To Live and Die

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To Live and Die

Postby TheJester on Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:32 pm

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This is a small story I am working on and this is the first chapter, the story is about a young boy who wakes up in the middle of the woods with an almost empty journal, a pen, and the knowledge of the fact he is dying. The story chronicles his journey into finding out who he is, why he is here, and if he could possibly beat his illness. The story is meant to be ambiguous so as to give the people reading a chance to form there own conclusions about what is really going on.

I hope you enjoy!

Code: Select all
Day 1
The sun woke me up that morning. I was lying down on the grass; the dew wetting my hair and clothes. I got up and looked at the clear blue sky; its light blue glow illuminated by the sun. I was lying in a field of grass surrounded by a large, thick forest. I couldn’t remember much of who I was. I only remembered my name “Adam” and that I was dying. I couldn’t explain how or why I knew I was dying, but I was sure I was. I also debated on whether I felt I would die, or if I was dying. There were so many things I didn’t know.

I found this brown journal lying next to me in the grass. Its first page was opened up yet empty. A nice, purple pen was shining not too far away from me. I grabbed it and got up from the ground. It had occurred to me that I could speak the English language. In fact, I knew many things in the fields of Mathematics, Biology, History, Botany, and English Literature. The only thing I could not remember was the reason and name of my current condition, and of who I was and what I was doing in the middle of the forest.

After writing in the journal, I began to walk into the forest to explore my environment. As soon as I did however, my body began to grow weak. My sight began to blur and I was breathing heavily. I was now fully aware of this condition. It soon began to fade and I could walk normally again. I did not know how long that would last however. I trekked through the forest and found myself exiting into a busy highway. The cars trailed through the highway at a speed that astounded me.

I began to try and cross the highway. Everything was going great, as there were no cars at the time to my left. However, when I looked to my right a person in his car halted and beeped his horn at me. I was startled and quickly ran to the other side of the left highway. I then had to cross the other highway that lay next to the one before. I ran as fast as I could across the highway before numerous cars began to show up. I had felt considerably lucky.

I began to grow weak again and sat down to recover my strength on a nearby bench perched up on the sidewalk adjacent to the road. Soon the weakness began to fade away again and I got back up and walked up a cement staircase that left the highway area and led out to another long road. The area I stood on consisted of grass that lined itself next to the extensive road. The road led to a small town in the distance.

The town had a small number of houses, a place called a “department store”, a school, and a movie theater. As I walked into town, people began to stare at me to my confusion. I walked forward into the town and then walked into the department store. I looked around to find it extensive of many items. In the isles were chips, candies, and easy to make meals of all kinds. In the back, the cooler’s contained drinks of all shapes, sizes, and flavors. It astonished me for whatever reason, which I suspect were the colors on the drinks.

I went up to the man at the desk at the heart of the store. I asked him politely if I could have some of his food. The man was looking at a magazine and would not make eye contact with me; however, it would seem he could hear me. He responded in a harsh tone “No money? No stuff.” After I heard that, I began to remember the concept of money. I remembered its purpose as a form of currency and exchange. I began to realize that I had no money and that this place also required money as a form of exchange. I was disappointed as I had really wanted to try some of the blue liquid.

I sighed and the man looked at me with what was originally a face of annoyance. As soon as he looked at me, to my surprise, he jumped and turned white. He then asked me if I was okay, to which I replied to him in a lie that I was fine.

“T-take whatever you want kid! Please eat something for God’s sake!” The man’s face was white and he seemed extremely concerned for me. I was confused as to his change in attitude and asked him what brought on this change.

“You mean you don’t know what you look like? Dude, you look terrible.”

“I am sorry sir but I didn’t know that. Could you give me a mirror so that I can see for myself?”

The man then went to a room in the back and came out with a mirror. He pointed the mirror to my face to which I jumped backwards in fright. Compared to other people in this town, not only was I extremely skinny, but there was a scar carved as an “X” into my right cheek. I looked at myself in horror. I was scared of myself. I calmed myself down and looked at the man.
“Uhh… I swear I didn’t notice this.” I attempted to hide my shock and embarrassment from the man.
“I-it’s okay kid. You can have anything you want for free; you need me to call a doctor?”

I wanted to plead yes but for some reason I didn’t want to, a feeling within my innards was telling me that I had to keep going and not associate with the medical field whatsoever. I simply nodded in a no and, thanks to his kind generosity, was able to grab a few snacks. It wasn’t much; just a bag of Cheetos and a Root Beer. I left thanking the man, but behind my wave and smile, I was conflicted. I couldn’t explain why I didn’t want to see a doctor.

As the day drew on I eventually had to leave the nice town. I came upon a long highway surrounded by a large meadow that led to a huge urban city. I began to travel there along the side of the road. Suddenly, I began to grow weak again. Night was starting to fall and I had become exhausted. Even through this empty meadow there lay one oak tree along the side of the road. I dragged my tired body to the tree and laid myself beside it. No cars ever passed this road while I was half awake. It was then I took out the pen and journal and began writing in it to record my past events and also decided to write it in past tense.
I then began to flip the pages as I had noticed that this journal had not been written in before. As I came to the very last page I noticed my handwriting in the bottom right corner of the last page that had to words.

“I am”

I could not explain it as I do not remember writing such throughout the course of the day. Perhaps I had written it before I fell asleep that night and lost my supposed memories. This I would have needed to figure out the next day.
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Re: To Live and Die

Postby RationalThought on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:36 pm

This is quite interesting. I like your style. Usually I'm not a fan of ambiguity, but I came up with a theory that could explain this.

