He And Her

Hello once again to another one of my back burner pieces, except this one is actually really recent so I’m pretty proud of that fact. And yeah, I really like this piece as a story itself. It’s pretty simple now that I’m rereading this, really entails only a very short part of the many interactions these two characters have, but I think it encompasses it enough that you understand what kind of relationship these two characters have. Was just a “tad” bit inspired by “Into the Forest of Fireflies”, which is an amazing film that everyone needs to watch. Of course I couldn’t help but make the story not as obvious as it should, I think, at least, I did what I could to make some of the major points not so well known, like for example, who the narrator is. Just something I feel like I have to always do, is all. Other than that, well, one more thing, I actually haven’t been up and around to making any new original short stories because of real life reasons and being generally busy with real life things and problems, but after tomorrow, I will finally get a breath of fresh air, and finally have time to make new short stories rather than picking out the old dusty archive, which I’ll still do because there’s some really great pieces in here. But anyway, here you go, “He and Her”.

 

“If someone told me this five years ago,” he stopped. Then breathed, took a long pause, and then continued.

“I might have believed them,” he finished.

“Five years? That short?” He considered the question. Was five years too short, or was ten years too long? He thought. Why five, and why ten, he thought as well. Those questions remained unanswered but he did answer.

“No, that’s not short. Five years is a long time,” he said with pride.

“Only to someone like you.” He smiled, then his eyes drooped. His expression lowered, and his breathing slowed.

“I’ll miss you,” he said.

“I know.” He wanted to cry, or perhaps, he wanted not to let go. He wanted that feeling to last, and he wanted this time to last. He was stubborn, awfully obstinate, and for no good reason. That stubbornness will be his undoing, and he knew that.

“Goodbye. Wait no, forget that.” He stumbled, and laughed. He was happy that he heard laughter, and he was happy that he was able to lighten the mood. He was truly a mess.

“I don’t believe in goodbyes, right?” He said, and asked, for some reason.

“You’re asking me?”

“No, I mean–” Laughter resounded in the air again, and he smiled again.

“No. I don’t believe in goodbyes. So, I’ll see you later, okay?” He received a nod, and then waved, hugged, and then waved. That was that. Five years ago.

“Hey!” And this is now, ten years ago. He had just came to visit the town during winter break. Rather, it was a vacation, his family had family and they liked this town. It was beautiful in the spring, bountiful in the summer, and nice and cold in the winter. Truly a hexing town.

“Wait up!” He was chasing a cat, strangely enough, long enough for the cat to roll up and freeze.

“Hey!” He continued to chase the cat, until the cat had jumped on top of a wall and scurried off, away from him. He looked down casted at the notion, and seemed to stare at the footprints beneath him. The snow that day was very light, but it was snowing nonetheless. Beautiful sparkling snowflakes drifted to the earth like moths to a flame.

“Ah!” The boy said as a gust of wind blew by, scraping his face. The cold winter winds were truly harsh, but the boy didn’t care. He loved winter, almost as much as she did him. It was cold, and at the same time, for some reason, he felt warmth. Despite the sharp winds, the harsh earth, and the freezing of the crops, winter was still very nice.

“Oh! Hey!” The boy said as he noticed the staring.

“Hello,” the boy almost couldn’t hear the voice that almost didn’t reach him.

“You came! Again.” The boy received a nod, and then grabbed a hand, and began running towards the crop fields. He laughed all the way there, with a laugh beside him as well.

“Where are we going?”

“The fields!” He answered. The boy knew that the fields in winter were a beautiful sight. And when he arrived, with hand in tow,  he saw it. Bright fields of white, glittering for all to see, like a million diamonds in the sea. It raced for miles, and for miles there was beauty. It was truly a sight to see, and as the cold winds ripped across his face again, he didn’t budge. He simply stood, admiring the view, and smiling all the way.

“It’s pretty,” the boy heard.  He nodded, “Yeah!” He saw a smile, bright red cheeks, and a slow breath. He smiled, then grabbed a hand, and ran again.

“Where to now?” He heard.

“You’ll see!” He replied. And so he ran, with hand in tow again, running across the cold sharp winds, running across the snowy earth, listening to the crunches of boots. He ran and turned heads, and he ran without care for his own constitution.

“Gran!” He yelled. It was slang, for grandmother, or in his case, an old lady, whom he loved as much as his own grandmother. She appeared before him, in a shop, a candy shop, it was small and comforting. Apparently, these shops were very cultural, or so the boy has heard. He smiled at her appearance, and so did she, who knew the boy very well.

“Would you like some hot chocolate?” The lady asked. The boy lit up, his smile bright despite it hurting and replied with energy, “Yes!” The lady smiled and left to an inner room in her candy shop.

