Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flash Fic May

So...I forgot to post this. Oops. 60 hours to write a 2k word story using the words "Anonymity, Drift, and Radar, and of course the photo on the right of this text.

Last Night

December 21st, 2012
11:47 p.m.

When the wind howled outside, drowning out the Christmas music coming out of his hand-crank emergency radio, Elliot wrapped his dirty blanket more tightly around himself and stared out the window. Even by the light of his sputtering candles he could see that the snow that had been steadily falling all night had begun to creep up to the midpoint of his windows. If the windows he was looking out of hadn't belonged to the house's second story, this might not have seen so strange.

Elliot had been forced to abandon the ground floor months earlier, around the time when his house's southward drift had caught the public eye and a popular photo of his abode made the rounds on Facebook and Twitter, dispelling the soothing fog of anonymity that generally surrounded someone as mousey and boring as Elliot was. Now people passing by stared in, not only because a house slowly sinking into the earth was such an unusual sight, but because they were eager to see the man who stubbornly refused to abandon the property.

One blog he'd read, before the power and gas companies both dropped him as a customer on the grounds that leaving the power or gas on would be inviting fire, compared him to the Titanic's captain, a man who had gone down with his ship a full century earlier. Other people were not shy about speculating what reason Elliot might have to stay in his obviously doomed house, and those who did not suspect an undiagnosed mental illness tended towards pity: They thought of him as a victim of circumstance, as a man who literally had nowhere else to go.

Although Elliot preferred the pity to reticule, the way one might prefer moldy bread to moldy meat, he also felt an overwhelming reciprocal pity for both those who in their way supported him and his detractors too. None of them had any sense of the true reason he refused to leave his house no matter how low it sank into the ground, and tomorrow morning would find them all in a world of hurt and pain if indeed it found any of them at all.

Back before his life had begun to mostly consist of reading and trying to find new ways of jazzing up foods that came out of boxes cold, Elliot had been a scholar. No one peering in the windows and catching sight of a pale stubbled face or shoulders wrapped in a plaid blanket would believe that the body parts they could barely make out in the house's scant light belonged to a man who held a PhD In world history.

He had never been the life of a party, not even amongst his equally bookish peers, but Elliot had been respectable once, if not well-liked. His colleagues occasionally came to him with questions, and his students always gave end of the semester reviews that indicated that he was an apt if not exciting educator. His life had been normal if a little predictable and more than a little lonely.

All that had changed the December before when a website that tried to pass itself off as a news source rather than the entertainment gig it was ran an article about the end of the Mayan calendar. Reading it, Elliot had first laughingly dismissed it, but it got under his skin. Late that same night he'd found himself getting out of bed and pawing through his books, looking for references to the ancient civilization that had been wiped out of existence long before their calendar predicted they'd meet their end.

He'd stayed up all night, then, and at six had been so red-eyed that he'd barely been able to make out the numbers on his phone when he dialed to call in for what was at that moment an almost unheard of sick day. But other days soon followed as he became obsessed with studying the Mayans and became more convinced that the popular conceit that another calendar would have followed had they not been the victims of genocide was a candy coating dipped onto the truth by academics too scared to admit that a population of people they considered charmingly primitive had had the right idea.

Eventually Elliot's obsession had predictable results, and the university included his position amongst those that they axed in the name of cost saving methods. If he'd secured tenure they wouldn't have been able to be so easily rid of him, but he'd only been teaching for a handful of years, so the union claimed that their hands were tied. Not that he'd demanded an explanation or assistance: Elliot hadn't been bothered by his dismissal because he wanted the extra time to study, anyway.

As soon as he'd been released from his duties at the end of the spring semester, Elliot began to devote most of his waking hours to trying to figure out how the Mayans had made their prediction so many centuries earlier. By then he was no longer remotely skeptical about the veracity of their prediction. Instead he just wanted to know how they had figured out that the world was coming to an end in 2012.

