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View Full Version : **Tralfador's Gift** [Gross, Language, Steer Clear]



Pluralized
July 26th, 2015, 05:55 PM
Cam’s hand had turned black. The other one, still purple and filled with blood, throbbed and ached as his heartbeat ceased. His ankles screamed. Even the slightest movement aggravated the flesh in excruciating nerve-fire. He noticed he wasn’t breathing, and wondered dully when he’d taken his last. Hanging there like a pińata—one that the guards could fuck—death didn’t sound so bad. But he was still there!

A yellow half-circle migrated along the stone wall as the sun’s small contribution to the dark chamber made for cover. Cam’s blood and piss mixed in a puddle beneath him. The last time a guard had come by, he’d played dead and avoided the painful sex that the guards had demanded each day. As the life went out of him, his flesh slowly turned black. So this was death, this was the end. But also the beginning.

Both hands were now black, and he slumped into a limp pile when they finally unchained him. A strong guard dragged him out of the cell and flopped his body onto a gurney, then took him to the tissue storage area. The digester hummed along in the next room, its powerful gears grinding up the remains of the other prisoners, ones who hadn’t experienced the benefit of Tralfador’s Gift. Cam tried to remain perfectly still, felt a strange sensation creeping up his legs. There was no blood left in his body, no heartbeat to push it along. No breathing. They left him on the gurney for hours, where he could hear the muffled agony of distant prisoners and the rhythmic pulsing of the digester.

A strange sensation danced down Cam’s body like a delicate tapestry being dragged across his flesh. After it passed, his eyes opened and the room came into focus. Above him the gray, damp ceiling sagged and cracked.

He moved both hands, but couldn’t lift one of his feet more than a tiny bit. A pain shot through him like his soul had been ripped out through the crown of his scalp. Tremors lit the tips of his toes and fingers. The music of Tralfador hummed softly within his wrists and ankles. Wrinkles of stank air wafted through, then a stench so pungent and wretched, he would’ve gagged and vomited if he’d been alive. Being dead, he simply stopped smelling it and tried to relax. The swollen skin of his ankles crackled and stretched as the tissues inside him putrefied. Peace, then panic, then indifference danced across the curtains of his mind, overpowered by a sense of befuddlement at the very existence of awareness. This was Tralfador's Gift.

A man leaned over him, clucking like a hen in some foreign tongue. Another, smaller man, stood next to the gurney and filled out paperwork, until something clanged from the next room and drew both attendants away. Cam exhaled, but only existentially, as his corporeal pile lay decomposing. How to detach himself from the mess without experiencing the digester! Attempts at flying out of the body were unsuccessful. Great surges of fear came and went as he listened to the voices approaching. As they gripped his swollen body and prepared him for the pit, he heard the voice of Tralfador whispering in his ear. "Your worth shall be proven hereupon, young soul. The Gift knows your value. Your pit awaits."

As they tossed him into the slurping, sloshing bath of acid, his body scattered into floating parts and his awareness flickered and went to black. The sense that he was headed for the void took hold. Just as the voices boomed in once again, someone stirred the pit with a long metal staff and his soul exploded up into the sky. "Go," said Tralfador, "and find yourself a place to be reborn."

TKent
July 26th, 2015, 06:31 PM
You know that when you put *gross, language, steer clear* you are always going to get my attention which says a lot about where my mind is 99% of the time! Busy now but look forward to coming back to this one.

-xXx-
July 28th, 2015, 11:53 PM
*waits*
*pa-tient-ly*
:)

TKent
July 29th, 2015, 12:31 AM
Hey Plur,

I loved the writing, and as always your descriptive skills are outrageous. I could visualize it, smell it, feel it. Gross! (which means great job in this case)

My main comment is that I wanted to know more about Tralfador and why he chose to give this prisoner his gift. As it stands, if this is the entirety of the story, it just wasn't enough in that area. And I'm not saying to dump a whole backstory or anything but something more than what you have.

I thought the ending was brilliant.

I wish I could write sentences like this. When I try anything more complex than basic stuff, it comes out contrived. I envy your skills :)


Peace, then panic, then indifference danced across the curtains of his mind, overpowered by a sense of befuddlement at the very existence of awareness. This was Tralfador's Gift.



By the way, did you mean to put this in the public area?

Pluralized
July 29th, 2015, 01:50 PM
Thanks TK! Appreciate your supportive comments. I'll have to ruminate on the Gift, as that part was meant to be enigmatic and sparse on info. But I see what you mean - could use a few more bread crumbs on this one. :) Glad you dig.

