Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jack's Secret Studio

“Jack?” Amy called, poking her head into one of the multitude of small, messy rooms the lab boasted. “I need you to sign something! Jack!”
There was no reply, and similarly no sign of her employer. She sighed. Typical him, to spend the whole day in one place exactly until she needed him. She straightened a pile of papers on one of the old file cabinets out of habit, not even glancing at what they said, then picked up her clipboard again and resumed her search.
“Jack?” She called again. “Security system says you're in the building somewhere!”
“Toasterhead is missing again?” Crash leaned against one of the doorways, watching her from behind. “Surprise surprise.”
“He's gotta be around somewhere. He never leaves unless he need supplies, and last I checked we...”
“Maybe something happened.” The hired hand peeled himself off the doorway, following her down the hall. “Some kind of teleporter incident or something. What's that?” He gestured to the clipboard in her hand. “Important?”
“Just an order contract. I've reviewed it, but it needs his signature before I can fax it.”
“Sheesh.” Crash ran a hand through his spiked hair. “He goes missing at the worst times.”
“No kidding,” she agreed. “Well, tell me if you see him.”
“Will do.” Crash glanced down another hallway. “Here, I'll check that way. I'll call you if I find him.”
“Would you do that?” She smiled. “Thank you, Crash.”
“No trouble.” He grinned. “Catch you in a bit, then!” With that, he broke off, headed down the other hallway. She watched him go for a few seconds before turning her attention back to the task at hand.
After ten more empty rooms, though, she was about ready to give up. “Jack, if you want a new order of sheet aluminum, you need to sign this!” she called, exasperated. “I've already read it and cleared it with accounting, you just have to sign!”
Still no response. She sighed, putting her free hand up against the wall. He wasn't anywhere, as far as she could tell. It was entirely possible that the security system was wrong...
And quite suddenly, the wall she was leaning on opened.
She nearly fell, catching herself only just in time. Amy stared into the little room, which was much darker than the rest, trying to make out whatever was inside. Several thick stack of something like light wood lined the walls. It took her a moment to realize that they were stretched canvasses. Some of them even had been painted—and whoever had done it was quite good. She moved closer, curious.
A canvas on the top of the other stacks caught her eye. It was a smaller painting, almost the size of her clipboard, but very beautifully done. The scene portrayed a little blue house, very simple in it's design, caught in the light of a late fall afternoon. She examined it for a moment longer. No signature. Maybe it wasn't finished.
She set it down and moved on. Three or four easels stood around the room, in varying states of dilapidation. Amy ran her fingertips along the side of one, frowning at the dust that had accumulated. She needed to clean in here.
Only one of the easels seemed to have been used recently. Unsurprisingly, it was the one that rested by the room's sole window. There was a canvas sitting on it, and she could smell the fresh oil paint on it. She took a few steps towards it, but halted at the sudden feeling of a hand on her shoulder.
“You're not supposed to be in here, you know.” Crash's voice was low. “He doesn't like people to know... this.”
“Jack painted these?” She glanced back at the canvasses stacked against the walls. “He's really good!”
“He'll never admit it.” Crash whispered. “He's good, I'll grant you that, but he's still Jack. He doesn't want anyone to know.”
“But they're beautiful—he should really...”
“Amy,” Crash cut her off. “Listen to me. You can't tell him you've been in here. Don't mention secret rooms, paintings—anything. You know him, he's paranoid. If he finds out you know... if he even thinks you might possibly ever even suspect, he will freak out. Trust me on that one.”
She bit her lip and nodded. “Right.”
“Good.” Crash looked relieved. “Come on, let's get out of here before he shows up.”

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Everyone Star

New story, again. This one is about crazy people, namely, Frankie, an insane genius who's spent his whole life in an asylum, and Molly, a girl who was sent to the asylum for attacking people who said her imaginary friends weren't real. For some reason, they are friends. Enjoy!

Molly found him nearly an hour later, sitting in the patch of tall grass that the lawnmower always missed next to the gray stone wall of the asylum. He'd gotten his arms free again, and he wrapped them around his knees as he stared up at the sky. He looked sad, almost, but smiled as she approached.
“Hello!” He said brightly, sitting up and dropping his knees into a cross-legged position. “Did you find the unicorn?”
“No, but I found you!”
“I'm a unicorn?” Frankie looked confused. “I thought I was a wombat.”
“No, you're Frankie, silly.” She giggled
“Oh!” he looked relieved. “That's what I normally am.”
“Yep.” She sat down next to him. “What'cha lookin' at?”
“Oh, the uplights. Things. The little bright things, what with the twinkling and what?” He struggled for the word, gesturing upward. “Those.”
“Yeah!” He nodded vigorously. “Stars, yep!”
“Oh, ok.” She stared at the sky for a moment, letting her eyes adjust to the darkness. “There sure are a lot of them.”
“There has to be,” said Frankie.
“To look at.”
“..Oh.” She stared at him for a moment, then turned her gaze back to the sky. “They're pretty. Which one is your favorite?”
“That one.” He pointed without a moments hesitation. “See, right between those two trees, above the north gate?”
“It's the north star, isn't it?” Molly looked at her companion with wide eyes. “Sailors used it to find stuff.”
“Not just sailors!” Frankie laughed. “That's the everyone star.”
“The everyone star?”
“Yeah, everyone has a star, you know. That's why there are so many.”
“Oh, ok.” She stared upwards as he continued.
“The everyone star is for everyone. That's why it doesn't move, and the rest do. Cause, see, my star moves a bunch, so I can't always see it. So the everyone star stays there, and I know I'm not alone. That's why it's my favorite.”
“But you're not alone!”
“Not as long as I have a star!” Frankie laughed again, and leaned back against the wall. “Sometimes, I wonder...” he trailed off. “Am I crazy because my star moves so much?”