Because the end of everything was a forgone conclusion as far as he was concerned, Elliot was not dismayed in late May when a mailman dropping of a new book he'd ordered pointed out that the house seemed to have shifted. He'd merely agreed with the man that it did seem to be a few inches shorter than it ought to be, and had taken his new book inside to peruse.

As the months passed, two things happened: Elliot found himself increasingly obsessive about what he considered his "work" and the house continued its downward drift, much like a quicksand victim panicking in the old black and white adventure films Elliot's father had been obsessed with before lung cancer carried him, and Elliot's mother too, away.

Elliot had always been rather shy, so he had faced a moral quandary when it had become clear to him that the world was coming to an end: was it his moral duty to inform others that some event (even in December he was still undecided as to what he thought it would be) would destroy the world? Being a harbinger of doom and dismay was hardly the sort of thing a man like him took on willingly, after all. A nagging sense of duty propelled him to at least try, so whenever some concerned soul came to talk to him about the sad state of his ever-sinking house, he earnestly explained that a house slowly being swallowed by the Earth's gapping maw was the least of his problems, and theirs too.

To say that people were not receptive of his warning would be a gigantic understatement and after a couple of worried people tried to suggest he get therapy, he decided that he better try to avoid being on the radar of the mental health network and keep the knowledge to himself. In the end warning people didn't seem to serve much of a purpose anyway. What could people do with the information? It wasn't as though we'd gotten around to colonizing mars, so there was no option but to stay and die.

In what felt like a tacit agreement, people decided they were quit of him too when he gave up on them. If he'd been more of a social being the cutting of all ties would have hurt more, but as it was it remained a manageable if dull and nagging ache. There was really nothing left for him to offer people, so he allowed them their illusions, let them plan for Christmas, for New Years, for next summer with just a sad knowing smile. It might have been a comfort to reach out to someone, but he couldn't. Not any more. Not knowing what he did.

Despite his acceptance of this self-imposed isolation, realizing that telling people about the coming danger would change nothing left Elliot in a permanent state of despair. Despite using a considerable amount of his savings, none of the books he devoured had a solid idea of what would end it all, so it wasn't like he could warn the government and encourage someone, anyone, to take action against whatever was going to kill them all. By Halloween he was swathed in a sense of nihilism that was so thorough Nietzsche would have been envious. The people who pitied him didn't realize that he could have left at any time but simply failed to see what the point of leaving would have been. He might have been more comfortable elsewhere, but no safer.

Truly, the only thing that kept him from climbing through a window and heading to a gun store was the perverse need to see it through to the end. He wanted to see that he was right. It was wrong and terrible to feel that way, but he couldn't help it any more than a James Bond villain could help being evil.

As the days slide towards the inevitable, Elliot found himself increasingly inert. He endured the lights going out, the water stopping when the house's movement ruptured and severed its connection to the well in the backyard. His brain learned to become indifferent to his belly's insistent cries and he lost fifty pounds that hadn't been extra weight on his fame. Nothing really mattered except bearing witness to the inevitable because he'd come to realize that that was his role. Maybe he ought to have taken fiddle lessons back when he still bothered interacting with others.

Hours wore on during the night of December 21st and Elliot found himself becoming annoyed about the snow. It reduced visibility and was piling too high in the windows to let him continue his vigil with a clear line of sight. Eventually he decided that he would need to go down to the basement and find a snow shovel even if the thought of going so far underground made him break out into a cold sweat.

The trek to the basement had been scary and difficult with a feeling of suffocation as he went down into the parts of the house already entombed, and he'd been overwhelmed with relief when held returned to what was still higher ground. His next move was to pull on a coat that seldom left his sight lately before opening a window and squirming through it.

Despite the coat cold gnawed as his bones and he found himself repeating a bit of doggerel about the world ending in ice or fire as he worked to clear the snow from in front of the windows. It took a long time before he was satisfied and pushed his aching body back through the window, dragging snow in with him. At least he wouldn't have to worry about a mess he thought, because the end would be coming any time now.

