Fleeting Tales Vol. XI

I should have finished my book years ago. Instead…

I stared a hole through my monitor. The one line I typed in Word was starting to blur because I refused to blink because I was tired and I knew blinking was too close to sleep.

All the talent in the world and I was still drafting my novel.

I sighed. I took my second shot of rum.

I used to laugh and scoff at authors who spent decades writing their books.

That will never be me. I’ll be published.

Decades vanished, and I was no closer to The End than I was a decade ago because I keep starting from the beginning.

I stood and start punching the air.

I shadowboxed when I felt anxious.

Jab. Cross. Jab, cross, uppercut, roundhouse….

Sometimes I’d set my boxing app and go the whole twelve rounds trying to figure out what to write next. What to do next.

I took a seat.

When I started my novel I was forever young, single, and directionless with all the time in the world. I was also a terrible writer. But I had time, and youthful exuberance (ignorance) on my side. Now, I was just old and careful and too painfully aware of my mortality. I was confused at to whether I should care more or care less at my age.

I typed a line.

My main character was now in the middle of an existential crisis. It’s all I knew.

Write what you know, right?

I closed Microsoft Word and reopened my Youtube browser.

I chose not to care as much anymore. It was my choice. It made little sense to waste anymore time on a story I’ve failed to finish for more than a decade.

I clicked on a channel about cameras and filmmaking.

It was cool. A lot of quick cuts and After effects.

I yawned. I clicked on Microsoft Word and reopened my story.

I needed to finish my book. I couldn’t go a third decade without finishing my book. It was the first book of a series. I’d be damned if I died before I finished that story.

I wrote a paragraph.

My main character was a twelve year old was crumbling under the weight of an existential crisis. That was how I would write the chapter. A twelve year old child in a fantasy world suffering from a real adult world problem.

I smirked.

I felt hope. I would finish my book in the next ten years. I no longer cared whether it was trash or whether anybody will read it.

Hope.

F*ck yeah.

I kept writing.

Random Quest II

Remain still…

Eagle Tattoo Png Photo - Pocket Compass Tattoo Design (441x451), Png Download

He laid his rifle and compass on the grass before taking a seat on a rock.

His soldier, Ash, must have been halfway towards the sunrise before realizing he was no longer behind him.

He smirked.

That kid… that girl… His soldier was young and enthusiastic with good knees, and would often walk ahead of him even though he should always be in the lead because he was her superior officer and she was the soldier.

Ash returned. “The sun is setting.”

“I see that,” He replied.

“Why are we stopping?” Ash questioned. “The shadows are on our tail.”

“The shadows are always on our tail,” He said. “Always will be.”

“Which is why we continue west during the day…. Sir,” Ash drew a cone. “We’re down to our last shelter cone.”

“I’m aware.” He massaged his knees.

“And we’re low on ammunition,” Ash added.

“That we are,” He said.

Ash groaned before taking a seat on the grass beside him.

“Ever seen the sunset?” He asked.

“We walk west,” Ash answered. “The sun sets in the west.”

“But have you ever paused to watch the sun… set?” He asked. “Or even the sun rise.”

Ash turned her mouth. “No… why would I?”

The young soldier looked frustrated, but he couldn’t tell whether the frustration stemmed from his questions, or his decision to rest.

“We fight shadows and we walk west,” Ash said. “There is no purpose in standing still to look up.”

“Why do we walk west?” He asked.

“Because… its what we were created to do,” Ash said.

“You sound frustrated,” He said.

“You continuously stop and ask silly question, sir.” Ash stood. “We are wasting time?”

“And you never wonder why we walk west…” He questioned again.

“The prophets said so,” Ash replied. “Our purpose is west.”

“What’s West?” He inquired. “I’ve lapped the world and have seen nothing.”

Ash scoffed.

“Ever wonder what’s West? Why we walk, West?” He questioned.

“No.” Ash turned her back on him.

“Why not east? Or North…”

“No…”

“Or South?”

No!” Ash paused to inhale. “We will know our purpose when we find it.”

“You sound so certain,” He said.

“It is not our job to be certain, sir,” Ash answered with venom.

“Is it not…” He replied.

