Monday, August 16, 2010

Magpie Tales: Red Rust

old pipe
red rust
concrete
a slice of light
from a door somewhere behind...

(black)

old pipe
red rust
concrete & dust
harsh fluorescent light
popping and flickering...

(spinning)

the hallway, wrapped in shadows, perfect squares marring its obsidian from sunlight streaming through windows. rough stubbled chin rubbing raw against my forehead, his blue shirt collar smells of sweat and pungent chemical. strong arms beneath my knees and shoulders grip me tight, carrying me further.

this was before.

(black)

he sits at the desk in the corner of the room, ruffling papers, his broad back to me. black rubber soled shoes squeak against the concrete floor, moving the chair forward and back on rollers in impatient rhythm. a till of chewed pencils sits on the edge of the desk. the air tastes damp.

i am on a cot, covered in a rough blanket, springs beneath the thin mattress squeal shrill at my movement. his head swivels slowly from what he has been working on, the shadows and light crawl across his face, accenting the hollows, below his ragged hair line.

i grip the cold metal pipe by the head of the cot, for strength, feeling flakes slip, painting my fingers red, as i draw my body up, for protection. where am i? who is he? confusion, fear, the walls are tight. my eyes scan for a door, a window, shut...a window, too high to reach.

"you took quite the fall. how is your head?"

pain lances my thoughts as i try to recollect a fall, anything...vision slurring...i see him coming toward me...

(black)

"...please report to OR2...how is...think he...round...hello...are you..."

clean, antiseptic, the smells are the first indication i am here...awake...breathing...it is hard to understand and bright, so white. i feel gentle pressure on my wrist, a smiling face looms into view, "welcome back."

"wurami?" my tongue is think with thirst.

she puts a cup to my lips, i catch the word hospital in her rapid explanation.

"what about the man?"

"what man? they found you in the emergency room lobby, your parents stepped out for a minute to make a few calls. you have a pretty bad bump on your head..."

i stop listening and just look at the red rust still embedded in the lines of my hand, particularly the one representing my life...

This is a Magpie Tale.

91 comments:

Scott said...

interesting read...

slommler said...

I could see the rusty pipes. Feel the rust coming off in my hands. Somewhere in the distance, I heard water dripping...dripping.
So many questions...who is the man...where and why did she fall? Oh dear! I will be playing with this one all day. Ha!
Thanks Brian!
Hugs
SueAnn

otin said...

Very interesting and obscure. Questions questions questions!

the walking man said...

So you forgot to pay the plumber and he beat it out of you?

Goofball said...

oooh a mystery savior. cool


makes me think of the marine called Camouflage. Do you know that song?

Harnett-Hargrove said...

An interesting slice. -j

Daniel said...

Cool scenes filled my mind. Perhaps if I tune in next time I might find the missing clues to piece this one together mystery man.

Fireblossom said...

Oh thanks, Brian. Now I'm going to have The Fixx's "Saved By Zero" stuck in my head all day!

5thsister said...

as otin said "questions"! I like this and will ponder upon it. Did this happen at summer camp? I am reminded of the time I got ill at summer camp and had to spend the night in the infirmary on a squeaky old cot.

Prayer Girl said...

Spooky! Scary! I just got out of bed and this Magpie Tale really woke me up.

Thank goodness for a positive outcome here.

Happy Monday.

PG

Gaston Studio said...

And what a Magpie Tale it is! Great Brian, thanks!

TechnoBabe said...

Interesting. Not so cut and dried a story, at first I thought the man was a fireman. I like this.

Claudia said...

hmmm...of course the mysterious man with his blue shirt collar is much more exciting than just fainting in the emergency room lobby... i love when you leave us thinking about sweat smelling men and red rust embedded in the lines of your hands, representing your life...and wonder if you sit at your laptop while writing this stories and smile, smile, smile....

Austin said...

Picturing this got a lot of fun in my head! Thanks Brian!

Bonnie said...

You are full of mystery Brian. How wonderful you are able to articulate the meanderings of such a multi-faceted mind!! I enjoyed that.

Vicki Lane said...

Shivers!

sheila said...

Niiiiiiiice! Love the ending. Always good to have some secret validation, especially when you get knocked in the head.

Birdie said...

is this one just a fiction? or a mix of a real story from your childhood? what is a wurami? it was enjoyable read, a bit obscure though :-) happy week Brian!

EKSwitaj said...

Very descriptive and evocative. I like your use of parentheses.

Brian Miller said...

looks like i will be looking up a few songs today...

Cheryl said...

Beautiful magpie tale. I kept flashing on the photo with every word.

CM said...

Oooh, creepy! Very puzzling...makes me think of the TV show LOST.

The Bug said...