Out of habit his eyes sought out his clock. The face read 12:43 a.m. in its bright red font. His watch agreed that the battery-operated clock told the truth.

Elliot looked around his floundering house and began to sob in utter despair.

"How could you  know what I need when I'm the last thing on your mind?" - Trapt, Disconnected

Monday, August 6, 2012

July Music

Ace Reporter - Frankfurt
Ace Reporter - Twenty-Nine

Alberta Cross - Lay Down
Ashes Divide - Forever Can Be
Beth Orton - When You Wake
Bibio - Take Off Your Shirt
Black Box Recorder - These Are The Things
Blue Stahli - Look Around The Corner

Brenda Xu  - Losing the Moment
Charlotte Martin - Apology
Chevelle - Vitamin R
Fireflight - Core Of My Addiction
Folk Implosion - Burning Paper
Folk Implosion & Lou Barlow - Refused

Guards Of Metropolis - Fadeaway
Kelli Ali - Voyeur
Kerli - Walking on Air
Low vs. diamond - Killer B
Low vs. Diamond - Wasted

Lydia - December
Marmaduke Duke - Kid Gloves
Michael Mind Project Feat. Mandy Ventrice & Carlprit - Hook Her Up (Club Mix)
Music For Animals - Red Cells
Nickodemu - Vino People
Pontiak - Lions of Least
Skillet - Whispers In The Dark
Spoon - All The Pretty Girls Go To The City

Strip Mall Architecture - Daylight Machine
The Downtown Fiction - I Just Wanna Run
This Providence - Losing Control
Three Days Grace - Gone Forever
Trapt - Contagious
Trapt - Disconnected (Out Of Touch)
Zebrahead - Falling apart

As Usual:
Bold: I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic: I was previously familiar with some of their songs but didn't like them
Neither: I've never heard this band before

"What I wouldn't do to come over and be with you. What I wouldn't do to be with you" - She Swings, She Sways - What I Wouldn't Do

Sunday, July 8, 2012

June Music

The All-American Rejects  ft. The Pierces- Another Heart Calls
The Beautiful View - The Horseman
The Big Pink - Give It Up
The Big Sleep - Ace
The Pretty Reckless - He Loves You
Turnbull A.Cs - We can drink without having
Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - Anti-Venom
Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole

WhoMadeWho - Below the Cherry Moon
Dar Williams - I Am The One Who Will Remember Everything
Doves - Far From Grace
Doves - There Goes the Fear

Human Don't Be Angry - HDBA Theme
Kid Dakota - Ten Thousand Lakes
The Academy Is... - LAX To O'Hare

As Usual:
Bold: I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic: I was previously familiar with some of their songs but didn't like them
Neither: I've never heard this band before

"I wrote you a letter, but I threw it away, I knew I would, I would if I waited a day" - Folk Implosion, Burning Paper

