Friday, June 20, 2008

Deus Ex Machina


Debra liked the demented, the dark and the surreal. It reflected her personality. From a young age, she’d realized there was no such thing as happy endings. The pursuit of happiness was for the delusional.

To the world, she presented a hard, been knocked around, can take care of myself, so don’t fuck with me veneer. She didn’t believe in fairy tales -- unless they were told by Tim Burton. Yet, in the back of her mind, she harboured the faint hope that there might be a happy ever after for her. Of course, she never allowed anyone to see this hopefulness.

So, now, here she was lying on a white sand beach. She couldn’t remember how she got there.

She looked down at herself. She was dressed all in white; white slacks, white blouse, white pumps. She strained to remember something – anything. It was surreal; a scene from the Twilight Zone. Wasn’t there a scene like this in Contact where Jodie Foster’s character meets her dead father on a beach? Maybe she was dead. Maybe she was dreaming. That’s it – a dream – it must be a dream. Well, if that was the case, she’d just go with it.

Down the beach, she could see a dark shape against the whiteness of the sand. As there was nothing else around, she took a step towards it. In an instant, she found herself looking down at the body of a black Arabian, lying on its side – the same horse she’d sketched over and over in countless notebooks as a child; when she still had dreams of happiness; before her mom’s death; before the anger and constant black cloud.

A kaleidoscope of her life played back at her in the sheen of the Arabian’s coat; the self-destructive behaviour, the failed marriages, the sabotaged relationships, the sorry state of her self-imposed loneliness. Maybe she really was dead. But wasn't there anything good about her life?

A fluttering movement caught her attention. She turned around to see a multi-coloured hot air balloon. It hadn’t been there a moment ago. That’s the thing about death dreams, she thought – they don’t need to make sense.

Across the breeze, a pure light-as-air voice was singing, “Some day my prince will come . . .”

Debra brushed the sand from her blouse, took a last, wistful look at the now putrefying horse, and stepped into the hot-air balloon.


For Sunday Scribblings, "Happy Ending" and Dan Wiencek's 13 Writing Prompts

(This is probably one of the weirdest pieces I've done. All I had was Dan Wiencek's last sentence, the Sunday Scribbling’s prompt of “Happy Ending” and my own self-imposed word limit. I had no idea how I’d get there until I got there.)

11 comments:

shammi said...

I like it. :) I had a look at this prompt too, but I had absolutely NO idea where to go with it, so I didnt :)

Granny Smith said...

You were brave to choose one of the extra credit prompts! This fulfills it very well with a nice eerie quality. Great post!

Berry Blog said...

Glad you posted again..I've been checking every day...phew! I guess I am influenced by my own persuasions I still half hide from the world ( or so I would delude myself), but I just had to substitute a dark Arabian prince for the horse and then it all fell into place in my world.
But I'm not supposed to be that kind of person. Tsk Tsk. Howsomever, I was captured by your take on the in-between world and fell easily into your tone.
Well crafted El...and more importantly well "felt".
Admirer-Charlie

ell said...

Thank you. I was a bit wary of this one, but it turned out to be rather fun.

Charlie, checking every day? Sorry. I'm a bit erratic with my posting habits.

danni said...

this piece had me totally enrapt --- what a great post!!!

Devil Mood said...

I can identify with your character on the happy endings and atitude, except for the important part: not knowing how you got there, I usually do lol
It was very nice! And I have a passion for hot aired balloons :D

Lucy said...

Well You Got there! brilliantly! when I read those prompt choices I thought of the one you chose... WHO could do this?? YOU Did!
great story!

Joy said...

Wow! Well done! I was so caught up in this and kept wondering what would happen next. You write so well, Ell, and this is well-crafted fiction! Keep going with it.

ell said...

Joy, you are too kind.

I do enjoy the challenge of these writing prompts. Some of them work out better than others. :D

Joy said...

I keep wanting you to finish the pieces you've posted on here. They always make me want to know more. I was seriously blown away by this one and couldn't imagine how you'd get where you did with that prompt. You're GOOD!

one more believer said...

wow, love this story... everywhere it goes... imaginative... creative.. got hooked on the 2nd piece had to come back to the first... the title is so expressive to the story.. used that myself recently....deus ex machina