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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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Flashes from Darkened World

Originally published at Chamber . You can comment here or there.

(I occasionally get someone asking me “Where’s your writing?”  Truthfully haven’t worked on that as much as I should - but also truthfully, I definitely have* been writing. I’ve been keeping it all locked away in the cellar until I chisel out a tunnel I’m happy with and feel good about. Still a ways from that, yet.

However it’s hard for me to do that. I’m an idea seeder, not a leech, and I love discussing concept and plots and fantastical things with people. The online realm affords so many possibilities for doing that, which I am not taking advantage of. I love it when ideas spark ideas and exchanges. So in the interests of that, here’s a snippet from the latest thing. Read and enjoy if you can. Critiques are certainly accepted, with the caveat that this is all in its pre-molt, roughest, zero-revision form, and I’m well aware that it’s vague and overwordy, and that I constantly make questionable word choices. Selah.)

(excerpt from “Darkened World”)

In semblance, the telepath was pure icon. No breath expanded the lightless hollow of its ribcage, no feature was more than a suggestion in the perfect symmetry of its silhouette face. It was flawless fuligin — not the black of her borrowed soldier’s gear, but instead a daunting emptiness like the gap between stars. This was the sole truth of this creature somehow born of man — that it contained nothing anymore, held nothing but a hunger so intense that it had sucked itself in to create an inversion in the world. It would draw substance like a drain, draw and draw until it emptied everything and still would gape for more. It was so stark and absolute that it hurt the eye to behold it, and beneath its withering attention Layne felt the shadows grow about her had physical weight. Light itself was boiled away, leaving only this negative substance that would weigh her down until she sank into the featureless plane beneath and became one with it — one undifferentiated mote of once-was, in a formless and eternal landscape of used-to-be.

She felt her vision dimming; an invisible sun was going down. The few distinct shapes she could perceive begin to lose definition and bleed into each other until they became nearly impossible to distinguish. Despite all her mental preparation, her will was already sluggish to respond and resist. She was numb and comfortable, unconcerned with the slowing of her heartbeat, ignorant of the need to inflate her uncomplaining lungs. There was a weird euphoria attached to her guttering consciousness now, as she floated gently in dark currents. It was so similar to the feeling she got when moving between levels, and she wanted badly to release control, to surrender the oppressive need to form thoughts in sequence. Perhaps she had fulfilled her purpose, a grim witness to the fall of another world, and was transitioning between levels even now. Perhaps she had won. Surely when next she opened her eyes, a new world and new possibilities would greet her - a new frame of reference and a new chance to move on. Perhaps it was best to simply sleep.

But no. No, it was not the same.

Fragmented and on her knees, something sparked and sizzled in the whelming dark.

Neurons flash-fired, she was grabbing for scattered impressions like the contents of an upended purse, personality pieces rolling away in the gloom. Stained brick and mossy mortar harsh against raw fingertips. The uncertain, surreal illumination of streetlights through a crack in a tinted window. Crushed against of so much apathy, some part of her was bruising, something under her tongue was blood, hate and mercury. The dark began to feel confined, stuffy and reeking of harm. Aches in her neck and back, a starfield of sparks danced across her field of vision, and the crushing weight on top of her gained a layer of reality, a concrete menace.


This nothingness was not in her, was not her. She rejected it.

With every ounce of willpower remaining, she gritted her teeth and focused on the telepath’s mental signature as though she were grabbing for its head, clawing at its face for recognition, shoving thumbs deep into the featureless plain of its eyesockets. In the distance there was quiet thunder, and the smell of ozone.


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Chewing on this one. I'm spoiled. So accustomed to your gentler abstractions heralding the meaty stuff that I had to re-read this a few times.

If it makes you feel any better, it is intended to be disorienting. ;) Certainly having access to more of the surrounding text would have given you better context. Layne's consciousness is a fractured one, and there are times when the sense inputs she is experiencing don't seem to correspond with what is actually happening.

It's definitely a bit stream of consciousness -- I'm trying to convey what it's like to fall a little bit into daydream even while Things are Happening, which is something we all do. Whether or not my attempts are actually, ya know, SUCCESFUL, remains to be seen.


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