Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New novel taste

I'm not abandoning the current project; the lines for this one came to me as I tried to sleep and I decided to type them before they faded. Maybe you will see more of this story on some later date. As of now, it took a lovecraftian direction I didn't quite expect.
“I’m Stevie Wonder. Who the hell are you?”
These words, uttered by someone who was obviously not Stevie Wonder may be a good place to start this story. They may not. But they always struck me as indicative of the tone of the villain of this piece of fiction. The critics will probably have a field day with it. Not to mention that I shouldn’t be addressing the reader personally, as I will be playing your stereo-typical 3rd person omniscient narrator, as is so common in thriller novels these days. Hi, how are ya? But even the great Steven King broke the forth wall upon occasion. The critics didn’t like him either. But the general populace didn’t put stock in critics, and neither do I. So if I get a bad review in the New York Times, well, I’ll take it as a badge of honor. And they’ll probably quote a line from this paragraph when they do it.
But back to the line in question. Now “Stevie Wonder” became known, despite his sardonic line, as “the stranger” in Beckford Basin. I was not there at the time he uttered this smart-ass answer to the sheriff on that fateful morning. I was out at the watchtower, heroically keeping a look out for signs of forest fires. As is not unusual, there was a heavy drought going on in Montana, and a strict ban on outdoor fires was in place. From my watchtower I watched, or slept, or maybe even thought of my next best-seller, the one that would sell a million copies and make me rich. In case you haven’t noticed by evidence of the tome you now hold in your hands, I fancy myself a man of words, so being a ranger is the perfect occupation. Lots of downtime. The truth is I don’t remember what I was doing that evening. I should remember ever detail from around that time, but I don’t.
So I want to get it out first off. This is a work of fiction. Well, I’m saying that to be safe, but let me explain why. Firstly, as I just said, I don’t remember the details too well in some spots. I am in the school of philosophy that believes that reality is dictated by what we think we perceive anyway, so if I remember facts a certain way, well why not put them down in that fashion. Don’t think I’m an unreliable narrator though; I did my research, and asked my fellow survivors and what you read now is what I have been able to collect from the group. So yes, some facts are guessed at, half-remembered, and conjectured.
Second off, I think this story would have been a little… well, not boring, but difficult to plod through if not for some literary embellishments. So I paraphrased a few times, or did some creative writing in my quest to play a halfway-decent omniscient narrator. Sometimes I recreate events I was never a part of, even taking the liberty of stepping into people’s heads. Plus, I gotta stay true to my narrative roots. I am a novelist, though you may not have heard of my work. But if you’ve got a few bucks, why not pop into a hobby or used bookstore and spend them on Elrilion and the Caves of the Vanadu? It’s a good read about the adventures of a swashbuckling elf that I might as well admit was heavily based off of myself, but it never got much airplay if you know what I mean. Anyways, yes, some paraphrasing and turns of phrase to make the story sound better and satisfy my inner artist.
Finally, due to the exclusiveness of our group (the survivors), the lack of evidence, and the mysterious nature of the incident, our stories have come into question. The CDC has sequestered Beckford ever since the incident, and I and the others have been in quarantine for longer than I care to imagine. We’re out now, but still quite isolated in a way. We’ve been poked, prodded, and interrogated. I don’t know what the other’s said, but the story I gave has them convinced (at least that was the story I was told) that I was suffering from some sort of post-traumatic stress. In fact I write these words from a nice, quiet place they found for me. It’s along the lines of a hospital, but they won’t let the residents check out if you catch my drift.
But the public consciousness is a fickle thing. People have lost interest in what happened in Beckford. The official story is a neural pathogen that was spread like rabies. My holders have forgotten why exactly it is I am here. I think I could even get out, if I played in, gave up my story as the fiction that I am presenting it as to you, the reader. But I’ll be honest. The world is a lot safer behind these walls. The things we survived were horrible, and sometimes I wake up at night in a cold sweat and cry and moan until the sun comes up. Maybe I belong here. It’s safe, and quiet, and a man can write. Maybe a man can even publish again. I certainly hope this story doesn’t fail to reach press or fall into obscurity. Because the world needs to know the truth. About what happened in Beckford. About what is out there. And why I seek the sanctuary of my pills and starched white uniforms. Why I would rather be inside that back out there in the wilderness. This place is asylum in both senses of the word to me.
My name is Wyatt. This is the story of the survivors of Beckford Basin, and how all the residents of the town were massacred. And events got rolling the day the stranger came into town.


Wow, that is a great start, I can't wait to see where it goes from there!

By Blogger Andha, at 12:36 AM  

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