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DimWest
January 15th, 2011, 11:12 PM
A fragment of a man garbed in nothing but boxers sat frozen in the crevice between the wall and his bed. Sweat had gushed from his pores, leaving him, his meager attire, and the wall that supported him doused in salty perspiration. Bottles of various alcoholic beverages lay empty on the floor in front of him; he had sought intoxication fervently but his senses endured. The persistence of his faculties was the design of the entities that had reduced him and he knew it, therefore he no longer pursued unconsciousness. Some inner part of him surmised what gave them this ability, but, like the consciences of many people, it slumbered malnourished and mute.

When he looked at the figures that surrounded him he could determine neither their true color nor form. They can only be described as black – for lack of an appropriate color – and he could almost feel the dark that pigmented their outline. He discerned that if reached out to strike one of them in defense, his clenched hand would feel nothing upon impact and his fist would disappear into their abyss-like torsos. Their height and body form were not indelible, sometimes they were as tall as a child but more often than that they were shadows with no person, creeping about the floor and walls. When in full height they were insect like, but the size of a small child. Their appendages were never fully extended, if they had joints then they were permanently fused into a bent position. They lacked defining features such as a mouth, nose or ears, but they did, however, have two blue protuberant beads imbedded into their heads that resembled eyes.

It was not the beings themselves that disturbed him, it was their hands that probed his mind and searched his soul, whispering of the Plutonian world that awaited him when death - or his tormentors - stole the breath from his lungs. No spoken word was uttered to him concerning Heaven’s Reverse. No, words would not suffice to terrify him so, but the perverse concept of eternal damnation was now what pervaded his soul. Fear of a place he once had denied saturated him and filled every crevice of his mind. Love, hate, anger, passion, envy, jealousy, everything that previously defined him was replaced by an all-consuming fear that forced him into a pathetic submission to the whim of whomever controlled salvation from this fate, and at this moment the salvation that daylight brings was as absent as green grass and leaves in the midst of a cold winter.

He was incognizant of the amount of time that had passed since their arrival; he had unplugged his alarm clock, imbibed excessive amounts of alcohol, and downed several sleep aids in an attempt to obstruct any intrusion of theirs into his dreams. As he had learned, this attempt was futile. It seemed that whatever empowered the shadows was beyond any natural restraints.

A shadow ascended the wall to his immediate left and crossed the corner until it was poised directly above him. It solidified into a standing figure above him and peered directly into his eyes with its dark blue ones. Its gaze bore a promise of rest had an uncannily calming effect on him. Shivers withdrew from his body and he closed his eyes as it stretched its claw-like hand towards his bedraggled head.
The longest of its fingers contacted his skull.

His mind became blank in an instant, his senses altogether ceased to exist. The silence that was present before was replaced by a silence that truly was beyond silent. He could hear nothing, neither the resonant sound of his beating heart, nor the breath in his lungs. In fact, he had no idea if he was even breathing, or if his heart was indeed still sending pulses of oxygenated blood to keep his muscles and brain functioning. He literally was nothing, no one, nobody. All that remained of his existence was his very consciousness.

The first thing to enter his mind was confusion. Then it was realization. Realization of the fact that this must be the end, realization that he never really existed. He came from this place and now he was returning. He realized that his life as he knew it was over that everything he knew was an illusion. This pure, unadulterated, horridly true realization gave way to a panic that was just as pure, unadulterated, and horrid. Then fear. At last fear. He tried to move, he tried to run, he tried to scream. But. He had no arms to move. No legs to run. No mouth to scream with. He fought for any sensation in his appendages, but they simply did not exist. It registered within him that this was the afterlife that he had always denied, he knew he was now paying the price for the words he has spouted to discredit the possibility of a spiritual existence. The fear was then replaced by the comical madness of the irony of his situation. Abruptly, his mind considered the longevity of his existence here, and the appalling awareness of perpetuity pummeled his mind like a pulse. Just as quickly as the comical madness arrived it was replaced once again by horrifying dread. There was no escape from eternity. Now the fear returned and cannibalized his mind, refuting any attempt to control it, because there was no reason to control it. He lost his ability to cope.

