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View Full Version : Excerpt from a loooong story.



Firm1
June 15th, 2012, 07:05 PM
Hey guys. So, I'm writing this novel right now and the whole story is set up to explain the main character's descent into utter madness. The story begins by detailing his current life and how he's a huge drug addict and completely lost in life. Anyway, he finds a bloody gun in his hamper and wonders why its there to begin with. This is essentially, the big, over-arching question, in which the entire story is centered around.

Anyway, the following is an excerpt that describes the main character's past life when he was in high school. The story is more of a coming-of-age thing but this is a slight digression that is developed throughout the novel. However, I wrote it all on the fly just so I could get a complete understanding of what happened. Bare in mind that in the actual book, you only get little snipits of what happened in his life. I don't lay it out on the table like I did below. Let me know what you think:

P.S, since this will eventually turn into a movie, check this song out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOPe_B-ZIHE . Listen to this as you read the part about his grandfather....That is, if you want to. It's from Waltz with Bashir.
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Young Ben crept closer towards the white lifeless bed at Cedarwood Hospital, where his grandfather lied dying. He was in pure agony. But, his mind was at peace because he had always gone through life knowing that this day would come. And of course, he understood that it was virtually impossible to have that fairy-tale death we all tell ourselves every so often. You know. The one where were sitting on a nice soft white bed looking more tired than in pain, having our family around us, appearing sad but happy knowing that you were not in any fear or anguish. It was the kind of tale where it was understood that you were going off to a better place and that this was your special moment. This was not that fairy tale.

The room was cold and bland. The air gave off a hint of sickness and death and the grandfather Ben had hardly known was puttering his last and final breath. When he approached the weakened man, he began to quiver his final goodbyes. “I was…I was…in Manila…during World War II when I met a wise… Filipino by the name of Abu-Abuyen. We were deep in enemy territory, hi-hiding from the Japs in some building…We were sure we were gonna die right there that night.” There was a long pause and he began to tear up. “He saved my life…Not in fighting…but in words. If it wasn’t for him…I would have given up and perished.”

“He told me an old fil-filippino myth about a gre-great king who sent four monks in every direction around the World. He wanted them to search for the ultimate truth to life. All of them died along their journeys except for one. When he re-returned and approached the king, the man immediately asked what he had learned. The mm-mm-monk gave this short and solemn answer. ‘The only thing that remains constant is change…And this too shall pass.’ I don’t knn-knn-know what it was about that phrase but it stru-struck me and made me feel ok. I wasn’t afraid anymore. It made me feel comfortable knowing that whether I got out of that situation alive or dead it was only a moment in time that was sure to pass. And, even right now as I lay here dying I know that at some point it will pass and I will be dead. My cells will change, my body will decompose, and the pain will go away. I will merge with earth and be recycled and there is nothing that you or I can do about it….And so, I want to pass this wisdom on to you so that when you are in that dark part of your life and don’t know what to do, you will at least know that it shall pass and never be again.”

He grabbed his right torso and immediately began to scream. The cardiograph began to beep faster and faster and poor little Ben had no idea what to do. “Grandpa!” He yelled as he began to weep with his soft little voice. “Grandpa please don’t…” As the cardiograph continued to blare, he finally calmed himself just long enough to say his final words and give his final breath. “Life is…always a…fle…fleeting…mo--moment.”
“Life is always a fleeting moment. Life is always a fleeting moment. Life is always a fleeting moment.”. Ben continuously repeated this phrase in his head as he sat there on the cold bare bed of his desecrated house. He was alone. He was silent and he had a bloody gun in his closet. As much as he tried to calm his nerves, Ben couldn’t help but feel this sense of impending doom. It was as if there was a deranged man behind him, pointing a gun at his head, only Ben was not aware of this man’s presence. He merely felt and got a sense that he was about to die. “But why?” Ben thought. The gun in the closet was the obvious answer but why was it there to begin with? Where did Ben get that silver fire arm and why was there blood on the butt end of it? He remembered a convenience store and foggy images of several other people with him. “Did I rob a place? Kill a man?”, he thought to himself. Despite all the bad things he had done, Ben couldn’t imagine having robbed or killed anyone. He just didn’t think he had it in him. But, as Derek had always said, “Man has the capacity for an infinite number of possibilities. It just depends on how the pieces are placed together.”

