Bonefish

I have been playing the new WoW expansion quite a bit

Sometimes the darkness and I walk under purple willow trees.

The bridge and the river and the giant blurry death lights are all behind us. I feel better now.

I ask “How did your bones get wrinkly? I know that my skin gets wrinkly from being in the water, but how does that work with bone?”

The darkness does not answer.

I ask “Are you going to get a new skin now? It could be fun to wear this willow tree! Or these streetlights. They give me a nice warm comfy feeling. You could wear a streetlightskin.”

The darkness does not answer.

It walks a little ahead of me. The warm light from the streetlights shines on its skull.

I am so homesick.

I ask “Are there butterflies here? You could wear a butterflyskin. That would be pretty neat.”

The darkness does not answer.

Its bones are wrinkly and its red eyes are dull, and I wonder what else is behind us now.

it is lots of fun and we found a good guild

Sometimes the darkness and I wander through the desert for many days and nights.

The darkness never speaks, and its red eyes fade into gray. It never takes another skin, despite its wrinkled bones growing darker and more brittle.

Bits of bone have chipped off. Sometimes the darkness picks up the chips and tries to fit them back into itself, over and over. Sometimes it doesn’t.

For a long time, there is only the desert and the sky and the silence.

Then there is the little wooden sign, with the fish and the hook.

I ask the darkness if it is hungry. It does not answer.

I am hungry. But I have no hook.

I look at the darkness. It is holding a piece of toe bone in its hand. The bone would make a very good hook.

I take the piece of bone. The darkness does not resist. I am very careful to not look into the gray eyes.

I grind the bone against the nearby rocks, trying to shape it into a hook. This is going to take a while.

The darkness stands there, its skeletal hands empty. Then it begins to hiss. I’d almost forgotten what its voice sounded like, after so much silence. There are no words in the hiss. No words that I understand, anyway.

I keep grinding the toe bone against the rocks. I try to fit the chip of my soul back into myself, over and over, but it never seems to fit.

I will try to write a bit for now

Sometimes the darkness and I sit at a picnic table in the desert. We eat the fish I caught with the bone hook I made. I grilled it on the nearby grill first. I don’t think fish would taste very good raw.

The darkness is still hissing. A long low sibilant death rattle.

I ask “Is your fish good?”

It hisses at me.

I wonder what happened to it, down in the blue brightness.

I was dying. Now I am not. Now the darkness is dying, and I am using its bones to catch fish.

I put some more fish in what’s left of its hands. Maybe eating fish will help it not die. I don’t want it to die.

It lifts the bits of fish up to its skull. I watch, expecting to see the fish fall through its rib cage, but I don’t see anything. The fish disappears.

The bones must be a skin.

If it won’t find a new skin for itself, then I will have to do it. I will do that for the darkness. It gave me its life.

I can give it a skin.

lalalalalala

Sometimes the darkness and I think about who lived in this place before.

I see a billboard advertising large homicidal plants with heads like cows, and I wonder what it would be like to be chewed up like cud. Where would you go after being chewed? The cow-headed plant does not appear to have four stomachs.

I ask the darkness about it, if it knows the people who were here and what happened to them, and why their buildings and streets stand empty now.

It does not answer. A piece of finger bone falls from its left hand.

Perhaps the plants with the cow heads were very hungry but not very smart, so they ate up all the people and then, having exhausted their food supply, they starved to death.

I don’t think the darkness is starving. I saw it eat the fish.

I wonder what sort of skin I could find for the darkness. The cow-head plants must have been very hungry indeed, because there are not many living things left in this place.

Perhaps the darkness would like to wear the skin of a telephone pole, or a wire without any electricity. Maybe it would like to be an abandoned building, or a faded and peeling billboard sign.

Or maybe it would like to wear a humanskin.

I pick up the bit of finger bone. We will need more fish.

yay writing times!

Sometimes the darkness and I wish that aliens would come down and take us far away from here.

