The Dying Body Chronicles 8: Story of my life

in The Ink Well2 months ago

I am a prayer, something akin to silence


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Introduce the place first sir. Yes let's start from there. Every story needs a beginning, something to capture a wandering mind, something to steal attention. We must market our imagination, yes ma'am. So from the beginning; a place.

A place without voice. Imagine it. Feel it. Hear it. Yes hear it. Hear the silence that breathes there. It is a space, a box really. It is a room, to be true; a well endowed room with a view. You should see the view; all that green grass, all those manicured flowers, those old old trees. But the silence is here and everywhere.

In this room, a small shadow sits. It is a shadow, so you have little or nothing to go on about gender, race, ethnicity of sexual orientation. Sorry. This shadow is hunched over, gathered body in its ashy arms, trembling as if in some passion, fevered really. You cannot hear the gnashing of teeth, the sorrow that wanders within, or the plea to be set free. This shadow suffers in the silence.

Maybe you have met this shadow before. Maybe you have worn that flesh at one time or the other, alone, unknown, all facades washed off, naked before your god. You know what I mean. You know how it feels. You know what it tastes like. It is that place this shadow abides. It is not a physical space but it takes more from it than even the room with the window with a view and gods, what a view.

It is noon, so everything is bright and shiny. The sun is sluggish outside but it doesn't enter the room. Nothing enters the room. The shadow turns as a door opens. It has eyes. It sees. It has hope in them. Another door opens and another shadow steps into the room. What ! To take ones space without permission. What guts!

There's fear that exist on the map of a person's face and eyes. It is this fear that wanders into the shadow. It tries to rise but the new shadow drags it back down again. They both fall to the floor where no sun can reach and they are no more. The silence is not encroached by this scene.

The description of a place is done. We can wander within the debris of its creation and you, my dear stalker, can enjoy the view through the window. Now let us consider the action of the tale. Without action, this story will lack the vital spark needed to keep you entertained, to make you dream, to give you belief. What sort of action can a place without voice bring, a place of shadows too broken to speak?

There must be a clash of wills. maybe between the room and the view beyond the window lies eons of bitterness. The room and its shadows would love to be a part of the view while the view would love to penetrate into that darkness and silence. What this has bred is a hate so deep, it wanders the blood soaked sands of its nightmare alone.

In truth, the room is in a house that is a part of the view for those wandering down the wild green of the world and the colour of the room gives some variety to the colours that pervade the view. The only thing is one has to step out to see this qualities. One has to change perspective. Do you understand this thing I speak of?

Whatever violence that occurs, no matter how small or big it may be stems from the different perspectives the room and the view share. If they both saw themselves to be symbiotic and parasitic in their relationship, they would function better. The shadow drowning on the floor's darkness in the room, needs the view through the window to remind it of better promises the sun brings. The trees and silent birds in the sky need the room to remind them of grief and pain, trauma and fear. Is this not how this world revolves.

Understand that in this tale there's no god, no deu ex machina to manipulate the story to soothe the bothered emotions of my readers. With that in mind, we take a look at characterization. What is a story without a man or woman, an animal that speaks, a tree that shrieks, a pebble that floats? There must be people to people the pages with actions and inactions, with their small wars, their petty pains, their little deaths. I am terribly sorry to inform you that in this matter, there are no actors. For good or for ill, there are no characters. You cannot therefore vilify or adore anyone except me. Yes me.

I am the one who writes, who tells this tragic tale. It is from my brain, that these words form their endless strings of meaning. If there is a room with a window with a view, I created it. It is my room even if I have never lived in it. If a shadow lives in that room, consumed in the cold silence of grief, it is I. If two shadows clash in that room, then both shadows are me.

I am the beginning and the end, the creator and the creation, the person behind the veil, the finger that works the strings. The puppeteer, if o need to be explicit. So do not expect a character, expect me. This is if you have bothered to read this story to this point. In all things, it was my intent to bore you.

Understand me. Read it again and you will see that you have read the story of my life and maybe of yours too, or someone you used to know. I am a prayer, something akin to silence.

The end.

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Despite the narrator's intention, we do have a character and we do have conflict. The character of course, is the nameless creator, the author of this dark exercise. And we do have conflict. The conflict is between the author and the reader. The narrator--the author--is antagonistic. There is a challenge to not engage, to not believe.