Ben was startled from the top down when the phone rang. He looked over towards the hallway and wondered with astonishment, “Who the fuck is calling me?”. Ben had isolated himself from everyone months ago after that incident. To hear that familiar tone was almost a blessing, but to Ben it was a reminder of why he broke away from society to begin with. He just couldn’t handle the people anymore. Everyone and everything reminded him of that place they called a “business”. And, it was that place that corrupted him. It played on his emotions like an advertisement, softening him up and bringing him on board a ship with a crew that had no boundaries; knew no evil…or good.

The phone continued ringing, which prompted Ben to stumble over towards the living room. The Clonopin was beginning to kick in and he was feeling a bit lop-sided. He was nearing his favorite point of the drug. It was the climax that occurred within approximately 3 to 4 hours. It was the part that made you feel invincible. It was the part that made you feel so intelligent, so in tune with reality, you could do anything. It was the most dangerous part and one intended to be forgotten.
The ringing forcefully continued as Ben pondered over towards the stand, next to the worn out couch that used to seat people who would show up for Ben’s extravagant parties with Drew McCalister and the other nameless faces; the ones who felt superior to others but had little to show for it other than punching numbers that a mere monkey could do for thousands of dollars. He leaned against that couch as he waited for the phone to go directly to voice mail for he wanted to avoid every, and all aspects of his old life. He told himself that it was so he could focus on the “story” he was writing but in reality, it was an excuse. He was afraid to stumble back to reality because reality had a certain flow that influenced and guided him towards a self-imposed continuum. It was a sort of prison that was almost inescapable because of the allure in monetary gain and personal security. “No”, Ben was lying to himself once more. It wasn’t even about that. It was about control. The addiction to power over one’s life and another’s was something you had to get a taste of in order to understand its appeal. Most people see themselves as Humble and virtuous. Ben certainly thought so until he was given that opportunity.

Clonopin can make any man into a genius or an idiot. For Ben, it was both. He would often zone out for minutes at a time and that’s exactly what he did as that phone rang before him. But, just as soon as he began to seep deeper into his own thoughts, the familiar beep that let you know when to leave a message reverberated and his mothers voice echoed in the half emptied room. “Benjamin…” “Mom,” he whispered. “Its your mother. I was just calling because…Well, we all miss you over here. I know it’s been rough after what happened but…” there was an unusually long pause. He could hear her tearing up on the other end. “This was un-expecting”, Ben thought. “I haven’t heard from you in a while baby. I just want to know if you’re doing alright.” “Baby?”. He wondered. She paused once more, catching her breath. “Please just give me a call. Write me a letter, something! I think you should come back home for a little bit. We all think you should…just until you get things straightened out, you know? I could set you up in your old room. It would be…” the answering machine cut off before she could finish.
The phone rang once more. Ben hovered his hand on the phone, contemplating whether he should answer it this time. “Why was she acting like that,” he thought with astonishment. He hadn’t heard that voice since he was 15. Ben knew it was the recent incident that led her to forgive him but he wanted to answer the phone this time to re-affirm his speculation. He also thought of his old room. He thought of his old kitchen with the fridge full of fresh food and the luscious green back yard where the trampoline sat in the corner. He thought that if he just built the courage to answer that phone and say a few words, he could be lying soundly in his old bed by the end of the day, under those soft-feathered blankets. “Home does sound appealing right now,” Ben thought. But, he decided not to. He wasn’t ready to go back just yet. Maybe he was too afraid to forgive himself. Or, maybe he was afraid to admit defeat after getting off the beaten path and pursing his own interests. Maybe he still felt that there was some hope in hell he could finally get something down on paper that was worth reading. To be honest, he really didn’t know what he was thinking.

