Thursday, April 27, 2006

Angela had passed this way many times before, the alleyway formed by unclosed walls in an unfinished house. Never had she seen the staircase. But there it now was.

"I wonder if I might climb it?" she asked herself, looking at the dull, concrete structure.

"Yes, yes you must," she answered with certainty, and was already on the first stair, then the next, step by higher step, and soon she slipped through the black opening above into a massive, unlit chamber.

"We've been here before," said the part of her that knew.

"I don't recognize it at all!" she interjected after turning a complete circle, a glance cast in each of the dark directions. But then she noticed the lights.

- Do you see them?
- I do.
- Like dancing stars in the distance.
- Those are eyes.
- Will they hurt us?
- They cannot hurt us!
- Whose eyes are they?
- Yours and mine.
- But I see thousands!

She walked hand in hand with herself through an unilluminated vastness, wanting to see the eyes near enough to touch, yet with each step the twinkling points of reference seemed to dart further away into the distance. Her feet were bare, though they hadn't been before, and she felt smooth pebbles beneath her soles, warm to the touch. "Bend down, pick them up!" she whispered to herself. And she did. She filled her pockets with the tiny stones. And when her pockets were filled, she grasped more in her hands. "Come!" she said, taking herself by the arm, "we must return." More walking, of a path unknown. The darkness thickened like a midnight fog, causing the far-off, bobbing lights to vanish. And then she stood on the stairs again. The sharp clip of her shoes echoed in the alley as she climbed down to where the staircase began.

A workman appeared from behind the structure where he had set up his tools for the work in progress. He watched as she descended. "Hey, you shouldn't go up there! It isn't finished!" he called to her.

"I'm sorry - I won't do it again," she answered him, and hurried away. There was no need to return. She had taken enough ideas with her to last a lifetime, those shiny little pebbles.

Story #359

This story is dedicated to ~River~, whose poetry you must read, if you haven't already.

14 comments:

Nyanda said...

You've done it again Indie! Beautiful!!! Reminds me of something I wrote a while ago:

"Amongst the scattered clouds and intermittent showers, the sunlight peeked out. He gently massaged the back of my neck and arms as I worked. I could feel the presence of this distant body as fingers of light traversed my flesh. He was closer than far. Feeling, caressing and nurturing, his quintessence warmed my innards, opening passages ways to deep and affirmative thought. I reached in and looked for what I wanted... and took only what I could carry. I needed no more than that.

I need only what I seek and find..."

now it's time to go sit by the River!

Indeterminacy said...

Thank you Nyanda *blushes*

I love the passage you shared with me(us) and wish I had your vocabulary. It's a beautiful message. Maybe we were touching the same archetype...

rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

i am going to stop reading you. you are like the birdman and your stuff is so powerful it makes me want to throw my "sax" in the river and take up the flute.

Antonia said...

this is a nice one, love that idea of the pebbles as ideas and the photographs fits perfectly...

The Mushroom said...

She was buying the stairway to heaven, but she eventually had to return it when she realized it was made of cement and was too heavy for her to move.

Jamie Dawn said...

This story reminds me of all the times throughout my childhood that I collected pretty rocks. I called them beauty rocks, and when we were on vacations, I would always buy those polished rocks that came in smal pouches.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

As stated-beautiful Indie.

Indeterminacy said...

Rev Billy Bob: Your compliment overwhelms me. Coming from anyone it would be overwhelming, from you it's holy. I'd hoped the stories would turn out well this week because I wanted to give all of you the best damn week I ever gave. I've been intending to stop at story 360, which is the next one. Please don't throw away the Sax. Flute is too piercing.

Antonia: Thank you! I don't know where I got the idea for the story. I was honestly half asleep when I wrote it, fighting off microsleeps at 1AM.

Mushroom: Leave it to you to find the best contemporary reference, and I honestly didn't think of that song at all in connection with the picture.

Jamie: That was me, too. I remember they had a rock polisher for kids with which you could polish your own stones, but I never got one :-( did you?

Alice: Thank you. Everytime you leave a comment here these cute little hearts start flying around my head.

~River~ said...

Indie,
Thank you so much. It's my turn now to feel overwhelmed!

And I love the story! I have a weakness for pebbles. ~:D

Mauricem said...

Wow. nice

Indeterminacy said...

River: It makes me very happy that you enjoyed the story. I do so adore your poetry.

Indeterminacy said...

Mauricem: Thank you taking the time to comment. I'm going to have to read through your blog - it looks like a pretty cool science fiction story.

The Mushroom said...

My family had one of those rock polishers (a Thumbler's Tumber) and it did pretty good work, just took 10 days to do it. Problem was, I put my best rocks in there, and my dad liked 'em so much he kept 'em.

Now if only I could find that agate with the moss in it again...

ariel said...

so she doesn't plan to go back. I'm afraid it's not up on her.