I plan to start sharing my stuff in the public boards as I have stopped submitting. Need to up my game about six notches before I go back to trying to have stuff published. Thanks again!

escorial
July 29th, 2015, 03:10 PM
i always enjoy these bits of gritty realism.....

musichal
July 29th, 2015, 03:18 PM
Cam’s hand had turned black. The other one, still purple and filled with blood, throbbed and ached as his heartbeat ceased. His ankles screamed. Even the slightest movement aggravated the flesh in excruciating nerve-fire. He noticed he wasn’t breathing, and He wondered dully when he’d taken his last breath. Hanging there like a pińata—one that the guards could fuck—death didn’t sound so bad. But he was still there!

A yellow half-circle migrated along the stone wall as the sun’s small contribution to the dark chamber sought to hide made for cover. Cam’s blood and piss mixed in a puddle beneath him. The last time a guard had come by, he’d played dead and avoided the daily, painful sex that rapeby the guards had demanded each day. As the life drained from went out of him, his flesh slowly turned black. So this was death, this was the end. But also the beginning.

Both hands were now black, and he slumped into a limp pile when they finally unchained him. A strong beefy guard dragged him out of the cell and flopped his body onto a gurney, then took him to the tissue storage area. The digester hummed along in the next room, its powerful gears grinding up the remains of the other prisoners, ones those who hadn’t experienced the benefit of Tralfador’s Gift. Cam tried to remained perfectly still, felt a strange sensation creeping up his legs. There was no No blood left in his body, no heartbeat to push it along. No breathing. They left him on the gurney for hours, where he could hear the muffled agony of distant prisoners and the rhythmic pulsing of the digester.

A strange sensation danced down Cam’s body like a delicate tapestry being dragged across his flesh. After it passed, his eyes opened and the room came into focus. Above him the gray, damp ceiling sagged and cracked.

He moved both hands, but couldn’t lift one of his feet more than a tiny bit. A pain shot through him like his soul had been ripped out through the crown of his scalp. Tremors lit the tips of his toes and fingers. The music of Tralfador hummed softly within his wrists and ankles. Wrinkles of stank? air wafted through, then a stench so pungent and wretched, he would’ve gagged and vomited if he’d had he been alive. Being dead, he simply stopped smelling it and tried to relax. The swollen skin of his ankles crackled and stretched as the tissues inside him putrefied. Peace, then panic, then indifference danced across the curtains of his mind, overpowered by a sense of befuddlement at the very existence of awareness. This was Tralfador's Gift.

A man leaned over him, clucking like a hen in some foreign tongue. Another, smaller man, stood next to the gurney and filled out paperwork, until something clanged from the next room and drew both attendants away. Cam exhaled, but only existentially, as his corporeal pile lay decomposing. How to detach himself from the mess without experiencing the digester! Attempts at flying out of the body were unsuccessful. Great surges of fear came and went rose and ebbed as he listened to the voices approaching voices. As they someone gripped his swollen body and prepared him for the pit, he heard the voice of Tralfador whispering in his ear. "Your worth shall be proven hereupon, young soul. The Gift knows your value. Your pit awaits."

As they Tossed him into the slurping, sloshing bath of acid, his body scattered into floating parts and his awareness flickered and went to black. The A sense that he was headed for into the void took hold. Just as the voices boomed in once again, someone stirred the pit with a long metal staff and his soul exploded up into the sky. "Go," said Tralfador, "and find yourself a place to be reborn."


I enjoyed the story. A few minor suggestions above for your consideration.

CodyWright77
July 29th, 2015, 09:55 PM
Is this a snippet of a larger work, or is it a flash story?

If it is part of a larger work, I found it interesting. The sexual abuse of the guards seems ... disgusting. Especially with the visual of him hanging upside down, watching the piss and blood mingle. There is obviously a lot of backstory here (how did the dude get stuck in such a hell hole), and Tralfador's gift adds a good dose of spiritual mystery. It would keep me wanting to read more so that I could get answers to the questions you've left. I also found your work to flow well, so I'm not going to waste your time commenting on mechanics.

If it is a short story (or flash story) I take issue with Tralfador's gift. It makes no sense as is, and seems too whimsical to satisfy the short story itch. As a stand-alone piece, the narrative is awesome; no need to give it mystical qualities. It's intriguing enough seeing the world through a dead man's vantage.

But I want more. I need to know more. So in my eyes, it's a win.

