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Old 29th Dec 2008, 16:13   #1
Once known as Blixa
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Default Palimpian Scraps

I've found a folder tucked away on my drive with small bits and pieces of attempted writing that rarely stretches beyond a paragraph or two. I've absolutely no idea what their stories were going to be anymore - it's been that long. I thought I'd chuck a couple up and invite others, should they have any, to toss long forgotten scraps here.

Some of the titles, too. I have no idea what this one, saved as Grace At The River, was, is, or could be about:

Grace was smiling no doubt to hide her discomfort. The guests gathered around dropping questions that, with no answer forthcoming, they could push on with talking about themselves.What a joke they were! I mean, look at them.
Then there's the single sentence of Night Is The Best Time:
Despite living a remote existence the Falo were not immune to the world outside.

Then Crackle:
Sounds carry farther in the dark. They lift up, spreading in all directions. You can hear them for miles if they come across water. When they dash across the ice, there’s nothing to stop them. You can hear a scream start long after it’s stopped.

And Softly Goes The Night:
There were times when Martin loathed going for a drink with his friends. It wasn’t that he hated them, they were good people, but their company always left him lacking and depressed.

The lighting in the bar, small discs of muted yellow fixed into the wall, wasn’t much comfort; in fact they cast more shadows than they dispersed. Some old torchsong wailed from the jukebox, each crooned lyric piling on the sorrow. Someone else must have been feeling his pain.
The brochures screamed that he’d never lived. He thumbed through them, pondered the photos, with each page becoming sure of it. Everywhere there were landmarks. The Eiffel Tower pushed for the sky. The dusty Acropolis over Athens below. At Rome, the Coliseum’s pillared grin. These were the must sees of the world. It was never enough to marvel at them from a page, you had to see them for yourself. Take your own photos. Tick them off, one, two, three. The sights were not new to him, he’d seen them around. On television, in books. But here they were, myriad lives milling around, seeming less dry an experience than otherwise portrayed. These photos were bold statements reinforcing what he’d now accepted. He’d never lived.

There were so many places to see and so many ways to see them. City breaks, coach trips, cruises. All promised adventure.

When he had been married, his wife had been one for the beach. No sooner had they checked into their hotel was she spreading a towel out on the sand.
Intelligent Years
It was all there in her face; the template for the city. She looked young, her eyes large and curious as she turned to familiarise her surroundings. Her skin was smooth, lightly tanned and without blemish like a virgin dune following a storm. Her hair willowed down, its strands fine and vibrant – none of the russet locks yet fading to grey. But there was something there, perhaps the lingering lines when she smiled, that suggested there was wisdom burning within. There were years in her face, hugely unnoticeable unless you were to consider her aura – yes, written by experience, her face ached with the charity of intelligent years.
Anyone else got some little snippets of forgotten stories to share?
Reading: Concrete Island, J.G. Ballard| flickr | blog | world lit | beer

Last edited by Stewart; 29th Dec 2008 at 16:52.
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Old 29th Dec 2008, 19:34   #2
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Default Re: Palimpian Scraps

Sheesh, where to start? Fortunately I've lost more than I can find right now. But...

Nightlife drama, The Clubbing Row:
Anton walks towards himself paying no attention to the dark, colourful riot in full swing all around. Dancers and drinkers have their split-second attentions snagged by more obvious targets; flamboyant hair and make up adorning revellers of both sexes; dynamically moving clothes revealing novelty gaps onto tight skin beneath; rainbow drinks with a heavy plastic bouquet of alcohol and spices; strong tobacco and the tang of skunk. Anton’s outfit is easily the most costly present, coordinating suit units all in matt-black, a shadow that catches a changing tint from the dance floor, first midnight blue, then deep jungle green, now blood-pool red. He hasn’t stepped into daylight for six months and his pale face glows beneath carefully slicked hair, his hands shining as if gloved in white silk. He nears himself, seeing his shadow weave through the crowd.

The endlessly pulsing music opens out and a feminine baritone takes control of the beat, gliding seductively over the wall of sound before unexpectedly soaring up the register into a shriek of white noise. Anton winces, seeing it on his own face as his double draws closer still. The cries and howls of appreciation from the nearby throng are barely audible, but Anton sees the thirsty bystanders turn their focus to watch en mass and is silently thankful as he approaches the fully mirrored far wall unnoticed.

The mirror cracks, a vertical line that abruptly yawns open, the glass sliding out from beneath Anton’s reflection to reveal a doorway filled by a huge suited figure, millimetre haircut and flat eyes that don’t blink, don’t move, they could be painted on for all the inner life they display. Anton doesn’t break stride.

“Daybreak,” he says and although the words cannot be heard the fake eyes evidently read his lips because the vast figure steps aside. Anton vanishes into the real black within as the mirror closes behind him, perfectly silencing the nightclub outside.
True story - What happened Saturday night:
Saturday, 11.30 pm. It’s like there’s this sound baffle across the centre of the room, guys on one side and girls on the other. Their friends had left them here over night, and we were a) late back from work and full of curry and wine, or b) stoned. After a couple of awkward football remarks, they fell into almost whispered conversation, and we occasionally grunted quiet comments about a nice shot or save. When one of us actually tried to speak to them, it was as if they had cut us out of the universe, and after a couple of seconds we followed their example.
An abandoned writing in Spain project next, Calander:
Carl Tuppunce had been hanging out in the kitchen area for approaching an hour, chatting with whoever came in and doodling on his pad of paper in a vaguely business-like way, but not really. Just killing time.

