Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chapter Three

The White King Enters

Start Chapter 3:
Once more, the day was ordinary. Elizabeth emerged from her uncomfortable bed at noon. The sun was shining brightly through the window, illuminating the bedroom's every crevice. She groaned, as a couple of cockroaches disappeared through a hole in the wall, after scuttling between the mounds of clothing, books, toys and dishes that made up the architecture of the bedroom floor. She slid slightly, revealing her stomach, which was covered in stretchmarks-- the only smooth area was around her belly button. Her hair was tangled, and her make up running, marking her face with dark blotches. Her eyebrows were fuzzy and scraggly as well, frowning as the sun fell onto her eyelids. She yawned, revealing her yellowed teeth, and the scar on her tongue where she used to have a piercing. Then, slowly, carefully, her every muscle aching, she moved out of the bed, her feet nudging piles of clothing out of the way as she staggered upright. Smacking her dry lips, her brain raced, as she tried to decide what the more important option was-- coffee, or a shower? In the end, cleanliness prevailed. She stepped into the rundown bathroom, eying the new spiderweb of cracks in the wall suspiciously, and undressed. The water was cold, as it always was, but she didn't want to risk talking to her landlord about it. She yawned again, and was rewarded with a mouth full of cold water.

She stepped out of the shower and, wrapping herself in a towel, made her way back to the mirror. Squeezing toothpaste onto a toothbrush and jamming it into her mouth, she glared at her reflection, which served to remind her only of her fading years. The wrinkles, the bags under her eyes, the hints of grey in her hair; all served to warn her that her life was slowly being left behind. She would never be able to be young again, never not be in a position of weakness and responsibility. She saw this in the mirror-- the years of work that her future held, the years of misery, of poverty, toil and then death. She could feel the opening gap in the future gaping, the abyss of time looking into her soul and telling her how worthless her life would be seen by the universe, the universe that cares not, the universe that knows not. She spat into the sink, and rinsed.

Towling herself off, she walked into the kitchen and popped on the kettle, pouring some instant coffee into a chipped mug. Elizabeth walked over to the front door, which had been jammed with leaflets from some church, "The Church of the Last." She snorted at the obviously fake joy of the too clean people on the pamphlet and tossed it into the trash. She went back into the bedroom, and picked some clothes up off the floor. She sniffed them, and satisfied that they were at least clean-ish, she pulled them over her head. Dressed in a rumpled t-shirt and jeans, she moved back into the kitchen. Soon, cheap instant coffee was bountiful. Elizabeth sat at the box that served as a coffee-table and sipped at her breakfast, her eyes staring into the distance as she made plans for her day. She yawned again, and finished off her drink, stepping back into the kitchen to place it in the ever growing pile of washing up. She sighed heavily, and went about cleaning up the house. 

She put clothes into the a bag for laundry, and scrubbed the kitchen. She placed Michael's toys back in his toybox, and piled the books as neatly as possible. She went to the window to let some air in. She leaned out, enjoying the fresh California spring breeze, staring out at the bay beyond the buildings, when she noticed something on the ledge of the window. Intrigued, she leaned out the window slightly further. She grabbed the object-- it turned out to be a sheaf of papers-- and pulled it back inside. She glanced over the title page, "Once" by The Author, and, confused, began to read. She was pulled in quickly, for it was her own life, chapters one and two. Elizabeth felt like the bottom had fallen out of her world, felt sick to her stomach, felt shocked and appalled and violated. Someone knew who she was, and where she lived, and what she did every day. What she looked like. Someone knew every intimate thought and fantasy she had. The final page had the url . 

In a fit of rising panic and bad-decision making, she sped from her apartment, and ran the 11 blocks to the library. She clattered in through the front doors, earning herself dirty looks from the other patrons, but she didn't care. She sped to the computer lab, almost out of breath, where she sat at the computer, her fingers trembling as she typed the address. And yes, there it was, two pages-- no, three-- all about her, her life, her thoughts, her family, impeccably detailed. Enraged, sickened, and threatened, she scrolled to the bottom of the mysterious blog's new post and jabbed at the computer keys, typing quickly, as she called 911 on her phone.

End of Chapter Three

The White King Exits.


  1. What's wrong with you, you sick fuck? How the hell did you find all this shit out? How the fuck do you know who I am? How do you know where I live? Leave me the fuck alone, I'm calling the police!

  2. She typed frantically, calling 911 on her cell phone and fleeing the building, trying to swallow her rising panic.

  3. LOLWUT.

    Is it me or is it Meta in here.

    Uh, maybe you should get this checked out.

  4. Ben typed swiftly, as he glanced through the blogs. Perhaps there would be another clue to Slice's whereabouts, perhaps not. Time would only tell.

  5. It's at this point, the story finally becomes of some interest, but only because it's so self-servingly self referential. The idea of a world written has been done better so many times-- the film "The Truman Show" and "Stranger than Fiction" are just two examples that leap instantly to mind. It also unashamedly worships "The House of Leaves" in its commentaries about the meaning of books and films, but again, cannot stand up to the superior original.

    Another issue that 'Once' has is with its protagonist. She is unlikeable and dull, and far from being an independent and strong female protagonist, her entire life revolves around her MALE son, her male-dominated job, and there are hints of her being an abuse victim that seem in very poor taste considering the context of the story. The author has a taste for purple prose, but doesn't seem to know how to properly use it. The story is going somewhere, but whether that place is good or simply a downward spiral is yet to be seen.