Sunday, June 10, 2012

May Music

Alphastates - Kiss Me
Big John Bates - Rattle On
Billy Talent - Covered in cowardice
Blue Stahli - Accelerant
Boy & Bear -Feeding Line
Damone - Just What I Needed (The Cars cover)
Damone - What We Came Here For
Diplo - Must Be a Devil
Disappears - Replicate
Gotye - Thanks For Your Time
Grafton Primary - All Stars (Calling In Sick Remix)
Grafton Primary - Left Of Nowhere
Griffin House - Better Than Love
Hadwynn - Things I Already Know
In Memory -Girls & Boys
Kid Sister ft. Riff Raff - Hide & Seek (Styles Complete Remix)
Minus the Bear - Animal Backwards
Olivia Somerlyn - Not Your Girl (Acoustic Version)
Peggy Sue - Cut My Teeth
People In Planes - Beyond The Horizon
People in Planes - Instantly Gratified
Pretty Girls Make Graves - Blue Lights
Pretty Girls Make Graves - The Get A Way
Rachael Sage - Souvenir
Ramona Falls - Sqworm
Razorlight - In the Morning
Santigold & Spank Rock  - Car Song
Sea Wolf - White Water, White Bloom
Seabird - Stronger
Silver Swans - Secrets
Skillet -Monster
Smoke or Fire - Monsters Among Us
Sons and daughters - Split lips
Stella Katsoudas of Sister Soleil feat. Geno Lenardo - Killer & a Queen
Stereo Crowd - I Got It (feat. Ava, Patty Cakes, Sciryl)
Sugarcult - Dead Living
The Charlatans - A Day For Letting Go
The Mahones - Shake Hands With The Devil
The Naked Hearts - Call Me
The Naked Hearts - Like I Do
The Pack A.D. - Making Gestures
The Pierces - Lies
The Presets - This Boy's In Love
The Pretty Reckless - Fuck Yeah
Thirteen Senses - Do No Wrong
This Providence - That Girl's A Trick
Thursday - Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart
Turin Brakes  -  Last Chance
Twintapes - Nothing Else (feat. ortoPilot)
YACHT - Dystopia
You Me At Six - The Consequence

As Usual:
Bold: I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic: I was previously familiar with some of their songs but didn't like them
Neither: I've never heard this band before

"We did bad things when we were young. You'd smile and torture me just for fun" - The Big Pink, Give It Up

Sunday, May 13, 2012

April Music

Adler - The One That You Hated
Air - Napalm Love
Alphastates - Addicted
Beck - Walls
Beck - Walls (Live)
Cities - Capitol
Civil Twlight - Fire Escape
Eve 6 - Victoria
Friska Viljor - Did You Really Think You Could Change
Fushia - Brunswick St
Kasabian - Re-Wired
Lettercamp - The Denial Twist
Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos - Shannon
Skillet - Monster
The Veronicas - Popular
There For Tomorrow - The Verge

As Usual:
Bold: I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic: I was previously familiar with some of their songs but didn't like them
Neither: I've never heard this band before

"But I'll be there to take care of you if ever you should decide you don't want to waste your life
In the middle of a lovesick lullaby."
- TV on Radio, Will Do

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

March Music

A Place To Bury Strangers - So Far Away
Anna Nalick - Bleed
Band Of Skulls - Sweet Sour

Big Black Delta - Capsize
Computer vs Banjo - Give up on Ghosts
GodLikeMouse - My Body
Hollywood Undead - Knife Called Lust
John Frusciante - Murderers
Longwave - Satellites
Massive Attack - Angel
Mommy and Daddy - Confection
People In Planes - Light For The Deadvine

Redlight - Get Out My Head
Shearwater - Breaking the Yearlings
The Cinematics - Nausea

The Dollyrots - Hysteria
The Presets - Are You the One [Van She Remix]
The Ropes - I Don't Like to Get Dirty
Toh Kay - We Will Fall Together
Wolf Parade - What Did My Lover Say

As Usual:
Bold: I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic: I was previously familiar with some of their songs but didn't like them
Neither: I've never heard this band before

"What are you gonna do when those walls are falling down, falling down on you?" - Beck, Walls

Thursday, March 22, 2012

February Music

A Kiss Could Be Deadly - Midnight Romance
AWOLNATION - Not Your Fault
Brontide - Matador
Damion Soumi - Ghost
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Two Against One
Danny Barnes - Safe With Me
Elizabeth & The Catapult - Hit the Wall
Ellie Lawson - Hour Of Need
FM - Ecstatic Dancer
Fujiya & Miyagi - Sixteen Shades of Black & Blue
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit - Everywhere With Helicopter
Kevin Hearn - Tell Me Tell Me
Lauderdale - Stars Fell
Low Duo - No Happier
mr. Gnome - Cleveland Polka
Naked Hearts - Pillow Song
Razorlight - Wire To Wire
Renee Cologne - Know I Said
Slam - Lifetimes
The Big Pink - Future This
The Mast - Wild Poppies
The Oohlas - Cahuenga Shuffle
The Warped 45s - Grampa Carl
Thurston Moore - Circulation
Trombone Shorty - Hurricane Season
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile - Quarter Chicken Dark

