moblog uk


group profile | members | imagewall

« older newer »

Very short stories to read at the bus stop.

Simply do this:
1. Register for a moblog account here
2. Join this group here
3. Email or MMS your picture and text to microhappy-AT-moblog-DOT-net

Add Short stories to read at the bus stop Mippin widget

follow @creativewriting

Search this moblog

Recent visitors

The Ghosts of Themselves

(viewed 1643 times)
Bookmark and Share
"Sometimes things are the ghosts of themselves." She tapped her unlit cigarette against the table in a rhythm that conveyed a coded message known only to smokers -- a message that causes sadness in those who have managed to quit.

I raised an eyebrow and unconsciously mimicked her tapping with a fingernail. Uninitiated, I neither extracted nor imbued meaning. A monkey at the typewriter.

She ignored me, focused. "You can see it. Look at those bicycles."

I complied.

"One of them is well loved, used daily, maintained. The other one is merely ridden. Can you see the difference?"

I nodded. One had more crud built up at the welds of the frame, less shine to the spokes on the wheels. But that could mean more use, not less. Trips to nature trails. I shook my head.

A cheap lighter flared as she lit up. There's something about setting fire to something hanging out of your face that makes the kindest and daintiest of us look fierce, if only for a brilliant yellow moment.

"You're trying to force it, logic boy. Pull back. Relax. Don't worry so much about how you know it." She took a deep drag on the cigarette. While not looking directly at it, I concentrated on the glow of the tip while the bikes lurked further off in the distance.

"The one closest to the road. Closest to the post. It's just metal and rubber and plastic," I said. "I wonder how it died."

It was her turn to nod, exhaling thin smoke through her nostrils and stretch-slouching most of the way across the meshwork table, playing at exhaling her own animating spirit. I tamped down the reflex to grab her nearest wrist -- and that other reflex to grab her nearest hand.

"It's not as sappy as that Velveteen Rabbit story," she said. "It's not like love makes things more real." She gave me a meaningful look. "At least not all the time, anyway."

I barely feel real on the best of days. Some days I am nothing but meat. Some days the meat seems faded and I feel like nothing but ectoplasm, buzzing and moaning and roaring to myself. Sometimes I am the hive-box, sometime I'm just a cloud of loose bees. Love, when present, does little to integrate the pieces.

"Do objects die from old age? From lack of attention? From failure to be perceived? From being habitually misperceived?"

She snorted. "Velveteen Rabbit. Old age maybe, but not necessarily deterioration. Those other things you said were all variations on the Velveteen Rabbit scenario."

ScenAHrio. I was raised to pronounce it scenAIRio. Sometimes all I see are unimportant differences I wish I could ignore.

"Maybe there's just so much genuineness, so much essential reality to go around. It's scarce somehow, and when the last event has occurred where an object impinges causally, importantly, on a timeline, it's essence vanishes and it dies. It just turns into dead matter." She took another drag, leaning sideways, half propped up on an elbow.

"You're mocking me," I accused. "That was something I would say."

She smiled. "Maybe. But it's still the best answer I can think of."

I gave her a brief grimace. "Fine," I said. "Now teach me to smoke."


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

23rd Sep 2010, 04:38   | tags:


Gael says:

Great - words and image

23rd Sep 2010, 16:16

Thank you. This was both fun and a bit therapeutic to write, and the camera software on my phone has lots of new toys embedded in it to play with....


23rd Sep 2010, 16:31

Dhamaka says:

but ouch

28th Sep 2010, 12:37

Yeah, well... I'm sure you know why my mood's been off a little lately. This is, in essence, conversation that never happened -- but could have -- between myself and a long-time friend who has every right to needle me now and then when I act like I need it. The picture was taken right outside the coffee shop she owns and, now that I think of it, may actually include her bike...

28th Sep 2010, 13:02

Dhamaka says:


28th Sep 2010, 13:09

almostjezebel says:

that's not my bike...

30th Jul 2011, 08:35

Now that I think of it, if it had been, you might have stopped by to chat, and this story would have been a little different...


30th Jul 2011, 09:12