The Manuscript (There Are No Words)

The writer finally found the motivation in himself to sit at his desk and write. He always sat at his desk to write because everywhere else felt unclean, everywhere else actually was dirty. This was the first time in months that he found he was able to sit there. He slouched back in the chair getting himself a bit more comfortable and began to day dream. The writer typically tries to day dream about what he writes before he commits anything to paper. So in this quiet, aloof manner he spends the next hour. He had dreams of knights, wizards, and dragons, and the entire world in which they belong. When he woke up from his day dream he was sure of what he wanted to write. It would be a simple story of a knight seeking fame by slaying a dragon. Only the knight finds out that the dragon is an intelligent being and instead seeks knowledge from him.
When he awoke from his day dream he dimmed the lamp to the point of near darkness. Slowly and contemplatively, he touched his pencil to a small dusty notebook labeled “Writing”. At first the writing came to him in slow stops and starts but then all at once his thoughts flowed freely. As time passed he felt the momentum of his craft and moved towards the seat of his chair. Energy filled his face as he reached the climax of his short story. The dragon was just about to reveal his intelligence to the knight. Then all in one fit he finished his story. He felt proud of himself, he hadn’t finished a story in the past few years and even when he did, it wasn’t at this length.
He took one look over his short story manuscript and felt one last ounce of pride before he went to go sleep. He had dreams not about fantastical worlds but this time of success that he had always wanted to attain. He had money, he had notoriety, and more than anything else, he was happy.
He woke up feeling as proud as he did in his dreams and he went over to desk to look over at his work again. He was pleased with what he had done and wanted to bask in the accomplishment. He had put hours of work in to a manuscript and for once his feelings matched the work he put into it. He opened up his still dusty notebook and looked at the blank pages. There were no words on the page. He thought to himself if he had dreamed it all, and he came to the decision that he probably had. There were no words on his manuscript and he was more content with dreaming than actually writing. “But maybe I ripped it out” he thought to himself. He proceded to look around his office to find nothing.
Defeated, the writer decided to take a walk. “It would all make sense after a walk” he thought out loud. While he walked down the green forested path, he realized that he did probably prefer daydreaming to writing. Daydreaming was safe for him; everything he daydreamed was exactly as he wanted it. When he wrote he was always unable to get what he envisioned on paper. Daydreaming also made him happy. He walked some more and passed a young couple. He smiled and took a moment to breath in the fresh air. He was clearly upset at himself, it was all over his aging face. He walked down a lonely little path and thought as he took a moment to smell a strikingly bright red rose,“I daydreamed a moment in my life that was so rewarding I would rather be back in them.” My fantasy worlds were always better than reality. Maybe it’s about time I stop daydreaming and start living what life I have left.”

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The Machine Has Stopped

In 1830 No one believed the man when he said that the entire world functioned on clockwork machinery. No one believed him because he was a homeless man who had squandered every opportunity that was handed to him. The homeless man died shortly after making the statement from dysentery and the potential of the general population discovering the truth was ended. Now, close to 200 years after that, a man going by the name of Left Foot Jones discovered the truth denied to the world for so long.

He found the entrance to facility in an old abandoned building. Left Foot Jones, called so because he only had one foot, noted that even though the building was abandoned it didn’t seem to belong to any particular time period. He entered the building to seek shelter from the impending storm that could be seen building on the horizon.

The building was warm unlike outside, kept warm by some currently unknown power source. He took shelter in a darker corner of the building. With his shopping cart of old salvaged goods and his makeshift crutch, he set up his stuff close to him. He typically slept sitting and leaning against the wall from the fear that if he were to lay down his brain would fall out of his ears. Once again, he slept comforted with all of his possessions surrounded by him.

He woke suddenly as he saw a group of rats coming up from the stairwell. Out of curiosity, and with out his shopping cart, he went down into the stairwell. The stairwell was dark and smelled quite distinctly of mold. Although it was dark he was able to just make out the stone cut of the walls, “Seems out of place” he thought momentarily before deciding to descend the stairwell.