The narrator throws convention to the wind with contemptuous disregard for the reader's expectation. The voice of the narrator is Brechtian in its refusal to entertain. There will be no diversion from the dark truth.

Despite your assertion, @warpedpoetic, this is a story, an extraordinary story that does not bore. Thank you for posting the story in the Ink Well community. Have you read and commented on the work of at least two other writers this week? (See The Ink Well community rules on our home page.) This helps our community thrive, and also makes you eligible to be chosen for a spotlight in our weekly highlights magazine. Thank you!

Only truth here. I am very curious about writing about silence. Writing is a form of expression as much as silence is. How do you write silence? How do you not just make your characters dumb but actually make the setting, the character, the action voiceless? Except I submit a blank page, I'm yet to fully grasp the solution to that problem. And now, I have given myself another project; writing a story without character.

Truly you grasp the intention of the narrator. I have experimented with antagonistic narrators before. I'll do so again until it arouses something from readers; acknowledgement.

Thank you for this comments. It is always a pleasure to post here. Your feedback is a great help. Thank you

Very poetic, with wonderful vocabulary choice and a compelling idea that is well executed. Great job!

Thank you very much for stopping by

I find your text interesting, a poetic text. It has certain characteristics reminiscent of absurd theatre, that narrative form whose main representatives include Ionesco and Samuel Beckett.

The voice has a content in which questions are posed - place, time, being - that go beyond what any human being can express or explain rationally.

At the end, in the last sentence and last allusion to the reader, I see that it is that of the main puppeteer. He who speaks sums up the world. Then the reading becomes clear, which until now appears obscure because God does not need interlocution. His presence is enough for clarity to appear.

Oh I love theatre of the absurd. I think they very much explore the human condition without any attempt to appease the audience with some form of catharsis. And yes, I have been experimenting with writing stories that share similarities with the absurdist tradition.

I think at the end, I do not want to conform to the stereotype of how a story should be told, what form it should take and what subject. Presently, I am trying to get away from writing about trauma and sad things. It seems most African writers rarely write about happy things. Will trauma remain our only heritage? Have we not found happiness yet?

At the end, I seek to create new ways of expression, new forms of being. I may not be in the mainstream, in the limelight but you guys here are willing to give me honesty and truth and that is better for someone trying to build something new. So thank you always for your comments and feedbacks.

If you wanted me to ponder the abyss...you were successful :) But if you wanted to bore me (and I doubt that), you failed.

I thought of this verse when I finished your poem:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul

Well, I thought, we've come a long way from that, haven't we? 1875. Can you imagine what Henley's audience would have thought of your story? The story is unique to you and your experience, but it is also tied to the time in which it is written.

I don't know if that comforts you, or offends you. Personally, I find it hard to consider any piece of art apart from the environment that gave rise to it.

You are talented. I hope your writing brings you peace.

You have never offended me @agmoore. That you bother to read, find meaning and share that understanding with me is a joy. You show me more about my work than I think possible at times. That is the best thing to give a creative.


I don't know if that comforts you, or offends you. Personally, I find it hard to consider any piece of art apart from the environment that gave rise to it.

This is the sad truth. The narrator in the story writes from their environment, whether physical or mental. It is their experiences that has created the pathway to their form of thought that is angry and terrified, wants to be happy but only knows to be sad.

I have lived some experiences and I know that they colour my stories. I have also witnessed people live through moments that are just absurd. And are we not mostly Frankensteinic in our creating; taking bits and pieces from here and there to make a breathing living being?

I am glad I failed to bore you. Lol. I'll try harder next time. Thank you for your feedback as always

I can't imagine the gem you will write if you try harder :)

You always pique my awareness.

When you write stories in this vein, I always feel swept along on a river of intriguing words that I want to examine more fully. Some are like slippery fish. And others form clues to intent and meaning. It's a wonderful writing style. I read through, and am sorry when it's done.

Thank you very much. I finished writing and I didn't know if it was a story or something else. I fear that one day, in my bid to find something more with my writing, I will write something utterly nonsensical. I'd break your heart then.

I am thankful that you took meaning out of the story. Many times after reading yours and @agmoore's comments, I go back to my writing with fresh eyes and it helps me grasp many things. I normally do not read my work once it is done and posted. So thank you once again for giving me space to be with my weirdness. Lol