Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Short Story: Part I


Meet Donald. Donald is a twenty-eight year old man with a decent wardrobe, a modest apartment and a respectable job. Donald believes that he is going places. Donald believes he has a life. Above all, Donald believes in free will.

Donald is about to change.

The weekend was fun for Donald. He and his buddies had gone into the Big City for a night on the town. He had only arrived at his apartment a few hours ago and was exhausted. Donald knew he would settle in to bed after he had washed up; He needed a good night's sleep for tomorrow's day at the office, but something had been troubling him. Putting the foreign sensation out of his mind, Donald moved to the bathroom and undressed. The hot steam and water from the shower relaxed and put him at ease. He closed his eyes and began recalling his busy weekend. First, there was the afternoon at Lizzy's Lounge, downtown. What fun he'd had there, eating hot wings and watching the game with a few beers. No matter how hard Donald tried to reflect and focus on the memory, another memory kept interjecting. It was the memory of his boss. Donal's boss was an older man named Charles. Charles was very stout and pale, and had a very grumpy way about him. He would order Donald around and bait him along with promises of raises and bonuses and even threaten Donald with being fired. For some reason Donald could simply not put the thought of his boss's pale, sweaty face to rest.

Donald was lying in bed now, facing the ceiling in his pajamas with his hands crossed on his chest. He began thinking once again about the afternoon. After that, he and the guys headed a little further uptown to some bars. He'd kept telling himself how much fun it had been, but an emotion suddenly struck him. It wasn't any fun. Donald had not had fun. In fact, he had not felt anything in years. Donald thought once again of his boss and his day at the office on Friday. It was a regular day, nothing special had happened. He wondered why, then, did the memory reccur to him as strange. Ah, he remembered now: Donald had been on his lunch break and was heading back toward his office with a hot sandwhich and a cold drink. He had just turned the corner when he spotted a filthy, ragged, ball of cloth sitting infront of a garbage pail, coughing and swearing. Donald stood motionless with his mouth agape for several moments, just staring, until the unrecognizable, stinky heap began shouting angrily at him. Donald had never seen anything like that before in his entire life. He was shocked and appalled and very sad. He wondered how another person could actually live like that and simply could not fathom what it was like.

He had targeted his subconscious thought that had been on his mind and could now go to sleep. As he turned over on his right side he felt a slight tugging at his left arm. It did not hurt, but the sensation was like that of a fish pulling ever so slightly at a line. He stopped for a moment and shifted his eyes a few times back and forth surveying the room. Donald closed his eyes. The room had gotten slightly cold and Donald reached down to pull his comforter up over his shoulders. The feeling struck again: it was a slight tug on his left arm, just above the elbow. Now, more aware of the sensation, he began feeling a slight chaffing beneath his pajama sleeve. It felt as thought there was something coarse rubbing up against his arm. He pulled back his pajama sleeve and rolled up to his bicep. There was a thin, almost fishing-line looking string attached to Donald's arm right above his elbow. Instantly, as though it were a reflex, Donald grabbed hold of the wire and began pulling at it. He noticed now that it went up the remainder of his sleeve and exited his pajamas through his collar. He pulled at the string, but there was little slack. He looked up, but it was dark and he could not see where the string led. Immediately, panic and confusion struck Donald. All in one instant he hadn't the faintest idea of what to do! He ran out of his bedroom (after taking a few precautionary movements to ensure he in fact could go anywhere) and into the kitchen. He reached at a small, slender drawer, with shaking hands. He finally grabbed hold of the handle and flung the drawer outwards. He reached down into it and pulled out a scissor and frantically began snipping and cutting at the wire, which broke almost immediately. Upon the string breaking, the scissors fell to the floor and his upper left side went limp. "What is this?" thought Donald. He felt as though the weight of the world had been lifted from his left shoulder.

He woke up the next morning to find that he had overslept. This was a dire mistake. Where had happened to his alarm clock?! He was sure he had set it the night before. It was always set, right on time, every morning. How could this possibly happen?! Donald had a routine! His alarm clock would wake him up at precisely 5:30 a.m., he would then go to the bathroom to wash up. He would be done at no later than a quarter to 6, at which point he would begin to dress. Donal jumped out of his bed after a moment of bewildered contemplation and ran to his closet to put his clothes on. It seemed that his alarm clock had vanished clear from his nightstand and he hadn't a clue what time it might be. He swung open the doors to his closet and reached in to pull his shirt, tie, pants and jacket, but to no avail. Gone, they were all gone. All Donald had left were t-shirts and jeans, admittedly his prefered style due to its comfortability, however, neither of which could he wear to his office. He stumbled, naked, into his kitchen. Was it 5:45 yet?! That was time for breakfast!

OUCH! Donald had stepped on something. Almost as suddenly as he had felt the pain, he knew what had caused it: The scissors...

A feeling of intense anxiety overwhelmed Donald as he wandered over to a chair at the kitchen table and settled himself down in it. Carefully, he lowered his head into his hands and began gently sobbing. What had the world come to?! Was this maddness a reality?? Would he ever know what time it was again?! Donald sat back in the chair and tried to rationalize. As he reached across his face to wipe the tears from his eyes on his right forearm, there was a slight tug. This time it was more of a feeling of resistance. Donald knew what it was. In an almost violent fit of rage, he threw himself upon the floor and flailed across the kitchen toward the scissors. He grabbed hold of them with his left hand and jumped to his feet. Lunging backward on to himself, he grabbed hold of exactly what he had suspected would be waiting for him: another string. Ferociously, he hacked at the wire with the scissors until it snapped, sending him falling foward onto the cold, tiled floor. for a moment, he was at blissful peace.

Donald had seen his strings... and he had cut them...

To be continued...

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of discussing societal structures and the negative attributes associated with this establishment, why not begin the means to change it. If this sense of control is so overwhelming, why mock it. If you had political capacities, and a lot of money, you wouldn't want to lose it, therefore many of the controls you say do in fact exist. However, concentration on this is peanut gallery quality. The one control that does not exist is your inability to prosper where millions of others are incapable. Before pissing all over the system, why not find where it is right and favor that. Once you have your values, move to change the controls that force people in economic niches. Use practicality, instead of theoretics. Soft money in politics is a place to start. I bet you'll find there what you despise so feverishly. If you have the balls, like so many that lack, maybe you will put your money where your mouth is and help those who personify your main character. Otherwise, who will remember your name, your grandchildren?

7:44 PM  
Anonymous pete, the author said...

A large portion of the audience that these pissings are directed at, are people who do not understand the current political structure. This a means of awareness, education and thought provocation. There can be no real revolution, no real change, not unless people are starving or are awakened to the reality surrounding them. While I appreciate the ecouragement, part of what I do does help those who personify my main character. B/c he is oblivious and i am that homeless man that makes him THINK. I am a sower of seeds and when that seed is planted, rebelious redwoods can grow. The system is not right my good friend; the fruit is rotten and we must cut the tree down. I do what small part I can to make people think... I'm not a self-righteous want-to-be hero. I'm a writer. And as for people remembering my name... fame is most definitely not what this is about. If I wanted someone to remember my name I might have written pop songs. But remember this: All things must start somewhere. All in good time, my friend, all in good time. Be patient. Thanks for the advice, though.

4:27 AM  

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