The phone immediately went to voice mail as his mother spoke once more. “Sorry about. I’ll be brief this time. I was just going to say that I thought it would be nice if we could bring the family back for Christmas. Your brother is out of the hospital now. Anyway, give us a call, please honey…I just want my sweetheart back.” She began to sob once more before quickly hanging up. “Sigh…” Ben slide further into the top part of the withered couch. Gerald was out of the mental hospital and his mother kept pestering him about his own problems. As if his mind wasn’t clouded enough. But, was he ready to go home? Was he ready to quit this ridiculous journey and end it with defeat? Was he ready to face his mom after what he did to her and she did to him? The bloody gun certainly made the decision easy. But, with the news of his brother, that decision quickly grew complicated. His brother was a wreak and it was partially Ben’s fault. To be there, meant facing the biggest mistake he had ever made in his and his brother’s life.

Ben loved to be an older brother first and a bad role model second, back when the days were simple and made sense. He loved his young brother more than anything in the World, which was why Ben had him around his high school social life. He introduced him to Benjamin’s vices. Although he had only smoked a little weed and drank the occasional alcohol, he inadvertently introduced young 16 year-old Gerald Fischer to others who had access to the seedier side of the drug world.
Ben saw his brother falling before his feet by the time he was ready to graduate, leaving the question of Gerald’s future open-ended. He was in a state of chaos experimenting with a cournicopia of drugs so it was sure to end in homelessness or death. And, whatever the consequences, Ben was ready to blame himself. He kept him too close and in turn, changed the course of his life. He should have been a normal brother who fought and made fun of him. He should have shunned him from his life and never introduced him to his friends who had also fallen through the black hole, surpassing the event horizon and sealing their destinies.
Back in those days, Gerald did uppers, downers, psychedelics, and opiates of all colors and variations. He did ecstasy and herioin. Cocaine was a daily thing and the usual outings with his friends always ended with some sort of massive drug combo. Sometimes it was acid. Other times it was robotousin or benzos. Whatever the drug, you could always find him at the “party” house, which was nothing more than a teenagers row home who had a father that was never around. The whole thing entrenched his family with despair and, all of this was Ben’s fault, or at least that’s how he and his family viewed it.

Benjamin was never on good terms with his parents since he smoked pot and occasionally skipped class. They saw this as a regression down the slippery slope towards harder drugs and violence and resented him for pushing Gerald down it. For Ben, though, this was not the case. Ritually, when he first started smoking and saw some of his other friends move to pills, he said to him self, “I could never be like them.” And, it seemed he stayed true to that mantra. Ben fooled around as any teenager did, but he maintained the grades and got himself into college. His brother on the other hand, indulged in the drug scene, plunging himself head first, without the slightest bit of concern for what the implications would be. Or, at least that’s what Ben surmised at the time. Perhaps, he knew what would happen but did it anyway. Maybe, he wanted to stimulate a mind that had slowly withered away from all the yelling and unfulfilled promises.
Their parents had constantly fought every night eventually ending in a bittersweet divorce for them but an utter tragedy for Ben and his brother. They verbally attacked each other like animals, which was a side both had never seen in their parents. They were used to the fun-loving and caring adults who always knew exactly what to do. But by 18, Ben and Gerald were having to cope with a new kind of people who were helplessly lost and had no idea what to do or where to go.

Ben remembered lying up at night as he heard the battles ensue. His father was the loudest, often breaking things downstairs. Ben imagined and feared that his dad would one day unlock his 30 “ought” 6 and unload on their mother, spraying her brain matter all over the living room couch, sobbing and barely able to contain himself from the mixed rush of it all. The exileration he would feel as he finally made that decision to step beyond the other side of humanity and embrace the madness; sobbing because of the feeling of regret and pure sadness for killing a woman he once loved. Making that irreversible mistake that would end his life, one way or another. To everyone’s fortune, this did not come to fruition, but as the old saying went, “For every life that’s saved, there must be death.”

Gerald continued down his dark future and ate every false stimulus he could get his hands on. The friends he hung around consumed his entire life. Gerald started dressing like them, acting shady like them, and even started smelling like them. Rotting from the overwhelming neglect of every ounce of their body, from their fungus infested feet to their black decaying teeth. They were the walking dead….That is, of course when they walked. They hardly ever dwelled outside, unless it was for food, cash, or drugs. Their primary was concern always to get back to the “party” house and decompose a little more; a self-flagellation brought on by the intoxicating feeling of being able to experience something without ever doing anything. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why Gerald did all this. He just wanted to escape and be free and excited by something. It’s what we all want, in the end.