“Stand up, sir…” Ash commanded. The enemy is clos–“

“Remain still.” A soft whisper carried on the wind. “Still… remain stilllll…”

“Shadows…” Ash drew her rifle. “They’re here, sir.”

“Yeah, as expected.” He reached down to reclaim his rifle from the grass.

Ash’s eyes widened as she stared behind him. “The sun sets on us… We need to move west.”

The girl looked ready for a fight.

“You go…” He said.

“What?” Ash reached for his arm. “Move, sir…now!”

He was done fighting. He no longer had the energy or faith or desire to fight.

He handed his rifle to Ash. “I’ll remain to watch the sunset.”

Ash dimmed her eyes at him before removing her hold. “You’re a stupid old man.”

He smirked.

It took the girl longer than he expected to stop calling him sir. He lost a bet with himself.

“Perhaps.” He reclaimed his compass from the grass and handed it to her. “Lead whoever you come across and lead them well.”

Ash snatched the compass and shook her head at him. “Stupid…”

Ash took off towards the what was left of the sun, that time without turning back. His soldier quickly disappeared below the setting horizon and over the grassy distance.

He wished Ash well. He hoped for her to meet someone younger and that she would lead them well.

A chill on his neck.

“I knew you’d catch up eventually,” He said.

“Remain… still,” The loudening whisper commanded.

He drew his canteen and took a drink as the shadows around him grew.

The sun was all but gone. The shadows were all but on top of him.

“Alright… I’m remaining still…” He called. “Now what?”

The sun vanished, stars appeared, and scythe shaped tentacles emerged from the grass.

Fleeting Tale Vol. 10

No amount of caffeine could have woken him up that morning.

He stumbled off the elevator and shuffled his way through the dimly lit halls of his office building.

He didn’t feel like himself. He felt like someone else was in control of his body and he was just the passenger.

He swiped his badge.

Boop!

He opened the door and entered his office through the kitchenette.

The office was quiet, which was usual for a Tuesday.

He was an hour behind his usual schedule but he was certain there wouldn’t be enough people present to notice.

He entered his office, gently shut the door, hung up his bookbag and jacket before taking a seat to power his computer.

He never shuts down his computer. He simply logs out, because it takes a whole millennia for it to boot, and part of him was hoping the constant running would burn out the computer so his employer would be forced to either get him a new one or telework.

He was burning out. He only logs out and never shuts down.

He left his office for the kitchen.

His coffee was cold. He needed the microwave.

He needed to believe the caffeine would kick in eventually.

“Morning?” Someone called.

He looked over his shoulder to greet the old man. “Morning, how was your weekend?”

“It was fine, thank you,” His old coworker replied.

“Was the office busy yesterday?” He asked.

“The office was closed,” His old coworker replied.

“Oh, wow,” He itched his beard. “I teleworked yesterday.”

“The boss let us out early on Friday,” His old coworker said.

“I can imagine,” He responded. “The place must’ve been a ghost town.”

His old coworker nodded.

“The boss here?” He asked.

“Not yet,” His old coworker replied.

“Okay, let me know if you need me for anything,” He said.

“I will,” His old coworker waved before exiting the kitchen.

He popped his coffee in the microwave and set it for thirty seconds before stretching his ailing knees.

He questioned whether there was a different life for him. Whether he had reached his cosmic peak, and working hard to leave the office life was like fighting gravity and that he’d be far happier accepting his pre-destined position in life.

He pulled his coffee from the microwave with two seconds left on the timer.

The coffee was lukewarm, but he didn’t have the patience to wait another thirty seconds for his caffeine. He needed his caffeine. He could do nothing about his mental tiredness, but the physical tiredness…. caffeine will hold him over until its time to head home.

He returned to his office and immediately guzzled down half of the lukewarm coffee.

He sat in front of his computer and opened his email.

No new emails.

The coffee was failing to rejuvenate him.

He had to accept the reality that no amount of coffee or prayers or well wishes will replenish his mental and physical energy.

He sighed.

It was time to accept the reality that he will always be tired. Tired and bored was his lot in life, and ironically, the acceptance of that truth was his one chance of finding peace. If he can’t find success, then would dedicate his life to finding peace. It was all he could ever hope for.

He forced himself to smile before opening his word processor to begin his work.