Monday, January 26, 2009

The Clocks

Then she was through the opening, which closed behind her like a drape. Before her sat her Grandmother and her sister Maggie. Birdie stood in her Grandmother's sitting room watching and listening to her sister telling familiar fibs. Grandmother rocked in her chair, frantically writing down all Maggie was saying in her battered leather notebook. Her pencil scratching on coarse paper.

The room looked smaller, grey, sticky with grime, unpolished. It smelt stuffy - of old boiled cabbage. Birdie shook her head because the ticking was getting louder, tapping on her eardrum. Then Birdie noticed the clocks stuffed on the shelves, all shapes and sizes, some ornate, some digitally flashing.

"Phone her boss," hissed Maggie, "he's not a normal boss."

Maggie looked straight at Birdie, but didn't see her. Birdie recoiled, she had forgotten how alike in appearance she and Maggie were. It was like looking in a mirror. Maggie - her toxic twin.

"Are they at her apartment now?" Asked Grandmother.

"Yes, they are waiting. Silly Birdie, she's taken the wrong path. Again."

Maggie began to laugh and crossed her fingers behind her back as her Grandmother continued to write notes in scratchy graphite.

The clock closest to Birdie's head began to chime; another, the other side of the room, replied. Time to.....


JES said...

Scarlet, man, I love the way you painted this scene. (Painted, nothing; it feels more like you've scratched it in and cross-hatched it using an extra-hard pencil, like a #4 or so.) And I love the direction this is going. All the Alice bits a while ago, now all the Lynchian.

(And "her toxic twin": wish I'd written that. I'll never be able to read the phrase "evil twin" again w/out thinking to myself, of the writer, You know, you could have done that so much better... Hopefully, said writer will be myself as seldom as possible. :)

Word verif: redabili. Huh.

scarlet-blue said...

Thank-you Jess! I was tempted by the Alice idea... but thankfully I got the white rabbit out of my head [although perhaps not completely because of the clocks?!] and I decided to opt for the more surreal path. Isn't it funny how the sub-conscious picks up threads?

Son of Incogneato said...

Wtg, Scarlett! I thought you’d fallen to the wayside there for a bit. This is getting properly surrealistic! And just what we needed – an evil twin . . .

I looked up redabili in my lexicon of proto-Latin roman terminology (3rd edition). Redabili refers to a written works’ readability, often expressed as a quotient, i.e. how good a read a story is. Thus far I’d say Birdie has pretty high quotiens redabili.

scarlet-blue said...

Thanks Son, yes, I'm getting into this story now, I spent some time reading the previous posts and it started to get under my skin. I think it has a lot of potential.

Rowena said...

I'm so glad you picked up that "not a normal boss" thing. I don't know how abnormal, but it's intriguing.

Love your Maggie and Grandma. I am getting concerned for Birdie. It's hard to know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

I notice we already have a twinning thing going on. The Stranger and The Friend. Birdie and Maggie. Negative and Positive. Underground and Aboveground. Reality and Fantasy? Or is that Sanity and Insanity?

scarlet-blue said...

Hi Rowena, yes I'm picking up on the contrasts, lots of shades of light and dark and some interesting narrative signposts.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Bravo Scarlet ... tick tock, tick tock ... imagine the place at midday (or midnight?)