Things took a turn for the worst after Gerald experimented too much, stretching the limits of his own cognition. After a rollercoaster of psychadelics, he came home, but he was broken. Not in some philosophical way. The boy was fried and had completely lost touch with reality. Within a day, the voices started kicking in and ataxia ensued. Gerald locked himself in his room and no longer lingered around the “party” house. He didn’t come to dinner. He didn’t go to school and he didn’t make a sound. His mother was worried that he overdosed and died. She was re-assured when she entered his room but the concern for her child still haunted Ben’s mother. The madness slowly swepted over him like a fine wine. Gerald’s mother began to force herself in his room at least once a day to see if he was at least still alive and to give him his meals. Every time she came in, he was always sitting on a chair facing the window, whispering nonsense under his breath. Ben and Gerald’s parents were ok with him not going to school for they knew something was wrong with him. They tried to speak to Gerald but he gave no response. They were about ready to call in an expert, until he finally lost all sense of logic.

Ben’s mother walked in one day, ready to give him lunch. But, he was nowhere to be found. As she stepped closer towards his desk to put the food tray down, the door slowly closed. Gerald was standing behind the door. His body was stiff, hair standing, eye’s as wide as an owl’s. The police report said his pupils were dilated, but he had no drugs in him. He was nevertheless standing there, holding a pocket knife in his right hand, ready to fight for his life. Whatever was going on inside his head that day, was sure to be something so frightening, so life-threatening, only a genocide survivor could come close to describing the unfathomable fear he must have felt. Gerald defied all sense of rationality and pounced on his mothers back like a wild beast. He savagely tilted her head back, putting the cold, sharp knife to her jugular. “Who the fuck are you!? Huh?! HUUUUH!? I Know what you want from me and I can see right through all of this.” The mother screamed and fumbled her words. “G-GG-Gerald! It’s your mother!” “YOUR NOT MY REAL FAMILY AND THIS IS NOT MY REAL HOUSE!!!! NOW TELL ME HOW YOU WERE GOING TO TAKE IT FROM ME!!!!! “Steven!!!! Help!!!” He quickly let her go and moved to the back corner of the room, now sweating in pure adrenaline. He was in shock like a mouse caught in the corner of a snake’s cage. He began to hysterically laugh. “hahaha! You can’t have it if I take it first.” He slit his left wrist followed by his right. Blood began to pour everywhere. His mother shrieked with terror. “If I can’t have my own soul, then nobody can…”. Feeling faint from the enormous loss of blood, he fell, face first, drowning in his own blood, filling his mouth and lungs with the last remaining particles of all the bad decisions that sealed his fate to a life not even worthy of the title. They managed to save his life, but they could never bring him back to normalcy again. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and admitted to an institution.

Benjamin stood there next to the flimsy couch, still hovering over the telephone. A tear swelled up in his eye as he recollected the first time he ever smoked weed with his brother. “No, dude. You gotta keep it in longer. Otherwise it’s not going to take affect.” “The smoke is too harsh.”, Gerald said. “I know, but once you get the hang of it, the smoke won’t bother you as much. Then, you’ll be having a baller time.” “Awesome, man.” Ben also recollected the last time he saw him before he was sent away. They all drove together as a family. It was one of the last times they were a real family. It took 30 minutes, but eventually they reached that hospital. It was out in the middle of no where. It was a place where you could get your thoughts together. It was a place to come when you needed to get away from life and reflect on what it all meant for you. As Gerald was escorted by two big men in white suits, his mother turned to him. “This is all your fault.” She walked off, bringing with her the last remaining threads of love she had for him. As far as she was concerned, he destroyed the family. Ben remembered looking up at his father for some sort of comforting expression but there was no pity to be found. He gave a morbid look of disapproval, shaking his head toward the ground as he walked back to the car. The 30-minute drive back was the most uncomfortable ride of his life. The air was so full of ice, it could shatter from a mere expression. Ben was done and ready to jump ship. Not much sooner, he left his family for college, which for him was a place of solace, especially since it was 200 miles away from the fallout of a desecrated family. He was happy with the decision, but was he ready to go back after all these years? After all he had been through?