As Usual:
Bold: I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic: I was previously familiar with some of their songs but didn't like them
Neither: I've never heard this band before

"I'm here to decorate your fear for a while." - Failure, Pitiful

Sunday, February 12, 2012

January Music

Some of these songs are among the few suggestions Pandora made to me that I liked. How come their targetted ads for meeting local singles can nail my age/eye color/hair color preferences for guys (30-39, brown, black) but their system that's supposed to be learning from your likes and dislikes only produces songs I'd like to hear 1/3rd of the time?

Anyway, this month's song recs:

A Day To Remember - All I Want
A Day to Remember - All Signs Point to Lauderdale
A Kiss Could Be Deadly - I Wrote You A Love Song
Abandoned Pools - Blood
Adema - Better Living Through Chemistry
Adema - Close Friends
Anya Marina - All The Same To Me
Bear Lake - You're Only Waiting
Brand New - Jesus
Breaking Benjamin - Crawl
Chevelle - I Get It
Colin Newman - Better Later Than Never
Enon - Ashish
Enon - Believo!
Gob - I've Been Up These Steps
Gotye - Heart's a Mess (Supermayer Remix)
Gyroscope - Some Of The Places I Know
Hot As Sun - Come Come
Hurt - Unkind
Hypnolove feat. Feist - Get to Know the Girl
Johnossi - Party With My Pain
Johnossi - Press Hold
Kate Nash - Nicest Thing
Laura Marling - Devil's Spoke
Mindless Self Indulgence - Straight To Video (n0nplus Mix) sorry, I can't find the nonplus mix :(
Molly's Yes - Promises
Motorcycle - As The Rush Comes (Gabriel & Dresden Remix)
MuteMath - Spotlight
People In Planes - Falling By The Wayside
Powderfinger - Waiting For The Sun
Ramona Falls – Going Once, Going Twice
Royal Bliss - Save Me
Scanners - A Girl Like You
Scanners - Sick Love
Shy Child - Noise Won't Stop
Silversun Pickups - Draining
Sixx-A.M - This Is Gonna Hurt
Social Code - Satisfied
Stereoside - So Long
The Action Design - Landmines
The Bravery - The Ocean
The Bravery - Tragedy Bound
The Killers - Move Away
Thirteen Senses - Into The Fire this song was used in 2 different shows so far this month...
Tim Nelson - Xylem
Trips And Falls - This Is All Going To End Badly
What Laura Says - Girl Not Gonna Leave

As Usual:
Bold: I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic: I was previously familiar with some of their songs but didn't like them
Neither: I've never heard this band before

Next month, how about YoYo Ma? Really!

"I'm not enough for me now" - Charlotte Sometimes, Headache

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Flash Fic January

First flash fic contest of 2012!

60 hours to write a story of no more than 2000 words using the photo to the left and the words "Drag," "Corporate" and "Invert."

I looked at this beautiful photo and immediately, after deciding that Harry Potter fanfic was unlikely with this group, thought that there would definitely be time travel stories, and maybe some steampunk. Well, no steampunk so far, and there are fewer stories involving time travel than I'd guessed, but someone did make a Harry Potter reference :)

I'll let you decide the genre of my story. I think it's a hybrid of two, personally.

 House of Regret

It looks like a temporary mausoleum, I thought as I reached out to touch the dark weathered stones that were not interrupted by even a single window. I'd never been there before, but I knew it wasn't a temporary anything: this building had stood on the outskirts of our village for hundreds of years. No one remembered who had built it, but we all knew why.

Glancing back over my shoulder, I could just barely see the coffin I'd begged be dragged up here. It couldn't, wouldn't, work if the dead wasn't near. The dead. My brain tried to skitter away from the thought of Jesse being dead, but I knew he was there in that box, waiting for me to rescue him.
No one could understand why I was willing to enter the House of Regret... they didn't know my crushing guilt. If he hadn't snuck out after dark to see me, he wouldn't be dead.

