Project 52: Toppling Atlas

1 short story a week. 52 weeks a year.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Week Twelve: May 24th - May 30th

Pearl, the Nobody Girl.

This is the story of poor little Pearl.
Pearl, Pearl, the nobody girl.
An average girl with just an average face.
Average poor Pearl said she “just knew her place”.

Safe, poor Pearl, closet lacking any skeletons.
Mute, poor Pearl, quiet as a mannequin.

She could live in a glass house,
without ever thinking to pick up a stone.
She could be swept under somebodies shadow,
without ever casting one of her own.

Oh how she'd dance, my poor, talentless Pearl.
Oh how she'd sway, oh how she'd twirl!
She had no restraints, she never asked questions.
She had nothing to lose, she never had possessions.
And so sometimes she would laugh, and yes sometimes would cry.
And so sometimes walked facing the ground; and yes sometimes to the sky.

This is my story, the story of Troy.
Troy, Troy, the everyone boy.
Perfect when he'd sleep, and perfect when he'd wake.
Poor, perfect Troy just wanted a break.

Beloved, poor Troy, back always strained
Imprisoned, poor Troy, to all of us; chained.

I truly did love her, and still do; my Pearl.
She would hold my hand, and smile; my girl.
But I spent many nights staring at the ceiling;
Knowing she could never truly return the feeling.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week Eleven: May 17th - May 23rd

Sorry for missing two weeks in a row. Really lame, but I've hit a rough patch lately.

So to make up for it, I'm working on a several page short story, and I really like the idea. When I post it, I hope you agree :]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week Ten: May 3rd - May 9th

The Watcher of Achillbeg

If I could unclench these brick teeth of mine, I would tell you a tale of despair my friend. However, I remain frozen, so you will have to have quite an imagination or an abundance of hallucinogenics to fully lament over the context of the conversation we will have. I've come to terms with how I will remain for the rest of my existence, but perhaps you will agree that this settling is easily as despairing if not more so then the reason why I pass this on to you.

To start things off, let me tell you how I was came to be. I had such promise when I was growing up. I was raised on a cliff on the southern end of an island overlooking the sea in south Ireland, and as such, never knew what ugly was from an early age. I knew that pain existed, but had never had to be around it. I had many friends, I was surrounded by a crowd, and I even had humans that lived near me.

It sounds like a good life doesn't it? Keep on listening my friend, keep listening. Assigning "good or evil" to objects isn't a game I care to play in, nor is this an easy feat; if I had to choose a single inanimate object to deem evil, time itself would be my candidate. Feeling the people who maintained me grow old and weak, and slowly pass away was like feeling my heart die over and over again. Even through the walls I've built up over the years, I still can feel sadness seep through when I realize that I've lost count.

When you finally understand that those responsible for this joy you experience will fade away, but that you won't, you begin to feel hurt. When you finally realize that there will never be an exception to this rule, and all you can do is sit back and watch, you feel something else entirely different. You can no longer hurt because you start to lose that ability to feel in the first place. Only dim reminders tense up for moments before swirling back into subconscious.

I had decided after some time, that perhaps I could change my focus from those that maintained me, and could instead befriend those that were involved in my work. I gave warning to those that traveled near me of how treacherous my cliff could be; my terrible, wonderful little cliff. I would wave to them, and to my delight, they would wave back. I had made friends, friends that seemed to appreciate me. Does this sound like a happy ending? Keep on reading my friend. Please keep reading.

With my focus on the sea, I realized that the crowd I was constantly surrounded with would venture near me, but would only stay a second before drifting back the direction they came. Why did these faceless crowds hate me so? Could they not see my warning of the cliff? It wasn't my fault... It might have gotten to me had my friends not been there to wave at me, and let me come to terms that the crowds won't like me, and that I didn't need them too anyway.

This confidence boost worked the same way it did with humans, which if you don't know by now is an unfortunate lie. After awhile, my wandering mind realized that my "friends" had never actually came near to see me. Why wouldn't my own friends come see me? I became frustrated. Keep on reading my friend, the end isn't too far off.

There was a terrible storm one night. The crowds would bubble up near me feet, and jump to spit on me. I couldn't have possibly been blamed for becoming frustrated, could I? I had almost lost my cool when I saw a friend of mine wave to me on the horizon. Perhaps it was the crowds blatant disrespect that pushed me, or perhaps it was my curiosity. Either way, I didn't wave back this time. I watched as my friend came nearer to me; his wave blinking out as patches of rough rain shrouded him. I watched anxiously as he got close, but still I didn't wave back. I just sat back and watched, everything grew tense. He was only moments from reaching me when I waved back, but it was just too late. My friend crashed into the cliff side; pieces of his body washed up to lay at my feet. I had killed one of my friends, I had.

I could never be close to my friends, but they were as sure as dead if I ever gave up waving to them. You humans are good at adapting to anything unpleasant, but I would like to say that I have perfected it. Even up until today I have continued to wave on my friends and the years. I've come to terms with my existence, and tonight I will finally be allowed some rest. They are tearing me down, and replacing me with somebody else. Some other poor sap that will have to carry this world on his shoulders even after they break. Some other poor sap that will eventually pass his torch on to another poor sap.

