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Author Topic: A day in the life [SG]  (Read 1037 times)

Vivalas

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A day in the life [SG]
« on: November 17, 2019, 09:51:52 pm »

The wind is blowing very lightly, and you're mulling over life as the soft crackle of the two Sternos burn in front of you. It's a cool November day, and as you temporarily fall out of your daydream to glance at your watch, time is inching ever so slowly forward. Slow, yet fast. Too fast. You wish you could stay here. That you didn't have to go back to the dorm and the project that you have due tonight. Back to life, and away from your dreams. But right here you're not there. You've escaped, if momentarily, and the light chorus of children's laughter as well as the soft tweedling of birds gives you some comfort, however fleeting.

On top of the two Sternos is a steel tin. You forgot to buy a stand, so it's just balanced precariously between them, but it's heating nonetheless. Abuelita hot chocolate, sandwich meat, bread, marshmellows, mayonnaise, mustard, provolone cheese, and graham crackers are arranged in front of you. A picnic. A picnic for one, but you suppose it's not that bad. Things could be worse.

You notice that the crackle of the Sternos has lightened some, and you are brought out of your daydream again. Once again one got snuffed out by the wind. You shift the mess tin over some to give it some more air as you relight it and sigh, resting your beleaguered head on a balled fist.

You drift off again and remember why you're here. You've been talking to a girl for a while. Talking is a way to put it. You suppose your relationship should have started with polite casual conversation instead of email, but you got a few nice dates nonetheless. After she stopped responding you decided to give it one last try. A letter with a puzzle. A puzzle that led to a website, with another very heartfelt letter that lightly quoted some of the poems you had written her before. The page got a few hits, so you knew she had to have read it, and you hoped that it would be a picnic for two. 4:00 on a Sunday at the park.

But it's now 5:15 and sunset is in 20 minutes. You sigh again as the soft crackle of the Sternos continues to serenade your thoughts. You lean over at the picnic table, not unlike the grimy nicotine-soaked detective of 40s noir, the crackle of an ethyl alcohol flame in place of a soft jazz soundtrack. Perhaps it's time to move on. There's better people in this world worth your time, after all, right?

You make another s'more and watch a flock of birds fly across the azimuth of the descending sun and let out another long sigh. A family ahead retreats back to their vehicle as dusk begins to cover the park. You absorb the laughter of the kids and see the light in the eyes of the couple and mull. You remember the daydreams you had while you were walking around the hospital earlier this year. Struck randomly with double pneumonia, bedridden for a weak. When you finally got the strength to walk again, you walked laps around the surgical ward while the old night nurse cheered you on and timed your laps. You smile wistfully. That week knocked you on your ass academically, but it was such a simpler time. And when you graduated from your track around the surgical ward, you walked past the nursery and had a vision. Of her. Of a baby, and her smile. Love in her eyes and happiness in the air. You saw the happy new parents and wished, hoped, even. You turned and stared out the window at the aftermath of the light drizzle that had passed minutes ago and saw a rainbow. You thought it was a sign. All you wanted was a chance to give yourself fully and have the same in turn. Love, that's all. Love. That double-edged word. So much warmth and happiness, and so much cold betrayal. Such a complicated topic. Just put her behind you. Move on.

Rudyard Kipling's "If" rings through your head a few more times as you sift back into a dreamy and longing haze. You'll have to leave soon, but you don't want to believe it. You wish you could do it all over again. This whole semester. Maybe even the semester before it. So many mistakes. So many lessons learned. Yet you can't even feel sad without feeling guilty. There's so many more out there that have it worse, right?

Another sigh. Damn it all. Just move on. Put her behind you. Why is it so hard?

Your daydreaming is interrupted again, this time by a soft rustling in the brush behind you. You've been sitting at a picnic table for a while now, and dusk has now fully settled on the parking lot in front of you.

But your back has been to the woods all this time, and the rustling is getting closer.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 09:57:50 pm by Vivalas »
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"On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage

A day in the life | Stranded Among Stars

Superdorf

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2019, 10:59:58 pm »

What beautiful prose. I'm worried I'll ruin it with my munchkinry... still, let's give this a try anyhow!
Rustling at our back is bad. We need the rustling to not be at our back. Turn around, and be prepared to run.

Vivalas

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2019, 11:56:17 pm »

The slight taste of adrenaline floods your senses as you feel a sudden fear wash over you. You're alone in the park, and it's dark. Bad things happen alone in the park at dark.

You grab your knife off of the table and whirl around. You don't see much in the dwindling light, but there's still enough contrast to make it clear there isn't a whole lot going on. Perhaps wind. Perhaps a small creature. You're not sure what it is, if it is, but you begin to think that you probably shouldn't be here much longer.
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"On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage

A day in the life | Stranded Among Stars

King Zultan

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 04:51:09 am »

Its probably the predator chupacabra nothing, lets just finish out picnic and pack up our stuff then leave.
Logged
The Lawyer opens a briefcase. It's full of lemons, the justice fruit only lawyers may touch.
Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
Quote from: Leodanny
Can I have the sword when you’re done?

Superdorf

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 08:34:56 am »

Its probably the predator chupacabra nothing, lets just finish out picnic and pack up our stuff then leave.

+1 to packing up and getting out of here... but we can finish our "picnic" in the safety of our own home, with lights on.
Don't bother eating before we go-- we'd have a hard time enjoying it here anyway, now that we've made ourselves all panicky.

Vivalas

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 10:17:35 am »

You sigh again and take a deep breath but it's not much use. This picnic has just about run its course, for better or worse.

