Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Entry #167

Wages Of Brevity
by Sandeep Shete

Once upon a time—

No. That won’t do. A waste of words, right?

The day greys over but your fading mind demands one final provocation – quick. Deep within its nether reaches something dark comes to life. It’s me, yes. Throbbing vaguely at first I acquire within moments a more agreeable contour. I crouch, flap my nascent extremities and before you realise it, I’m out there, a flying outline of your imagination. Flat. Basic. Sharply carved by your surgical eye.

Do you spy wings unfurling? A tail perhaps? A beak? Aha! What more could delight you? From the distance I can smell the sweat of your exertions; sense the heat of your triumph. Blues and greens sail past below me but I have no time for them. I must soar and glide and plunge and bank putting fighter jets to shame in a blink to amuse you.

How long before you get greedy?

Now you have me exactly where you want, frozen against a web of thorns: the end is near. As I see you reach for the denouement I shut my eyes and execute one last epiphanic swoop – your favourite thing. The air ripples around me as if I were flying in water; a hot knife slices me into two, four, more... I know where I’m supposed to fall.

And there, at your feet that haven’t even moved, you find me. In two hundred and fifty pieces of flesh and blood and no longer just a silhouette of a story.

(Sandeep Shete lives with his family in Pune (India) where he works as a management professional. He indulges his yen for creative writing in his free time. His short stories, plays and essays have won awards in several writing competitions in recent years and some of his work has found its way into anthologies too.)


Laurel said...

Oh, wow! The art talks back!

I love the tone and great descriptions here. This is very witty.

Bernita said...

Sometimes our words have wings...

Steph said...

Cracked me up.

Sandy said...

Laurel, Bernita, Steph:

Thanks a lot for your encouraging feedback. It is delightful to receive comments so fast on my first ever entry on this blog.


kashers said...

250 pieces of flesh and blood; 250 words of sardonic wit.

Aniket said...

Witty and smart. Great stuff.

Oh and 'fast' is an understatement for Laurel and Bernita when it comes to commenting. Don't ask me, I haven't figured out how they do it for months now! :D

McKoala said...

Nice to see something a little different.

catvibe said...

I loved the ending, I had a good hearty laugh at that one. Love the POV (of this entity like bird being) and the voice here. Great.

laughingwolf said...

nicely done, sandeep...

lena said...

That was a cool read. Nicely done.

Craig said...

I enjoyed that. I really different approach but you pulled it off nicely.

Deb Smythe said...

Love your writing style. Well done.

pjd said...

Can't tell if this muse enjoys his work or not.

Kartik said...

Wow .. very smooth and artsy :)

JaneyV said...

Very clever writing Sandeep. I love how both the author and the reader is being teased by the muse. That the imagination is carved into 250 pieces and served up to the reader is brilliant. I love it.

James R. Tomlinson said...

I think consistencies is the key. If your narrator shows a certain hesistancy in the beginning, there should be some type of reason or action for the change.

Sarah Laurenson said...

OK. Loved, loved, loved this one. Perfectly done and even room for the "once upon a time" humor.

Preeti said...



Its beautiful. A unique take. A new perspective. Bold, sure, sharp sentence structuring.

Loved it.

Aerin said...

Sandeep - welcome! Ignore Aniket - he's trying to achieve immortality by besting Laurel. It helps that he's cute, but, whatever. I'm so pleased you entered (bwahaha, welcome to the dark side.)

my caveat

Something I Would Keep

From the first, with the words, "the day greys over", I thought I was either in the presence of a master wordsmith or some inexperienced fool who got lucky. By the time I got to "nascent extremities" I realized that you are the former rather than the latter. It's a tricky business, doing something this artistic, and you pulled it off so skillfully. Bravissimi.

Something I Might Tweak

In "I must soar and glide" sentence, I'd probably put a comma after "bank" - I had to read it a couple of times to understand.

Chris Eldin said...

Ha! Loved it!! Very creative!

Terri said...

I feel like I should be thanking your protagonist for gracing us with its presence - superb!

sunwrites said...

kashers: Thanks!

Aniket: I'm glad you liked it. Thanks.

McKoala: Thanks. I figured there was nothing to lose by trying something different. :-)

catvibe: I'm glad you noticed the ending. I always try to end on a high note.

laughingwolf, lena, Craig, Deb Smythe: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

pjd: Hmm... Maybe the muse doesn't want to reveal that. :-D

Karthik: I'm glad you liked it. Thanks.

JaneyV: I'd tried this muse talking back thing once earlier and it had worked. I'm thrilled you feel this one is "brilliant."

James R. Tomlinson: Yes, that was a fine observation. Actually I didn't mean the opening line to sound hesitant. On the contrary, I wanted to convey the self-deprecating smugness of the omniscient.

Sarah Laurenson: Thanks a ton! Yes, the 'once upon a time' opening was meant to be humorous.

Preeti: My god! You've drowned me in superlatives. Glug, glug, glggg... :-)

Aerin: Thanks. It's really overwhelming to get so much constructive feedback on my very first entry.

my caveat: Thank you. You've made me feel ten feet tall. :-) "Master wordsmith?" I'll gloat over that tag for weeks I think. :-)

Your suggestion is noted too. Will pay more attention to comma placement.

Chris Eldin: Thank you so much.

Terri: Thanks. And I'd thank Jason Evans for this opportunity. :-)