Annette Guest entered, blinking in the brightness of the kitchen light. It was kept uncommonly high for safety reasons; the CEO didn’t want anyone cutting a finger while preparing a salad snack or spilling coffee on something important, like themselves. This was another reason why Carl tended to hang around; he had plenty of extra light at his rather specialised work station, obviously, but claimed the general brightness of the kitchen was better for his eyes and he felt more relaxed, which was better for developing ideas off the cuff that he could then polish from his well appointed corner of the office. Annette was of the opinion that Carl ought to have something ready for a polish by now and was letting the side down somewhat by not having done so, and by drinking too much coffee.

“Annette,” he said, with a cheery smile and a tap of his pencil on the top of his pad.

“Carl,” she replied, busying herself with the near empty coffee machine and feeling a little self-conscious as Carl’s pencil began scratching with uncommon purpose. “How’s the back-breaking labour coming along?” Annette allowed herself a thin smirk as she poured away the old dregs and rinsed the pot, replaced the filter, pointedly positioned only her own mug as the first hissings began from within.

“I genuinely can’t complain, darl.” Scratch scratch scratch. “Can not complain. Got to love this working environment, haven’t you?” Scratch scratch. Annette fixed him with a sharp stare, but Carl had his eyes on his page. The coffee machine hissed louder.

“Maybe you should spend more time in it, Carl.” He raised his eyebrows and gave a smiling nod of partial agreement, scratch scratch. “Instead of in here.” Smile, nod, scratch. “Working, I mean.” Nod, eyebrows, sound of shading. Annette wilted slightly. “I’m sorry, Carl, I don’t mean to go on. But I worry, you know? I think this place is... great, I’m sure we all do.” The hissing gave way to a low bubbling. “I’d hate for you to get kicked out, I think you are, quite... talented, you know?” Bubble bubble.

There was the sound of tearing paper, then a rapid scraping as Carl’s mug skated along the work surface to stop beside Annette’s with cowboy-like precision. Tucked into it was a scroll of paper. “Cheers darl,” Carl said, “I like you too.” The scroll showed a simple still life of Annette making coffee. “Think I could get a refill while you’re at it?” Carl’s mug bore a mildly risqué message revealing How Artists Do It. Annette’s mug was wonky and blue with a wonky orange and yellow flower on the side and a rough lip.

Annette was pouring for them both when Rodney Ashworth opened the door and peered inside. He wasn’t holding his mug. “Better get in here,” Rod said. “Apparently the boss is coming in for a chat.”
Opening "chapter" for a sf story, Button State or Button Pushers:
SinClear 6
Arthur got it first, but then he always got everything first. It looked like a big grey Lego Sixer with all the bumps different coloured. There was yellow for Caution, red for Brave, blue for Calm, green for Happy, orange for Concentrate and white for Off. When you pushed one in it popped the last one out. He used to show off with it by being Happy all the time. Willy would have had it on Calm instead and totally cooled everyone out, but then he didn’t have one. Phil would probably have hid his somewhere and only sneak it out at night when all alone, but he didn’t have one either.

It turned out Arthur only got his early because his parents had heard about it and it was supposed to be Very Good, much better than leaving it until they were twenty-one when you don’t bounce back so easily, or something. They came out about two weeks later and everyone got one because it turned out they weren’t that expensive, a few quid, so you could have one in a month if you saved. Best of all, it was something you could buy for yourself – no mums, no dads, just you and your pocket money. The guy who came up with it got made a knight.

Getting it was a bit scary. The nation’s dental hygiene level skyrocketed, six monthly checkups seeming far less daunting than they did before your wiring session. But three days off school is a bonus, if you think ahead (unlike Phil, who eventually had his wiring done on a Friday and moaned about it until the summer). Phil and Willy compared theirs on the Monday. The brick had an elastic strap for your arm. During the break you would wear it on your forearm like some guy in the movies, but in class they made you put it high up by your shoulder so the teacher could walk between the desks and Concentrate you if you left it on Happy and forgot.

About six months later they came out with an even better one that had an extra effect, purple for Spirit. Everyone got the upgrade, even Phil who held out for ages because he liked his first one. Being the only kid with an old-style SinClear 5+C in the whole school made him the top target and eventually he turned up with a second-hand SinClear 6. His family never were well off and Willy felt a bit guilty for a while.
Need to sort out some better effects for the buttons, I think. Then, of course, I have entirely unstarted notes by the bushel. Like -
The Vows Of Silence - Two youngsters, one has a stutter, the other a stammer. Neither talks. They are referred to by their teachers as the two saints: St. Ammer and St. Utter.
Iron Eye, the Rastafarian superhero (for I ‘n I)
Pure gold.
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Old 4th Jan 2009, 15:21   #3
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Default Re: Palimpian Scraps

Just came across this in a notebook:

Humour changes with time. In the Middle-ages if you walked up to someone and said "I say, I say, I say. My dog has no nose." They'd scream "Leper!" and run away.
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Old 4th Jan 2009, 22:41   #4
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Default Re: Palimpian Scraps

Quite a collection ! For me those few opening lines of Crackle came out on top, by a long way. They seem begging for a continuation .....
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