A Story That Belongs No Place But Here

Let’s call it:

bloodlines

I.

   Once upon a time, I knew these people.  And then.  And that.

II.

The Spider

He looked like he was biting something hard inside that mouth but then he always looked like that.  Once, perhaps about twenty or so years ago, they said he looked more at ease.  Circumstances obviously changed him then.  And he knows that.  Day after day he concocts various ways on how to escape the current life he weaved for himself.

“Soon,” he thought, “everything’s going to change.”

And it did.  After so many years spent on daydreaming, one day he just boarded the plane.  He did not tell them when he is coming back.  He did not tell them where he was going to.

In the plane, he was seated beside the window.  He looked at the stewardess; he smiled at her, then he turned and gazed outside the window to his left.

He didn’t look like he was biting something hard this time.

The Resurrected

Her old family said she died for days when she was just a child. Then was a time when magic played a more significant role in the lives of the people. She believes what they said, and her young ones are always fascinated every time she shares with them that story.  They adore her.  Kids love the fantastic, even the adults, although they are a lot less keen to show it. The other stories though, she chose not to tell. For she knows none of them–the young or the old–would be comfortable to hear it.

Thus, she concealed the fact that from that first one as a child, she has since died a hundred more deaths.

The Player

If you would look at this picture of him you wouldn’t believe it was taken just two years ago.  Now, he still looks young, yes, but you would not consider him a kid any longer.  Although no one really told him, he felt that everyone thought of him as the black sheep.  This became a seed, sown, and turned into an embryo that eats its way inside his head.  Not long, he believed with his whole conviction that he is in fact the black sheep.  At least, he thought, he had a role at last.  And he played it too well, too long.

Now he finds himself kneeling, crying his heart out to the replica of a man who was crucified thousands of years ago.  And he asked for help so that another life could come to this world, safely as was possible.

That night, or dawn to be exact, he started to play another role.

The Bachelor

They’ve been together for seven years now, but they never tied the knot.  They don’t need to.  What we have is already perfect, he told himself.  And perhaps he is right.

But he was surprised to arrive home that night and see her waiting for him.  As he closed the door, she stood up.  Beside her were her bags.  Big ones.

“I’m leaving,” she said.  “I’m pregnant. You didn’t really sign up for that, did you?”   He had thought those extra pounds were just because she ate more.   She heads for the door while he was inert, rooted to the spot.

“I never really had a father,” he said as the door opens.  She said, “I know. I never had a mother, too. But does that matter?”

The door closed.

The Novice

Two cars jammed.  Heavy traffic ensues.  She was seated in a tram while the noonday sun reigned in tyranny.  Her vision sometimes blur at the edges, turning the lines into curves for a fleeting second.  Something caught her eye.

A woman glowing with uncommon simplicity crossed the street.  She wore a habit.  Girls in their teens, huddled in groups of twos and threes, follow behind her, as if she was their mother duck.

Twenty-one years ago, I would have been one of those girls, she thought.  Perhaps, she wondered, in that fork by the road, I chose left instead of right.

The car behind them honked.

She thought of her boys. She thought of her.  Then she laughed.

The Wanderer

Upon setting foot on the golden soil of what you now call Middle East, he kissed it.  He arrived when he was in his twenties; a fine young man, free from any anchors buried back home, with a future as bright as an annoying headlight of a car approaching from the other side of the road.

Or so he thought.

The Crone

She lies on her deathbed.

Surrounded by people either crying hardly or on the verge of tears, she tried to say something.  But it was as if her tongue was tied in complicated knots.  On her side, a woman holds her hand, putting it close to a damp cheek. She recognized her face, and she remembers.   She remembers the love that bore fruit on that boat travelling between the worlds of children and adults, and how quickly that love drowned.  She remembers the loss, and the new doors it opened.  She remembers the plans that went astray, the dreams that turned into dust.  Then she wonders where it has all gone, for just then there was but total darkness.

All that is left are the voices.  She could not understand what they are saying, and she feels that this time she is truly alone.

She becomes very, very afraid.

Before everything vanished, even the voices, she recognized one word…

“Mama?”

The Witch

On her black book, she writes.

She looks up to the harvest moon, and she knows that the other thousand versions of herself are doing the same to their own moons.

She smiles.

The Santa

Inside the mind’s baffling archives, he always has this round belly.  Round.   He is not pregnant, of course.  Even so, she had been always amazed at the utter roundness of it.  And from there, unconsciously, she has always equated roundness with something nice, like love.

He arrives every afternoon with little treasures for her, and she has always been giddy personified.  For years it went on, The Adventures of Santa and his Giddy Sidekick.

Until they grew apart.

The next time she saw him, the roundness was gone.  Instead it was replaced by a boring white rectangle with a looking-glass, one that lets you gaze at the profile of the deflated santa–colorless, emotionless.  Lifeless.

And then she fell apart.

III.

          Blood ties life.

It creates lines.  It fills the heart.

We never get rid of it, not really.  Or we could.  Then we die.

Because.

:)

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43 thoughts on “A Story That Belongs No Place But Here

  1. Daaaays ago, a story I wrote was rejected only four hours after I submitted it. I felt shitty the rest of the day. Rejection is rejection and it hurts no matter how fast or delayed it was done. I’m done moping though, and by now that story’s stacked in another slush pile anyway ha. But this story (this one’s especially close to me) has never been shown to anyone before and right now, it finally has a home. 🙂 You wouldn’t mind giving it a little feedback, won’t you?

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  2. Stephen King once said when you read stories you read either with a grinding envy or a weary contempt. I read this with a grinding envy for the quality of the writing that it has. i think it would make a great short film with all those characters and situations…that is just how I saw it in my head.

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    1. Thanks, J.D. That’s a very kind thing to say. And for making me smile I will always remember what you said and perhaps make a short film out of this when I’m already rich and famous and dedicate it to you. But don’t hold your breath.

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    1. You cannibal, you.

      How did you know this was based on reality? It’s that obvious? Nyaha, I’m glad you enjoyed “meeting” my first- and second-degree relatives. I’m also one of the characters, although you may have already guessed that. 😉

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    1. That, my friend, is something I can’t say with a clean conscience. But I do have a copy and because of this intriguing comment I will be watching it soon…right after a nice session in the bathroom. Will get back to ya. 😉

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      1. Ooooh, alright. Now I’m beginning to understand how your writing system works–but only a little, haha!

        Well, um, this is what the rejection note said:

        “Thanks for submitting _________, but I’m going to pass on it. It didn’t quite work for me, I’m afraid. Best of luck to you placing this one elsewhere, and thanks again for sending it my way.”

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      2. U know sometime people can be jealous…And they do silly thinks …would U share the First story with M3 I am kind of interested in stuff which bothers others…

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  3. Awe-inspiring. It reminded me of Carl Jung’s ideas about archetypes, the ideas that everyone has these innate parts within them (and others like the hero, the artist, etc.). It left me wanting more. Very well written, am I’m very happy to have read this :]

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  4. This. Is. Something!

    Really beautiful, though beautiful isn’t really the word to describe this piece. It is exceptional! And very intriguing and creative. Something really worth it to be Freshly pressed. 🙂

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  5. Hello Ms. Duptsi!! so happy to see your “fresh” ideas rolling on. Keep it up! Tried sending you emails but unsure if you still use the same email. let me know.

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  6. Because these stories are so short, you could probably find or create an image to go along with each just a thought. Good job, you have some writing skills!

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  7. I think it would be a pity to add images – each of these is a snapshot in its way, suggesting more …. I love the separate sections and the mystery of how they may, or may not relate. Has a timeless quality to it but also a sharp focus.

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