Time elapsed.

writerchk
January 16th, 2011, 03:29 AM
Very good write. I have nothing to criticize only praise very well written and kept me reading keep up the good writing.

InsanityStrickenWriter
January 16th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Interesting, it kept me quite hooked and flowed well, and I look forward to reading more.

Minor things I noticed:


When he looked at the figures that surrounded him he could determine neither their true color nor form. They can only be described as black – for lack of an appropriate color

You say that their true colour can not be determined,but then you go on to say that they are black, and stick with that theme throughout. I think it may be an idea just to say that they're black.


sometimes they were as tall as a child but more often than that they were shadows with no person, creeping about the floor and walls. When in full height they were insect like, but the size of a small child.


You describe his height twice as being the size of a child and you also contradict yourself by saying that they're insect-like. From what I've read about them, I would think the best way to describe this part would be, 'they are shadows that stretch and bend across the walls as they creep, until they find their victim and they solidify into a thick blackness the size of a child.'


It was not the beings themselves that disturbed him, it was their hands that probed his mind and searched his soul,

I don't really think that part is needed.


Time elapsed.

Elaborate on that.

Lastly,as you write onwards, you should try and add original elements to what sets your dark shadows apart from other people's dark shadows (they've been written about quite a few times in one way or another).

DimWest
January 16th, 2011, 07:43 PM
Thank you, writerchk!

Insanity: Thanks for taking the time to point out the contradictions, I know what I meant when I wrote them but it's hard to tell if it makes sense to the reader y'know? Anyways, I'll take it all into account.

DimWest
January 17th, 2011, 06:17 PM
In the shadow of forever, time becomes irrelevant. He might have spent years here or only a few hours, but it didn’t matter. He was dead and there’s no triumph over death.

He wanted his life back with a passion stronger than any he could remember. He would do absolutely anything to go back and evade this destiny that the stars had prepared for him.

A voice spoke into his mind.

“Let us in, and we’ll let you out,” it said.

The revelation of hope and spoken words exploded inside his mind. He had no idea how to “let them in”, but more than anything, he wanted out. A strange sensation ensued and his capability to form cohesive thoughts diminished.

The familiar sight of his bedroom returned to him, and an intense joy permeated his soul. Awareness of his limbs and other senses were absent still, but the simple appreciation of the fact that he was alive was good enough for him to spend the rest of his life like this. Luckily, he didn’t have to, as a tingling impression filled his body and a dull ringing occupied his ears. Slowly the remainder of his consciousness returned to him and he sprung onto his feet and intense emotion brought tears to his eyes. He was saved.

But a horrifying question cannoned into his clouded mind, and collided with the new touch of hope and ecstasy generated by his escape, wrecking it with barbaric cruelty. Fear flooded his already clouded mind.

WHERE WERE THEY?

“Let us in,” the voice echoed in his mind.

They’re inside you. He had answered his own question.

This revelation was promptly supervened by a swift takeover of his cognitive abilities and self-possession.

What came next should have been horror, alarm, panic, or fear. One would think that the ensuing reaction to the knowledge that you are being occupied by some unknown force or entity would be trepidation of a severity and intensity previously unknown to man. But no, what came next was a different, a possibly even more horrid emotion: hopelessness.

He willed himself to fall down and weep, but his body wouldn’t comply. Instead, he unwillingly turned to face his nightstand, and began to walk.

Suddenly, he became aware of their intent.

He willed the trek from his bedside to his nightstand to go by quickly, but it
didn’t. Father Time was moving at a pace far from breakneck, and it wasn’t simply his perception. At long last he reached the nightstand. He saw his hand extend and grasp the cabinet’s handle with a cool disposition. The drawer slid open with ease on a well-oiled track. Inside it lay various items such as pens, pencils, sticky notes, and an array of other objects you would expect to find therein. His hand - left one – picked up these various things one at a time and laid them resting on the nightstand. First, the pens and then the pencils. Next was the scotch tape. He had two rolls. A pair of scissors came after that and then the sticky notes. One by one they all found their place on the stand’s surface. When the task was complete, he reached and pulled out the supporting bottom of the drawer. Darkness obscured what was hidden inside, but he didn’t need to see it to know. Cold steel met his fingers and groped for a hold on the object.

