Tuesday, April 27, 2004
9:38AM - Mah Short Storie
The Price of a Waltz
He closed his eyes at last, blocking out the glare of the sun. A fiery echo stared back at him from his eyelids, reminiscent of the fires of Dante’s underworld. He shivered, stepping over two freshmen and into the halls of Purgatory.
Walking down those halls was always intense: dodging the football players on their way to their lockers, sidestepping the geeks, slipping past the unnaturally thin cheerleaders. Or he had done that.
People gave him a wide berth now—-he hadn’t had to sift through the hourglass since sophomore year. That’s what came of wearing black, he reflected. Eventually everyone forgot the reason you wore it, then they labeled you, then you wore it for a different reason. So when he turned a corner and bumped headlong into a sophomore, he wasn’t surprised to see the younger student scuttle off in a panic of recognition. He’d long since grown used to the idea of being cursed with the incurable disease of social outcast syndrome.
Senior year was supposed to be the highlight of high school, the icing on the cake. Perhaps so, for the frosted lives of the beautiful, the popular, those working night and day to get ahead, because now the audience wasn’t merely one’s own class, the kingdom was the high school itself. Not to mention that freshmen were considered serfs, and thus a source for labor and finance. But for him, senior year was merely the final months of the storm before college. Once college came he could shuffle off the mortal coil, shed his stereotype like old, dry skin. He would be free to do as he pleased, answering to whom he chose, instead of the select few that ruled high school by default.
That was the trouble with high school, he mused. Those few only ruled because it was impossible to escape. Left to their own devices by preoccupied teachers, most of whose real goal was to keep their students indoors for the required eight hours, the students made up their own sick form of unspoken government, where those most admired or feared worked constantly to remain on top. This was a tiny community without distance or the mellowness that comes with age. This was the world sphere at its worst on a horribly tiny scale.
Kirsten Kurtz, for example, stayed afloat after some embarrassing photos of her slightly overweight childhood self had gotten loose. All it took was one other person for a floatation device. As long as attention could be shifted to one other person, the danger of being fed to the “commoners” would pass. So when Kirsten spotted a fellow sophomore wearing full black, with a dark, broken expression… well, there it was, wasn’t it? Labeled a freak after his month of mourning, as soon as he tried to wear his old, socially acceptable clothing, he was a wannabe, and further persecuted. He was tripped, shoved, bruised and bloody by the time he stumbled home each day. He should never have changed his clothes in the first place, perhaps, because in high school change was borderline sinful. But he hadn’t been able to bring himself to put on colorful clothing after they buried his mother. Kirsten had come to the funeral, of course—-it was her aunt, after all—-but she still didn’t lift her prohibition against him mentioning that he was her cousin in public, or more recently, against him talking to her at all. Resignedly, he went on wearing black. At least they didn’t try to fight him when he wore black. Not that he would be an easy target anymore—-he’d since been working out regularly. He’d filled out at last, grown taller, and he’d always been somewhat handsome under the haunted eyes. If it weren’t for his mother’s tragedy, he might have been one of them, one of those who sold their souls to the king and queen of high school in exchange for an apprenticeship in the art of “true” politics.
But if his mother had not finally given in to her illness, he might have chosen to apply to the state-school closer to home, or even a community college, so he could care for her. Now he carried a treasure more precious than gold in his pack—a letter with the most beautiful word lingering under the salutation: “Congratulations”, and a lovely shield at its head in purple and white and gold. Even lovelier was the phrase “100% of financial need will be met.” Despite his own orphaned status, the college he loved would never let him down. So life was not all bad…
It still hurt to be happy, even two years later. He felt a stripe of guilt tear down his stomach as he turned the corner onto the band hall corridor, pausing briefly to collect his sax from his band locker. Flicking the dial to his lock, he shrugged into the shoulder strap and left as the sounds of beginning students floated behind. The practice rooms were always crowded during this time of day, so he trudged in the direction of his usual “performance hall”—-the gym. Sitting on the edge of the bleachers, he stared absently into the glassy floor as his mangled reflection, unpacking his sax with numb fingers. Such a waste, he thought, as his licked his reed and finally began to relax in the feeling of silver on his finger pads. Why bother with a senior recital, now?
But like always, he began to play, letting his fingers take his mind away from the everyday misfortune. He poured his daily frustrations, his unhappiness, his excitement and fury into a set of scales, running through all twelve major keys, then into chromatics to banish the whispers, the sidelong looks and the laughter echoing down the halls outside. The brassy full voice of his sax reverberated through his veins, made the guilt and pain a little easier a burden. He lost himself in sharps and flats.
