Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:45 pm
Location: Searching for the place all the Abra teleport to. I'm going to crash their party.
It's been a while since I've posted here, and I doubt that most of you guys know who I am. Now that I have a lot more time to practice what I hope to make a living at one day, it's about time I get back on the horse and pitch some one shots out there for you guys to critique. Here's one I wrote in my creative writing class last year. My teacher, who was excellent at her job, gave me a great piece of advice regarding Short Stories. A good writer can compose a compelling story using 1500 words or less. Then, she challenged us to do so. So, here's my 1,300+ word short story I wrote.
[c]The Mind Prison [/c]
The room couldn’t have been plainer. Four white walls, topped off with a white ceiling, closed John off from the rest of the world. They weighed in on him, suffocating and uncomfortable. There were no windows to let light in, the only source being the harsh white glow that emanated from the single bulb in the center of the equally white ceiling. The only other things that resided with John in his white walled prison was the narrow, naked bed he now resided on, and a squat little toilet that sat alone in the corner. There were no shelves or drawers for personal effects since they weren’t allowed in the rooms; this was okay, though. John had no family, no friends. He had become accustomed to this lonely life style years before he had been tossed into his personal cell.
“John…” A voice wavered through the air, so silent, so weak that John almost missed it. But he wished he had missed it. He shut his eyes, pretending that he hadn’t heard a thing, telling himself over and over again that there had been no voice.
“John.” This time the voice was stronger, more emotional. But it was small, like that of a child. It sounded distressful, like it was pleading with John, trying to get him to listen. Trying to get him to understand. But still John ignored it, keeping his eyes forced shut. They had promised it would stop, HE had promised it would stop. He promised that if he stayed in his white walled prison, took his medicine like a good boy, the voices would go away.
“John!” This time, the voice was much more powerful, and angry, very, very angry. The pleading had ended. It was close, right in John’s ear. Finally, he could ignore the voice no more. Clenching his fists, John cracked open his eyes, and stared right into the face of his worst nightmare.
What stood before him was a mere boy, no more than eight or nine years old. But there was no childlike innocence about him. His hair, long a greasy, fell past his face in thick cords. And that face! Bone chillingly white, almost blending in with John’s prison. His clothes, a long sleeved sweater and pants, were as black as the night sky on a starless night, and were torn in places, like they had had a bad run in with a lawn mower. His eyes, dark, cold pits, stared down at him mercilessly.
“Poor John”, the boy crooned loathingly. “Look at what they’ve done to you”. He reached out with a hand, running a thin, bony finger down one of John’s cheeks. His finger was ice against his skin, sending chills down his spine, and recoiling away instinctively.
“Why do you recoil, I am no demon”, the boy sneered in disgust. “At least, not as much a demon as yourself, no? After all, only you can be to blame for all your suffering.”
“Please”, John pleaded, huddling on the far side of his bed to stay as far away from the boy as he could. “Please, why do you torment me? What have I done wrong? Every day, you do the same thing. You appear before me, you taunt me with your cruel words. You’ve driven everyone away, all my friends, my loved ones. They all think I’m crazy! Why do you keep doing this to me!” John leaped to his feet in anger. His voice reverberated off the walls of his white walled prison as he screamed ,”What have I done to deserve this!”
The boy ignored John’s outburst, but continued to stare deep into his eyes, as though he was trying to make him understand. “You don’t remember?”, he scoffed, staring at him with the deepest of hatreds. “You don’t recall what you did? You forget so easily, dear John, that you took everything from me?”
It was John’s turn to stare. He hadn’t even seen this boy before, at least, not before he started appearing to him. “I don’t remember doing anything wrong.”
All the boy did was chuckle, a quiet, childlike chuckle that didn’t match his appearance. An appearance that began to change. His long, black hair began to retract back into his skull, shortening into a respectable crew cut, which began to lighten until it was a shade of brown that matched John’s. His face, horrid white and bony, began to grow fuller, color shooting back into his cheeks. His clothes sealed up their rips, then changed into a school uniform that was similar to the one John used to where when he attended private school. And finally, the boys hard, black eyes softened until they became a warm, chocolate brown color, once again the same as John’s eyes.
John sucked in a sharp breath as recognition dawned on him. It had been so hard to see him beneath the layers of scorn and grease, but now he knew exactly who he was. It was the same face John saw every night, the same face that awoke him from startling nightmares in the past. The face that had haunted him since childhood. Tears filled John’s eyes as he cried out ,“Dave!”
“Yes, brother”, Dave quietly said, his voice no longer dripping with loathing or disgust. “Now you remember what you’ve done.”
John fell to his knees, utterly defeated by his kid brother, who had never been able to reach the age of ten like he had. The tears poured from his eyes as he looked upon the face of the one he had lost. Everything was so familiar now. The eyes, carefree as they took in the world. The face, which used to pout heavily when he wasn’t allowed to tag along with his older brother, whom he had idolized. The uniform, which had always been kept as clean as possible so as not to relate to the other “dirty, immature brats”, darkened until it was once more the color of black soot. John hung his head. “Now I understand.”
Dave looked down at his brother with his soft eyes. “Then you must already know that what happened to me was your doing, your falter.”
“Forgive me”, John pleaded. “I was young then. I had barely turned thirteen!”
Dave’s eyes lost their softness, once again becoming cold and hard. “All I wanted to do was to be with you.”
“I’m sorry!”, screamed John.
His hair began to lengthen, blackening as it grew. “All I wanted was to be accepted by my older brother.”
“I loved you!”, John sobbed, collapsing to the floor.
“Loved!”, Dave spat, face beginning to whiten once more. “Loved! You couldn’t stand the sight of me! Always complaining to Mom about how I wouldn’t leave you alone. You loved me?”
“And yet!”, Dave spat, shaking in anger as his clothes began to change, “And yet, when mother forced you to take me with you, all you could do was complain!”
John once again stared up at the face of his demonized brother, once again defeated.
Dave raised a bony finger, pointing at John accusingly. “I suppose you loved me when you shoved me right off the sidewalk! And I suppose when that truck flattened me, that was an act of love too, right? RIGHT!”
“Please”, John cried, tears streaming from his eyes,” Please. I shoved you out of frustration. I didn’t know about the truck! I didn’t see it! I was just a kid…”
Suddenly, the door to his white walled cell burst open, and a pair of burly men wearing white coats to match his room streamed in. Each one grabbed one of John’s arms and forced him to the ground.
Struggling against the nurses, John screamed,” Dave! I’m sorry! Get off of me! Dave!”
A skinnier, older man, about fifty, walked into the room, carrying a syringe loaded with clear fluid. “Now Dave”, scolded the doctor like he was a naughty child, stalking forward like a predator and positioning the syringe,” Stop struggling or this might hurt you. Remember, it’s for your own good, you know.”
Just as the syringe plunged into his arm and the doctor injected the clear liquid into his veins, Dave smiled a smile full of hatred, malice, and scorn. “Enjoy your hell”, he growled, and disappeared as John blacked out.
Expect more One Shots in a forum near you.