There hadn't been a clear cause of death. Instead his body had been found inverted in the crotch of a tree, alabaster pale, and limp like the discarded dolls still littering the back of my closet. Of course, there were suspicions about what had killed him, and that's why I was standing in front of an iron ring, trying to will my fingers to grasp it and open the door.

The villagers wanted to burn his body as a precaution against the evils their overheated minds conjured up, but he'd told me twice over the past few years that he would rather be wormfood than given a cradle of ash. I couldn't let that happen, so I told people I'd come here and bring him back. Everyone said "Elizabeth don't" but how could I listen to them when Jesse had been so fearful of flames?

People visited the House of Regret only once or twice a generation, and my mother swore that no one had since her grandparents were children. This was meant to be a seed of doubt, a worry that the magic wouldn't work any more, but I owed him. She couldn't understand that, none of them could, but I owed him.

Enough delay. I pulled the door open and it moved with a hideous groan. There were no lights of course. Never had been. None were needed. Once I stepped over the threshold, I pulled the door closed behind me and mourned the passing of daylight as it shrank down to a thin line, then disappeared.

I stood there waiting, shivering in the damp. It would have been pointless to worry about what sort of things might have been in there with me, those that skittered or crawled, because what I'd see when I could see again would be far far worse. Be brave, I counseled myself. Once I get through and reach the clock, I can turn it all back.

That was the point: face your fear and you gain the power to turn back time; not all the way, just a little, just enough. Or so the theory went. Everyone claimed to know someone who had tried it, and more someones who had failed. But they could never back their claims and give them a face, an actual body to ask questions of. It hardly seemed possible given that so many people knew I'd come here, but maybe Mom's insistence was true and no one had been there for ages.

"What do you regret the most?"

I whipped my head around, looking for the source, but that was ridiculous. There was nothing to see. And I knew, knew, that the voice hadn't come out of a throat.

Did I say it aloud, or did I just think it? I wondered, wishing that I'd asked someone that before walking up here. Maybe I didn't even have to think about it I decided as the room began to lose some of its dampness.

Several yards away a pinprick of light began to grow, and I wrapped my arms around myself. When the confusion of lights and images before me began to corporate into a familiar scene, I had to fight a keening that desperately wanted to be voiced. Somehow, when I thought about regrets in the days since Jesse had been found, this wasn't what had come to mind. But it should have.

Our schoolyard. The school had held only the fifteen of us because the hard years during our earliest childhoods had stolen many of our siblings from their cribs, if families had dared to have babies at all. Once there had been two teachers, teaching in separate classrooms, but now there was one and the other room was boarded to reduce heating costs.

While I watched, little Betsy came into view, trailing Jesse and Aaron. I'd been eight, Jesse ten, and Aaron was a great big boy of fifteen. Aaron had once been the oldest of four but was now an only child, which is why he tolerated the little kids' hero-worship. Older than him now, I realized that he missed his siblings, but hadn't then. Not that awful then.

We'd had pails in our hands, and had been charged with picking berries for snack time. The teacher trusted Aaron to keep an eye on us, and he took this duty fairly seriously. But then he had to pee.

"I've uh, gotta go," he'd told us, cheeks warm. "Stay here, okay? I'll be right back."


For a moment we'd watched in interest as he searched for a tree to duck behind, but we soon lost interest. Instead Jesse pointed at a tree. "Look at that."

"What about it?"  I'd asked, distracted by the thought that life would be easier if I could pee outside too.

"We should climb it."

"Aaron said to stay here," I reminded Jesse.

"And we wouldn't be going anywhere," he insisted. "The tree is right here."

This seemed logical enough, so I began to follow him as he climbed the low branches. "Not so fast," I complained, my dress slowing me down. Life would also be easier in trousers, I decided fiercely. Boys had all the luck.

