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Friday, December 14, 2007

Fiction Fridays: Until the Fever Breaks (part 1)

I've decided, since my primary goal for writing is to write fiction, to dedicate Friday posts to fiction. (The keen-eyed among you may have noticed that I did not post last Friday. I was going to start Fiction Fridays last week, but my day was permanently interrupted before I got very far. So, here it is now.)

I have no illusions that I will be able to post whole pieces every Friday. I'm far too meticulous and labourious a writer to be able to do that. However, by instituting Fiction Fridays, I hope to force myself to produce something vaguely self-contained for the readers' entertainment.

Thus, for your edification and enjoyment, I present a little snippet from a story I came up with last week. (That sounds misleading. As of the writing of this post, what follows is all I have composed thus far. I can't guarantee there will be more, but I hope so.)

Until the Fever Breaks

part 1

Rohit felt hot. He sensed the sweat all over, swarming on his aching skin. Coherency broke through the haze of his thoughts, for a moment, and he reasoned that the blurring of his vision must be from the sweat running into his eyes. Then he roared, dizzy, and flailed his arms for balance.

The smoke returned to cover his mind. He could taste the hot metallic tang on the roof of his mouth. Through the blur, he made out a flash that clawed at the back of his eyes. Cringing, he threw an arm up across his face. Gathering his courage, he stomped a foot on the ground, and then charged.

Susie loved going to the mall. Her big sister, Polly, got to go all on her own, and hang out with friends. Polly told stories of all the cool people there, and all the awesome clothes, and stores with free samples for perfumes, and makeup, and cookies, and ice cream. Susie didn't get to go on her own, but when Dad had to go Christmas shopping for Mom, he needed a second opinion. Susie was glad to help.

She floated through the stores, sometimes holding her father's warm hand, sometimes following behind and gazing at the pretty dresses. Her father was careful, even when he seemed distracted, to know where Susie was, any time she wandered more than a foot away. "C'mon, Susie. Let's go see if there are pyjamas in the next store that Mommy would like."

"Daddy, please. I call her 'Mom'." Susie skipped over to catch up, slipping her right hand into her father's left.

Stumbling through the thick air, hot and oily in his lungs, Rohit exhaled a pent-up sob. It gurgled out of this throat, loud and liquid. He couldn't remember how this all started, didn't know where he was, but knew for sure he wanted to get away from the heat that consumed him. The sheen of sweat had evaporated from his burning skin, leaving a crust of salt that yielded less and less with every flexure of his agonized limbs. He felt something crash against his hardened shins, stumbled, and then kicked out blindly at the assault. He could barely see through the ash that seared his eyes, and his ears were filled with a muffled roaring like fire heard far away. His nostrils had given themselves over to the acrid burn, and now his skin was withheld from all but the heaviest of blows. Panic rose up in him, a fire all its own, as he recognized his exclusion from the world around him.

He kicked again, missed, then threw himself to the ground. He felt something solid across his midriff hold and then give way. He crashed amid the pieces, his head bouncing on hard concrete. He barely felt it.

continued in part 3

As with all of my posts, but especially with the fiction, comments will be most appreciated.


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At 11:48 AM, December 19, 2007 , OpenID frankbyrns said...

Good imagery. Not sure what's going on (yet), but nice and descriptive.

Possible typo in second paragraph? "He could taste the hot metallic tag on the roof of his mouth" -- tang, maybe?

At 6:06 PM, December 21, 2007 , Blogger Hydrargentium said...

Right. Thanks for the catch. Fixed it. :)



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