She came then, almost silently, padding into the gym in bare feet, carried by the beginnings of his first self-composed solo. He didn’t see her until she was sitting right next to him, and as he noticed her, he started very slightly, faltering once, an E natural instead of flat, and she winced with him. But then they both chuckled a little, and she whispered, “Can I listen?” He nodded, but quietly let his fingers fall away. “Hey, Tobias,” she said.
“Call me Toby,” he wanted to reply, but could not force those friendly words around the reed in his mouth. He sighed. “Hi, Kirsten,” he murmured bitterly, his voice creaking past his teeth. He hadn’t spoken in several days, and his voice, rusted with decay, had become something gravelly and old, broken and bleeding. Society had been set up in the most convenient way possible, to where one had not to utter a word if he didn’t want to, and since turning eighteen he’d been on his own. How tragic that he had to break his silence for such mundane words…
She tapped her feet on the bleachers, traveling the hard gym floor with her eyes, idling on the school mascot at its center. “I’m tired of this life,” she said, wrapping her arms around her knees, “I’m tired of living.”
Tobias nodded, hesitant, and picked up his sax again. After a short scale, “Everybody feels that way sometimes.”
“No, but really,” she breathed, turning to stare at him. “Who are you? Do I know you at all?”
Tobias stumbled at the candor of the subject change. “I don’t know.” Then a moment’s thought, and he decided, “Probably not. The things you told everyone about me weren’t true, anyway.”
“Mmm,” she murmured, turning back to her perusal of the gym. “I suppose I shouldn’t have done that.”
“Your prerogative,” he answered—-his usual response to such things. Who was he to tell others how to live their lives? Being a good person only meant something if you yourself became a good person. And so, rather than continue in that vein and risk deteriorating into childish squabbles, he trilled (momentary indecision) down into a ‘C’ (middle ground), and began again. “What are you doing here? And where are your shoes?”
She ignored him and crept closer. “Play me something,” she begged. “Play me something from the glory days.”
“The glory days?” he faltered, tapping out an unvoiced glissando.
“The days when every kiss was a Clark Gable kiss. The days when dresses were works of art and the pinnacle of social satisfaction was a waltz. Play me something old and beautiful.”
“Do I know you?” he gaped.
She laughed, and while he banished the accompanying image of playing in his backyard with her younger, more loving self, she stretched and lied down, smiling up at him in a knowing way. “See? I’m a secret marvel, too.”
He shrugged. “My senior recital is on the twelfth. Tell Aunt Kay, please?”
“We’ll be there, no sweat.”
Still that infuriatingly mysterious smile—and nothing made sense! Why now? Why decide to start caring about the people who only ever cared about you now? “Are you trying to placate your guilt? Are you trying to make yourself feel better? It’s fine, really, I’m okay. But I don’t need your pity, your superfluous drivel. Just go.”
She sat up, startled. “I’m just trying to make up for lost time, Tob’. That’s all.”
“Don’t bother,” he hissed, an anger he hadn’t acknowledged before seething up his trachea.
“People change, Tob’.”
“Well, I didn’t!” He turned abruptly to put away his sax. “I stayed the same! I still sent your birthday cards and Christmas presents. I still went to your choir concerts. I never gave up on you, even when you left me for dead! All for the sake of what, Kirsten? For the sake of having someone of self-inflated importance to lunch with on Tuesdays and Fridays. Tell me, do you get Monday, too, if you’re particularly nasty to the less fortunate?” He was inches from her face and getting closer, letting all of the pent up frustration and clandestine rage burst forth, but she had yet to back down. “What do you know of glory days? What do you know of Clark Gable and the waltz? You know only what your idols feed you. What do you know of Harrison Bergeron, of Bradbury, of saints or sinners? What do you know of the world and its true cruelties? What do you know?”
She waited for him to give up this battle of myriad misgivings, waited for him to be calm. “The Misjudged misjudges,” she chided.
He stared at her, saw the mask fall from her beautiful face, and realized in an instant that they were on level ground. She had betrayed him, and he had returned the nicety, rather than be above such pettiness. He looked down at his hands. “Touché. I’m sorry, Kirsten,” he said in a small voice.
“I’m sorry, too,” she said. “Can we begin again?”
Tobias ached to have things the way they were before. He longed for lunchtime with Kirsten and his old friends, for bright clothes and a light voice. He yearned for someone to trust. Above all he craved someone to talk to, someone who would never let his voice lie fallow for so long. But when he looked at Kirsten, he still saw a pretty face and perfect hair. He saw a person who would turn on him even more quickly a second time, if it meant a place in the hierarchy for her. So he turned away from her, and could feel her disappointment barraging his back, but he whispered, “I’d like that.”
She snaked her arms around him, holding him tight, and he lost his breath from the shock. “Play me something,” she said again, in that voice ringing with urgency and need. “Play me something beautiful.”
Monday, January 19, 2004
5:28PM - Poem!
