Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Lost and gone forever (a short story of sorts)



You don't trust the summer. It's the heat. You haven't slept well for weeks.

But now you're on a train, and the rhythm and the gentle motion start to tug at your mind. You close your eyes and prop yourself into the corner of your seat. Before long, the tightly wound mechanism of your consciousness relaxes, loosens.

Hanging in that sweet-spot between sleep and wakefulness, you release control. You're no longer driving your thoughts where you want them to go: you're sitting back and enjoying the ride.

Gradually, the chaotic flood of images and burbling narration coalesces into something that briefly makes sense. Something that slides very precisely into place, like a Chinese puzzle.

Just then, the conscious bit of your mind emerges from the surrounding gloom, swinging his big torch and whistling a half-remembered tune from the telly.

Sensing a disturbance, he peers over the fence at the little whatever-it-is and thinks, “That'd be a great idea for a very short story”, before turning on his heel and ambling back into the mist, his whistled tune fading back into silence...

An announcement: you're nearly at your station. You rush back to the surface like a diver with an empty tank and gasp as you emerge into the warm air.

Then, as you bustle off the train, something hits you. A momentary panic as your nervous system tells you that you've left something behind.

A quick check: you've got everything. But there was something else. An idea. Something perfect like an egg, replete with all the information it needed to develop into something fully formed.

But it's gone. Now there's just the cruelty of its absence: you can remember perfectly that it was there, but what it was? Gone. A tiny figure pointlessly shouting and banging on a locked door in a distant, deserted annex of your imagination.

You sigh and leave the platform. You have now reached your destination.