RACHEL'S BEEN SITED

Archive for the tag “short”

The Cynic on Sacrifice

It’s so easy to say that you’d die for someone.  People say it all the time, like it’s expected.  Like it’s obvious.

“Oh yeah, of course.  I love them; I’d die for them.”

Like the two things intrinsically go together.

But think about it; seriously think about it.  How many people would you actually die for?  How many people would you actually be willing to end your existence for?

When you’re not staring at it, when you’re not looking at it right in the face and imagining the cold, black horror of eternity, maybe your answer is your loved ones.  Your family, best friends.  Maybe, if you’re one of those more altruistic souls, you’ll say anyone.

“As long as it helps another survive, my sacrifice will be worth it.”

And that’s all well and good, sure.  Go out in a blaze of glory, get your name etched on some plaque, live forever in the hearts and minds of those you’ve left behind.  It sounds awesome; who wouldn’t go for that kind of a send-off?

Except that it’s still a send off.  Hell, it’s still the end of everything, whether you like it or not.  No enjoying that glorious aftermath, is there, ‘cause there’s no. More. You.

So how many people, then?  How many people are you really willing to end for?

If someone you love dies, it sucks.  It hurts, hell, worse than anything else you can imagine.  It’s like a part of you being cut off, but not just something lame and insignificant like a limb.  This is something being ripped out from inside your soul.  But you know what?  You’re still there to feel it.  You’re there to hurt, to ache, to hobble along and heal and learn to get along without that shattered piece of you.  You can comfort yourself with thoughts like “they’d want me to move on” and “they’re in a better place” and one day, before you know it, you’ve stopped thinking about them so much.  And the hurting’s gotten smaller.

There’s life after suffering, but there’s no suffering after life’s over.

A/N: Taken from the middle of a novel, where a character reminisces on her life choices, but I think it works as a standalone.

A Meditation on God – Prose

            I sometimes wonder if there was a time before.  Before that great, damning pen swept over us, dictating our shape, our words, our lives.  Our world.

            Did we exist before?  Was there a childhood, an ancestry?  Did I have a grandmother, that kind eyed, flutter-winged woman whose dying words left me, and not my cruel stepfather, in control of this struggling country?  Or is that all she ever was, a memory?  Does it even matter, now that she’s gone?

            All we have, all we know, all that is… is what is.  To think too hard otherwise would only lead us into madness.  Especially in this world we must adapt to living in.

            Imagine for a moment what it must be like to be us.  You went and created us — or, perhaps, took control.  You play with our lives, pull heartstrings, on a whim.  Maybe that’s life.  But most lives, I hope, are better formed.

            My name is Aria.  Sometimes Aerya.  I think, once, I was Song.  I change with your mood, but don’t think I don’t remember.  We all remember.  And we play your script like puppets, in the moment believing, I’m sure, every word you put in our mouths.  But we remember.  I remember, for instance, Christophe.  My love.  My future husband, object of my undying passion, who existed but a day before he faded out, forgotten.  You’ve forgotten, that is.  Not I.  Sometimes I wish I could forget him, that you’ll go back one day and notice, scratch him out, keep him from existing at all.

            To live for a day must be crueler than to have never existed at all.

An excerpt of a dramacomedic fiction about a set of characters becoming self-aware of their less than consistent creator.  The poem inspiring the story (or was it the story that inspired the poem?) can be read HERE.

When the Giants Dined Out…

When the giants dined out (as giants often do – it’s remarkable how quickly they run through even the food stored in their twenty-foot stone refrigerators) they preferred to go to the beach.

“Baked, seasoned meals,” they would chortle as they crouched at the edges of the sand like mossy boulders, awaiting their food.

In front of them, the blissfully ignorant vacationers lay tanning their skins golden brown, or swam and splashed in the salty water.

“And best of all, no work.  The meals prepare themselves.”


Thanks to the Cayman beaches, the salty ocean, and the very brown tanners for inspiration.

sunset

Echoes in Solitude

If you’ve followed me long enough to wonder about the title (“Hey, didn’t she already post a piece called ‘Echoes’? Man, how uncreative.”) — this piece, had the story been completed, would have taken place in the same universe as my original “Echoes” post HERE.  As things stand, nothing directly connects the two scenes, and each can be enjoyed independently of the other.

Echoes

            The house had been silent for nearly three weeks, now.  To Rea Hayes, its only occupant, it had felt like much longer.

            Only occupant… She allowed the words to settle over her, and shuddered.

            Unwashed laundry had begun to pile up in the corner behind the kitchen – work things, mostly.  Somehow, when she came home she always ended up in the same old oversized t-shirt and sweatpants, staring at the blank TV screen, her tray table a line of phones. Read more…

Destiny – A Drabble

            The idea of destiny is such a feeble one in modern society.  Most see it as a set of startling and remarkable circumstances foretold by a ranting madwoman, based on visions she’d glimpsed in a bowl or a piece of clear stone.

            I’d like to say that the truth is nothing quite so mundane, but it is, strangely, just the opposite.  Destiny is in the details: the most inconsequential of moments, the offhand notions, the half-formed ideas that make up the very core of who you are as a person.  You will fight, run, help or harm in a given situation; you have no choice.  But your call to arms, your fated path, is defined by nothing less than your own identity.  There is a reason why you can never fight destiny: because, in the end, you have no reason to want to.

Where Birds Go

There’s a place on campus where the birds go to die. I can’t say why they choose the spot, or how it fits into the strange web of their avian philosophy.  But I can say, truly and simply, that they go there. I’ve seen them littered amongst the stones between buildings like fallen leaves, on their sides, as if in sleep. But a bird has never slept so, and their small black eyes are open and empty.

Read more…

Pieces

The wilderness had never felt less like freedom.  It had been their escape in the ages before; whenever the concrete world started to crumble, when the bruises had felt more like home than punishment.  When there’d been nothing left except a stale acceptance that this is what life was now, this is what they were meant for.

When that look had started to creep into one of their eyes, the other one had unfailingly jumped up, grabbed an arm, and wrenched him away to this speck of tree-lined sanctuary.  The pool of dirty water that they’d named a pond; the shrubs that had risen up like forested walls to protect them.  And, for a little while, they had breathed the free air and thought maybe they stood a chance of escaping it all.

But today he came out alone.  His pressed white shirt felt too starched under the black blazer.  The tie constricting his throat, making it impossible to breathe.

And there was nothing in this that felt like freedom.  The water was rainwater.  The shrubs were shrubs. The magic was gone.

The cold earth, the pine box, had swallowed more than his brother that morning.

A drabble created as part of a simple writing exercise: put your music playlist on shuffle, start writing a scene inspired by the music, and stop as soon as the song is done.  This piece is named after the song, by Red, that was playing while I wrote it.

Eternity – A Drabble

The thing about eternity no one seems to realize is that it lasts an incredibly long time.  Things with no definable beginning or end are funny that way.  But at the same time, there are only so many things that can come into existence.  Only so many variations of particles and matter and concepts and ideas.

Only so many destinies.

And, at some point in the unending history of the universe, it will run out of new things and will have to go back.

Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.

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