Archive for valleys

Short Story Pt 2: Fun in the Sun

Posted in Art, Inspiration, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2008 by blakejohnson

The other day, I posted a short story I’d written the previous night, and the past few nights since I’ve been inspired over and over to continue the story. So now I have. I’m thinking of making it into a series, maybe eventually a graphic novel or something. For now, it’s fun to imagine it as a movie that just keeps getting crazier and crazier, and I’m trying to think of ways to keep it making sense, or at least keep it interesting. It’s already interesting for me, but for you guys, who are going to want some clues or something after a while, that’s going to be the challenge I think. But even now, it doesn’t seem that hard, really. Anyway, here’s part two, it’s a bit shorter (as if that were a problem, heh), so enjoy.

WARNING: There is a bit of cursing and adult themes in here. Only proceed if you’re sure you can handle it. 😉

Fun in the Sun

Lizzy got up, wiping her face of sleep and grime, the residue from the tendrils and their ooze now having dried to a crisp, dry crust, clinging as if glued to her skin. She walked to her own door, saw the room just as they’d left it, broken and full of holes. She looked in Dave’s room, he was gone, and his room looked just like hers. Alex stood behind her, half-crying, holding her hands up by her face, trembling with worry.

Lizzy turned around, seeing Alex, and walked past her into the kitchen. Alex followed.

“What do you want for breakfast?”
“What? Breakfast?” Alex asked, shaking her head slightly.
“Well yea. We can’t chase this thing on empty stomachs. Besides, I’m hungry.”

Alex stared for a moment, then walked slowly to the little table, sitting down and trembling. Lizzy walked to her room, and came out with a jacket. It had a hole or two in it, but was in good shape compared to the rest of the room. She laid it over Alex’s shoulders, then knelt down beside her.

“Look. You get warm and fed, we’ll look for this thing, and Dave. But crying won’t solve anything. I understand, but I’ve been single for over a year now, and it’s grating. I’m just gonna say it straight, so there it is. We’ll look, but you gotta pull together and be strong on the way, alright?”

Alex hardly moved.
“Ever seen Lord of the Rings, the third one?”
Alex nodded.
“Alright, well Sam’s right, but I’m not as strong as him, I probably can’t carry you. Not for long, anyway. We gotta both be like him. Alright?”

Alex nodded again. Lizzy stood, but Alex grabbed her wrist. She turned, and Alex pulled at her arm. Lizzy bent down as Alex embraced her, a stray tear sliding down her grime-dirtied cheek. Lizzy put her arm around Alex’s neck for a moment, then pulled away, flushed white. Alex sighed, and Lizzy walked to the stove, then said quietly, “You’ll be alright.”

Lizzy put a pan of eggs straight on the table, the heat sizzling the plastic covering, curling it around the base of the pan. It glued itself to the pan, and as she ripped it off, the covering came with it. “Shit!” Lizzy held it there for a moment, then flopped it back down on the table. “Well, it’s done now. I guess we can’t really fuck this place over any worse than hose bedrooms.” She sits down and hands Alex a fork. “Dig in.”

Alex takes a bite, then puts down her fork. She gets up and walks to the fridge, opening it up and looking in. The light’s not on, but she doesn’t notice.
“What, the burnt eggs not good enough?”

Alex grabs a bottle of juice from the fridge. And a beer, as a second thought. She opens the cupboard across the way, looks at the glasses, then at Lizzy. She shuts the door and plops the beer down on the counter. Then she grabs the juice bottle, screws off the top and takes a swig from the bottle. She sits down and hands it to Lizzy, who half-grins and swigs too.

“Glasses mean more dishes to wash. Smart thinking.”
“We’re washing dishes?”
“What do you think?”
And for the first time since Dave’s disappearance, Alex manages a small smile. She finishes off the eggs, and Lizzy offers her the first sip of the beer she’d already opened with her teeth. Alex takes the bottle and drinks a few sips, then hands it back.
“You can finish it. I need to get some things packed.”
“Right.” Then, after a pause and Alex’s almost out of earshot, “Thanks.”
Alex pauses in Dave’s doorway in acknowledgement, then continues into the room.

Lizzy downs the rest of the bottle in one breath. She slams the bottle down, cracking the base, giggling at herself and then throwing everything in the sink, filling it with water, but the faucet dies on her. “Aw, fuck it,” and she walks into her own room. She grabs her shoulder bag and some clothes, a sketchbook, reading book and her digital camera. She grabs the chargers without thinking, thinks better of it, but throws them in just the same. She grabs her change too, and wallet, “In case we need to buy supplies or something.”

Alex, just coming out of Dave’s room with her bag packed, looks up, “What?”
“Nothing.” She looks at Alex and her bag of clothes. “Grab some food too, we’re going to want to take as much as we can carry. Judging by seeing you two together, we’re probably not coming back until he’s with us, and even then I don’t know about facing the landlord after this damage to the place.”

Alex walks to the kitchen. Lizzy picks up her bag, throws it over her shoulder and straps it across her waist. She grabs another bag, a duffel from the closet, and slides her belt through the straps. She brings it out and loads some food into it. She zips it up and throws it over her shoulder too, fastening the belt around her shoulders in a half-assed carrying strap. She looks at Alex, also ready with a bag of food and clothes on her back. They look at each other and sigh.

“Alright, let’s go.” Lizzy heads to the door, looking out, it’s too bright to make anything out. Alex follows her. They step out into the grass-laiden yard with the concrete step entrance to the basement suite, but when they round the corner, Alex gasps and drops to her knees.

For as far as the eye can see, and even farther, for that matter, it’s pure desert. No more city, no more people, no more anything. Yellow-orange sand engulfs the house, now somewhat lopsided in the sand, as if it had landed there after a windstorm and the girls had just failed to notice the house was flying through the sky while they slept.

Dunes and caverns, hills and canyons of sand rose and fell for miles and miles (or kilometers, but they’re not technically in Canada anymore, as far as we know). The sun pierced the sky, a pure blue with an orangish haze to it, the sun itself burning the sand on which it shown. It felt like fire, only intangible. It felt like the pot on the plastic table cover, only this time it was pure light on skin, and there was no way to stop it. No way but to layer clothing, and in the heat of the day, that wasn’t an intriguing idea. They stared out at the sand for some time, until finally Lizzy swallowed.

“Well fuck me… no, seriously… go right ahead.”