I've said my piece my friend. I do hope you are a human, otherwise this message will never truly be given the emotion it deserves. The lord knows I cannot give it any, any longer. I've had my heart stopped a million times, I have been spit at since I was born, and I have even killed those close to me that would have had a chance otherwise. Is it sad that I find solace in finally being able to lay down and just cease to exist? Perhaps my friend, but then again, I have lived a sad life no? What a more fitting way to end. Take care of those dear to you my friend, it's only a matter of time before you yourself will have to lay down, and I can only hope you get more dignity and less regrets then I have in the process. Good bye.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Week Nine: April 26th - May 2nd

Aria's Lanterns

Where... where am I?

Aria awoke with her head resting upon a pillow of dry, dusty earth. Shriveling blades of grass grew in rows running parallel at the sides of the earth; the plants were weakly reaching out towards their opposite sides, but to no avail. A heavily clouded gray set a dim atmosphere, and the scent of rain filled her nose. The wind kept whistling behind her, seemingly changing direction when she turned to meet it.
Aria picked herself up and brushed the dust off her dress and looked around at her surroundings. She was standing on a road in the middle of nowhere, plains of cracked and dieing plants spread out as far as the eye could see. The wind calmed its whistle long enough to tug her north down the road. Having no better plan, Aria decided to follow the road and see where it took her. Step by step, eddies of yellow dust were kicked up behind her, falling down to blur her footprints.
It seemed as if hours had passed since she started, but in this atmosphere, she had no safe idea as to how long it really was. Her sleepy eyes tightened around the edges as she tried to pass the time thinking about why she was here. Think as hard as she could, she could just not come to any solid conclusion. She thought so hard on the subject that she never saw the object rise from the edge of the landscape in front of her until she cut the distance between in half. “A fork in the road and some sort of sign!” Aria exclaimed as she took off to finish the gap.
Catching her breath, Aria lifted her head to the sign but was shocked with what she saw. The wooden arrows were roughly nailed to the post pointing each other. “Which way” and “Is which” were painted onto the signs. Dropping to the ground, Aria slammed her fists into the dirt and laid her head down. “Where am I! Why am I here?” she said with a quivering voice. Poor, poor Aria; she had walked all this way for just another puzzle.
The wind began its familiar whistle, but before she could turn around to shout at it, a soft clatter was heard In front of her. Standing on the rock, a strange man was staring down at her with an empty stare. The man was long and lanky, skinny as a broomstick, and wore a ruffled black suit. The man wore a white circular mask covering his entire face, with only three holes cut into it; one hole for his mouth, and two for his eyes. Strapped to his back was the signpost with two lanterns hanging down, casting a dim light on the area. How long had she been lying there? How long since the gray sky had darkened nearly to night? The man crawled forward on the rock, and held up a wooden finger to the girls mouth, motioned for her to be quiet.
“Hello Aria” the mans gentle voice spoke. “He-hello... sir” Aria cautiously replied. While the man had seemed odd and strangely not dangerous, Aria still had long ago learned not to take needless risks. “You don't remember me do you child?” “Remember you? Do I know you” she quietly responded. The man lifted his head and stared at the sky for awhile before seemingly snapping back to reality. He clumsily turned to his lanterns hanging from his back and turned a small level that increased the flame and consequently the amount of light pooling on the area under them. Aria began to speak, but couldn't keep her jaw open as she now looked down at ten roads branching out in a circle around her. She furiously towards toward the man to shout, but he just sat there, uncomfortably sprawled out on the rock, just staring at her. Staring, that is if you could call it that.
Leaning forward on the rock, balancing on the edge of a rock that should have had him falling to the ground, his light slowly began to creep towards her, reaching out towards Aria. Aria began to step back, but memories started to crawl into her mind of when she was younger; strange blurry memories of her parents showing her a picture of this man while she laid in her crib. I will always be here to light your way back home. I will always protect you, even when the world is against you; I will protect you. When your parents created me, they poured into me all the love they had for you, and I can tell you that no matter what you will do, they will always have their arms open to you. “You are no longer a little child who needs my protection Aria, but still here I am, offering you the way back home. You can take any path you wish, some with good, and others with bad endings. I cannot guarantee you will always like it, but I guarantee the happy times will outweigh the unhappy. Let's go home Aria, your parents are worried about you.
Sitting up in her bed, 15 year old Aria looked around, and started to laugh as she rolled off the bed and ran to her cabinet. Under her socks, a package of cigarettes lay still unopened, and she grabbed them and burst out of the room.

Mom! Dad! I need to talk to you, and I'm sorry. I love you so much, and I'm so sorry.

Jessa kissed Aria on the forehead and started to close the door, but her child had already passed out. Tiptoeing back to her bedroom, she opened a drawer in her dresser and found a picture of the strange man drawn roughly on a wrinkled sheet of paper. “Thank you old friend” she murmured as she looked at the paper with a smile on her face. Setting the paper back in with the rest of the odds and ends the drawer had to share, she closed the drawer and went back down to sleep with her husband.

I don't mind sitting here in the darkness, as long as she doesn't have to. Love your parents Aria, because they will always love you.