Resistance to the inevitable was futile and he saw this, so didn’t fight his arms ascension from the depths of his drawer. His Glock 19 Compact was bathed in ambient light, reintroducing him to its intricacies. He always kept it there in case of an unlikely emergency. The mag was full but no bullet was chambered. His right hand ascended also, and chambered a round. His hand rose to the height of his head. He felt his mouth widen and the cold firearm nestled uncomfortably between his tongue and the roof of his mouth. His finger found the trigger and squeezed, applying an excess of 5.5 lbs of pressure forcing the trigger a total of .5 inches towards his palm. A report sounded, and his body dropped to the floor and convulsed, and he lay there numb. He tried to breathe, but his lungs rejected all but a small amount of air. This fact gave way to the knowledge that the entities had positioned his gun in such a way that the bullet would enter his through his mouth and exit his body through his neck, missing his spine and brain, but causing enough trauma and blood loss to kill him before help arrived.

He closed his eyes and cried.

The creatures left him, but didn’t vacate his room. Their dark bodies and perturbing presence resumed their creeping.

Numbness allowed him just a few seconds to relish his tears. Then the pain came. At first, it was simply a dull throb as blood escaped from his wounds and seeped down his trachea and esophagus, causing breathing to become an arduous task. It progressed over the course of a few minutes and became horridly excruciating, to the point where began to search for his G-19.

But he thought twice about suicide. If the place where he had been taken was hell, then that was surely where he was headed. There had to be a way out, but if there was one it wasn’t perceivable.

But perhaps, there was another way. A whisper of a hope slithered its way into his mind and took habitation there, feeding and growing into a fully formed idea. This idea was absurd in nature and everything he knew screamed in protest of its irrational logic. But the pain. The pain convinced him.

He endeavored to speak, but was denied anything but agonizing spluttering and coughing. He coughed more violently and spit up as much blood and tissue as he could despite his torment. Desperately, he aspired to form cohesive words.

“God,” he rasped, “forgive me.”

A communal shudder went through the crowd of bustling demons and they began to recede.

He made a desperate effort to sit up but could only just lift his head and shoulders before his vision faded and his agony multiplied. Coughs racked his body and he fell back again. His head moved right, then left, and his peripherals caught sight of his Glock. With a heroic effort he flipped onto his stomach and groped for it with his right hand, simultaneously spraying crimson blood onto the carpet amidst coughs
.
He reached out and cold steel once again met his hand. His temple met cold steel. His finger met the trigger. The bullet met his brain. He met his maker.

fossiliferous_g
January 18th, 2011, 06:45 PM
This is a pretty dark look at a disturbed human psyche - very interesting read. I think the only thing i would comment on is the use of numbers in this last section:
...applying an excess of 5.5 lbs of pressure forcing the trigger a total of .5 inches towards his palm
I think I know what you were trying to do here but it just didn't work for me, there's got to be another way to show his finger depressing the trigger. I'll be honest when i say I don't have a good suggestion for you, but it's the only thing that stood out to me. Good story!

DimWest
January 18th, 2011, 11:38 PM
Thanks I appreciate it a bunch, seeing as it's a crucial point in the story. It's hard for me as the author to tell if my use of language creates the desired effect in the reader.

Tripp
January 23rd, 2011, 11:52 PM
From the first part:

"He literally was nothing..." It's only my take on it, but the word order doesn't seem to fit your writing style. It reads to me like something Bill & Ted would say. What about, "He was literally nothing..."?

Also, I agree with InsanityStrickenWriter. "Time elapses" needs to be elaborated on.

From the second part:

"His hand - left one – picked up..." You seem like a writer that gets straight to the point. Save this for the conversation of someone who feels the need to point out something he/she forgot. In your case, I think you'll be fine simply saying, "His left hand picked up..."

Perhaps for the 5.5 lbs and .5 inch stuff, you could use the descriptive writing you've used throughout the rest of the story. fossiliferous_g is right, calculations/math doesn't mesh well with the rest of the story, but I think you could describe in just as much detail as you've described the rest of your story.

Tripp