Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Short Story

This is the first time I've put any of my fiction writing up here, so comment and let me know what you think.

I boarded the bus outside of a post office in the small town near school. The air outside had been cold, and I had no gloves. I carried my bag over the snow-draped paths, dragging it where the snow was too deep. The bus was warm, filled with a thick air like breathing through wool. Stumbling down the aisle, I bumped a few passengers here and there with my backpack before finding a seat near the middle, not too far back but certainly not in the front. I stretched my legs down the aisle (I like aisle seats; windows are always cold) and rested my head against the seat, waiting for the bus to move.

It was late, but I didn’t mind. I sat and allowed the contents of the bus to wash over me: I heard sounds, people talking, dulled cars outside the window, more talking. I was a sponge on the rocks, eating what passes (I should have been a sponge). The bus lurched, finally, but I continued to listen. Eventually the sponge found something it couldn’t digest, a bit of stone floating in the current, an inquisitive fish. A conversation, just behind me, was already in progress; I sat and chewed on it.

The bus continued to move. Its drone undulated in my ears, a consonant vibrato rising and falling like a sitar’s drone. Behind me they played out an endless discordant solo for two voices, minimal yet piercing, shaking with the subtle madness of a string held to wood, scratched by an untaught finger. It cried of connections cut and spliced, arranged out of key. I soaked and soaked, the deep bass of the engine mixing my meal as I ate. Though I chewed hungrily, I could not swallow the unrelenting tinkering of the dual strings, and I spat.

The window was too near, and I felt its chill against my arm, urging my skin to rise and meet. The landscape is nearly white, flecked by the grays of horses and pale yellow of dead wheat. As I watched, the horses and the wheat and the cars stood flat and without depth against the filthy window of my moaning coach. And not without considerable disappointed, I thought myself this window, attached to this tonedeaf instrument, flecked with the world’s dirt, its mud, its roadkill. I looked on, a gray-eyed onlooker on a clouded real. My habitat was carpeted and cushioned and cramped, room for one only, and I lost my vision to the crush of this world’s wheels over gray snow.

The bus finally stopped, and its muteness stunned me. Making myself thin, I stepped into the aisle and out of the vehicle. I looked back once; my instrument sat mute and voiceless, unseen to eyes of brown or blue, and I walked. I’m sorry if my bag hit you. It was an accident.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome job, dude! I really enjoyed it. Great writing.