Ariel
August 2nd, 2015, 03:18 PM
I've read worse.

"Wrinkles of stank air . . ."

Stank doesn't work for me here. It just doesn't make much sense especially since you further describe the scent later.


The rest of this flowed very well.

Bard_Daniel
August 3rd, 2015, 08:13 AM
Cam’s hand had turned black. The other one, still purple and filled with blood, throbbed and ached as his heartbeat ceased. His ankles screamed. Even the slightest movement aggravated the flesh in excruciating nerve-fire. He noticed he wasn’t breathing, and wondered dully when he’d taken his last. Hanging there like a pińata—one that the guards could fuck—death didn’t sound so bad. But he was still there! (Everything in this paragraph is a perfect set-up to the rest of the story. The only thing that didn't flow was the last sentence, in my opinion. I think, personally, you don't need it.)

A yellow half-circle migrated along the stone wall as the sun’s small contribution to the dark chamber made for cover. Cam’s blood and piss mixed in a puddle beneath him. The last time a guard had come by, he’d played dead and avoided the painful sex that the guards had demanded each day. As the life went out of him, his flesh slowly turned black. So this was death, this was the end. But also the beginning. (Keeps the tension going and gives some more pivotal information, drawing the reader into your story.)

Both hands were now black, and he slumped into a limp pile when they finally unchained him. A strong guard dragged him out of the cell and flopped his body onto a gurney, then took him to the tissue storage area. The digester hummed along in the next room, its powerful gears grinding up the remains of the other prisoners, ones who hadn’t experienced the benefit of Tralfador’s Gift. Cam tried to remain perfectly still, felt a strange sensation creeping up his legs. There was no blood left in his body, no heartbeat to push it along. No breathing. They left him on the gurney for hours, where he could hear the muffled agony of distant prisoners and the rhythmic pulsing of the digester.

A strange sensation danced down Cam’s body like a delicate tapestry being dragged across his flesh. After it passed, his eyes opened and the room came into focus. Above him the gray, damp ceiling sagged and cracked. (Good description.)

He moved both hands, but couldn’t lift one of his feet more than a tiny bit. A pain shot through him like his soul had been ripped out through the crown of his scalp. Tremors lit the tips of his toes and fingers. The music of Tralfador hummed softly within his wrists and ankles. Wrinkles of stank air wafted through, then a stench so pungent and wretched, he would’ve gagged and vomited if he’d been alive. Being dead, he simply stopped smelling it and tried to relax. The swollen skin of his ankles crackled and stretched as the tissues inside him putrefied. Peace, then panic, then indifference danced across the curtains of his mind, overpowered by a sense of befuddlement at the very existence of awareness. This was Tralfador's Gift.

A man leaned over him, clucking like a hen in some foreign tongue. Another, smaller man, stood next to the gurney and filled out paperwork, until something clanged from the next room and drew both attendants away. Cam exhaled, but only existentially, as his corporeal pile lay decomposing. How to detach himself from the mess without experiencing the digester! (I would suggest removing the exclamation mark and adding a period.) Attempts at flying out of the body were unsuccessful. Great surges of fear came and went as he listened to the voices approaching. As they gripped his swollen body and prepared him for the pit, he heard the voice of Tralfador whispering in his ear. "Your worth shall be proven hereupon, young soul. The Gift knows your value. Your pit awaits."

As they tossed him into the slurping, sloshing bath of acid, his body scattered into floating parts and his awareness flickered and went to black. The sense that he was headed for the void took hold. Just as the voices boomed in once again, someone stirred the pit with a long metal staff and his soul exploded up into the sky. "Go," said Tralfador, "and find yourself a place to be reborn."

This was a pretty good piece, though I agree with TKent that you should maybe expand on Tralfador and its significance to make the story more poignant and powerful.

Overall, though, I liked it. You provided some solid description and kept a sense of tension, of gradual mystification and created an intriguing setting for the reader to experience.

It was good. :D

fallenangel09
August 12th, 2015, 06:15 AM
I really liked it.

Desinori
August 13th, 2015, 10:18 PM
Wow, this piece was deliciously dark. It just oozes despair with the vivid imagery and sensory details. Utterly grotesque, but addicting to read. Definitely like watching a train wreck.

Though I did like how cryptic this "Tralfador" is, I too would like a little more detail of what it actually is. It's as if it's a spiritual allusion to something you might want to expand, if only slightly? I certainly would enjoy reading more, if indeed this was a snippet of another project :3.