Friday, 1 January 2010

Rejection Letters (Flash Fiction)

Indelible red digits reached out to claw at his eyes. He shook the gauzy haze from them, to better confront that which he sought. The LED display blinked and then devoured the custodian numbers. A Cerberus of three zeroes licked themselves over with gleeful satisfaction. Midnight. No longer a mere immanence. The witching hour's scythe had transcribed its arc once again.

They were all at large tonight. Vampires, werewolves, ghouls and zombies. Nightmare afflatus, borne upon the keening wind stalking his eaves. Or perhaps it was the cunning legion of undead who had summoned up the wind from hell. In order to cushion the howls of their predatory approach. Wolfsbane, garlic, silver and icons. All were at their appointed stations up and down his house this night.

He gazed up at the moon. Dead satellite to us, yet war standard and pendulum pacemaker to the heartless host yonder. Strange how we look to it for our dreams. Yet it can only ever time us out. Send us scuttling like rats back to our cloistered redoubts. Making each of us in our isolation feel like we are the last mortal on earth. At least for as long as we wrestle with loquacious phantasms in our visions, while the outside world is given over to these wordless fiends. The host forms a corps of sorts, in that they occupy swathes of land. But what could be more illogical than to hold that they follow rules or maintain discipline? They are singular silent assassins, feeding on gutted human husks. Else they starve for nourishment, yet still uncomplaining in their taciturnity.

With only the fragile vinculum of fibre optics now linking him to the rest of humanity, he turned back to address his computer keyboard. He padded the dabs of his fingers against his words hanging in the plasmatic blue void of the monitor. Unloved words. Unheeded words that elicited no response from the destination of beyond. The plasma receded from his touch. Bucking and warping, spiralling his words away and out of his grasp. He jerked his fingers away but the plasmatic sluice remained in place. Siphoning the rest of his word trail along after their predecessors. Lost to the world now. The wind piped a particularly goading lament. He peered in towards the hole in the screen. The plasma appeared to have spun some virtual cobwebs where its surface twisted inwards. Mocking the self-repair of clotting human skin. Suddenly he lurched back, as the hole disgorged a vermillion sputum back in his direction. It appeared to be his own letters. Ripped from their original orderings. Smeared in blood red coagulate. Even the ether could not stand to have his words in its midsts.

The bloodsuckers had claimed his soul after all. They were communicating with him in kind.

15 comments:

Michael Solender said...

With only the fragile vinculum of fibre optics now linking him to the rest of humanity - this line is outrageously cool. A soulless monster at the keyboard..hmm looks familiar??

Marisa Birns said...

The weight of your language adds the right amount of gravitas and beauty to this piece.

Oh, those unheard, unheeded words!

Last lines were quite well done.

I always hope that I'm a little bit smarter after reading your work!

Carrie said...

Wow this was fantastic! So many sweet word choices here, let me see...

'Unloved words' hit me. Mind wandered right around on those. Never seen red described in so many ways. [takes notes]

Well done.

dijeratic said...

Oh how fun - dare to use language! Gives me great adlubescence to read. I love how you turn the world of words on its little ear - 'they were communicating with him in kind.' Beautifully sanguinary.

DJ

Sulci Collective said...

Oh I dare DJ, I dare! Thanks for stopping by everyone

Skycycler said...

Another rich serving of words, spattered in vermillion sputum (like that!) Deft articulations.

Deanna Schrayer said...

Wonderfully creative, (oh what a boring choice of words that was). Maybe I'll retain some of the knowledge you impart here - one can always hope.

dan powell said...

'only the fragile vinculum of fibre optics now linking him to the rest of humanity' - great line. Interesting take on the human under siege by the forces of darkness.

Anne Tyler Lord said...

I feel like I can relate to how my kids feel when they read material above their ability level. You have amazing word choices here that add to the mystery and gravity.

"as the hole disgorged a vermillion sputum back in his direction" eww, but cool choice of words!

some of this story reminds me of my bad writing days - hehe

Very well-written!!

mazzz in Leeds said...

the wind's goading lament and the vermillion sputum were fabulous!

and I learned a new word today (afflatus), so thanks for that!

Sulci Collective said...

ha ha ha Mazzz, you being a horror writer I assumed you had it tattooed on your forearm!

Karen from Mentor said...

"At least for as long as we wrestle with loquacious phantasms"

That's my typical Saturday Night...how did you know?

Loved this piece. Loved the verbiage....

Karen :0)

G.P. Ching said...

You have a knack for rich prose, atypical word choices and sentence structure. It sets your work apart. This is the first story I've read on your blog but I'm looking forward to more.

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