Sunday, December 14, 2008

Of a Bizarre Contraption



That night he took me to his apartment.

“I have to show you something. I have to prepare you, in case…”

“Some reliable help you have…” I mumbled, half proud of getting his confidence, only hoping that the fresh crisp air would bring some clarity to my mind.

He told me to wait in the corridor and sneaked inside his apartment, with contortionist ability. He didn’t shut the door in my face, but it was obvious he didn’t want me to see the interior. However, through the slight opening of the door, I was able to catch a glimpse of a bare wall and floor, of a simple wooden table on which a pile of dirty dishes shared the space with a bizarre contraption. I could’ve pushed the door open. Instead I watched him as he put that weird thing onto a small trolley and rolled it to the entrance hall. I had to admire the swiftness with which he passed through the door and then closed it, without me seeing more than what I’d caught before. I let out a chuckle.

“Hiding something in there?”

It looked like a typewriter – I suspected he’d used parts of one to build it – badly combined with what could’ve been some cathode-ray tubes and other stuff taken from an old TV. And it had straps which made it look like a useless rucksack.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“A device I built… It misses one piece that a friend of mine is helping me find. Then, it will become a… mathematical harpoon.”

“What?”

“We deal with equations, T. This is the domain of the highest of mathematics. We can’t use a gun or a club.”

“Coles wasn’t kidnapped by an equation!”

“Yeah, but I might be able to get him back with one.”

excerpt from "Shadow on Your Shoulder", a short story

17 comments:

Vesper said...

My friends, I'm sorry I'm only giving you a fragment and I apologise for having done that now the third time. Circumstances that include a terrible lack of time and of discipline, plus too many stories trying to get written at the same time are to blame for this.
I thank you for reading and commenting.

Charles Gramlich said...

This sample is intriguing.

the walking man said...

Fragments are good because they allow your audience to draw their own conclusion apart from what the larger story would lead us to.

For example:My first thought was that he was doing the old Hugh Hefner thing..."Uhhh...hey baby want to come back to my place and see my art collection?"

Vesper said...

I'm glad you're intrigued, Charles... :-)

Ha! Ha! Ha! Mark, sorry to disappoint you! :-)

jason evans said...

That's a really cool concept, Vesper. I definitely want to read more of this one.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

You have unique ideas - then seamlessly develop them into natural dialogue and gripping storylines. Love it so far!

BernardL said...

I do catch a glimpse of humor here. :)

Rick said...

Hi Vesper! I love your excerpts. Well done. Perhaps you could give us another excerpt from this piece soon?

SzélsőFa said...

Very unique, indeed. I'm all eager to read any more excerpts from this story. Or from any other of yours, to be honest.
Due to my job, I read too many mundane these days and it's always a true refreshment to come here. I've read your almost-poems below as well.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Wow, this is such an intriguing excerpt, Vesper - now I really, really want to read more!

Catvibe said...

Ok Vesper, what's the deal? All these snatches of stories and I want to read the whole thing! Where is your book of short stories? I want it, give it to me now! ;-) Really, your talent is so evident. I am so curious what a mathematical harpoon is and what it can do.

laughingwolf said...

awww y're nothing but a big tease, v! :P lol

well done, too :D

Akasha Savage said...

On my god Vesper, you can't just dangle that excellent piece of a story at us and not write more. I so want to read all of this! :)

L.A. Mitchell said...

I'm most intrigued by the way you handled the crack in the door. Such a subtle thing, but so telling. Bravo! And, yes, I want to read more, too :)

Vesper said...

Thank you so much, Jason. :-)

You’re so kind, K.! I don’t see myself at all like that. Your comments are very much appreciated. Thank you! :-)

A little bit, Bernard … :-)

Rick, thank you so much! :-) You know what, I’ll try to find another suitable excerpt.

Szélsöfa, I’m very glad to see you here. I missed you… Thank you for reading and for your good words. :-)

Vanilla, what can I say?! You should see my smile… Thank you! :-)

Catvibe, you’re so sweet! :-) I’d really like to have that book… Maybe, one day… Thank you for your kind words!

Thank you LW, am I? :-)

Thank you, my dear Akasha! I’m red now to the tips of my ears. :-)

L.A., I’m overwhelmed… Thank you! I’m glad this little fragment “spoke” to you. :-)

laughingwolf said...

you are, and you KNOW it ;) lol

Sarah Hina said...

I agree, Vesper. This is just enough to whet the appetite! :)

You have amazing ideas, my friend. I could never come up with this stuff. Keep going...