Sunday, 4 March 2012

Down the Labyrinthine Ways, Last Page

Sam walked up the stairs of the tallest building she could find. Even if she didn't know where to go, at least she could see everything. As she walked, she felt the building stretch out around her, felt it grow bigger and bigger. The stairs added to themselves, becoming more and more, until she felt like she had walked miles and miles and not moved an inch.

Still, she did not give in. She was determined to figure out this place, so she kept walking, discarding her shoes on some undetermined floor, her arm gripping the railing.

Finally, she came to the top floor where the stairs stopped. She opened the door and found herself on the roof of the building, only sky surrounding her. She gasped for breath and had to stop herself from hyperventilating, then slowly calmed down.

She slowly moved her feet forward and walked towards the edge of the roof. Luckily, there was a rail there to prevent her fall, so she gripped it with white knuckles and looked down.

There it was. The city. There was every building, every street, as far as she could see. It stretched out for so long, not even ending at the horizon. As she looked down, she saw as the city rearranged itself again, only this time into something different.

It was a face. It was making itself into a face, lakes for eyes and a tall building for a nose. She could see as the colors of the buildings changed, shading the face, making it a mixture of pale pink and brown for hair and

And it was her face. The face the city was transforming into was her own. The city was becoming her. And she knew.

It was always her. She hadn't been lost in a city. She had been lost in herself. She had been hiding from herself.

She felt the wind whip around her, felt her hair falling away from her face. The railing she had been holding onto had disappeared and now she was standing on the edge of the roof looking down at herself-as-a-city and she knew what she had to do.

if she was down there, she couldn't be up here, too. she couldn't be here and be the city. so the city had to be the real one. she had to let go. she let go and fell forward.

she let the city take her

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Down the Labyrinthine Ways, Page One

It was 1939 and she was twelve years old, her eyes bright with excitement. She clutched her mother's hand as she led them both into what the sign declared was the "Dawn of the New Age" and the "World of Tomorrow."

They had only moved to New York last year and now there was this. There was so much excitement, so much to do, so much to see, so many people around. It truly was a World's Fair and there she was, right in the middle of it. She hadn't been able to see Flushing Meadows so much before because of all the preparations, but now that she could see it, she loved it with all of her heart. She could do that because she was twelve and could give all of her heart to many things.

Even as the sun beat down, even as she sweated inside her wool sweater, she gazed up at all the exhibits, eager to see each and every one. She wanted to go to the Ford Pavilion and see the race cars; she wanted to go to the Amusement Areas and go on the parachute jump; she wanted to see and do all things.

And then she realized that she wasn't clutching her mother's hand anymore. Somewhere in the rush of people, somewhere in the excitment, she had let it slip out of her grasp. She turned hurriedly and tried to spot her mother, but she couldn't. There were so many people, just so many of them. She tried to yell out "Mom!" but there was such a din that she knew her mother would never hear her.

She tried to move against the flow of people, but it was like trying to swim against the tide. Eventually, she was left on the sidelines, desparately watching the crowd, trying to find some sign of her mother, of the light brown hair and kind smile, the woman who would pick her up (even though she was getting too old for that) and kiss her on the forehead and tell her to be more careful.

She never saw her.

She wandered from place to place, searching for her, but the Fair was too big, too crowded. Even as night approached, the people never left. There were too many of them and only one of her and soon she was lost, lost amid the world of tomorrow, lost in the dawn of a new age.

And so she hid. She hid from the crowds and the people and the world of tomorrow. She hid and cried into her wool sweater and she wished her mother would find her.

Eventually, a man who worked there found her and brought her to exact center of the Fair where her mother was waiting for her. She rushed into her mother's arms and cried and her mother told her it was okay, that everything would be okay. "Dry your eyes, Samantha," her mother said and she did. She dried her eyes and they went home together, but Sam knew, deep in her heart, that she wanted never to be lost again. To be lost was the worst thing in the world.

Years later, she would feel those exact same feelings when she was inside the City.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

In which I cease my wanderings

It's been a day since I last made a post here, hasn't it? I should probably update my progress in finding a place to stay within this city. An unlocked door, an open window, any invitation for me to stay put instead of wander.

So far, there has been nothing. All the doors have been locked, all the windows shut.

I wish I had my camera. Even broken, it would have helped calm me. Perhaps it was the only thing keeping me sane. My camera and my story.