I say, “Maybe that’s what happened to the people who were here before. Aliens came to save them from the cow-headed plants, and they went with them. First they made these billboards to tell their story to future passersby, and then they gave themselves up to the alien ship’s beams. Now they are probably living in luxury on a state of the art spaceship, having intraspecies romances and engaging in dramatic conflict with nefarious beings of pure energy and things like that.”

The darkness hisses, and another bit of toe bone falls to the pavement.

I wonder if it would like to wear an alienskin. I think it would look good in green.

But the aliens came and took the people and left, and they are very far away now. There are no alienskins to wear.

Perhaps I could find one of the cow-headed plants.

I look at the darkness. Its bones are even more wrinkly now, and they are jagged and discolored.

If I found a cow-headed plant and gave the darkness its skin, would the darkness eat me?

I remember it pulling me up out of the blue brightness.

I don’t think it would eat me.

I pat it on what’s left of its hand. I say, “I will find you a skin. You will be okay, and we’ll get out of here and we will find your Reality and everything will be okay.”

The dull gray eyes stare at me.

I really don’t think it would eat me.

Well.

Probably not, anyway.

yay I am a trashcan!

Sometimes the darkness and I like to pretend that we are industrious garbage containers.

I say “Oh, what a pretty dress that is. Thank you for this empty soft drink bottle! I hope you have a good day!”

I imagine someone walking towards me, squinting against the glare of the sun on the sparkly bits on my sides, and dropping an empty packet of headache medicine into my yawning maw.

I think about all the nice people walking by me every day, generously giving me their used up treasures. I think about the grumpy people and the sad people and the people who are lusting after other people and the people who are angry at the world and who sometimes kick me and tip me over, and the morally upright people who come along after them and pick me up and put all the trash back into me.

I think about the sun and the rain and the wind and the snow, and how after years of being outside in the weather my sparkly bits would grow dull and begin to drop off.

Like the darkness and its bones.

Maybe if I gave it my skin to wear I could wear the trash can’s skin.

But could I move? The darkness has always worn skins that had some form of mobility. I don’t think I would like to be stuck as a trash can in an empty world, with a yawning maw that would never be filled. It’s fun to imagine it in a world full of people, but to actually live it in an empty world would be very sad, I think.

The darkness opens its jaws wide. Bits of bone fall to the sidewalk, where they sparkle in the sun.

It hisses, and the hiss is more than I can bear. I curl up on the ground next to the empty trash can and I put my hands over my ears, but the hiss goes on and on and on, and it’s wide and it’s empty and it’s dark and there’s nothing there.

There’s nothing there.

yay I like to write thing

Sometimes the darkness and I visit booming waterfalls, so that we don’t have to hear ourselves hiss.

There is a bit of a rainbow in the mist coming off the waterfall. I remember the time that the darkness and I rode on a rainbow. And then the darkness ate it.

The green bridge near the waterfall is very different from the other bridge, the one with the death lights. This one does not have lights at all.

I hold my arms straight out as I walk across it, like I am balancing on a beam. The mist is cool on my skin.

The darkness says, “I liked the fish.”

The darkness says “Although it didn’t taste as good as the rainbow.”

The darkness says “Thank you.”

I don't know man, I feel like it's heading towards some sort of resolution, which no. Do not want.

Sometimes the darkness and I lie on our backs and look for shapes in the clouds.

I say that one of the clouds looks like a clenched hand.

The darkness says that I must be angry.

I smile. I am not angry. Not at all.

The darkness says that the clouds are actually two hands reaching out in supplication. It says that the clouds desperately want to know the meaning of all things.

I ask, “What is the meaning of all things?”

The darkness says, “What do you think the hands are reaching out for?”

I cross my hands behind my head and gaze up at the clouds. I remember falling into the blue brightness. I remember the hard grip on my wrist, pulling me up and out.

I think I know what the clouds are reaching for.

I ask the darkness, “Do you want more fish?”

It nods. I stand up and look around on the ground for the bone hook. I know it’s here somewhere.

The darkness watches me search. I wonder what it thinks the hands are reaching for.

I keep looking, but I can’t find the hook anywhere. I had it in my hand, and then I put it down next to me when we sat down. It was right here.

