Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:00 pm Post subject: The Idea Room
If this was a physical location in our reality, it would resemble a large, dark room cluttered with mostly unrecognizable junk. In the center of the room would be a single light, hanging from the ceiling and centered over an old work table. On the table would be a half-finished project of some sort, and littering the floor around it would be countless abandoned projects, all neglected and collecting dust.
Welcome to my mind. Within my skull lies a veritable workshop, full of bits and pieces that, if assembled correctly, could become masterpieces. I've had countless projects, but every time, I've written myself into a hole or lost the driving force keeping the project alive. Many manuscripts sit untouched in journals on my shelf, many Word documents sit in folders that haven't been opened in ages, and many RPGs sit stagnant and abandoned in forums that nobody will visit again (though, to be honest, that's not as much my fault as the fault of players who lost interest).
I'm currently working on bettering myself, and thus far, I've been successful. I've written five chapters in an espionage novel that I'm working on, and I've got a mafia-themed RPG in the works that I'm determined to see work out. I just introduces the femme fatale in the novel, so things are going a bit slowly as I slog through a bunch of dialogue, and the only thing I need for the RPG is interested players.
Joined: 04 Sep 2010 Posts: 22 : Location: The Internet
Well, I wanted to share a short story with you, and I'm not quite sure where exactly I would put it. So... I'll just put it here, haha.
I remember that day because it was such a nice one. The sky was blue, dotted with white clouds that looked like cottonballs, and the sun lit up our little farm like a golden lamp. The pond where the cattle drank sparkled brilliantly, and a warm breeze made the grain in the fields ripple and the trees sway. It was as good a day as any... and then they came.
We heard the planes before we saw them, a steady droning which filled the air. As they appeared on the horizon, the drone grew louder, until we couldn't hear anything else. Mama shouted for us to come back inside, but Gretta and I didn't hear her, our attention fixed on the planes. There had to be hundreds of them, up in the sky, casting a dark blanket of shadow over our once sunny farm. The planes left us alone; we discovered later that what they were carrying was meant for the town, not for our little farm.
The tanks came next, and they would not pass us by so easily. As the drone of the planes faded behind us, we heard Papa shouting for Mama to get us and run. He was dressed in his uniform, an old rifle in his hands. She begged him to come with us, but I could see in his eyes that he wasn't going to. I didn't know then what was happening, and I wish that I still didn't. I wish that I'd had a regular childhood, but we can't always have what we wish for. I'm just glad that I didn't see him die.
When Mama finally took us away, she was crying. Papa had told me to take care of her and Gretta, and I was still thinking of that. The earth shook under our feet as we ran, and as I looked over my shoulder, I could see the tanks. I'd seen one before in town, but it was nothing compared to the monsters that ran down our farm that day. The farm was out of sight when we heard the sound of the machine-guns and the explosions. I had never heard anything like it before, had never felt the ground move under my feet that way.
We reached the nearest house much later. They had seen the planes and knew that the tanks were coming. They were getting ready to head to town, where it would be safe. We rode in the back of their old truck, watching as dust--or was it smoke?--rose up over the hills. The only sound we heard on that ride was the puttering of the truck. Mama, Gretta, and the couple driving didn't speak a word. There was nothing to say.
We discovered what the planes had done to the town when we rolled in. There were holes in the roofs, in walls, and in the streets. The couple maneuvered the truck around rubble and debris, and eventually we saw men in uniforms like Papa's. They were armed with old rifles like Papa's, too. They were inspecting the damage, trying to get the other people to leave the town. It was dangerous here, they said, bad people were coming to hurt us. I didn't understand then, and I guess I really don't understand now. Why would people we had never met, never wronged, want to hurt us?
The tanks reached us before we could get out of the town. The men in uniforms came and instructed us to hide in the holes the planes had made. A tank passed by, but it was so small compared to what we had seen earlier. Gretta started to cry as Mama held her close, but I didn't. Papa had told me to take care of them. I had just started to tell them that everything would be all right when the world fell apart.
I don't quite know how to describe it, but there came a series of deep... pops, followed closely by the sound of exploding earth and crumbling bricks. Several loud shots rang out, and I remembered how Papa had once showed me how to use his rifle. I never did get a chance, but I knew that the soldiers were shooting at the bad men. Then that fearful sound rose up above the gunshots. Rat-a-tat-tat, it went, rat-a-tat-tat. The sounds that followed were confusing--the air was full of the noises that make war the most dreadful of mankind's inventions. I shut my eyes and pressed my hands to my ears as Mama tried to shut the sounds out for Gretta.
This symphony of horror continued for what seemed like an eternity--in reality, it couldn't have been more than a few minutes at most. Suddenly, there was nothing but the sound of tank treads grinding against the road. I opened my eyes just in time to see the big tanks roll by, followed by men who wore different uniforms. They carried newer-looking rifles, and unlike the men who had tried to protect us, they were organized. Mama and Gretta lay still beside me, afraid to move. I was too afraid to move, myself, and that's probably what saved us. The bad men shot anyone who dared to run.
We managed to escape that night. I never saw Papa again, and I don't think that I ever expected to. Somehow, I knew that he was never going to come back. Mama and Gretta and I found our way to another country, where we were safe. We never did return--I think that Mama couldn't bear to live there again, where Papa had died.
Even though I know what happened today, even though everyone knows, thanks to the history books and the television, I still wonder... why would anyone want to hurt anybody else? Deep down, are all of us monsters like the bad men that tore Papa from me that afternoon?
And each time I come to realize... that I don't want to know the answer. _________________ Correcting frustrated teenagers since 2001.
"He is the perfect combination of man and machine! I shall call him... MANCHINE!"
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