The Writer: Chapter 2

Octavio Paz once said that solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Sometimes I think this is how Hell is supposed to be. A dark, empty room. Or a huge city with no one but yourself for company.

I know that you’re here just because you want to find out what really happened to Oscar, but I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you. I am going to read you one of my stories instead.

Why? Because every writer wants to be read, every storyteller wants to be heard.

 

Crossroads

 

“El sueño de la razón produce monstruos.”

Francisco Goya

His chest felt heavy, his legs tired. Dead leaves rustled under his feet. Nailed to the sky, the moon’s sardonic smile quivered among a cluster of cold stars. His body just a coffin for his soul, Robert seemed to take every footstep with infinite precaution, as if fearing that the dirt road would swallow his feet.

On each side, pine trees stood tall. Ancient guardians.

“Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of-” he tried to recite, but was interrupted by hounds barking somewhere in the distance. Long, reverberating shivers of sounds that seemed to had spawned from hell itself bashed against his ears. His black skin glistened with sweat; droplets shuddered down from his hairline to his eyebrows, down his temples. The skin of his neck burned, hot. His eyes glimmered in the dark void, hopelessly trying to peer through that endless ocean of fear and agony. He pressed the guitar to his chest, his long arms forming a desperate embrace around the black wood. The sharp smell of lacquer flooded his nose. Continue reading

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The Writer: Chapter 1

The only thing that is worth remembering, and worth remembering over and over again, is that in this world, under all and any circumstance, nothing ever happens.

My name is Jonathan Fisher and I can stare at the sun longer than anyone else on this planet. Longer than you. And I am afraid you are not going to like me.

Most of the time I’m just a ghost, a shadow riding in the back seat of a bus, a whisper travelling across a Universe only ten miles wide. So it shouldn’t surprise you that the first event I can recall with an almost morbid precision took place on my twenty third birthday. That was the day we buried my father. Continue reading

The Writer: Prologue

There’s this neat trick they do in television, especially in hour long TV dramas. It’s called a teaser and its sole purpose is to make you want more. It usually ends with a cliffhanger just so you don’t change the channel when that lengthy commercial break starts.

Sometimes the teaser is a glimpse of a scene close to the end of that episode. This is how I’m going to begin my story – with a short scene close to the end.

I guess the first thing you should know is where this scene is taking place.

Imagine a centuries old oak forest, one that would creep most people out. Huge trees, rotten carcasses, contorted ghosts. Boughs, now useless limbs, lying on the ground.

The second thing you should know is “when.”

Henry James thought “summer afternoon” to be the two most beautiful words in the English language. So let’s say that’s our “when.”

Summer afternoon. I bet you’re thinking about sunlight slipping through thousands of leaves, twigs greedily stretching skyward. But maybe it’s cloudy, maybe fog curls around leaves and branches, a trembling embrace. The forest has its own sounds that appear to be most sinister.

Your lungs gasping for air, you’re drowning in that sea of ash-colored fog. You can’t tell what is what, you fill every shadow with doubt. Continue reading

Saudade

All you can picture inside your head, over and over again, is you closing the door behind you. It felt… irremediable. Your own version of passing the Rubicon. That was the moment when the nostalgia of all that could no longer be began.

It is said that when two people break up, one feels relieved, free. It is over. It is time to move on. And the other one is left with the broken pieces of their heart, not knowing what to do.

Saudade. The love that remains, the love that no amount of poison could ever kill. The love that will eventually alter itself to become what is left when nothing can be done anymore.

It was beautiful… Continue reading

You and I through a thousand lives…

Here we are, holding hands at the edge of forever. Here we are, in the emptiness between stars. Here we are, waiting for another life.
Soulmates never die.

You know the legend the Ancient Greeks had about humans? That they once had four legs and four arms and heads with two faces? That Zeus, afraid of them being too powerful, decided to split them in half, damned them to spend a lifetime in search of their missing halves?

No, not a lifetime, but a thousand lifetimes…

Continue reading

Beautiful ghosts

They say you’ll live forever if a writer falls in love with you.

Tell this to the right girl and she’s yours. Of course, it might take a while to find her, and it obviously helps if you’re somewhat famous.

But I don’t tell them that I’d only write about them if they’d break my heart. Because that’s how I put the pieces back together. I don’t tell them that I stopped loving a long time ago.

It’s not that I don’t want to, I simply can’t. That bizarre mechanism that allows people to feel as if someone else is a part of who they are, as if they’ve found something they’ve always felt was missing… well, that mechanism’s broken for me. Continue reading