I hear a snap. The darkness holds one of its finger bones out to me.

It says, “Make a new one.”

I take the bone. I stand there for a bit, looking at it. It is mottled and chipped and old, and I don’t know if it will make a good hook.

The darkness says, “The hands are reaching out for an end to emptiness.”

I look into the gray eyes, which are not so dull now.

The darkness sighs. It hisses at me. “Go. I want some fish.”

hahaha omg, I am a master at calling back to old random material and making it integral to the plot

Sometimes the darkness and I try to decipher the ancient billboard language of long lost peoples.

I say “Maybe the yellow thing with the red spikes is the alien transdimensional spaceship, and the happy worker holding the fuel pump means that the aliens landed here because they were out of gas. And the humans, desperate for rescue from the rampaging homicidal cow-headed plants, were very happy to give the aliens all the gas they had in exchange for the aliens taking the humans away with them.”

The darkness sniffs contemptuously.

I continue on.

“The worker had to stay behind to operate the fuel pumps, and he gave a proud salute to the ship as it lifted off, knowing that he had done his part to save his people. He then turned around, faced the slavering hordes of cow-headed plants, gave a terrible war cry, and charged into them, wielding his fearsome pipe. He took great numbers of them out, but in the end they were too many for him. The last thing he saw as the cow teeth closed in was the ship full of his people, safe now, winking out of this dimension.”

The darkness sniffs again.

It says “You always assume that things are presented to you in the order that they happened and that reality is linear and rational and neatly organized. It’s one of the more annoying things about you.”

I play with the new bone hook, rolling it around with my fingers. It’s been a while since the last fish.

I ask the darkness “In what order are things happening now?”

In response, it eats a rainbow.

I’m not even sure where the rainbow came from. I look around, but the waterfall is far behind us now.

Color starts to drain from the world. The dirt goes gray. The billboard is now monochromatic, the fuel worker’s face shadowed and unreadable. The sky fades to white.

The aliens.

Lovesys No Colors.

They’re here.

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11 Responses to Bonefish

  1. cathytea says:

    Oh, I love this! I adore your prose! Hey, I think you might really enjoy SimWriters.com ! Lots of creative writers there, and I think they would love your voice! They have story contests, and I could see your work fitting in really well. I’m exciting you found my site so that I could find yours! I feel like I’ve come upon a hidden beach loaded with beautiful shells and colored glass! 🙂

    Like

    • medleymisty says:

      Yay I’m glad you like it! 🙂 I worried it wouldn’t be to your taste, since it’s definitely not a legacy sort of thing and doesn’t even have visible Sims as characters (although it is set in the Sims world). And actually I registered there this afternoon and it says my application is pending approval. 🙂 Been a while since I’ve ventured into a forum, but I’ll give it a try.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cathytea says:

        The contests are really fun–and it’s a very original group of writers. I think they’ll love your style. “Goofy Love” is probably my most traditional story. I tend to get a little out there with the others (especially “Playable”)–and I absolutely love things that are on the edge and original, that make me think, and that have a rhythm that draws me in.

        Like

  2. RipuAncestor says:

    I get the feeling that both the tone of the writing and the darkness itself are less bleak and morbid now than in the beginning. I like how the change has happened and how this story has shaped. I also love how the text paints a very vivid into my head.

    Like

    • medleymisty says:

      Less bleak right now, yeah. I think the darkness is slowly learning how to be real from the narrator. After years of writing Seth and Sarah, which was very much a unhealthy relationship, it’s been nice to write one that becomes more healthy as it goes on.

      Thank you so much, for reading and commenting. I don’t know if you know what it means to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. raerei says:

    Ooh they flipped! Before the Darkness was taking care of our narrator and now it’s the opposite…expect time isn’t linear! I love that (especially as I don’t believe in time myself). Perhaps all of this is occurring out of order…(just thinking out loud, not really guessing – I hate guessing stories). I’m growing much more fond of the darkness now that it’s more vulnerable (yet still all knowing). At the beginning the Darkness was confident and somewhat cruel. Now I feel sorry for it all alone most of the time, knowing reality and not being able to share even with our narrator who spends so much time with it.