I still have my story. Down the Labyrinthine Ways. Except it doesn't seem so important to write it now. Because I am living it now. All the wandering my character did, I am now doing. Shall I wander for forty days and forty nights before finding shelter?

I...I have looked back and what I wrote. It is gibberish. It wasn't gibberish when I wrote it. It turned to gibberish. Like the books in the library. It became unintelligible. Unreadable.

I have to stop. Even with no shelter, I have to sleep. I feels like I've been walking for weeks, instead of days.

This bench is as good a place as any to fall asleep.

And if I die before I wake, I pray

my soul

the city


why did i write that

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

February 8, 1923

Today I saw very little outside my window. The scene remained the same one as yesterday, and nothing moved. However, when the sun began to disappear over the horizon, I saw a man limping down the street. He was dressed in a black suit, with a black tie, and was convulsing as if in great pain. I saw large growths all over his body, and his bones seemed twisted somehow. The result was that his overall shape seemed almost inhuman, to the point that I almost believed him to be a monster at first.

And then, before my horrified eyes, I saw the lumps recede, and I saw the man's skin turn pale. He fell to his knees and clutched at his stomach, and he vomited onto the cobblestone below. He vomited until nothing but bile came forth, and then he screamed and writhed in his agony. The color continued to recede from his skin until he was perfectly white, and then his golden hair began falling from him in clumps, and lumps formed over his facial features, obscuring them until they were completely invisible. The man stood, though he was still in a great deal of pain, and limped away, his limbs moving in a stiff manner.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Diary Entry: One of those days.

I woke up starving in the middle of the street about an hour ago. No idea how I got here or how long it's been. I have a camera with four nearly identical recordings made on a beach and now my glasses are gone.

I do at least have an idea what I was trying to do. I have no idea where to begin looking for this woman, but I did see a bookstore not too far from here. It usually worked when I was trying to find my dear husband (may God rest his soul) to start looking in the bookstore first.

Monday, 2 January 2012

February 10, 1923

The page I typed for my journal yesterday is gone. In its place, I have found a sheet of charred black paper, and upon was inscribed, in the most barely visible, barely legible letters: "Forever."

The world outside my window has changed four different times today. First it was a city made of glass, then it was a cabin built by a lake, then it was a cobblestone street surrounded by trees, and now it is a field with a single tree in the center, from which hangs a noose.

In each of these scenes I have seen the great black beast, always in the distance, always looking directly at me.

Friday, 30 December 2011

In which I lose my way

I am lost. I      nexplicably, inextricably l       ost. I don't recognize an      y of the buildings around m       e and even if I did, it woul                                        d not do any good, for they are      all locked. I tried to open       doors, but they would not op      en. The windows are dark an       d shuttered and I can't see inside anywhere, I can't tell where I am. Every side street branching off into darkness. I am lost. Lost in a mercurial city.
I ran from t                                        hat deformed person in the cathe      dral. I ran from them and didn't look back. Perhaps that was bad                               of me. Perhaps they did not wish me harm      at all. But I took one look at them at felt such revulsi on,                                        such vileness, I could not help but run. Why did I feel in th at way, like I did? I do not know. I just ran. I ran down corridors and hallways, rushing through doors, not looking where I was running, not looking at all.
And now I am      lost. I cannot find my room. Once, I would have been able to turn      the corner and see it; now, I can only see more empty buildings, m      ore flickering streetlights, more dark alleyways that seem to conv                                        ey danger. I don't know why, but this place, this city doesn't feel like it used to feel. It doesn't feel safe anymore. It doesn't feel right. It feels...
I cannot des      cribe how it is making me feel. This place, this city. Everyw      here I turn now, it seems like it is turning me away, pushing me a      way. I have seen no more department stores, no more Italian rest                                       aurants, no more movie theaters. No more life. Just dark buildings, their edges as sharp as blades, their windows opaque, their doors firmly shut and locked.
Is this my fault?                               Or did A do something? When they         killed their monster, did that         change the city some         how? Or does it simply respond         to my own emotions?         When I was hungry, it led me to         a restaurant. When I panicked,                                 it became a place of panic, a place of blind fear. If I calm my self down, will it turn back into a place that feels exciting? Will I find my room then? Or will I just wander this city forever, searching for something that no longer exists? What am I doing? What am I going to do? -- Sam Norton.