Jesse ignored me, and I struggled to keep up. I was so focused on not being left behind that I was hardly aware that we'd climbed so high. But when a branch snagged my dress and unbalanced me, I was made aware of it.

The ground met me with a rattling thump and I screamed. Jesse was so startled that he almost fell out right after me, but managed not to somehow.

Aaron must have heard my yell because he came running, his trousers still halfway unbuttoned. He blamed Jesse, not me, but I protested saying that he hadn't forced me to climb the tree.

When they tried to get me to stand, I couldn't. So Aaron picked me up and carried me back, yelling at Jesse the whole way.

I expected there to be trouble when we reached the schoolyard, but not the way it happened. Our teacher looked at Aaron carrying me, and at his flapping trousers, and whispered to one of the big girls who took of running. I didn't know then, but she'd sent the girl for the sheriff.

When the sheriff came, he took Aaron aside and spoke sharply to him. From where I'd been set to wait for the doctor, all I could see was the sheriff's angry face, and Aaron shaking his head. Jesse had gotten close enough to hear and I grabbed his hand when he walked by me. "What's going on?"

Jesse's face turned red. Whispering, he said, "Teacher and him think that Aaron did... something... to you."

"Did something?" I repeated, uncertain.

"You know," Jesse mumbled.

I didn't, so I shrugged. "Tell him Aaron didn't."



"Aaron's in trouble, not us. We tell the sheriff what happened, we'll get into trouble too. This is better."

"No it's not," I insisted.

Jesse pinched me. "Yes, it is."

As much as I liked Aaron, I liked Jesse more, so I held my tongue and that might be why we'd grown up as thick as thieves and had become more once we were grown. Neither of us said anything. Even when the sheriff led Aaron away just after Doc Addams arrived to set my broken leg. Even when Aaron and his parents were driven from the village. Even when villagers set their empty house to fire so they daren't move back.

The last image before me was one of people bathed in firelight, shouting as they threw burning brands through that house's windows.

I moaned as the scene faded into nothing, leaving me in the chilled damp again. "Now what?" I asked the dark.


Amends? I didn't even know where to start. It had been nearly a decade since I'd last seen any member of Aaron's family. "I will," I promised aloud, though inside I doubted I would succeed. How could I?

My promise must have been sincere enough because once again the darkness was incomplete. Bracing myself, I looked, worried to see another memory given form, but that's not what I saw at all.

The new light was a cool green in an improbable clearing, and there was a single sapling planted there. From one of its spindly branches hung the prize: a small clock suspended from a chain. While beautiful in its own way, it hardly seemed any more special than any of the clocks bartered in neighboring villages.

I ran towards it, scared that the light would fade before I reached it, but it didn't. My fingers trembled as I reached for the clock, and I half expected for my hand to close upon nothing, but it was a chilly solid weight in my palm.

"Ring the bell once for each day," I whispered to myself, studying the small bell attached to it.

Four thin peals later, I let the clock go, watching it swing for a moment.

And then I felt a force at my back, pushing me out. I tried to dig in my heels, hoping I'd see a sign that it had worked before I was expelled, but resistance was futile. I was nearly flung out of the building, and found myself stumbling outside, trying hard not to fall.

To my amazement, it was night. Inside I'd lost all sense of time. Hours must have passed.

When I heard branches snap, I froze. The logical conclusion was that it was someone from the village had come to see what had become of me, but that didn't necessarily mean I'd see a friendly face. Over the years many people have muttered about how we should tear this place down because it was unnatural, and somehow I was sure that they visited it more often than people who held it in reverence.

Moonlight filtered out most colors, but the person I saw was familiar enough. The night bleached him pale, but his dark curls and dancing eyes were the same.

"Jesse?" I squeaked.

"Have you seen Aaron?" he asked.

"Aaron?" Maybe this place had brought Aaron so I could apologize. We both could, now.

