Monday, November 7, 2011

Teaser #10: “Plastic.”

Our humble narrator asks of himself, amidst a situation where revelations loom ever nearer: “What did I truly hold closest to my soul?”

Revelations.  There’s a lot of those in my stories.  That just came to me.

Another question, the answers sifting through the mental fog: “What one aspiration defined me above all other aspirations?”

And another: “What motivated me in ways I had forgotten, yet now knew were on a horizon, somehow on a horizon?” 

And then he sees the light at the end of the philosophical tunnel, not an exit bringing simple answers.  Not a train to bulldoze over him.  Not anything expected, yet so clear once it hits him.  A revelation wrapped in the guise of an epiphany.

The truth, no matter the price to be paid.

“Plastic” is one of those organic writing rides, no real idea where it was going to go when I started it, an oblique starting point that mutates into something special.  We follow our loser narrator as he attempts to get a hold of his so far mislead life.  But what’s wrought in the bones often comes back to sway even the best intentions.  He gets a job at a Genesis Plastics, with promises of big money to help him hasten his excursion out of the drab town he's lived in his whole life, but the work is strange, just as the place; and his superior, Nilfren.  Other elements add to his mounting breakdown, coming together to nudge the old ways out of hiding, where drink and women derailed everything.

But his derailment, in one of my favorite sections I've ever written (chapter 5), does not prove to be permanent, because what happens in the final chapter (6), takes him to such unexpected places even the reader may find wonder in the final…revelations. 

Here’s a sample from chapter 5, where our unnamed narrator has stumbled hard and he heads back home to a woman who might make sense, a woman he met at work—Kris—yet within the breakdown, he’s cognizant of things within himself changing.  Something is definitely in motion.


     Head clearing, I realize I might be destined to slink through life on the edge of living it right, maybe never getting out of this place. I
ll tell myself the lie and set up the goals and maybe, just maybe, I will get out, but thats now something I realize might never happen, and until about a week ago, I was dead set and seeing it as viable, the way, the only way, something to live for and...

     Kris at the apartment door, sad doe-eyed look and I hug her hard and wonder what am I doing and hug her more and I cry, breaking down differently now, crying and wondering if all that matters in this life are little moments like this, where somebody cares and you get to care back and then we are in bed and shes taking me inside her and it feels like something I could deal with for awhile. Maybe. Maybe not. And I am coming and she is screaming and its a mess of sounds that slash like daggers back at us, digging into my flesh and I ache, a strange ache, and I wonder what the hell is going on and I see myself in the mirror afterwards and something is wrong...

     Something that has nothing to do with drinking or falling down and getting up, brushing off the failure; something real, something within. I look different in ways I cannot describe. I see this in my stance, feel it in the way my bones ache, know it as one knows their very body that something is happening.

     The word escalation seeps into my thoughts.

     The word, as I have associated with workthe mindless drudgery of that placeand I realize something had been escalating, but now it seemed to pause.

     Shifting to me?


Though this one is not horror, per se, it most definitely deals in fantastical dimensions being crossed—Stop!  Don't give any more away, man!  See, there is always so much more to the stories than what they seem to be about, though in every one there is something we can all hold on to, that gist of humanity, our link from the world we know, and the strange worlds jitterbugging just to the left of ours.  Trust me (again), when you get to the revelations here, I hope you smile gleefully as the right choices are made.  Really, they are, no matter where these right choices lead our narrator…

Next up, we meet Trane, a man who’s chosen to hit bottom.  Something meeting up with a fantasy woman helps him achieve…

Bart Simpson melting a green plastic army man.  The narrator of "Plastic" can relate... (Yes, there IS a reference to melting green army men.  Twice.)

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