“Eating candy in the winter is weird,” the boy began, “But gran makes the best hot chocolate in town!” He received a smile, and then asked, “Do you like hot chocolate?” He received a nod.

“You don’t like me?” He asked, his eyes focused, and his voice trailing down.

“No! Why would you ask me that?” He heard the reply, it was tinged with worry, that escaped reddened cheeks and long silky hair that flew in the wind as they ran. The reply escaped a mouth that was small, like his, from a body that was frail and weak like his, from a person just like him. He received a reply as bitter as his own thoughts, and as bitter as the salt he tasted on the sea. That was the essence of his being, salt.

“Because you were just smiling, and nodding, you weren’t talking!” The boy pleaded. His eyes dilated, and his hands began shaking on shoulders, he was urgent, for some reason.

“What do you mean?”

“My parents, they always say that if a person doesn’t like you, they won’t talk to you.” He received an inquiring pair of eyes, and he received a light smile.

“Your parents aren’t wrong, I guess. But, there are more ways than one to show that you like someone.”

“My parents told me that words are the most important things in a relationship.” The boy didn’t let go, and he truly wanted to find his own answers. However, much like the voice he received, he too was very naive. The only thing he would receive is a light smile, and a light giggle. And as the hot chocolate came, then he would receive a reply.

“Words are important,” the boy heard.

“Almost as important as silence,” the boy listened, while sipping on the dark liquid.

“You can never come to appreciate silence, until you have it.” The boy listened intently to the information that he surely found strange. And at the same time, it was information, that he never figured he would hear. It was information that the voice found strange as well, but knowing the voice, it was information that was long thought of.

“How do you appreciate silence?” The boy asked.

“By appreciating all the little things in the world, and by appreciating all the things that haven’t been given a second chance.” The boy gave a questioning look.

“My parents said this to me.” The boy switched his look to an understanding look.

“But I think I get it.” The voice stopped and thought.

“My mom always makes things easy to understand, and she told me something very easy to understand,” the voice the boy heard was innocent.

“If there is a cat that does not meow and no one ever knows that it ever lived, it must be very sad, right?”

“Yeah,” the boy replied.

“You would feel bad for that cat right?”

“I would. I love cats.”

“It’s like that! You would love that cat, even though you didn’t know it, right?”

“Yeah. I guess.”

“Appreciate the silence. The things you don’t see or hear, are the things you usually don’t know that you need. Is what she said. It’s like the cat!” The boy thought about it, then realized something.

“So what about you?” The boy asked, “You always do that, you just smile and nod sometimes, not talking.”

“Same thing!”

“Same thing?”

“Sometimes, I don’t need to say anything, and you still understand me, right?” The boy thought about it again.

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Then it’s like that!” The boy gave another questioning look, which only enticed a giggle. Deep down inside, though, he knew what the voice had meant. And he was glad it was like that. It was still bitter, though, because he loved the voice, and he loved the voice’s voice. It was bitter, much like the ocean.

“Should we go now?” The boy was done drinking, and he was all warmed up for another run. He received a smile.

“Yeah,” he smiled at the voice.  The boy spent his days like that, always coming back to the town in winter, coming back like it was his mantra, and coming back like he had always been there, which he had. Those days were short, and those days were long, in the winter. They were cold, yet for some reason, they were always warm to them.

“Yes.” And this is one year ago, the boy was back in the town, except now he was in a room, covered in white walls with a machine buzzing in the distance, and two people standing in front of him, one holding a clipboard.

“I know what will happen, I understand. Everything.” The boy said. His parents were in the room, devastated by the news, but he was proud. He didn’t have tears in his eyes, he had salt.

“I’ll miss you,” the boy said.

“Yeah.” The boy received the reply with a bright smile. Once all the people had left the room, the only sound he could hear was the sound of buzzing, but even then, as the buzzing dissipated into nothingness, he heard a voice.

“Appreciate the silence.” The boy smiled again, there was never a time where he wouldn’t appreciate the silence that he has been given, and the silence that he will be giving. There will never be a time in his life that he will ever appreciate what he has except now. What he has now is everything.

“Silence?” The boy said with a smirk. He received a nod. It was at that moment that he understood that everything in his world would only ever be silence, but that silence was something he could come to love.

“I love winter,” the boy said, tears swelling up in his eyes.

“Why is that?”

“Because the cold isn’t so cold, and the warmth that comes with it, is so magical.”

“Maybe, you’re crazy.” The boy listened to the sarcastic reply, but knew it was all out of playful joy.

“Maybe I am. But I love being crazy. At least then, I could justify this for nothing but dumb fun.” The boy saw tears, and he received a hug, and a pat, and his head lowered, looking at the tiled cold white floor. The buzzing resounded in his ears again, and that was when he knew his time was up.