Preférence for Prose
One stared at Two with quiet faith
As Two began to fade
But in his dying comes repose
As Other’s fervor forward flows
And Dawning sun comes to a close
To offer up a trade.
He murmurs soft the words to give
The gift of life regained
To wingtips bent and broken back
To once-blue eyes now dead and black
To lips of ice the warmth they lack
From One’s pure love unfeigned.
But now Two opens up his eyes
To glisten with a glance
He sees the lover never doubt
The truth that comes true roundabout
And turns to take the newfound route
Toward loving’s wide expanse.
And Two stands up to take his friend
Into a warm embrace
Forgetting cruel words of those
Who’s ignorance One often knows,
And common preférence for prose
To find his heart’s own place.
~ MKD 12.15.03
I needed to play with a new meter/rhyme scheme structure. I've been falling lazily into free verse, and it was time I woke up. I found this in my room today when I was cleaning. I just approximated a date. ^_^ It's about Phaeton and Icarus as they appear in their spinoff comic, but it really applies to other things as well.
Friday, January 16, 2004
Lookit me! I'm posting! Righto, this is a snippet from a story which is in fact finished, but being beta read. Or so we assume.
Story is Desert Sapphire, and with any luck we'll see it in full by the end of the month. Course, I've been saying that for the past two months now, but still~ ^^;;
Go poke xella =P
Oh yeah, and Alu's a camel *nods*
( Desert Sapphire snippet =DCollapse )
Thursday, January 15, 2004
5:14PM - Snippits of Song
She smiled. She couldn't help but smile. He had that effect on people, as much as he might deny it. He was the kind of person who, despite any trivial or life-altering episodes, would always be able to conjure up a smile from someone. Oh, there were the occasional few who were impervious to his charming and gentle nature, but she had yet to find any of these people to be truly worthwhile.
So she smiled at him, in what she hoped was a loving way, because truly she did adore him, but she never really felt in control of her muscles--and thus, her expressions--around him. She'd grown rather accustomed to that weak sort of feeling, starting in her knees and moving upwards in a slow arc--warm and energized, but weak and frightened. Six months, six years, sixty years would never see that feeling falter. And like honey in her stomach, the other feeling, a combination of love and desire, all the more intense despite, or perhaps because of, the familiarity. Unaware of her own movements, she stepped toward him, raising her hands blindly, reaching out for him.
Sitting across the room, tension slowly ate her alive, but now she could feel his closeness, and she quickened her pace. He raised his arms, and she, overjoyed, poured herself into them, completed in this one movement. But then he tiled his head downward, and she was distracted from the previous pose. She stared at his soft, supple lips, hungrily, imagining the things those lips could do, had done, would do. The lips that would kiss hers at least two dozen times a day, the lips that had never stopped kissing her since the day she returned to his arms at last. A year of seperation did nothing but magnify the love she held for him, and here, this perfect being, this amazing mind, this beautiful body, those sensual lips, these things were her reward. She shifted her gaze ever so slightly, and with a shiver of delight looked into a pair of azure eyes, kind and truer than the sea. Like light glinting off water, there were shots of sky through the deeper blue. She always loved the way his eyes glinted darker when he looked at her, as they did now, and even the fierce icy blue they became when he was protecting her. And she felt so very protected when he was by her side. So very safe, even when things looked hopeless, because she had his faith and strength always with her.
He leaned forward, and with a brush of his lips painted candy fire along her mouth, and the feeling of completion burned deeper within her. Impulsively, she wrapped her arms around his neck, snaking her fingers into the glittering strands of his sandlewood hair and twirling it idly. And then the ground shook where she stood, the horizon leaned crazily, her knees had buckled in the onslaught of emotion. But he caught her.
Would it always be this way, even in the mundane and balanced times? Would the tragedy of distance for an eternal brevity be enough to fuel the passion beyond those first few months? Or would more drama, more pain, more broken glass and broken hearts be required? Even now he was hurting. Even now she could not find the words to help him. She knew with the most terrible certainty that there was someone would could find the words and more... but for now, all she wanted was hands and eyes and a voice of ocean depths. For now, she was content in her fantasy, and she liften her chin as he took to her throat and whispered into her neck.
It is fragile, she thought. As I am fragile. He will kiss porcelain and I will caress spun sugar, and in the end, we will break as one, and bleed as one.
And that is as it should be.
This is something I wrote as a present for my boyfriend. But I left out the last two paragraphs on his version. I'm still really worried about this relationship... and it's eating me alive. But I thought I'd post this here to try to stimulate a little movement. *stab* MOVE, DEMMIT!
*smile* Hope everyone had a great holiday. Let me know what you think, and start posting--seriously!!
