Monday, October 17, 2011

New Beginning 893

He slept fitfully, the way soldiers always sleep on rock mattresses against the surviving wall of a burnt out building. Spotlights of the searchers couldn't reach this flopspot and the walls were stable. There was a name for this war, Rattenkrieg; an old name from a century before when soldiers used lead bullets and not energy guns. Rat war named for one city not a world. Sniper, a man who shot real enemies not the faceless searchers that fell from the skies.

He slept in this burnt out rubble because it was away from his sniper lairs. He slept here because the rats fed elsewhere. Not that the rats mattered anymore. Rats liked fresh meat. He was no longer fresh or living. No one lived in these ruins. They died here but never lived. Like all snipers, he became one with the stone and the dirt, one with the scurrying rodents. Every few minutes, his eyes opened not awake but looking past the red glare of burning buildings and the ruins.

He dreamed of dancing and laughing to music in three-quarters time, a rainbow of colored skirts swirling to the elegant sweep of violins and cellos.

But the only music was the whining of mosquitoes and the dripping of the fetid water that pooled by his sleeping body and soaked through his clothes.

He slept like this, in this shithole, not through choice, but because he'd believed the propaganda, he'd ignored his better judgment and he'd gone to fucking

Opening: Dave F......Continuation: Anon.


Evil Editor said...

I like this.

Something bothers me about sentence 1. If I imagine a comma after "sleep" then I expect wall and building to be plural. Maybe a comma after "mattresses"? Or maybe be stylish and remove the one comma you do have in the sentence. I can see minimal punctuation as the way to go with this story.

I'd either delete "They died here but never lived." or change it to They crawled here to die

Delete "scurrying." It makes them sound cute.

I'd change dancing and laughing to laughing and dancing.

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

Whoever thought I, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would come back to life in this body?

--Wilkins MacQueen

He always drinks beer, and when he does, he drinks Seerpucker's Malt Liquor.

Don't get thirsty, my friend.


Anonymous said...

Ya got lotsa poetical scene setting there, not much action. I'd try to mix in a little more activity. No need to give a complete history of the world before the guy blows his nose. Especially because until things happen we won't really know WTF you mean.

150 said...

Wow, there's a lot to like here, but your punctuation! I just want to suck it up in a vacuum cleaner and spit it back out in the right places. I agree with Anon that I'd like to see something happen soon. And (possibly other) Anon--very nice continuation. :)

Dave Fragments said...

You always bring me back to my original idea.

This is a story for an anthology "A-Z Cities of Death." The city is Katmandu and it is dead. This soldier is wired into the machine, a metal centurion of vast power, his body kept alive artificially.

Dave Fragments said...

The title is going to be "Katmandu Raga" and this soldier will be haunted by the dead of battles past in between episodes in the present.

As for punctuation, it's a raga and I've thought about writing it in free verse. I'm still not decided on that.

Xiexie said...

Good on you, Dave.

However, don't ditch the punctuation. And I don't really mind that no action has happened yet. If a scene is set up well enough, I don't think every hook needs immediate action.

Continuation was tan perfecta!

Dave Fragments said...

Thanks. I appreciate the comments.

Dave Fragments said...

I sent the story to the editor of the anthology. I should hear back in a few days/weeks/whatever...