    Sometimes I think our narrator and the darkness are the same (they are both hissing). Sometimes I know they are not. I wonder what would happen if the narrator gave the darkness their skin…that sounds like you’d be devoured by the darkness. I don’t think someone could survive that even if they put on another skin.

    I’m still struck by your first post. I wonder how the darkness comes by mail. It’s a puzzle of a sentence still worming its way through my brain.

    I like how your writing hold onto you after you’ve finished reading, opening new thoughts and wondering. It’s half philosophy, half adventure, half fantasy, and half metaphysics. At first I enjoyed the story because the plays on reality. But I really had no way to think about what would be next. Now I’m curious what will happen as the story unfolds and I’m invested in both characters. Seeing them both brought low – falling in to the water, losing wrinkly bony bits – has made them more “real” than they were at the beginning when although it was a darker story, it was a more fantastical experience…if that makes any sense. Probably not. I’m not very good at explaining myself when my thoughts are still half formed.

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  4. “Sometimes the darkness and I walk under purple willow trees.”
    Okay, already I’m in love, firstly, because I love the screenshot (and it makes me want to get TS4 so badly), and secondly because I love willow trees. There is something poetical and emotional about the willow, and it makes me want to dance (and I’m not a dancer). I just love trees in general.

    I’m really glad I joined the Reading Circle because I’ve been needing to catch up and this is good motivation for me.

    How is the narrator homesick? I think it’s an intriguing concept. Is home Midnight Hollow since that’s where you started?

    Hmm… the darkness is choosing not to speak. Interesting… Perhaps the darkness doesn’t want to answer. The narrator strikes me as a curious character – curious about the world and about life. I love the questions the narrator asks, probably because I’d ask lots of questions. I know you’ve said before the narrator isn’t necessarily light, but sometimes I picture the narrator as light-like if that makes sense because the narrator seems more positive in general, sometimes naive, and sometimes childlike. However, the darkness speaks truth, a concept I usually associate with light, which is what I love about SD. You flip a lot of symbols on their head (and I don’t know if it’s intentional or unintentional, but in my mind, it’s brilliant). There’s light-likeness in the darkness because of the truth. Sometimes I think truth is better revealed in the dark than in the light (and ooo… now I like my own line here and I might have to use it somewhere).

    Back on topic…
    I find it strange that the narrator grounds the bone and tries to shape it into a hook. There’s a lot here to unpack. Is it because the bones will grow back? Is it because they won’t? Is it because the narrator doesn’t care about the darkness or the darkness didn’t care that the narrator took it? Is it because the narrator is trying to reshape the darkness or something the darkness represents? Is it because the narrator doesn’t realize what he/she/it is doing and doesn’t think anything of taking the bone? Is it because the narrator is hungry and just wants food? Is it because the darkness has “hooked” the narrator as they seem “hooked together” as they travel through places? Then suddenly the bone from the darkness somehow becomes a chip of the narrator’s soul – how does that work? Okay… I’m getting metaphysical.

    Is the desert sun affecting the darkness? Is that why the darkness hasn’t been talking and is now only hissing? Maybe the incessant questions from the narrator is bothering the darkness.

    I feel like their relationship is symbiotic because they are traveling together (for some unspecified reason, right, unless I’m seriously missing something??) and they seem to “Feed” off one another, or give each other life – physical, metaphysical, spiritual, or otherwise.

    I’ve also noticed the narrator seems to only talk to the darkness in question format and the darkness never asks a question (again, unless I’ve missed something). This is most intriguing to me. Although now that I say that, I read farther down and the narrator is talking frequently in non-question format, and the darkness does ask a question. I should’ve finished reading first. Perhaps a better statement would be that the narrator seems to say things in question or curious speculation.