Saturday, December 20, 2003
12:55AM - Phil on Writing
"And you're seized by a fever of excitement. It's like falling in love; it's like setting out on a thrilling voyage; it's like no other joy in the world. You are possessed. You feel radiant. You give off light.
But. . .There comes a time, part-way through (in my case it usually happens around page 70), when you fall out of love with it. In fact, you begin to hate it. You read it over and you are convinced that never has anyone, in the history of the world, written anything so slack and feeble. You are ashamed. You can hardly look at yourself in the mirror. "
~ Phillip Pullman
I just thought this was neat. I tend to idolize Pullman for what an amazing gift he has as well as his accessibility. When I read something by him, I don't think "I could never do that", I think "God, I'm going to be a writer." And the bit I pasted in kinda expresses the writing mind, of a sort. You DO feel this passion and drive and fury, and then it's gone again in an instant, and you're left hating it, hating yourself. But you can't stop. That's the thing... it won't let you. Writing is ambiguity. Writing is a constant struggle against one's own mind. At least, in my point of view.
Thought you guys would enjoy this, though. Read the article, if you have time. It's ruddy brill. ^_~
So. Project time, I'm thinkin', since it's Christmas holiday and all.
"Did you love her?"
Peter almost laughed. "Yes." I would have died for her. I would have killed for her.
"Do you still love her?"
"Yes and no." He frowned, trying to place the words evenly, keep them from breaking her back. "You don't just stop loving a person like that."
Barely a whisper. "What will you do?"
Sunday, December 14, 2003
12:04PM - The usual breakdown
Hullo! Just thought I'd drop a note to introduce myself and all that. I'm Ceri/Cerena, also known as Kenzie. My favourite authors are Diane Duane, Phillip Pullman, and Mercedes Lackey. I prefer writing short stories, longer fiction and poetry, though the occasional song slips itself in every once in a while. Current writing project is Oversubscribed, a spinoff of my memoirs. Current writing distractions: two fanfictions, one sitting idle on fanfiction.net for a while, based on the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, and the other still floating around in my mind, based on Harry Potter. Examples of my writing are (here) for anyone who might be bored or interested.
Here's my brief snatch for the day--
"If it hurts you," she murmured, cupping his chin like the dog's master, "Then don't let it go."
She sauntered off, her hips swaying to a memory, her hair the last to vanish, giving one final snide salute to the crushed and broken body she left behind her perfect stillettos.
"But I already have," He rasped as the last breath rattled from his throat. "I am already here."
Dunno who these people are, but I heard them talking in my head. I was in a fierce mood.
Anyone, feel free to IM me if you like, on 'cerenacat'.
<3 - Ceri
Sunday, July 6, 2003
Uhh, hullo ^^;; Haven't been here a while *cough* Didn't even realise I'd joined as a member but apparently so...
Anywhoot, I will be doing the challenge I hope but that will have to wait until 1: I figure out what the hell that thing is (a skull buried in snow? that's what it looks like to me); and 2: I'm hit by inspiration. May have the first inklings of an idea already, but I'm promising nothing.
Let's try and keep the community running this time, eh?
9:32PM - A Challenge~!
Remember this? Well~ we have a picci =D ( Ish right here ^^Collapse )
What you write about it is your choice. Can be anything as long as it relates to this in some way. Once you're done you can post it here ^^ And of course, the challenge isn't restricted to Writer's Bloggees alone, anyone can join the fun of the buffalo skull in the snow! =D
Saturday, June 14, 2003
Sorry girls for not posting. Please don't hurt me! *ducks*
Right, so, I want to initiate a challenge for all of us. I'll scurry off and find a picture for a setting, and we all have to write our own separate stories using the same picture. I wanted to do this so we can really tell how different each of us is in our writing styles and the way we interpret things.
So who's with me?
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
*Watches tumbleweed blow by*
Really, girls, I thought we live. I know we have nothing to talk about right now, but still, we should post here. Um... Sallie, Uko and Crystal haven't posted here yet *tuttut!*
So... we need to think of something to talk about... any ideas? I've never been good at coming up with talking points.
Sunday, May 11, 2003
Um... Jishii here~~ we live!!! yay!!! I suppose I will be bothered to post on Writer's Block now that it's an LJ community ^_^
Friday, April 11, 2003
Hi. I'm posting in here because 'narti told me to. I really don't know what to say.
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Whee~~ Writer's Block lives~~ XD Right ladies, now that WB is an LJ community (to which we're all members/maintainers) this means we gotsta post more in it, k? K.
So yersh, anyone who's been reading tpyo will know that, since my last post on WB *coughcough* Umnikai has gone up, along with it's first story, Emerald Feather. The second story in the series, still only known as Umnikai2, has been put on hold. Why? 'Cos my hard disk has been wiped, including all 44 pages of that, so yersh, am a tad pissed off about that.
Still, welcome back ladies ^^