Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bits and Pieces

You see them occasionally in your home town. They are always passing through. They are young men with long hair and blue jean jackets, and the look of the ascetic on their faces. They are derelicts clutching a paper bag, who make humped shadows in alleyways. They are young girls with flushed cheeks and too bright smiles, and women who seem always to be watching you. They may even be you. You can recognize them. In one way they are the same. They all have fangs in their eyes.

On the first day of the month of Harps he had not returned. And on the second the wind blew black with dust. I stood on the walls of Kaleri, my eyes red from seeing, and waited to watch him ride in gray out of the wind shadows. But he did not. On the third day I went out after him.

"High IQ," he said, "but the patient shows paranoid delusions of grandeur with ideas of reference."

"Ahhh," I said, as if I agreed.

"Attributable to Oedipal disturbances in childhood and complicated, I think, by an organic syndrome induced by narcotics abuse around the onset of puberty. The client also appears to exhibit concomitant antisocial characteristics and it may prove difficult to establish rapport."

"Yes. I fear you are right," I said, and turned him gently from the mirror.

I suppose no man can forget what he now is when he speaks of what he once was. He can only hope to remember what were, for many of us, happier times, softer days, when moments without hardness were like leaves on the trees.



Anonymous said...

These are all enjoyable bits and pieces. I seemed to dwell on the first paragraph the most and ending line; They all had fangs in their eyes.

eric1313 said...

Wow--I think one could actually write a minimal amount of bridgework and you would have one hell of a short story in the grand ole beat tradition, something with more meanings than lines.

Seriously! This fits the bill of art to a T, even if it doesn't tell an overly coherent story. After all, a great teacher of mine told me "plots are optional".

I like that, because a good one can be so hard to find. Teachers and plots.

Bernita said...

Excellent , both as individual and collage.

Sam said...

Lovely prose!!

virtual nexus said...

Like this. Neat insights - and the fangs are inspired.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jack, thanks. I've never found quite the proper place to use that first paragraph in a story but I hang on to it because I like it.

Eric1313, thanks, I didn't think about any bridging but maybe I should.

Bernita, thanks. The collage element didn't really occur to me. It was too late at night, I think.

Sam, thanks for visiting. I appreciate the comment.

Julie, I rather like the "fang" line myself. Thanks.

Travis Cody said...

I particularly enjoyed the last paragraph. It immediately evoked emotions, especially the phrase "moments without hardness".

Leigh Russell said...

There I was convinced I'm one of the women always watching - I do watch people covertly, always on the lookout for inspiration - and then came the 'fangs'! Oh no!

Poignant snippets. Will you develop them? Especially the first and the last ones. And the ones in between...


Shauna Roberts said...

Nice! That "fangs" line was great; it really caught me by surprise.

Erik Donald France said...

Excellent. Were these orginally handwritten on napkins, cards and scraps of paper? Little gems, zen koans, microcosmic, fun.

WH said...

I read the post through several times, enjoying the "bits" more and more.

Donnetta said...

So enjoyed these pieces, Charles. Not sure which I like the best. Will have to go back and read again. No pain in that! Neat work. But, then, I have grown to expect this from you!

Steve Malley said...

You know these snippets are good. At least, you certainly should.

My question: plans for them?

Sidney said...

Love the second one particularly.

ANNA-LYS said...

Me like a lot! And as Steve said here earlier ... plans for this igniting-sparks?

Interesting You have educated about altruism. Maybe, You have same input on the issue?

Miladysa said...

What a writer you are!

I like them all - particularly the last paragraph.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Beautiful writing here as always! I'm loving the mood. Is it a piece of flash fiction or is it going to expand?

Michelle's Spell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Gramlich said...

Travis, that last paragraph is a quote that I made up for one of my paragraphs in a novel once begun and long since abandoned. But I like the quote.

Leigh, these are all saved in my sort of "gem" files for use sometime, somewhere, down the line. Who knows when.

Shauna, thanks. I like that line too, and have used a variation of it in at least one published story. In fact, I think it was one of the Taleran books but I'm not sure which at the moment.

Erik, most were written Bradburyesquelly, if that word makes any sense. Mostly just me starting typing and then something coalescing.

Billy, thanks. I appreciate it.

Donnetta, thanks. You flatter me, but I still appreciate it. ;)

Steve Malley, they will show up in something down the line. These are some of those snippets that I suspect most writers have a file of, not qone anywhere yet but with hopes that one day they'll travel.

Sidney, that one definitely seems a fantasy story to me.

Anna-lys, I'm sure they'll appear somewhere eventually. I will do a post on altruism by and by.

Miladysa, thank you. I'm blushing, but don't let that stop you. ;)

Michelle, they're pieces of things that never quite went anywhere but I liked too much to throw out. So they are in writer's limbo awaiting release.

JeannieGrrl said...

How wonderful, only a short burst and I'm captivated!

Lana Gramlich said...

I love your word-pictures. You're so talented.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sylvia, thanks very much, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Lana, not nearly as talented as you are sweet.

Chris Benjamin said...

yeah, love the fangs in their eyes. really nice prose, whatever it's about.

ivan said...

Those bits will probably make more sense to you when you are older.
Gevolt! We get too soon schmart and too late old?
...I am starting to find out at my advanced age that a little formal study of Platonism can be a darn dangerous thing.
Better a live Kallikak (Kerouac) than a dead Plato?
Gimme back my youth!
Put me back On the Road

Chris Eldin said...

Excellent in every way. I especially loved the first paragraph!

Danette Haworth said...

Wonderful, Charles! Would easily fit as written into a literary flash fiction market.

steve on the slow train said...

I like the idea of posting bits and pieces. As others have pointed out, they seem to have a connection between them. The line, "the look of the ascetic on their faces" resonates. I see them too often in my line of work.

Lana Gramlich said...

No, you.

Sarai said...

Very good collect of bits and pieces. I enjoyed the last one the best! Great work ~

Lisa said...

"I suppose no man can forget what he now is when he speaks of what he once was. He can only hope to remember what were, for many of us, happier times, softer days, when moments without hardness were like leaves on the trees."

I especially love that part. And I really loved, "'Ahhh', I said. As if I agreed."

Universal bits and pieces, all of them. Great writing.

Charles Gramlich said...

Benjibopper, thanks. It's probably about drinking.

Ivan, I'm for putting my ass on my deck these days.

Christine Eldin, thankee.

Danette, thanks much. I may have to consider it.

Steve, I had not noticed any connection until someone mentioned it. Ig uess it shows how much comes from the reader as well as the writer.

Lana, that would be YOU.

Sara, thanks. Much appreciated.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lisa, that's my personal favorite too.

writtenwyrdd said...

A lovely assortment of misc. bits and oddments. I particularly liked 'fangs in their eyes.'