have published work but only mentalism and reading systems...

I'm taking some time off (now and for the next few months) to start writing a lot more...both short stories and a couple of bigger novels...we'll see which works out!

thanks again - really appreciate it...
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Tony Iacoviello
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Fantastic, my friend, a wonderful story!
Thank you for sharing it.
Great Wally
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Very Kafka-esque !
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