Thursday, May 17, 2012

An attempt at writing

I haven't written in a long while, maybe too long of a while to maintain a somewhat balanced mind.
The thing is despite all the horrendousness(I know it is not a word, but I don't care, well...I do care, but I still want to use it), all the events and all the blandness and cruelty, I haven't been able to write, not a word. I tried many times, and failed miserably. I even tried to keep a pen and paper journal, but it just failed as well. My head couldn't find the words. Well, I am not going to regale you with the annoyance and misery that has been my life lately, because everybody's life sucks right now, at least here in Egypt. You can say that everything we had done to revolt has somehow resulted in an adverse reaction. Things do not make sense. In fact, this previous statement is an understatement; things are out of whack (that means excessively mad).


Anyways, I thought maybe I would try to write a story. *fingers crossed* I am just going to start with anything and go along till no words come out. Then, I am just going to post it without editing, I promise.

They expected it, knew it was coming and in some way counted the days till it was due, but when it did finally arrive or rather crash, they figured out that they had never expected it after all. The radio presenter announced in a panicked voice: "it is both magnificent and revolting, welcoming and menacing. It is, it is...." then the broadcast was cut signalling the beginning of the end. She could detect the fear in the presenter's voice, the awe and the curiosity. Given the location of the radio station, it made sense that it would be hit first, after all it was on the edge of the abandoned city, in which they lived. A lot of the visitors who had come by accidentally, have deemed it to be the city "at the end of the earth". They even had a mini-documentary with that description as  the title. It featured their fisherman and their butcher, who didn't exactly welcome the attention. It was a strange notion how the city kept itself untouched by globalization and the fervent ascension of  technology. Many locals thought that the city was enchanted or that it was protected by God or some sort of angelic force. The pious ones deemed themselves lucky to live there since it was the city of God. The thought was fortified in their heads, when it started to happen everywhere else but there. For a moment, she even bought into it, maybe they were the city of God, maybe they were the chosen ones, maybe they would be spared, maybe they would be the ones to bring back. Yet, it caught up with them, and she returned to her former state of blandness. It was the kind of blandness that came with relentless disappointment combined with the will to persevere. She went through the world mentally numb, physically active and emotionally indifferent. She was living and functional, but her insides were dead. She was completely hollow. She imagined if someone opened her up, and spoke through her, she would echo back. Feelings came and went, and she remained the same, unchanging. Her life meant nothing, and she knew how worthless it was, and so did not try to pretend like it was worth anything. She could not, for the nonexistent life in her, love life. She found it too cruel and pointless. That is why she came to live in that town. She knew that there, she would be safe from the intrusion of life, she would be able to metaphorically bury herself until her time had come. She wished it would come to claim her, but she knew no amount of wishing would make it come faster. So, she patiently waited. She lived on, trying to be as good as she can be, and she tried to not judge her misgivings. She brushed aside other's judgement, and continued to just breathe, one day at a time. She made no long term plans, and lived day by day. She had no aspirations, despised ambition, and grew weary of the materialism of the world. She retreated to the cave, not wishing to be a part of the enlightenment. The only thing she did was to read. She read all types of books, and desired many more. It was the only thing of which she wanted to have more. She hunted down books of all kinds and eras, and spent what little money she had on collecting the rarest ones. With the onset of electronic types, she knew that physical books had to be preserved. It was her hobby and her obsession. She was addicted to the feeling of being transported to another, far off world, where life was vibrant and exciting, heroism was alive and miracles happened. She ached when her heroines died, triumphed with their victories and loved when they loved. In each book, she'd be transformed into a better version of herself, sometimes it would be the fighter, others it would be the lover, and sometimes the spark. She especially loved the latter, with all the potential, all the sacrifice and all the change. She admired those who instigated change even though she knew she was not capable of it. Books were her only medium, where she became one. When it all started, the first thought that came to her was how to preserve the books. The answer came to her while reading. She knew of an abandoned bomb shelter, which was too dangerous for people to use because the earth shifted a couple of times and the ceiling fell. With all the commotion and shifting of the earth, people were advised not to go underground. In the days when it started, a lot of news came about people who were buried alive. She knew that it wouldn't matter for books, eventually someone would come and dig them up. They would be protected under layers and layers of dust and earth. All she had to do was ensure they would not deteriorate before they found them. That, she could do. She went to the garbage dump and started looking for plastic bags, any type, but not the biodegradable. She preferred the sturdy type which, she read once, would take thousands of years to deteriorate. She thanked God that her city didn't care about the environment, for the dump was filled with sturdy plastic bags for her choosing. Everyday she would go to the dump to collect the bags, and then spent all day vacuum-packing the books. The machine that sucked the air was small, meant for packing clothes, so she could only take a couple of books at one time. It was a slow process, but she did not care. She was sure someone would find them, and after the electricity has gone, and the world is in entire blackness, people would have to resort back to physical books, at least until they rebuild civilization. It was her tiny bit forward to ensure the survival of man kind. She had thousands of books, and so she wasted no time. She first transferred all the books downstairs, and then started patiently packing them. She would keep the radio on as company, since the bomb shelter was very dark except for a meager light bulb. She had a few books left to pack when she heard the presenter, describing it. She tried to hurry, to run across and grab the stairs that led her to the surface, but she was not quick enough. By the time she reached the end of the stairs, the shaking was so violent, she had to remain on the ground. The light bulb flickered intensely and then died, leaving her in utter darkness. Different sounds and voices were heard, muffled, silenced by the layers of earth between her and the surface. Yet, it was not muffled enough, she could still here the erratic screams, the cries and the horrific knowledge of instant death. She waited in darkness, covering her ears, waited for her turn. The horrific sounds seem to go on for days, even weeks, but they never ceased. She lost consciousness some time in the midst of it all, and for a second, that second before she woke up, she thought that was it, but the book that fell on her head was too solid to be heavenly, and too gentle to be hellish. She opened her eyes to the same darkness, but when she became fully conscious to her parched mouth, and aching belly, she realized that there was one major difference. The world was silent. She could here nothing. The usual buzzing of life seemed to have completely disappeared. She remembered that she bought a flashlight with her, she frantically searched for it, as she sang "who's afraid of the big bad wolf?" to keep her company, to fend of the darkness. She knocked piles and piles of books till she found it. She found herself clutching a tiny book; the one that fell on her head and awoke her. It was ironically Jules Verne's In Search of the Castaways. She didn't know why it was ironic, and she didn't know what it meant, but she just kept it in her pocket instinctively. Then she found her way through the books, found the ladder, which was not destroyed, but laid flat on the ground. When she reached the latch of the trap door, she freed it and pulled. As she did so, all the rubble fell on her, and she toppled off the ladder to be received by a pile of books, not before she lost her consciousness again. When she awoke, this time, there was light coming from above, and some fresh air. She was completely covered with dust, and except for a couple of bruises and scrapes, she was fine. She grabbed the ladder, which was missing some steps after its final ordeal, and climbed up again. She peeked outside, and was shocked by how cold it has become. Then, she noticed the snow covering the ground, a thick layer of white fluffiness. She tried to remember if it used to snow, but she knew, she was certain that it never snowed here. For as far as her eyes can see, there was nothing but snow. Nonetheless, she went up, buttoned up her jacket, and firmly planted her feet on the white ground. She then closed the trapdoor, engulfing the books in darkness, and wishing that someone would find them soon.

*The End*

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