Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Stairs, Part 4 (suspense/horror)

(A story in honor of Halloween. As the days of October shorten, a young man descends with the sunset shadows down seven cellar stairs. If you're just joining us, you can go back to Part 1.)

On the Fourth Stair

Paulie loved Wednesdays. The half-way day. The breath between build up and plunge. He could taste the gorgeousness of Saturday coming. And the semi-dark that would trail its sunset.

A gust pushed the hickory tree toward the west, and red and yellow leaves whirled in devil tornadoes. When the gust died, they spun into the ground in the shade and the house's corners.

Paulie hopped down the stairs.

One, two.

Watching you.

Three, Four.

Watch some more.

On the fourth stair, Paulie hovered in the cut of light. Darkness spread itself below and wet its lips for him.

Gimme the keys just gimme the Goddamn keys asshole I hate your fat smirking smile like come on as if I like running for you in the van and not catching breaks when you're not looking or naps because I'm going to rip off my pants and twirl them in the wind out the window and get high and jack off on the dash board go ahead and shake your head about nothing getting through my thick skull and bouncing off like tennis balls but I pull out of the gate and barbed wire and the road gets going and I do laugh about what I could do and scream shit at other drivers then gun it and dust them with my pants still on thank you very much though I would jack off if I knew smirk face would drive the van and put his hands on the crispy spots but instead it all happened the other day when I was picking up or dropping off at the ShopRite whatever and I saw the car and the hood up and a pair of curved jeans making me look twice and holy crap if it wasn't you sending me way away across the parking lot and couldn't believe it since I hadn't seen you though I thought about you a lot after high school and still there you were poking at something on the engine while some buff guy came up and talked to you but then walked away because you didn't need him and pieces of my brain plinked like hundreds of pinballs as my hands got hot frozen and I don't even remember the arguments but there was anger at something not you but at all the stuff and crap and times I forgot to shave and getting my ass kicked and then I was driving again or part of me was driving straight for you like the other half was sitting by my side screaming and waving the other way and whoa hit the brakes oh fuck I'm screwed now because you saw me not recognized me but saw me and I got out and you stepped back and stood straight and I could see the creeped out look and my anger was stronger and I spoke someone's voice saying hi Mrs. Brennan I'm sure you don't remember me your student but you did remember right away and you smiled then not like you used to and it was like a sword stabbing all the way on the mountain again and the enemies were at my feet smiling in that love sort of way even though my sword split chests gushing red and the eyes were still like love and I helped you before you told me you didn't need help because you know all sorts of slap on the back things and you were mixing antifreeze from ShopRite with some French bottled water and filling your radiator and we laughed at that and you touched me when you laughed and touched my beard like ooh you're a big boy now no a man and you bitched about pain in the ass kids and how teaching sucked and how it was fun to know the laid back kids like me who knew what the important shit was and I skewered each of your pretty smiles on my blade but didn't draw them on paper since I don't draw and color anymore and I could believe you actually wanted to like cock your head and invite to me talk some more if it wouldn't get me in trouble since there was this café and the parking lot was smoking hot and nobody should stand so long and the sitting part of me gasped but the driver side knew how to smolder because he was the angry one who wanted to pay anger like money and get something way better and we


no no

don't listen

you really wanted me to

say.goodbye.croaking.stammering.looking at my shoes. hating.seeeeeething.but I won't leave.not while you

go into the café and it's amazing how much you like to laugh

at me.that guy pointing at my.acid tears.I roar.spit and spray.burrrrrrn.because.yeah.oh fucking yeah.point at the dork

and hear what I have to say and something's happening even though we won't say it and you ask me to

never come near you.but.I'm good.I'm so good.circling close.very close.I'll

come to your house to just hang you know just kick back and listen to some wicked mp3's and you know you don't have to explain it to me because I'm one of the laid back ones the cool ones and sure I understand hell yeah it's exciting are you kidding me I can be totally into it

whatever you want

On Saturday.

On to Part 5.
Back to Part 3.


SzélsőFa said...

I wonder what is more frightening: a seemingly everyday person with a twist in his mind OR a twisted creature, from outer space, perhaps...?
I always feared the former the more.

Bernita said...

"Darkness spread itself below and wet its lips for him"
VERY good.
Think this is the best stream of consciousness so far, too.

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

"hot frozen hands"
I know exactly what that feels like. So much menace, simmering under the surface.

The Anti-Wife said...

Creepy - and I don't mean the setting anymore.

Verilion said...

Yeah agree with Bernita, that stream of consciousness is really creepy now.

Church Lady said...

I liked the build-up to this. When it's complete, I want to read it in its entirety.
I'm not sure how I feel. I need to read this again. It seers, and I'm drawn to it. That's all I can say right now.

Anonymous said...

Szelsofa, for me, it's probably more the latter. Things beyond us seem more threatening to me.

Bernita, maybe I'm getting more used to the stream of consciousness form. It's strange to write it. Like you're trying to channel another person directly onto the page.

Electric Orchid Hunter, simmering under the surface...I like that. This character is almost too beaten and lazy to be a threat, but the fact that he is might be even more troubling.

Anti-Wife, hmmm, what is he going to find down there? I do wonder....

Verilion, glad it's effective. It's an interesting form to experiment with. It provides an utterly different way to tell a story.

Church Lady, build up, yes. If you are getting uncomfortable, stick with it. I just may have a handkerchief or two up my sleeve. ;)

Ello said...

I think I know what is down there. I'm not saying as I don't want to give it away to anyone else and of course this might all be a big red herring. But I am in angst ridden anticipation cause I think I know!!! And I can't wait! Talk about suspense killing a person. come on Jason, hurry up! I have to find out what's down there.

anne said...

Whoa. Hasn't he got issues...

Vesper said...

Now I'm really getting scared. :-)

I skewered each of your pretty smiles on my blade.

This is good, Jason. I can't wait for what's next!

Shameless said...

Wow, this is turning out to be interesting! :-)

ybonesy said...

OK, Jason, my question is, what kind of mind is it that creates such a twisted man as Paulie? ; - )

Shesawriter said...


Scared the stuffing out of me!

Anonymous said...

Ello, I think you'll be pleased with my plan to finish the series. I'll announce it in my next post in a couple hours.

Anne, we've all had these kind of thoughts, right? Right? LOL!

Vesper, thanks! I know this is different than my usual stuff here, but if I'm going to take on a challenge, then by golly I want to do it right.

Shameless, it's fun to really poke around in a character's head like this. I don't think it would be nearly as effective for a "normal" character though.

Ybonesy, I was waiting for that question. Hopefully, a creative one. I'm having fun wondering what it's like to be a troubled character. We'd have to ask a truly troubled person to see if I got it right. Seriously, doing something like this has really made me respect writers who tackle difficult/disturbing/taboo subjects. That takes a lot of bravery. Writers will always be personally equated with their stories.

Shesawriter, I'm not messing around with this one. Well, then again, maybe I am. Let's see how it ends.

Jaye Wells said...

Stop! No wait, I need more. Damn, you're good.

angel said...

woah... dude, i had to read that twice! i'm totally hooked!