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amnesia dreams

The smell of fish, faint in the air, draws him onward down the white hallway. He's not sure where he is, or who he is, or even what he is, but he smells fish, and that's enough.
He recognizes the room at the end of the hallway, from half a dream like this one, perhaps something more, and the warm bed with the blue cover is soft beneath him, and he sits, sits and watches, and half-dreams fly by in the cold whiteness from the light with no switch. There is a beanbag, and a picture of a stern man with glasses, and a table with a chair. Flickering ghosts of memory fly around the room, from the door to the table to the bed that he knows is his, like glass butterflies. He feels no need to chase them.
One of the ghosts is the man with glasses, another is a woman with grey hair and soft eyes. The man is angry, they are both angry, and for half a moment he is afraid before they both vanish. But other ghosts are coming and going, and he is sure they all have names, and for a moment he wonders what his is. And he can't remember, can't remember anything, and again he is afraid.
He looks away from the ghosts, into the white corners of the room with no light switch, and stares there for a moment, lost in thoughtless until he sees the book. He recognizes it. But when he moves to touch the blue cover, the letters change, and become something he can't recognize, and this scares him, more than anything before, and he remembers this dream from a thousand nights ago and wakes up, eyes wide.
Cee takes a moment, staring and breathing hard at the darkness in the room without ghosts, until he remembers where he is, and who he is, and almost sort of what he is. His hand brushes a book, and he looks down, startled, but the cover does not change. The soft sound of Lynn's breathing comes from the other room, and there is a light switch, illuminated by the rays of moonlight that fight through the windowpanes onto the soft colors of the walls. He breathes out.
Cee is alright.

Ok, so I wrote this in like, August. But I just realized that I had never posted it, and I still like it, so... Yeah. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Assorted writing-bits

Some short things I've written recently. They're not connected. Other than that, no context for you!

I am gathered here today
To let you know that you are not forgotten
that I still think of you—frequently
though I may not speak of you so often as I wish.
And to bring you flowers,
Like I used to, long ago,
seeing as the last ones I brought you have wilted.

“This?” The young man's voice was hollow, an empty vessel lined with bitterness. “This is my punishment for sins never committed.”
He wrapped the crystal shard in a thick black cloth, and placed it in a pocket inside his coat. For a moment he stood motionless, letting the anger run out of him for the thousandth time before he finally turned back to them, his face completely still again.
“Was that all you required of me?” The harsh, clipped accent did nothing to make him seem more human.

“No.” She dragged herself upwards, out of the smoking ruins of the machine, ignoring the broken glass that cut into her hands. The villain took a step back, gaping, as she made her way to her feet.
“But.. you...” he stammered, glancing around for something, anything to defend himself with.
“Not like this.” Her voice was cracked with emotion, pouring sorrow and anger like a thundercloud. “I didn't live for a thousand years, save the world, fight off apocalypses with my two hands to die like this, at the hands of some fool who thinks he knows a thing or two. Did you really think,” she moved forwards as she spoke, forcing him back, “that I would just let you kill me? That I would truly be that desperate to end it?” He suddenly found his back to the wall, and her in front of him, hazel eyes glowing with a desperate rage. “I do want to die.” She raised her weapon. “But never like this.”

“Take two steps further into my lab,” Jack's voice was level, and perfectly calm, “And I can practically guarantee that you will die.”
The robot's controller twitched, just barely, and Jack caught it, spotting the robot's weakness in that one move. With a sharp laugh, he jumped at a keyboard, and after a few short strokes he grinned menacingly.
“Ok.” He took up his position again between the robot and the door, crossing his arms. “Take two steps further, and I can definitely guarantee that you will die.”

“Now see, that's just the problem! You see fireflies, and you think, 'Oh, they're just fireflies,' and go looking for magic somewhere else! You can't see what's right in front of you because you believe it to be ordinary!”
“It IS ordinary!”
“Almost all magic is.”
A pause filled the little room.
“The best disguise any magic could have, I think,” the little man said slowly, as he cradled the dove in his hands, “is itself, for nobody keeps looking once they see what something is.”

He clutched his head desperately as the memories assaulted him from the inside out, lying twisted on the floor and unable to move. “I... No, please, make it stop!”
“Do you know you're seeing?” The doctor knelt by him, staring into the white eyes. “It took over 50 tries to create you. That pain, that shame, that terror—that's what they felt. That's what it took to make you, the one, single success.”
“No...” He tried to stand again, but fell, crying out in pain.
“So tell me, Hybrid. Why did they have to die?”
“I don't know.” He clutched his skull with the three-fingered hands, white eyes wide. “I don't know.”
“They died so you could be born. So you could go out, learn what you can, and tell us what you know. The weight of their lives is yours.” He cringed as a particularly horrible death flashed through his mind. “They died for you. Why did they die?”
“They died for me.” He repeated blindly, willing to do anything to make it stop.
“Did they all die for nothing?”
“They died for me.”
“So did they die for nothing? Are you going to live for nothing?” The doctor stood over him as he writhed. “Fail your purpose, your creators, them? Well?”

That's all for now!