    “We will find your Reality and everything will be okay.”
    This line makes me excited. There’s so much here. Everything really is surreal in the way you write. I am constantly questioning, wondering, and wanting more. I am curious as to how the darkness and the narrator ended up in this desert-place and why or what is causing the darkness to “die.” What is their reality? I’m assuming the narrator and the darkness come from separate realities because they are so different and yet they somehow exist in this space or this reality together. I want to know how this works, and in some regards, I don’t because it would take away some of the “magic” in a sense.

    Toward the middle end the darkness speaks… it feels like it’s coming back like it was present, but not fully prior to now.

    Rational, linear time? Psh! Where’s the fun there? 😉

    I agree with the darkness that when you think things presented to you happen in a linear fashion, you are making a big assumption. One of the thing I love about Latin American Lit in particular is how they play with reality and temporal mechanics and non-linear timelines. It’s fun and interesting. The bit about the rainbow baffles me and excites me – there’s those interesting temporal mechanics and nonlinear things again (unless I’m making assumptions here so correct me if I’m way off base).

    Another great chapter by you. Another wordy response by me. 🙂

    Like

    • medleymisty says:

      I do rather like TS4. 🙂

      Yes, Midnight Hollow is the narrator’s home.

      I think it’s more that the darkness can’t answer, even if it wanted to. I’m not even sure if it can hear the narrator.

      I would say that’s an accurate description of the narrator. 🙂 I wish I could find this pic I saw on Tumblr that was the perfect representation of the darkness and the narrator, but it’s probably years back in my archive. The picture was taken in a forest, and a figure in dark clothing and wearing a gas mask had a hand under the face of a young shirtless innocent looking man, one finger bringing the man’s chin up so he has to look up at the gas mask.

      Very little in the story is intentional. 😉 I just write what comes out of my fingers.

      The narrator cares about the darkness. Very much. I think that’s where the narrator’s soul comes into it – that represents the guilt the narrator feels over taking the bone to make into a hook. As for why the narrator took the bone – well, the narrator needed to eat and there wasn’t anything else available. Gotta do what you gotta do.

      You find out more about why the darkness isn’t able to talk in the next chapter. Don’t want to give it all away yet. 😉

      As for why they are traveling together – well, the darkness brought the narrator with it into other universes to save the narrator from disappearing along with Midnight Hollow when Midnight Hollow went into the black.

      The narrator is very curious. 🙂 It’s a trait we have in common, I think.

      I think I’ll wait and see how you react to future chapters before getting more into the darkness dying. As for how they got into the desert – same as always. The darkness pulls the narrator along through all the universes they visit, trying to escape the black.

      Yeah, the darkness is getting better and regaining its energy.

      I’ve never read Latin American literature. I grew up on Victorian literature, like the Brontes and Dickens and Hugo and Austen and Poe. Well, Austen is Regency, but yeah. I’ll have to check some of it out. Any recommendations?

      Oh yeah, the rainbow bit is a callback to the first chapter. 🙂

      I adore wordy responses, so it’s cool. 🙂 Thank you, very much.

      Like

      • TS4… someday.

        Thought so – Midnight Hollow that is.

        Interesting… the darkness’ predicament.

        Sounds intriguing.

        Nice. I like it sometimes when I write just to write and something awesome comes out! I should let myself do that more frequently.

        I’ll read more soon. I promise.

        At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to “root for” the darkness, but now I’ve grown attached like the narrator in a way. Your writing has a way of mesmerizing me and the darkness is very appealing at times, even if it is creepy sometimes too. There’s a pleasant and creepy side to both light and dark though, and I think you capture that well.

        That’s right. They are traveling outside and through multiple universes. Forgive the forgetting. Silly little me!

        I adore curious characters.

        Latin American Lit… it’s been a bit since I’ve read it but I’ll have to go through my shelf and pick out my favorites and let you know.

        Like

  5. I thought I meandered back here, but I guess not. Like Water for Chocolate… read the book. The movie isn’t all that great. By Laura Esquivel. Emotion-infused cooking… that’s all I’m going to say. Really interesting take on magical realism. Octavio Paz is an excellent and beautiful Mexican poet and writer, but his Labyrinth of Solitude is intense, a novel-length essay basically on identity and solitude. I think you’d enjoy it.

    Like

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