Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday Writings #17 - Visions

My "Wednesday Writing" posts were initially created as a writing exercise for me to try and keep myself motivated and on track by making sure that I spend at least 30-60 minutes each week (with the follow-up goal to turn it into a daily writing practice).

Over the past few weeks, I've been continuing the same story with a single post each week. To help you catch up with this serialized story, you can use the following table of contents:
  1. Morning Machinations
  2. Communication Between Friends
  3. Daydreaming Decisions
  4. Off to the Park
  5. Driven
  6. Coming Home
  7. Revealing Photographs
  8. Just a Dream?
  9. At the Tower
  10. Caught
  11. Revelations
  12. Lunchtime
  13. The Watch

Critiques, suggestions, comments, etc. always welcome.



Walter disappeared into the hall, pulling the door closed behind him. Gabby turned expectantly to James. Instead of speaking, he walked through the side door into the kitchen. She stared after him, confused and then started to follow. A hand on her shoulder made her pause. Before she could press on, James reappeared carrying a small metal box with a glass screen and a large manilla envelope. He set them both on the table in front of Gabby.

"This envelope contains your instructions. This device will provide your motivation."

He opened a panel on the side of the box and tapped and pressed some buttons and switches beyond Gabby's view. The glass screen began to glow with a soft yellow light. He pulled the box away from her and looked at her intently.

"As Mr. Dalton explained, this device allows us to pull back the curtain of time. I am going to show you a pair of images. The first will be from one week in the future and will show the future as it will exist if you do not help us. The second will be from the future as well but the timeframe will vary as it is dependent on other events falling into place. It is the future we will strive for if you help us. Both are conditional futures and can be changed by any number of events. But both are also intrinsically tied to a single event. That event being whether or not you will pick up this envelope and follow the instructions within. Now, with that in mind, look into the screen."

Gabby looked warily at James as he pressed the box forward again. She glanced over her shoulder at the thug standing nearby, his thick arms crossed on his chest. She leaned forward and looked into the screen. All she saw was yellow light. She saw James reach his hand forward and press something on the side of the box. The light began to glow brighter and filled the room. Then she felt as though she were falling into the light, into the box. She tried to pull back, to put her arms out and catch herself, but she couldn't move. She felt wind rushing against her face. A cold burst of air pressing against her as she fell down, down, down.

Then suddenly, all motion stopped. The yellow light became pale, almost green. Around the edges of her vision, a red hue hung like a fading fog. She suddenly realized she was outside. A blue sky and shining sun hung above her, but the colors were pale and dim. She stared around at the trees, their autumn colored leaves muted and fuzzy around the edges. A hundred feet ahead of her, a crowd of people stood. Soft voices reached her ears but she couldn't make out the words. She recognized where she was a moment later. A cemetery.

She shuddered and looked around frantically for someone to help her. To her sides and behind her, the red mist grew thick. The only clear path was ahead to the group of people. She walked towards the crowd. Even as she grew nearer, the voices stayed soft and unintelligible. As she approached, the people nearest her became wraithlike and transparent. She put her hand out to touch a shoulder, but her hand passed through the image. A chill ran through her body like a jolt of electricity. She shook off the shudder and stepped forward, passing through the images of people in black and grey suits and dresses. She stepped forward to reach the edge of an open grave. A sealed mahogany casket sat on bars suspended over the open hole. Of everything around her, it was the only thing that seemed solid. She put her hand forth and touched the coffin. It was cold and smooth. She slid her hand along the smooth wood as she circled it. On reaching the top, she turned and looked at the headstone. Her heart dropped as she read Julie's name etched into the rock.

Gabby wanted to scream. She raced at the headstone, but it became transparent and she passed right through it. Then the light around her increased until it was almost blinding. She found herself falling again. She shuddered against the rush of cold air against her face, choking on sobs between gasps for air. Then, the falling stopped and the light normalized. Her eyes adjusted to the change and she looked around.

She was in her own apartment. The colors were muted and there was no sound. She watched as the door to her apartment opened to reveal Julie standing on the threshold, smiling and holding a large glass bowl filled with salad. She entered the room and carried the bowl to the kitchen where she placed it beside a number of other bowls and dishes. The colors flashed briefly and then the room was filled with people, transparent wraithlike forms except for Julie. And one other person standing near the window in a pale blue dress with her back towards Gabby. Gabby stared at Julie for another moment, wrapped her arms around her friend and hugged her. Then she turned back to the other non-transparent person in the room.

She walked to the corner of the room, wondering why this person remained solid and visible while everyone else faded. Obviously this person was another key in this vision of the future. Gabby reached out and put her hand on the shoulder of the woman in front of her. At Gabby's touch, the woman's head cocked to the side and then she turned and glanced over her shoulder.

Gabby's gasped and staggered briefly. Then she jumped forward and hugged her mother, pulling her close and crying into her shoulder. She felt her mom wrap her arms around her shoulder and pat her back soothingly. Gabby leaned in close and pulled her mom tight to her. Then, she felt as though she was falling again and a moment later, she was back in the dining room, sitting across from James, sobbing uncontrollably.


Brian Miller said...

a chilling installment...what does it all keep us coming back...nice.

madison. said...

This is so intriguing. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen...

THANK YOU for being such and wonderful writer and for reading my writing as well! You are so darling and I appreciate you lovely little comments. Keep in touch, darling.

--V-- said...

Have you seen the one minute writer? I have a link to it somewhere on the sidebar of my blog. Though I've been slacking lately, I've found it to be a really great way to encourage myself to write.

logankstewart said...

I really liked this part. Wonderfully descriptive and evocative as well.