Formerly Badass Horrible Poetry

This isn't just a poetry blog. Let's be honest, a lot of what I post is poetry but there are more often than not also postings about short stories. I do try to keep this blog separate from my others and post strictly creative work here. Some of it will be better than others, and much of it is in first or second draft stage when posted. These are raw works, and there will be spelling and grammar troubles at times because I use this blog to gauge what works and what doesn't. I use it as a place to get feedback. That's the reason it is "horrible". Because it's not finished-- And why should it be? We all want feedback but most of us are too afraid to put ourselves out there.

Welcome to my word.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Fate Book - a first experiment that may go deeper

Jordan read the passage and shut the book, keeping track of the pages by gruffly shoving a forefinger in the slot.

Jordan read the passage and shut the book, keeping track of the pages by gruffly shoving a forefinger in the slot.
      And then he felt annoyed.
He pulled back open the book to check what was written next.

And then he felt annoyed.

He slammed the book shut, this time losing the pages to the collective mass of uneven parchment.  Jordan looked out over the ravine of the quarry, where finely stepped terraces of blocky rock dove down into the still pool of the underground spring. Daylight swept closed in an ember blocked by the dark opaqueness of a summer storm, and already the quarry swimmers that usually permeated the terraces like Irish sheep had turned in for the evening. The cool air swirled through the ravine, the current licking Jordan gently towards the cliffs edge with its sharp pine needle fingers. But Jordan did not move. The thought of a night swim, when the moon was absent from the sky and the last of the family circuses had packed up their hump-backed sedans gave him uneasy chills. Setting his pack on the ground, Jordan picked up the heavy thread bound book once again.
Page 468.
The number rumbled through his mind like the rustling of the leaves as the towering cumulous sizzled it’s way across the horizon, blocking out the last of the sunlight. Jordan knew the words he had read on the page before he snapped the book shut.

Her eyes were not white, but misted over in a fog. He tilted her dying gaze back and when Jordan kissed her, he could taste the iron on her lips.

Her dying gaze.

He could not jump forward again in the pages to see how it played out, because if he did, he knew that it, like his winning streak at the poker game, like the answers on his geometry test, like poor mowed down Rolly, who’s crushed body was cradled in the garden, marked only by a small rock, that this death too would come to be. He nudged a small rock, glinting of pyrite and quartz, off the edge of the cliff face and watched as it fell, suspended in the air. In those brief moments he pretended the rock veered itself away from its course directly below. But just as he knew it would, it splashed with an embracing gulp into the dark water. Even though he could no longer see the rock, he knew it fell deeper and deeper until it would hit the bottom and could gaze up to the surface where its impact rippled waves against the surface.
      Jordan sat back down and thrust the tome away from him, sending up a weak cloud of dust. He glared at it. He did not know who the “her” was, only that she was dying and that he would kiss her as she did. He was terrified of the iron taste, and he knew it sickened him to think about. A breeze lifted the humid chill and the birds that had gone to roost in the dying light cackled throughout the treetops. When the dust settled, a light glinted off of the leather of the binding, irritating Jordan’s eye with its brightness.
      Kneeling forward, Jordan gingerly grabbed the book and set it spine facing him. In letters almost too faded to read was a name.

M. Lexi Vecchio.

Jordan reread the name a few times. It seemed like a name far too modern, too Italian, too female, too twenty-first century for a tome who’s binding had half fallen off and was stuffed with handwritten pages underneath.
      Jordan’s head jerked up suddenly and a rumbling of thunder electrified the air. A spark of an idea flitted through his brain like an elusive hummingbird. He could not bring himself to read any more of the future, any more of page 468, but he knew roughly the page he was on now. Page 203, maybe 204. He could not read the future, but what if he read the present? How did the author, this M. Lexi Vecchio write it? A smile curled onto Jordan’s mouth. He carefully opened the book and turned the pages until he found where he was. He marked the page with a finger once again and shut the book. After he asked each question, he opened to book to see his own words and the response to them.

“Who are you?” Jordan felt silly asking the question to the open air. He heard nothing, and when he checked, he found that the author had written nothing.

“I know you’re there.” He said. “I know because you are typing everything I am saying. I know you are typing away, sitting on your roommate, Robin’s, bed, the one who is abroad. You’re drinking chai, even though you aren’t sure you even like chai tea, because your best friends mother raves about it and you think it seems like something a real writer would drink. Your cardigan is grey and I know you can read what I am saying.”
            He knew he was correct. And he is. Jordan checked the book for a response and smiled.
            “See? I know things about you too. So why don’t we cut the confusion and have a real conversation.”
            “Who is the girl?” he asked.
I can’t tell you that. I might change my mind.
            “You mean you don’t know who it is?!”
Not exactly. I thought I did, but now it seems too obvious.
            “Why kill anyone? This is my life!”
I know it is, I made you.
            “And why would you choose this… this fucked up fortune telling shtick?”
I wanted to make a Cassandra tale.
            “A what?”
Its part of Greek mythology. I like Greek mythos. And I didn’t plan it like this.
            “Like what?”
I want you happy, but you have to earn it.
            “Should anyone have to earn happiness?”
People in books.
Yeah, I guess I kindof am. But it’s supposed to be interesting.

Jordan held the book shut for a moment, considering. He was reading the book, and when he had started, it was interesting. He had found the similarities to his own life fascinating enough to stay up all night reading. He had even used his knowledge. Then it had gotten dark, and he had liked it more. Then his dog had died. Then he had read page 468.  But if this was a book then he was not the only reader.

            “What do you think about the story?” Jordan said aloud, feeling foolish.
He’s asking You, dear reader.
            “Can they speak?” Jordan asked?
Yes, but we can’t hear it.
            “So how can I tell if they think its any good?”
We can’t. But they should at least ask themselves.
            “Well, I’ll ask for them: Do you like the story? Should I have gotten the author involved? Yes, person reading this text, I am asking you.”
He is, I promise.
            “I dunno if I want to keep reading… Is this stuff they’re reading… Is it happening to them the same way it is happening to me?”
No, it is not.
            “Why not?”
This story is about you.
            “Can you tell me what to do now?”
Not if you want the freedom to change the story.
            “I can change it?”
Not what you’ve already read. Not page 468. But the rest… I haven’t written it yet. Things will turn out how you make them turn out.
            “What if I skip ahead? What if I see another page?”
Then those words too will come true.
            “And I can’t change them?”
The words will not change, no.
            “Will I be able to contact you again? To ask questions? Will you answer?”
I haven’t decided.
            “You owe me.”
Do I?
            “It’s my life you’re screwing with.”
I’ll think about it. In the mean time, I’d get out from under that tree if I were you.

Jordan shoved his things in his arms, jumbling them around as he clambered his way out from under the tree.  He was fifty yards off and panting when he turned to look at the maple’s greenery blowing in the wind. Nothing happened.

“What the hell? Nothing happened?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?!”
Sorry I was chuckling.  You can be kindof gullible.
“You’re such a freaking bitch!” Jordan said, clenching his jaw.
God, Chill, Jordan. Wait like three more seconds.

He did. A magnificent cacophony of superheated air thundered through the canyon. The tree under which Jordan had been sitting shattered into a thousand splinters as the lightening’s blinding brightness lit the quarry. Jordan’s eyes stung with burned rhodopsin.

            “Thanks…” Jordan said, a weak chuckle crossing a twitching smile.
You’re welcome. 

©2014 Lex Vex

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