Friday, February 22, 2008

Entry #21

The Burial Site
by Chris Eldin


Brian thought of surprisingly little. The reefer in his gym bag. Whether or not frozen carcasses get eaten.

He lay his gym bag and shovel by the overgrown root and pulled out the reefer. It lit on the first try. This was good luck, he thought. He noticed a group of ox beetles scattering up the trunk. A gust of wind blew through a spider web. It shivered and stayed.

He smoked and looked for the hole. When he found it, he kicked the leaves away and climbed in. The reefer burnt to a nub so he aimed it at the ox-beetles but they didn’t care or maybe they were already high.

He still fit in his hiding hole so he didn’t worry about digging anymore but he did pull his gym bag in and got out the gun and put the bag under his head because the rock was giving him a cramp and the wind wasn’t so bad down here and the beetles did look quite nice and the sky overhead blue blue and only one cloud which looks like a popcorn oh how simple-minded maybe it looks like a dam yeah a dam that broke loose somewhere and carries with it all the shit that people throw away and do they throw away other people yes they do all the time you just gotta watch the news and crawl into your own private hell I mean hole when the cloud went away he pulled the trigger.

28 comments:

strugglingwriter said...

Chris - very interesting and original entry. Definitely hooks from the start. I particularly like the second paragraph especially "A gust of wind blew through a spider web. It shivered and stayed."

Paul

ChristineEldin said...

Thanks Paul!
I had a longer version of this on my blog a while back, so some people may recognize this.
I was going to write something else, but the more I looked at Jason's photo of the tree, the more it came to me as a cemetary marker between the earth and the air.

Beth said...

Christine, yes, I know you in blogdom and enjoy you there, but it has nothing to do with loving what you've written here. I am glad you worked on this before because I would have been like, "Damn, she wrote THAT SO FAST?" LOL Great job. Reminds me of the days when I actually smoked pot ... and makes me glad I stopped decades ago.

Missy said...

It's interesting how Brian thinks of very little in the beginning. But once in the hole, his thoughts seem to run in a constant stream. It's like he found his place. Good tale.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Such a good start to a great little piece. It does pull you right in.

Remiman said...

Chris,
I abhor suicide, but have seen it too often, In fact this story mimics a true life occurance I experienced 25 years ago. For those twenty-five years I've been puzzled by what thought process leads some one to this avenue of escape.
Now I have a greater understanding.
Thanks,
rel

DBA Lehane said...

Brutal and uncompromising! As others have said, this is *another* good and original take on the photo.

paisley said...

one wonders how a mind so drawn in by something as simple as a trail of beetles or clouds could be so deeply wrapped around the idea of death....

very well done...

JLB said...

It feels like there's a lot going on in this piece - clearly you could expand. I especially enjoy the movement of the final paragraph.

BernardL said...

Your last run on sentence, stringing last thoughts together was masterful.

Sarah Hina said...

Chris, even though I've read it before, its shocking conclusion still gave me the shivers.

Really, the last paragraph's parade of final images is gut-wrenching, but so superb. Stream of consciousness at its best.

So well done, my friend.

SzélsőFa said...

I remember having read a longer form of it earlier on, too.
I also recollect the shiver it gave me, as it does now, too.
Well done.

ChristineEldin said...

Thank you for the kind comments!

Remiman, I was tossing and turning last night thinking about what you said. I based this very short piece on a compilation of two people I know, one of whom did commit suicide when I was in high school. It was so traumatic, that it was easy to 'become him.' I don't remember what mood I was in, but once I was in his skin the words came easily. And this part is unedited.

I think that by the time you make a decision about something, whether it's a divorce, a move, or an act of violence such as suicide, that a calm overtakes you. All of the turmoil basically happens when you're in a state of indecision. At least that's my personal experience. So I think the person I based this on (Russell) got to the point in his life where the very last hope was yanked from him. I think after he decided to do this, he was at peace. He could finally look at the tree, the box-beetle, the cloud. I think so, anyway.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Excellent piece of writing, I particularly like your use of stream of consciousness at the end. The imagery is also superb - really very well done.

Ello said...

Chris, I loved the longer piece and it doesn't lose anything in the shortening. In fact it seems to have intensified the impact of that last paragraph. It is still one of the most effective uses of stream of conscious writing that leads to you an inevitable end. This is a brilliant piece of writing.

Vesper said...

Very well written, Christine, the second part coming only naturally from the first.
Very chilling...

bluesugarpoet said...

Wow. Yes, the stream of consciousness paragraph was written masterfully. Really, I thought it exactly mimicked how a person might "think" in his or her last moments of life. It's "life flashing before his eyes," but in a muddled sort of way - the way a person confused by pain and drugs might think. This is a powerful piece of writing!

pjd said...

Really nothing to say that hasn't already been said. You have accomplished something profound with this, Chris. And it is very well written.

Bernita said...

Psychologically acute, Chris.And entirely realistic.
Very well done!

Jaye Wells said...

Oh very nice, Chris.

Hoodie said...

I like how the writing reflects the drug-induced train of thought. Dark, yet romantic. Very nice, Chris.

Precie said...

Wow, that's dark. And the voice sounds so authentic. Very powerful.

Mags said...

Beautifully written and emotionally striking. Wonderful, Chris!

raine said...

Ouch. An acutely painful piece.
Somehow I feel like there were many times I wanted to crawl into that hole.
Means you did a fabulous job.
Well done.

Aerin said...

The title of this piece is Burial Site, and the place where he buries himself seems to be a hiding hole from his childhood. Almost like returning to the womb of mother earth, especially with the ox beetles reference. Fantastic.

jason evans said...

The fact that he dug his own hole and shielded everyone from his act felt really authentic and powerful. High marks!

Aine said...

Wow-- I didn't expect such a tragedy from you. :)

I like the way he focused on simple details. The effect of the drug on his thinking is well done.

ChristineEldin said...

Thank you!!! And congratulations to everyone for the writing that was produced here. It's *all* nothing short of inspirational!
:-)