 

 

 

Grave Digger

Hello once again, on this fine Sunday, If it indeed is that day at the time of reading. Today, another backlogged work, and another short piece, I guess. This one was a bit weird, even for me, as I wrote it in a very old or outdated kind of style, but I think the message is still there and the quaintness of it is still enjoyable. Also, since I do live in Canada, and am hearing about all these crazy snow storms happening else where, I can’t help but just sit back and say, “Just another day.” I mean come on, we barely got any snow on Christmas and now a huge storm is blowing through elsewhere. But I guess we’re cold like all year round so it always feels like winter anyway, not that I mind. Winter is my favorite season. Anyways, here you go, “Grave Digger”.

 

Adrian walked to the old hunched man. His black coat shaded the dirt and draped him in shadows. His face was ragged and his bones were tired. With one hand on the shaft, and one hand on the handle, the man drove the spade into the ground. He lifted, then threw the dirt. Then his spade entered again and he threw again. The old man kept this slow rhythm, his hands trembling with each spade full.

Adrian offered the man a hand, “If you struggle, you’ll only grow older.”

“I don’t have anything left but my age,” the man replied with a tired and coarse voice.

“Growing old is nothing but a trifle. I keep those in even greater age, cased. It is not for a man as yourself.” The old man pointed to Adrian’s necklace, a silver shining angel dangled in the low light. Adrian clutched his necklace and laughed, “I may not deal in disposed souls, but I can move dirt.”

“Is that so? Color yourself zealous?”

“Not anymore so. You bury the gone, and at such great determination. Are you any less zealous?”

“I do what is required. Some belong in under-earth. I simply see to it.”

“Well, can’t you say that we all see to it? It is nothing but upheaval to ignore our lost ones.”

“But you don’t deal in corpses?” The man pointed to the casket beside him, where a body laid in wait under the solid cover.

“How can a devout speak of respectful sending if they cannot carry the gourd?”

“To send a soul to purgatory, one must shelve away all obstructions.” The old man pondered Adrian’s behaviour. To him, Adrian was a soothe seeker. A callous man who wandered to seek approval. The old man was versed in many names and faces. However he was dumbfounded at his lack of recognition towards Adrian. The old man had titled himself with knowing everyone in the town. His graveyard was a library. And the people were young.

“Do what you will, lest you be a knave.”

“I promise to be honest. Dirt cannot lie.” The old man handed his spade to Adrian. Adrian rolled his sleeves, exposing two laden white arrows on both his arms. The arrows were thick and seemed to flood towards his hands. The old man couldn’t avert his eyes, for he knew of only few scenarios of why tattoos of that nature would exist. The old man did not care for religious pleasantries, but he knew allowing Adrian to help with the burial would not end well. There were very few in this town who would anoint tasks but no see through to them. This town was very zealous in itself.

Adrian worked quickly, creating an opening in matter of minutes. The old man tensed, for he had already fired out the situation Adrian was in.

“How do you? Work is swift when you are able,” Adrian said. He had driven the spade into the ground once again. It protruded from the ground, and stood as tall as Adrian. The old man hovered around the casket and peered at Adrian. Adrian was sweating but he wasn’t recuperating.

“So what make of you? Work is work. Get to it,” Adrian said with a hard boiled demeanor. The old man looked puzzled.  Truly those who lived in the town would know if its customs. The old man had two options, one of which required great ignorance, the other, arrogance. The old man was revered in town, some of which was self condoned, the other, pure reputation.  The old man was quite fond of his status. It gave him a sense of omnipotence.

“What has been done is done. You know how it is,” the old man said.

“So you are zealous, have me colored in blood!” Adrian yelled.

“It is not much in mannerism. However, customs do not die.” Adrian grabbed the spade and pointed it vehemently towards the old man.

“There is little that can dissuade tradition. You must cherish souls, and souls therefore.” Adrian slammed the spade into the ground and turned to leave the grounds.

“Lest you be devoured by the nation,” the old man said into the winds. Adrian’s forehead tensed, and it seemed like only moments before he would snap out at the old man. Adrian slowed his breathing, and finally circled back towards the casket. Adrian slowed his breathing, and finally circled back towards the casket. Adrian bent down, and with two hands, grabbed the large rectangular box. The old man looked down casted at what was about to occur.

“Peace be with you,” the old man said. Adrian lifted the casket, and as it rose to the his face, he realizing the situation. The old man gave him one last remark.

“Those be damned. If only souls stuck with souls, not strangers.”

 

 

Mistaken

Hello once again, today, something from a long overdue bunch of stories, stories that I have placed in my archive of long lost relics. Actually, stories that I just forgot and didn’t end up using for anything much. But now, I bring them back, mainly because I want to, and mainly because It’s interesting to see what I was thinking when I wrote these and what the ideas I had were back then. It’s always nice to relish on the embarrassing past you once had.  This one is a bit weird, I’d say, but even I could remember what the twist was and what exactly was going on. I love weird stories, so let’s see if this one can be a great start to a weird trip down memory lane (It actually was only  a few months ago that I wrote the stories that I mentioned). Here you go, “Mistaken.”

