Metapost: A Change of Format, Ephemera and Apocrypha

Greetings, everyone.

First, the news. I’ve decided, in the new year, to make a slight change to my writing habits. I’ll be spending my writing time editing my previous shorts and beginning to plot out a few long-form tales. As such, I’ll be posting a new short exercise/story just once a month, on or before the last Sunday of each month. I hope you’ll all keep checking back in, and I will probably post fragments or chapters of some of the longer works without warning.

Thank you again for reading these exercises, and for passing it on to your friends (or enemies). A special thanks to those who’ve been commenting and giving me feedback, especially the negative feedback. You continue to keep me honest.

To keep the tap on, I’m sharing with you two oddities that I wrote before I began the weekly story project.

First, is a rewritten and rephrased version of the very first horror story I wrote, “The Hole in the Wall.” While I like certain elements of it, including a just slightly tweaked climax that adds some extra menace to the proceedings, much of it, including an mid-story verb tense change, falls flat. I wrote this right after I finished “Up”, very early in my evolution, and it shows. I haven’t touched it since I began writing in earnest.

But, I thought it might prove of interest.

Second is a mere fragment, the beginning of something longer that I may or may not revisit. It began as an idea for a screenplay that I began to write out in prose, but I’ve not gone back to the idea. I haven’t looked at it since I wrote it around the same time as the second draft of “The Hole in the Wall”, and again, I can’t think of a better place to air it out.

Enjoy.

The Hole in the Wall (Revised)

 

Starfall (A Fragment)

The night the satellites fall, I am sprawled on the lawn of the home where I grew up, drinking my father’s oldest bottle of scotch. The air in the valley suburbs is crystal clear and my eyes water as I trace the shapes of familiar constellations I haven’t seen in years of city life. Orion, Cassiopeia, Ursa Minor, the Pleiades. I fill my head with their mythic names, displacing the lingering tangle of wills, advanced health care directives and death certificates.

The scotch is as smoky and warm as the night is clear and cold, and it infuriates me to see that my father has never opened it, never even tasted it. The dog eared book on his nightstand will never be finished; a stack of rented films will never be seen. My throat burns now as it tightens and my eyes sting; I suck in a cool draft of night air.

The first streak of light cuts through the haze of my regret and clears my mind. The next comes only moments later and I grinned in childlike delight as the frequency increased, the sky now crisscrossed with luminous arcs, enthralling and captivating me.

A few minutes later the first dull thumps roll across the valley floor. Deep tremors, rolling through the earth as much as in the air, pass beneath my feet, rattling the windows and shuddering in my lungs. The falling stars continue to streak, each one now punctuated with an impact.

Disoriented panic and bile rise in my gorge as I stand on uncertain legs, and scan the horizon. The first of the fires are burning now, and columns of smoke are lit by the bright tangles of their tendrils. I watch as little blossoms of fire bloom and grow into thick vines of fire and smoke.

I stare for long moments in disbelief at the flaming sentinels that flare on the horizon, when gradually I become aware of a new noise; a deep bass hum, a melodic drone counter point to the rhythmic explosions.

At first it is warbling at the edge of my hearing insistently, but it changes, quickly. It seems to solidify in my ears like a tentacle, a hard and solid instrument of sound and I feel a sharp bite of pain throughout my head, as it wriggles deep into my skull. It shuts out the fire and concussions and cold grass on my bare feet, and my world withdraws into one bright, hot spasm.

Then it is gone, and the noise evaporates into a gentle electric sigh that seems to crackle and dissipate from the very air. In its passing, the streetlights flicker and go silently dead. The house behind me is dark. A thousand ambient hums from radios, televisions, refrigerators, and light bulbs dissipate in that moment. Without the sudden silence in the gentle sea of background noise, the steady impacts around grow louder. The fires burn brighter in the sudden blackness.

