Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Entry #119

Ascension
by Stuart Goodall


The worn rubber of the handrail feels rough. My nails dig in easily. Chunks fall away to their deaths in the ruts of the metal steps. The eyelets on my shoes look on. No laces to blind them.

I am rising up: escalating.

So many people here. Wasting precious seconds. Scowling, frowning and maintaining blank mannequin faces. Wearing clothes they think they chose. Speaking with weight they think they measured. They swallow up the world and then regurgitate it under the mistaken impression that they are contributing something other than another monotone voice in a sea of monotone voices screeching from the cookie stalls and coffee shops and retail outlets that frantically try and keep them from realising that all their choices are hopelessly limited and that nothing they say or do or wear or eat has not been said or done or worn or eaten a thousand times before.

My shoes are dirty.

The steps are closing in on each other. Now they have gone and we are at the escalation apex. The rubber corpses have nowhere to hide. They catch in the grate. I step beyond them. So many people. I can hear my pulse in my ears. To take something is to make it yours. I must choose.

A girl.

She is looking over the balcony.

My shoes squeak as I run.

15 comments:

J.C. Montgomery said...

I like stories such as this that have as much context beneath the words as the words to themselves. And also that there is a little left over at the end so that our imaginations can continue on and work out their own conclusions as to what those last few lines portend.

JR's Thumbprints said...

The line breaks are strategically placed, giving the reader time to reflect.

laughingwolf said...

well honed :D

September said...

I really like it...even if I am not totally sure of what is going on. I read it several times too.
Shoes in the opening graph and at the end....nice tie.
Good job.

Lena said...

well structured, helps to put accents where they are needed.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Loved the embedded philosophy!Good one :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

This is chilling - rubber corpses, very inventive. Diabolical character!

Catvibe said...

Well written, I like your character and his philosophic mental judgments. Funny that he ran from the girl. Great image with the rubber off his shoes and the rubber corpses.

pjd said...

Cat, I had a totally different interpretation of the final line. Perhaps because I'd just read one about death and killing. I assumed the MC was running toward the girl, to push her over the balcony. The MC has a bit of teenage know-it-all disdain for the people around him. He already views them as lifeless, colorless, rubber corpses. Why not push one off the balcony to see if she bounces?

Carrie said...

Excellent insight into one man's hatred for society. I'd like to know what's made him this way, but in a short piece like this it doesn't need spelling out. Fantastic writing and definately one of my favourites so far.

bluesugarpoet said...

I love the main character's existential rant. Ironically, each sentence is pregnant with meaning. Dark and desperate. I like it!

jana

Sarah Hina said...

A dark vision from a psychopath's eyes. You perfectly captured that sense of superiority and detachment that such a person must feel, right before he's violent.

To take something is to make it yours is such a chilling, fantastic line. And I loved that you trusted the reader to interpret the ending. Powerful, intelligent writing, Stuart.

ceedy said...

On you way to get something you are categorically shedding aspects that are redundant...very well scripted

jason evans said...

Great job with pacing, entertainment value, technical skill, storytelling, and voice! And welcome to the Forties Club!!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest.

Scott said...

Aha! I know who you are... I didn't read all the entries and searched on Stu until I found this. Absolutely great job on this piece. This easily could have cracked the lineup, and I'm sure it was close.