Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #231

Nevermore
by Karen


The search has gone on for days now. It’s a story made for the media – famous poet, lover of famous poet, disappears into thin air. At first, she’s used the cameras to plead for someone to come forth. Now, she avoids them as best she can. She’s a prisoner in her own home, fearful of coming outside lest they thrust a microphones in her face and shout for a quote to tell what she might or might not know.

And all along, she’s waiting for someone to just look up. Sometimes she wants to shout, “Can’t you see it? The damn thing’s right above your heads!” But they don’t test the sky for answers.

They think they’ll find him in the river. They suspect he wanted to imitate the one whose works he spent his life defining. Well, they burned his heart on a beach, and this black heart is swinging through the sky.

It’s funny they haven’t thought of the man she’s spent her life defining.

She thinks by now it resembles nothing so much as the silhouette of a huge bird, its large black form lifted on the breeze, swinging loose above her. And just at midnight when she feels her weakest, she thinks she hears it tap, tap, tapping. She grows weary of her demon lover swinging through the sky above her, rapping on her chamber door, urging her to tell her story…

Quoth the lady, “Nevermore.”

17 comments:

Laurel said...

And another! Go, Poe! It's a regular Poe renaissance around here.

This one is particularly well done. The story is quite Poe-like, a woman driven by a horrifying symbol that is unseen by others.

and this is fantastic:

vShe grows weary of her demon lover swinging through the sky above her, rapping on her chamber door

Aniket said...

Did you and Samuel plan this out? Evermore and Nevermore, back to back? :D

The emotions that flow out are in sync to your poetic flawlessness, Karen.

This is a welcome change from you, to have written a fiction piece. You know we love, love, love your poetry but you seriously should write fiction once in a while. ;)

Loved the character built up here. And the voice of the narration is so you. Quoth the gentleman "Awesome!"

catvibe said...

Karen the imagery you employed in this piece is spectacular. It read like a mysterious prose poem. The quote Laurel quoted is truly haunting. I also enjoyed the 'defining' differences here, glad you brought that in, isn't that the truth? Well my dear, I'm so glad you finally made it to the show. So glad.

laughingwolf said...

karen, you rock... as does your tale!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Such comfort in madness!

Karen said...

Everyone - As Jason would attest, I got this in fifteen minutes before the deadline, and it was just finished then. I thought I had proofed it well, but when I saw it posted, I realized I had neglected to delete a superfluous word that made sense before I changed something. That's a good reason not to write an assignment just before it's due! Anyway, my apologies for the error, and I hope you enjoyed the read.

Laurel - I had read only a few entries before I wrote this, so I had no idea Poe was in play. I should have known -- a bunch of writers, a mysterious bird -- what did I expect? Thanks for reading.

Aniket - Thanks! I honestly didn't intend to enter but then I couldn't help myself. After all, I met all you nice people here last year, and I have always been a social critter! :-D

Cat - Thank you! I caught the fever from you, I think.

LW - You, too, friend. Thanks.

Leatherdykeuk - Mad? Mad, you say? Well, yes... Thanks for reading.

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

"They don't test the sky for answers"

Something I Might Tweak

She grows weary of her demon lover swinging through the sky above her, rapping on her chamber door, urging her to tell her story…

Quoth the lady, “Nevermore.”

The drop into rhyme & meter might be intentional, and I can't decide if I think it's effective or not. Must ponder.

Preeti said...

This is very well written. Shows starkly what she is going through. Dark.

James R. Tomlinson said...

Something dark and sinister has happened as indicated by: "Well, they burned his heart on a beach, and this black heart is swinging through the sky." I'm just not sure about what it is; I was hoping for something more to go on. The tone of this piece is exceptionally dark though.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I like the idea that the image in the sky is the deomn's black heart. At least that's what I got out of this piece. I also like taking Poe and making it more prose than poetry but at its heart, it's still poetry.

Awesome job.

Deb Smythe said...

I like the symmetry of this piece. Everything (characters, imagery, rhythmic prose) harkens back to poetry.

Karen said...

Aerin - Thanks for your critique. I actually did intend the lapse into poetry, playing on her identity as a poet/Poe expert. Maybe I should have used line breaks to make the purpose apparent.

Preeti - Thank you!

JRT - Since I don't write flash, or even other prose often, I thought to start this in media res to allow the reader to fill in those blanks. Maybe that's not what good flash does. I've read some excellent examples here that manage to tell the whole story. Anyway, thanks for the comment about the dark tone. That's what I aimed for!

Sarah - I thank you.

Deb - I usually only write poetry, so I take that as a great compliment. Thank you!

James R. Tomlinson said...

There's nothing wrong with starting in the middle, it's perfectly acceptable in flash. I'm just one of those guys--a simpleton if you will--who wants to know as much as possible about the story (without insulting my fragile intelligence of course). Peace.

JaneyV said...

I like the underlying mystery (is the artist actually a demon or is that the way she feels about him?) with a soupçon of paranoia
And just at midnight when she feels her weakest, she thinks she hears it tap, tap, tapping.

And I love the language ...
Well, they burned his heart on a beach, and this black heart is swinging through the sky.
… being my favourite line.

Craig said...

I like the way the MC's pereception of the media changes. First she sees a use for them but later finds them a nuisance even though they probably believe they are still helping.

pjd said...

I am once again of the same mind as JR.

The opening I love, and the quick description of retreat from the media, and the media's actions. I don't really understand the demon thing, the disappearing into thin air (literally?). Is she the only one who sees the darkness above?

Laurel said...

Karen:

Just a note on the rhyme and meter of that line...pitch perfect. Word choice, mood, even down to the rhyme style Poe used leading up to the famous "Quoth the Raven, Nevermore." It echoes like a lost stanza from the original work.