Elis looked at the gray slab with concentrated eyes. The air felt cold, and the sky was stale. Everything around her was frozen. Time had stopped, and the only thing that seemed to matter to Elis, was her own name.

The gray slab was inscribed with gold  plated words. However, Elis could not make heads or tails of it. It was all ancient scripture to her. Elis leaned over to ascertain the reality of the gray slabs, but her hands felt no surface. In fact, her hands were as pale as the clouds themselves. Elis looked down to her body, but could not capture an outline. She peered into the darkened soil, and without further thoughts, had realized her predicament. Elis shook her feet, but found herself bound into place. The day grew old, and soon, Elis felt drowsy.

As Elis woke up, she saw a tall darkened figure in front of her. The man made a gesture to accentuate the shadowed garb that veiled him. Elis did not feel the least bit frightened by the man’s presence. In fact, it had almost seemed comforting.

“You seem quite quaint, or perhaps it is due to a lack of knowledge that has made you so…Obstinate,” the cloaked figure said. Elis was as empty as the sky itself. She didn’t know whether it was right to feel this way, but she knew for certain that it didn’t matter.

“I can guess that you grasp your situation?” Elis nodded. The cloaked figure reached into his pockets and manifested a slip of paper. It was no wider than a sheet of lined paper, but also no longer. The man turned the slip towards Elis; her name was written on it in red. Elis didn’t bat an eye.

“This is a slip of indictment. For your doings transcend even mortal formalities.” Elis took the slip. Her eyes told no lies, nor did her hands, nor her legs. She was as stiff as the very tombstones she stood in front of. Only she had more character.

“If you abide your crimes, you can be free,” the cloaked man said. Elis looked long and hard at the slip of paper. Each word jumped at her, almost dyslexic in nature. They formed around her and began eating at her conscience. Soon the letters became malformed. The “E” turned into a “M”, the “L” into an “O”, the “I”, into a bed and the “S” into a mathematical symbol for eternity. Elis steadied her breathing until she could talk.

“And if I don’t?” She asked.

“Those chains will never come off,” the cloaked man pointed at her legs, “Even my cut cannot mend immorality. Lest you be damned here.”

“And if I abide, surely a price would be paid anyway.” The cloaked man did not speak again. The wind was surely dry in the midday’s of hell. Elis matched the indictment with the slab. The letters were undeniably parallel.

E  E

L  L

I    I

S   S

The cloaked man stood patiently by Elis. His figure exuded omnipotence, but only to those that adorn so. To Elis, no less, but also, no more. To Elis, her faint remembrance served no more as anti thesis. And her lies were no less tragic. Elis handed the slip back to the man, who looked back in only utter confusion.

“I cannot abide by misunderstandings.” The cloaked man looked confused. There were never time when he was wrong. His line of work didn’t allow it.

“Sad to say, but you have the wrong person.”

“Surely not. Elis, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“Dead, are you not?”

“Yes.”

“Full of indictment?”

“It seems so.”

“Then surely I am not mistaken.” Elis shook her head. She continued to leave her hand out, attempting to hand back the curse. To her, the words  no longer mattered. Elis as a curse, or Elis as a keepsake. They were all faded.  All so black, and void of expression. Elis hated it. She wanted nothing to do with it. Nothing to do with the very murmur of it. Nothing to do with the very scent of it.  After all, it was all false indoctrination.

“I will have none of it,” Elis said.

“Once again, you play me as a fool. Surely you don’t understand. Surely you do. Or perhaps, you don’t even know the fallacy of it all.”

“But I do.” Elis stood her ground. She was unwavering. She was resolute. She was sure of her situation. Elis placed the indictment on the ground, but it did not falter with the wind. It remained on the soil, forever cursed.

“I am not Elis. Nor did I want to be.” The cloaked man stood dumbfounded. Elis never spoke another word. Nor did she move. Nor did she care. Eventually, even the cloaked man left, for he knew his job was all but correct. He knew he had made a mistake. He knew not of Elis.

New Year

Hello once again, today is not going to be a new short story or anything like that, although I do have a bunch that I am wanting to share or use in the near future, so that will be that, but I did finally make a singular page documenting every short story/story that I did since the inception of this, and thus will be a year wrap up I guess for this.

https://briandwriting.wordpress.com/year-end-list-of-stories-story-archive/  

So that’s the page where basically every post was made sorted by title with a link for ease of access and that will probably make many people’s lives easier if they ever come in and want to just browse through what I have done so far. Cheers to a new year, and I hope everyone had a good holiday.