Feb 10, 2013

"Place pieces"

I do all sorts of brainstorming when it comes to coming up with the new ideas for one of my short stories. I am always amused with the ideas that my brain produces out of the blue. There is, however, one thing in common of all these ideas. They're each tied to a certain place.

A place, such as an abandoned cottage. Or a house on a cliff. Or a bench in a park. Or the middle of the woods. I can pretty much bet that my next setting for the new story is going to be at a local swimming pool, with very few people beside my main characters.You get the idea. It took me quite some time to understand what it actually meant, to place my characters in such, I dare say vacuumed, places.

And the answer to that could be best described as: the inevitability. The inevitability of life; it has that cruel tendency to go on, to evolve and expand, and to let it happen, we must say goodbye to our past, one way or another. We have to cut the cords with people and places that are no longer in our lives, or to clear the vibes of resentment towards people who are still somewhere around.

By putting them into these situations, I am forcing them to clear the past, to sort the problems among each other, and to send them on a new, hopefully improved, journey. Another thing, though, is that isolated places often provide us with a sense of comfort and stability. Being with a loved person between the four walls is sometimes a blessing for our lonely hearts. There is a feeling of intimacy, of understanding, of comfort.

How do you look at the "place pieces"? Are you prone to it, or do you prefer building the whole world from scratch?

Jan 9, 2013

Mike O'Doone - part 4

Mike was woken up that very early morning by a large thud coming from downstairs. He sat up, and remained under the covers, listening carefully. By the sound of it, it looked like the front door were moved by the intensity of the wind whirling outside. He couldn't be sure, however. He knew that he should probably go downstairs and check it out, but his brain was frozen from fear. 

Besides, it was still too dark for anything to be seen without lighting a candle, and Mike didn't have one near him. He was sure that he'd been asleep for only an hour or so. A few more thuds and then it stopped, although he could clearly hear that the wind was still raging outside. So it was...something? No, someone! Yes, Mike whispered to himself, someone is trying to scare me off. Well then, gentlemen, you know nothing about me. Putting a pillow over his head he closed his eyes and fell asleep once again. 

A few hours later he woke up again and, seeing that it wasn't so dark any more, came downstairs. The first thing he did was looking carefully around the room. Everything was in place. He was a type of person with a photographic memory, and even if a single item was moved but a few centimeters to the side...he'd have noticed it. There was something, however, that didn't give him a piece of mind that he needed. He walked to the door and pulled them open with no effort. That meant that someone was, indeed, trying - and succeeded - to open them. So if that is the case, what made them stop? What made them just walk away after they've put so much trouble into breaking in? And most importantly...who was it?

Was it that shady-looking man from the pub, who had threatened him once before? Or the, equally shady-looking, guy who was keeping his profile low in the darkness last night? Or the pub owner himself? There was, of course, the possibility of a complete stranger. But if it were a stranger, Mike thought to himself, why would he pick this house? Surely, the pub was worth much more money than this shabby old place. The possibilities were endless. Deciding to skip his breakfast and lunch at the pub, he started redecorating the living room. At one point he knew that he would have to build at least a wall or two, but for now he'll have to go with what he had. 
He started with the most tedious task ahead of him: dusting. The dust was evidently present in this place for years, because every single movement of a wet cloth raised it right up to his nose, causing him to sneeze and roll his eyes with irritation. 

When that horrible task was done a good half an hour later, Mike noticed that the floor, now sparkling and clean, was scratched; painfully so. Ah. So he needed to buy new tiles. That was one of the things he was counting on, when he set himself up for this adventure. He knew that this place was damaged, and he was determined to fix it. So just as he was preparing to go upstairs he heard a loud knock on the door. His feet froze in place and he slowly turned around, fixing his gaze on the knob.

It started moving. He stopped breathing.