The stairway seemed to go on for ever, and indeed it did, he descended for hours with his crutch and his good left foot. “I must have come hundreds of feet by now,” he thought. He reached a platform and saw that there was still a long way to go and so he decided to rest. He slept for what felt like hours and it was the deepest sleep he had in years. He descended the stairs for a few more hours and realized the steps had changed from a cold stone to a neutral but rickety wood.

Finally he saw some light and he back to descend quicker. His thoughts raced wondering what type of marvels he’ll see. There was a large wooden door that read “Engine Room”. On the wooden door were magnificent carving of the Earth. He opened the door and was greeted by a dim but warm light. The room was filled with what seemed like Victorian Era machinery but Left Foot Jones was convinced that this technology was older than that and perhaps since the dawn of time.

He was greeted by an odd machine rolling around on a singular stone ball. The anatomy of the the machine seemed almost human but the proportions were just slightly different. At the area of what could be called a face was a darkened glass, and from that glass came a voice. “Hello, I am Defender II, I am the protector of this machine.”

“What is this machine for?” Left Foot Jones asked in his raspy slightly high baritone voice. Defender II rocked around slightly on his marble roller and responded, “It is the engine room for the planetary body you call Earth. The engine room and the Earth as you know it was designed by the ones that designed me. And the engine room’s entire purpose is to rotate the Earth in a very precise manner. Left Foot Jones looked around at the machinery, not knowing what to believe, and noticed that none of the machinery was operating. “So why is none of it working?” He asked. Defender II rocked around a bit again and responded, “The last maintainer died just a few weeks ago and with out him, all operations were suspended. And thus the rotation of the Earth will stop soon and all life on Earth will end as you know it.”

As surprised as he was and as afraid as he was, he knew exactly what he had to do. “Show me what I have to do, I’ll make sure this machine runs right again”, Left Foot Jones said as confidently as he had ever sounded.

On the Edge of a Cliff

“It’s beautiful here, isn’t it?” One brother asks the other. They both sit with their legs dangling over a solitary cliff. In the distance is the setting sun blending in with the expanse of trees that fade into the horizon. The brother who asked the question, the significantly younger looking one, looked down at the the trees hundreds of feet below him. He took a minute to contemplate the trees not waiting for his brother to respond.

The older brother already knew his brother knew the answer. Of course it is beautiful. The older brother inched forward on the cliff. In a half attempt to keep up conversation he asked, “Have you ever just stopped and thought about life?” The younger brother looked up at him a bit surprised at the brother inching closer off the cliff.

“Every damned day of my life.” The younger brother said. This uncharacteristic outburst made the older brother stop in his tracks. The older brother had intended to inch himself off of that cliff. He had planned this whole day for this. “I have always thought I was the only one who thought that life was too monotonous. I look at the people pass by and they all seem so empty. How is it that only I could see that?”

The older brother wanted to respond. To tell his little brother that he too sees thing the way he did. However something stopped him from saying something. Like he didn’t want to openly admit how he felt about the world. In that brief moment of silence, the older brother saw his younger brother take his plunge off the cliff. He was stricken with grief and anguish as he saw his brother’s body fall into the vastness of the forest below. He wanted to follow his brother off the cliff. However, as he hear the faint thud of his brother’s body hit the floor he realized that the world wasn’t as bad as either of them seemed. If only he had just said something.

They Sat by the Small Pond, the Sun Was About to Set

They sat by the small pond, the sun was about to set. The old married couple looked out into the pond. They paid close attention to the ripples made by the ducks that floated there and looked to the orange and purple sky as they flew. The couple, presumably in their 50’s, looked tired. Not the kind of tired one would get from improper sleep but the kind of tired where one has become sufficiently fed up with all the tragedies the world had to offer.

For a moment, they looked at one another. The sun, in its final moments gave light to their golden brown skin and as if doing it for the first time in years, they joyfully smiled at one another. The older man looked at his wife and nodded at her knowingly. “The kids are all out of the house now,” he said in a deep baritone “and I think we did just fine.”

As they smiled again at each other the sun dipped past the horizon and the world became dark once again.