Wednesday, January 21, 2009


As the train picked up speed in the tunnel, the sound reached a deafening, roaring crescendo. Birdie felt stunned, paralyzed. She couldn’t think straight; it was as if she had been captured and carried away by a lucid dream, a nightmare. Strange images darted through her mind like exotic, nameless fish.
Suddenly the train braked, and with an ear-spitting hiss, slid into a brightly lit station.
“No time to explain. Just follow me; I am your only hope. I’ll tell you everything soon, I promise.” She looked closely into his eyes for the first time. No pupils, no iris, nothing, just an empty blackness. Depthless black spheres that seemed to be looking in all directions at once. Or nowhere.
He took her forcibly by the arm and with a jolting blur of movement she found herself suddenly standing on the platform. She was shaking, yet held tightly around her abductor for support. The people around them stepped back, confused, scared. Had these two people just dropped out of thin air? Goddamned terrorists, someone mumbled. Before anything else was said they were moving again.
“This way,” he said. Exiting the station, they were now running down what appeared to be a service ally. It was dirty, scattered with garbage and homeless trash. The stench of decaying urine was overwhelming. Other than a haven for bums it looked as if this tunnel had been abandoned for years, perhaps decades. The floor began to angle downwards. They were descending. The tunnel twisted and turned, a lone light bulb here or there dimly illuminating their way. Suddenly he stopped and went down on his knee. Birdie, exhausted, tried to catch her breath.
‘What?’ she heard herself say. The strangler, ignoring her, hooked his fingers into some sort of metal loop buried in the floor. He was trying to lift a circular hatch of stone or metal, Birdie couldn’t see clearly what it was in the dismal half-light. They heard footfalls from the direction they had just come. Someone was running down the tunnel towards them.
“Too late,” he said, finally pulling back the hatch. Birdie felt a mounting panic. Something terrible was going to happen. She quickly looked into the abysmal hole in front of her. He couldn’t possibly mean that they should go down there. There was no ladder, no walls, nothing, just an inky blackness. The man grabbed her by the waist and lifted her up as effortlessly as if she were a doll.
‘I’ll find you,’ he said and then dropped her down the hole.


Kate Lord Brown said...

Whoo ... hello Alice. Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Rowena said...

Man. The people in this project have some wild, intense imaginations.


It took quite a few days and the appearance of a dwarf on a step ladder to swerve The Way Home into Twilight Zone land... this one's ready to go at the gate.

JES said...

...this one's ready to go at the gate.

Ahem. And just who do you think OPENED that gate in the first place, from the very first installment in this story???

Nicely done, Son.

But should any of these BL stories turn out to be a swoony (as opposed to swotsy) romance or the tale of a plucky young protagonist facing the world with a smile, I do worry that you won't have artwork to contribute. :)

Son of Incogneato said...

Ha-ha - I beg to differ with you on the artwork issue, JES. You Burning Liners have exclusively been subject to the dark side of the Son. In fact, the truth is that at heart I am nothing more than a hopeless romantic. For example:

Blue skies, a warm spring afternoon, a young woman waiting for her lover at their appointed secret spot; how much more romantic can it get? I’m willing to bet that he’s bringing red wine from his father’s vineyard, while she has a picnic-basket filled with choice morsels swiped from the farmhouse larder. And a soft blanket . . .
I rest my case.

JES said...

Oooh, that's nice, Son.

(I could point out that the young woman waiting for her lover is wearing what looks like a cornette -- holdover from Sister Margaret? just the merest hint of a dark touch, hmm? -- but am too much the gentleman. :))

That really is nice, seriously. And I've got a thing for trees, too!

Son of Incogneato said...

The truth is stranger than one might think. No cornette that: the young lady is featuring a paper napkin on her head. I swiped this image from an ancient b/w photo – I believe Mr. Man Ray, a fav of mine, is the photographer, but I wouldn’t swear by it.

Few things are as they appear to be and those few things that are probably aren’t either.

Anonymous said...