My face is wet; I raise my hand to my nose and it comes away sticky and warm. The heat in my blood from the scotch and sorrow are flooding out now, displaced by cold panic and fright. My mobile phone has leapt into my hand, promising some sort of clarity, a tenuous connection to the news, an emergency broadcast, or another person; some way for me to dissect and categorize what is happening, but it is leaden and dead.

Already the smoke is blotting the sky. I see the constellations that moments ago provided me with a sense of cool order and stability. They are vanishing behind the red veil of burning farmlands and particulate clouds. This is the last time I will see them. This is the last time I will see the sky. I know this now with sinking dread.

My mind is spinning in rusty circles, and I can formulate no plan, can articulate no goal, and can not identify even a direction to run in. I am lost and alone in a rain of falling stars.

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14 thoughts on “Metapost: A Change of Format, Ephemera and Apocrypha

  1. Hi! I found your blog when you posted about it on /x/. I liked this story snippet and I always like a good creepypasta/microhorror read, so I’m adding you to my blogroll. I’m looking forward to your further posts.I liked the snippet here because it’s not about anything paranormal so much as it is about the simple horror of living out in apartment housing, something I’ve grown rather familiar with. Even sleeping on someone’s couch is equivalent to sharing space with some eldritch night creature, and well, I’m going to agree with you there.

  2. I have to say, I like the original version of The Hole better than the one you have here. Although the ending has always been rather anticlimactic, the down-to-earth style, like some guy you know telling a story, worked a lot better than this blue, overly wordy, flowery revision, especially for a first-person story. Anyway, keep writing.

  3. This is above poster.The second story works a lot better, even though both are written in the same style.The second first person narrator appreciates good scotch and knows the names of constellations. His metaphors and language use make sense and define characteristics about him.The first narrator watches porn and plays videogames. The way he describes things seems at odds with the way he behaves. Just trying to clarify what I was saying before. Anyway, keep writing.

  4. Like Irk, I found this blog when you posted it on /x/. I’ve enjoyed it since then. A bit sad that you win’t be posting as much, but I’ll just have to enjoy what we get. Keep up the great writing.

  5. I think the second snippet story is really good as is, it kinda leaves you with that feeling of alone-ness. Kinda like when you lose your cell phone or something to that extent, you feel like part of you is missing. When your power goes out you just freeze in place for a moment, thousands of thoughts racing through your mind of what could happen in the cold lonely dark.

  6. I agree, the original version of The Hole was written better written, it’s easier to relate to and read from what sounds like just an average joe telling his story.I couldn’t really get into the snippet, but I’ll have another go at it some other time.P.S. I like your new banner. =)

  7. I found the rewrite of “Hole” to be well done, myself. I can honestly say that my hair stood on end when the ladder moved. Creepy stuff.As for Starfall… is it possible to be hooked on a story so quickly? I eagerly await further installments of this story, it’s captivated my interest thus far.Kudos, and keep up the good work, as always.

  8. I’ve been following your short stories for some time now, and should first mention that they are stylistically unique, and seem to reflect such a maturity of thought.I disagree with many of the comments regarding Hole in the Wall, I found it far superior to the first. The pacing was more gradual, there was a more distinct tension. I was struck by the phrasing (for instance, “…sterile cleanliness with a mild shapeless guilt intertwined with curiosity”), you have a talent for these isomorphic descriptions of relatable phenomena, without resorting to literary cliches. In any event, rather than continuing a wordy epinikion, high fives and thumbs up to you. I look forward to more.

  9. This is fantastic. You have a remarkable gift, and I just spent my entire night reading your work. I loved Quiet, Exit, and Fog. Keep this up, I am definitely going to be checking back in.

  10. - --ẠbracadaveЯ-- -

    I know I’m really late getting here, but apparently I’ve reading your creepypasta for a while, and anyway I finally got here, just read this bit of Starfall and omg. I have to say, that was absolutely beautiful. I’m gonna be disappointed if I find that’s all there is of it, but even on its own it was amazing. Fucking loved it, thank you.

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