The thing about these blogs is, if they aren’t babysat constantly, they seem to just go dormant. I caught my fingers typing dormat, as in door mat but no, I don’t mean door mat, I mean dormant. Everything just stops. It’s like the so-called news: if “they” aren’t pumping new confusticated claptrap out into the ether every second, no one is informed about stuff everyone apparently needs to know but can’t remember for more than fifteen minutes. Why not just write a short “newsey” article on the month’s planetary happenings… once a month, or if you really want to be generous, a once a week snappy tale of woe? (And don’t forget the horrorscope) Ah, but of course, that wouldn’t pay for the ads… or is that vice-versa, or just plain vice? Anyway, to fill in that thunderous silence of a 2-3 day “abandoned blog” here’s a little story. Not a great story, just something I once wrote during a coffee break. And don’t ask if people who work for Coke take Coke breaks: they don’t.
a short story by Sha’Tara
The steel-framed, rusting hexagonal clock, hanging high on a cement wall partially covered by flaking green paint and brown water stains, ticks away loudly. He tries to imagine the sound of passing traffic or ocean waves to blot out the heart-pounding beat but to no avail: nothing covers over the infernal sound filling the ponderous silence. Tick—tick—tick—tick. Like the drip of a tap in a sink full of last night’s dirty dishes half submerged in cold, greasy water; like the slow, steady creaking of a tightening chain in an inquisition torture chamber; like the heart-beat of the pursued in a green-fogged nightmare… running—running—running—and red-eyed orcs and slimy ghouls hiss all around; like the hungry wolf pack relentlessly stalking the tired trapper stumbling through a December blizzard; like the mountainous gray wave of a tsunami rising and rising; approaching; threatening to engulf creation. He feels like a deer on a freeway caught in the cross-hairs of a dozen approaching headlights, unable to move.
He brings his shaking, clammy hand to his mouth and bites his fingernails. One tears and he watches the finger bleed. He spits the detached crimson piece upon the cracked cement floor and stares at it for a moment before covering it with an unlaced, torn, muddy runner. Why? He doesn’t know. He doesn’t remember. His head pounds from a blow or bump. He moves sideways slowly to ease his sore back and the chair creaks. He almost jumps up with a scream and a cold steel needle of visceral fear pierces his spine. The chair holds him fast. Thump—thump—thump—thump—his heart hammers like an old steam donkey, the pulsing arterial flow forces the goose-pimpled flesh against the damp black leather jacket. Cold sweat beads on his forehead when he hears movement in an adjacent room, or thinks he does. He tenses, stretching his hearing to maximum; tries to make something of the noise: nothing—only the ticking of the clock, the thumping of his heart, and his insane fear.
He tries to relax only to find his mind wide open to the night’s scattered memories. The explosions; the screams, the crash, then the chase that seemed to go on and on and on, with no one gaining… only the endless screams of sirens, or was it the screams of the damned? Of his friends lying on the roadway in pools of blood? His own screams coming back to haunt him as the wind rushed through the broken windshield? The screams of tires on dry pavement as the truck bounced wildly before taking off of its own volition from the scene of destruction and death like some wounded wild beast? In his mind he tries desperately to roll back those hours; to make it that nothing happened; it was just a violent reaction to a bad hit. It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real, please make it go away: it’s not real.
Pale sunlight shining through the one barred window high in the center of the south wall creates shadows that move slowly within the room, lengthening with every tick of the clock, every pounding of his labouring heart. Again that shuffling noise—real this time; closer. The knob on the door turns. He stares as its grimy brass face grins at him maliciously. His anxiety reaches an all-time high as the door is flung open. A black-uniformed giant looks down at him with piggish, bloodshot eyes full of resentment, of hate, of punishment: “You’re next!”