You begin packing up everything. It all fits nicely into your backpack, a cooler, and a single plastic bag. Your car happens to be just in front of you, and you tune in to the gentle chirping of crickets as you load up the trunk. Once everything's all set you step back and admire your car.

A light metallic blue 2002 Toyota Avalon. It was quite a steal for $4000, and you think the dents and crack in the windshield adds character. You climb in and turn on the engine, listening with great expectation to the high pitched squealing of the fan belt. You rev the engine until it stops and sit back, drawing your seat belt across your lap and into its socket.

You sigh again and close your eyes. The smell of Black Ice air freshener permeates your senses and draws you a little bit away from reality for a few blissful moments. You wish you could wait here for an eternity. Hoping against some vein hope that maybe she's still coming. Some insanity tells you to stay, to wait, to drag your life out for her. Just move on damnit.


The engine keeps a steady pace with its hum, crescendoing now and then like the raggard breathing of some injured beast. You're not quite sure why it does that, but it brings you comfort nontheless.

"Successfully paired." The robotic words of an adult male startle you, and you glance at your center console. The bluetooth adapter that you use to connect to the 17 year old car's radio does that now and then. It's tuned to station 107.9, where the quiet static hum of nothingness clips every now and then and throws some garbled transmissions your way. The mini radio station has some issues, you suppose. You slide your phone into its socket above the air vents over the radio panel, and you open Spotify. You ponder what tonight's listening will be for your solitary drive home.
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"On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage

A day in the life | Stranded Among Stars

Superdorf

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 10:29:56 am »

Let's see now... we're feeling kind of wistful, yes?
Find something by Leonard Cohen.

King Zultan

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2019, 10:32:15 am »

Let's see now... we're feeling kind of wistful, yes?
Find something by Leonard Cohen.
I was going to suggest death metal easy listening, but your thing sounds better. +1
Logged
The Lawyer opens a briefcase. It's full of lemons, the justice fruit only lawyers may touch.
Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
Quote from: Leodanny
Can I have the sword when you’re done?

Naturegirl1999

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2019, 04:11:14 pm »

Let's see now... we're feeling kind of wistful, yes?
Find something by Leonard Cohen.
I was going to suggest death metal easy listening, but your thing sounds better. +1
I don’t know songs by this person, but +1 anyway, but before driving off, let’s look to figure out whether we are being followed the whatever the rustling is
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Vivalas

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2020, 08:24:09 pm »

A note:

I had to stop working on this, because I was suddenly swamped with responsibility other than wistful semi-autobiographical writing. My schedule is far clearer, now, and I am able to work on this again. That, and, besides the fact that I've been trying to move past the ordeal that prompted this, and am completely unable to, perhaps making a game out of it would give me more perspective.

Anyways I have a sorta idea where to take this now, besides just being a freeform story. It largely will remain freeform, but I think I can continue to drive it forward, so long as there is interest still.

----

You glance over your shoulder briefly, checking behind the car to ensure the boogeyman is still restrained to his mythical place in children's tales and the dreams of insomnia-riddled sleepers.

You look back to your phone, putting on a playlist by Leonard Cohen, and "Dance Me to the End of Love" comes on. How fitting.

You drive out of the park and turn on to the road, letting the sound of the gravel rolling under the wheels and the soft twang of the acoustic guitar bring you out of the world for a few sweet moments. Anything, you think. Anything to help you think of anything but her.

After a while, you recall that you have a project due at midnight tonight. You glance at the car's clock and realize it's 34 minutes until midnight. You recall the project is very important to you grade, and that you won't have a lot of time to work on it, at your current driving pace when you get back to the dorms.
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"On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage

A day in the life | Stranded Among Stars

Naturegirl1999

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2020, 08:28:38 pm »

Speed up to get to the dorms to work on our project
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King Zultan

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 05:41:35 am »

Speed up to get to the dorms to work on our project
+1
Logged
The Lawyer opens a briefcase. It's full of lemons, the justice fruit only lawyers may touch.
Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
Quote from: Leodanny
Can I have the sword when you’re done?

Vivalas

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2020, 01:51:01 am »

The car's engine roars like some injured beast as you put the pedal down and cruise through the opaque and unrelenting darkness of the night.

Beady lights waver like distant stars through the windscreen of your starship as you slip into warp, the speedometer needle steadily climbing as the engine's tempo reaches a breakneck pace. Wind screams along the body of the Toyota as the current track ends, and 'Do I Wanna Know?" by Arctic Monkeys clicks on. The heavy and driving riffs drive you to the edge of the speed limit as you push the limit and the scene pans out for dramatic effect as you cruise through asphalt rivers in a concrete jungle too familiar to give you much comfort in that pointless exploration that lonesome souls sometimes engage on in the deep of the night--

You snap out of your imagined montage for a few seconds to realize that you are being followed. Not by a monster, rather, but by a member of the local gendarme, the University Police Department. The militant civil enforcers of traffic law and parking violations, are now urging you to pull to the side of the road due to your excessive rate of egress down the public highway transportation system. Their flashing blue and red lights are pretty total in their expression of "Pull the fuck over, now, please."
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"On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage

A day in the life | Stranded Among Stars

Naturegirl1999

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2020, 04:33:07 am »

Pull over and explain that we are trying to get to our dorms to finish a project
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King Zultan

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Re: A day in the life [SG]
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2020, 04:52:01 am »

Changed
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 08:55:10 am by King Zultan »
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The Lawyer opens a briefcase. It's full of lemons, the justice fruit only lawyers may touch.
Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
Quote from: Leodanny
Can I have the sword when you’re done?
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