"He came to see me a few days ago," Jesse continued. "We talked about the past. He wants to see you too."

"Oh. I need to speak to him, and I will," I promised. "Jesse, I thought you were dead!" Such a stupid comment. It had worked. I'd brought him back.

"Oh, Elizabeth," he murmured, gathering me in his cool arms just before twin dots of fire burned my neck. "I am."
 The End

"You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness, like resignation to the end, always the end" - Gotye, Someone That I Used to Know

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December Music

Happy New Years! More mainstream stuff than usual this month, but I wanted to check out some alternative stations before the end of the year too and found new stuff by old favorites...

3 Doors Down - Be Somebody
8 KOunt - The Very Thing
30 Seconds To Mars - Night Of The Hunter
A Little Nothing - The Start
Absofacto - Feathers (Don't Change on Me)
Aitan - Nothing Without You
Alkaline Trio - We Can Never Break Up
aNi T - Fly With You
ANR - Big Problem
Arctic Monkeys - Evil Twin
Ariana Sloan - No Apologies
Austra - Shoot The Water
Awolnation - Sail
Bastille - Flaws
Blue Stahli - ULTRAnumb
Bodies of Water - Like A Stranger
Brady - Brady-Breakin
Charlotte Sometimes - Headache
Chop Suzy - Waiting to Inhale
Cultfever - Knewyouwell
Death Cab For Cutie - Underneath The Sycamore
Echovalve - Dirty Little Secret
Editors - Blood
El Ten Eleven - My Only Swerving
Elbow - Neat Little Rows
Foo Fighters - Rope
Good with Grenades - Bruises and Bitemarks
Gotye - Easy Way Out
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
Great Northern - Summertime
Gross Magic - Sweetest Touch
Grouplove - Itchin' On A Photograph
Hard-Fi - Fire In The House
Hard-Fi - Stop
Hockey - Too Fake
Jane's Addiction - Irrestible Force only took 12 years for me to find a 2nd song I like by them...
Jimmy Eat World - My Best Theory
Jon Fratelli - Don't Make Me Close My Eyes
Kelsey and the Chaos - Wrapped Around Your Finger
La Catrin - Reverse Citizens
Ladyhawk - I Don't Always Know What You're Saying
Lesley Roy - I'm Gone, I'm Going
Lisa Hannigan - Sea Song
Little Dragon - Ritual Union (Maya Jane Coles Remix)
Little Hurricane - Give Em Hell
Living Daylytes - Launch
L'Spaerow - Front Step City
Madam Adam - Sex Ain't Love
Man The Mighty - Over You
Mesh - Razorwire (Modified Mix)
Minus the Bear - Secret Country
Mogwai - Waltz for Aidan
My Darkest Days - Every Lie
Nerves Junior - As Bright As Your Night Light
Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks
Poor Spirits - Too Easy
Pop Evil - Hero
Q and Not U - Passwords
Queens of the Stone Age - How to Handle a Rope (A Lesson in the Lariat)
Rachael Yamagata - Starlight
Red Ink - What My Friends Say
Rocket Empire - Cruising The Galaxy
Salim Nourallah - Don't Mind Me
Sara Noxx feat 18 Summers - Superior Love (Dark Territory Remix)
Screaming Bikini - Dancing Alone
Shona Foster - Love And War
Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires
Songs Ohia - 45 Degrees (Easts Heart Divided)
Switchfoot - Dark Horses
The Boxer Rebellion - The Runner
The Duke Spirit - Don't Wait
The Duke Spirit - Surrender
The Joy Formidable - Whirring
The Silent Game - Halfway
The Swallows - Darkly Bright
The Wooden Birds - Believe In Love
Utham - So Mote It Be
Will And The People - Salamander

As Usual:
Bold = I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic = I've heard other of their songs but didn't like them
Neither = I've never heard this band before

"But I'll be there to take care of you if ever you should decide you don't want to waste your life in the middle of a lovesick lullaby" - TV on Radio, Will Do