Adam is an incomplete homunculus, left to die by the scientist that created him, after wiping the child's memory. His assistant took pity on him, and left him the notebook and pen.

His aversion to medicine is because of his experience in a lab, and the primal fear he possesses of his creator.

He gains knowledge the way he does because his memory wipe wasn't entirely successful, and, with prompting, can remember facts, if not events.

He is dying because he is incomplete.
Trout. Trout everywhere.
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Re: To Live and Die

Postby Krika on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:19 am

My theory: A time-loop, similar to what happens in the Dark Tower books. The "I am" sentence is incomplete because he never quite get's to realizing what he needs to figure out in order to.....have something happen. Possibly not die. With each loop he gets closer, and with each loop the sentence is longer (making this the third one, bar loops where no progress was made).
Krika
>Narra has tiny jerk people in her socks.
>We are affirming our collective jerkhood by committing genocide on them.
Guyshane
>I'm going to read the logs and pray that that sentence makes more sense in context
>No
>No it does not
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Location: Home. I don't want to be.

Re: To Live and Die

Postby TheJester on Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:51 pm

Day 2 begins.

Code: Select all
Day 2
I woke up that day against a tree along a very long highway. I did not remember a thing from the day before. However, I noticed the journal and was curious enough to read it that I knew the situation. It appeared that I had traveled along to a town gathering food, and that I was stricken with an ailment that as degrading my body and killing me. I cannot fathom why I cannot remember the day before, it is very curious to me. However, another situation troubles me more.

I had a dream while sleeping that seems to have replaced my memories of the day before. In my dream I stand before a wolf. The wolf barks at me over and over again for a period of three minutes before vanishing in the darkness that clouds the scenery of my mind. The dream scared me, coupling the fear from my lack of memory. Although I did not understand, even after reading the journal entry, I still chose to press forward into the giant city that arose among the meadow and highway.

I walked upon the city after three hours of walking. At least 5 minutes before I reached the entrance of the city I became very weak and I had a horrible migraine. This frightened me due to the lack of migraines being mentioned in any way in the journal. It had appeared that my illness was getting much worse and that I must act fast if I was to find a solution to my recurring dilemma. I walked into the city after recovering from the burst of pain in my head and looked around me.

The city presented itself as a God among metal and cold steel. Its towering buildings reached to the heavens, a testament to human ambition and the plight of those who can only go so far. People crowded the streets, thousands of people I saw. Some were in a hurry to perform an important task given to them. Others were simply living among happiness as they released the burden that filled their wallets, only to want the burden even more when it became empty.

I walked among a community that interested me greatly. This did not however, disguise me from the sickness that was revealed in my figure. A grotesque example of the plight of those who do not receive the gifts that many who walked among these streets held. The people whispered among themselves everywhere I walked. To them they were silent birds chirping in the wind but I knew better. I could hear their whispers like the screeches of harpies, harpies that would descend upon trespassers. It was not subtle and I was not stupid.

Among the crowded collection of steel skyscrapers, I came across a building of age and antiquity. An old church lay situated among a small community within the city. The church was covered in its own narcissism and age. It smelled of the fragrance of those who want nothing more than peace in their lives, but could not achieve it. I went into the church and saw its empty altar as a mass would not have taken place that day.

A priest nearly dropped his bowl of holy water as he came upon my suffering figure.

“What in God’s name has happened to you boy!? What sort of suffering have you undergone!?” I appreciated the Priest’s concern for my well being, but this did not stop my opaquely blunt answer.

“I am dying father. There is no cure.” I said to the Priest with a fake smile. Although I was searching for a cure, I did not want him to call any hospitals in case I told him that I didn’t know if there was a cure or not. I could not explain it, but I was extremely determined to not be associated with the medical field whatsoever. In the journal, my past self described a similar fate happening upon him.

“My boy… I am so sorry. Have you come here to confess your last sins?” The priest looked at me with a pitiful expression. I responded with an answer that soon became a question.

“No father… I only wish advice.”

“Then please, sit down.” The priest situated me among one of the seats among the altar. I asked him an honest question.

“Father… What does God do for those who have not been given enough time in this world? I am so young yet soon my time will come. I do not understand his ways.” I prevented myself from crying almost to the point that it became a foreboding chore.

“God works in mysterious ways, some ways that we cannot understand. I believe that because you were such a pure soul in your life that God has grown impatient and request’s you to join him among his angels earlier than expected. Do not worry boy, he will protect you.”

The father smiled with a sad smile, the smile of man who can do no more than motivate. I understood his words but it did not cure my fear. I thanked the priest for his time and took my leave. As I got away from the church and began to exit the city, I broke down in tears. In my mind, all I could think of was how unfair it was to be given such a fate. My face became a waterfall that cooled the ground beneath my weary legs. One could not simply just accept his death in one day. For it is completely impossible no matter how hard one tried.

I walked out of the city as its exit led into a dense forest. The trees covered themselves in an alluring fashion that beckoned travelers and curiosity seekers to join them in green merriment. No matter how good the forest looked to me however, I walked into the forest with a dark depression that burdened those crevices in my heart. As I walked through the forest I was overcome with another migraine, this one much worse than the last. I saw how nightfall had begun shoo away the light of day and decided that rest was in order.

I went into a cave made of sticks that blew over from trees as they lost their important use. As I sat there, I did not cry, nor did I complain anymore. What lay there that night was simply an empty vessel, a vessel of one who truly felt alone, separated even from myself. I decided to continue the work of my predecessor and wrote this entry in past tense. As I prepared to go to sleep, I stayed awake for sometime in fear that I might forget again what I had gained today.
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