So I think that the kid was snatched, but that the bump on the head scared the kidnaper (I know, ridiculous) so he took him to the emergency room. I don't know why I assume the kid is a he (I think it's your suburbia boy). That's what I think. Heh.

Everyday Goddess said...

what an interesting situation. at least he found help, but the getting injured part was very unsettling because it made me feel like we are really vulnerable. amazing, brian.

Akelamalu said...

Great read Brian :)

Lori said...

Your words made me feel like I was there. I love that it leaves me with questions. Happy Monday! :)

natalee said...

I love your magpie tales... I too have questions...hmmmm

Lyn said...

I wish this guy a very long life line..so well done..a relief that he awoke to a caring reality..but the dream?

adeeyoyo said...

Lovely tale and I also love having unanswered questions (@Lori).

The Retired One said...

Loved the vividness of the imagery of the rust dust on your hands and fingers...it makes us experience it right along with you in the story.
I need more details! Such mystery!! I don't think the guy that took the child to the E.R. was evil...just a hard working man who found the child and did the right thing...tell me I am right, OK Brian?? OK??? (smiles)

Bossy Betty said...

Beautiful writing as usual! Love the image of rust and all it implies.

Linda said...

Interesting story. Curious as to what really happened.

Steven Anthony said...

you paint such a picture...brilliant as always.

Steven Anthony
Man Dish~Metro Style

Patience said...

disturbing and wonderful. Creepy guy and a kid...perfect combination for a totally scary story.

heartspell said...

Enjoyed the mysteriousness of this tale... I am glad that he made it to the hospital! heartspell

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Nice. Leaves room for the imagination and gives just enough to get the hamsters running!

Systematic Weasel said...

A very interesting read! Excellent magpie!

-Weasel

TALON said...

What a wonderful Magpie Tale! Rich and layered. Excellent, Brian.

willow said...

Ooo...lots of mystery going on here.

JamieDedes said...

Who? What? Where? Why? Mysterious ... could just see it all and the questions just popping ... tantilizing...

Help! Mama Remote... said...

I loving reading your articles. You take me right to the place. That must have been a hard fall or bump to have you knocked out.

Elizabeth said...

enigmatic...you certainly got your money's worth from the image, and used it to gift all of us with a creative bend and questioned relationships. Wonderful write,

Elizabeth

Helen said...

Brian,
There is so much talent and brilliance in you ... it defies trying to quantify ..... loved this!

Paul Andrew Russell said...

Excellent Magpie. Kept me hooked until the end.

Brigid said...

Excellent and a hint of the supernatural, maybe? Great Magpie.

drybottomgirl said...

This could go so many ways. Unfortunately for me I had enough nights where huge pieces of the evening were missing due to alcohol. This evoked some scary memories for me but as usual it was very well written.....

Menina said...

ooh nice line to end on!

Debbie said...

That is an intriguing one.

ModernMom said...

Kind of reminds me of a spooky movie I watched last night!

Sam Liu said...

Very mysterious, Brian, an ominous and foreboding write. The words are haunting, the scenes lucid. This was an engaging read.

Tumblewords: said...

This played like a movie! Nifty!

blueviolet said...

Not knowing is far scarier than knowing!

Paul C said...

Like the interplay of dream and reality.

Magpie said...

You always involve all our senses, Brian. Wonderfully done.

william said...

life is sometimes a mixture of reality and dreams, u did a fabulous job in this one mate ;)

Arts Web Show said...

Excellent.

ds said...

Brilliant. I felt everything (and yes, checked my own hands for rust). You are a master.

signed...bkm said...

well written, vivid and scary....do not like not being in control of my surroundings...i would escape from this place as fast as i could...bkm

~ Tabitha ~ said...

omg.I loved this.

Dorraine said...

This was mysterious and creepy, Brian. Especially since I just watched The Lovely Bones. I may have a wee bit of trouble sleeping tonight. :-)

Raven said...

Fantastic! Such eloquent prose, beautiful and oh so vivid.

Tony Single said...

Brilliant! I was so there with the main character, feeling just as helpless as they were. Evocative, man. Evocative. :)

Liza said...

"accenting the hollows, below his ragged hair line."
that is so good!
way to build the imagery, BIG time.

The Thirteenth Crossing said...

I tried my hand at this one this week as well. It pales next to yours. Masterfully done as always Brian.

Magpie Tales: Rusty Water

Jaime said...

wow. well done. i think all those unanswered questions would give me nightmares.

Tina said...

This begs for a part two. But alas, you did tell the tale...I'm just wishing I knew more. This was twilight zone good. I love me some creepy, unanswered questions. Way to go.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I just have to thank your for your loyal friendship. You have stuck with me through all of my tough times this year. You are truly appreciated, my friend. I wish I could read all of your posts and get paid for it because if I could, I'd gladly quit my day job.
:)
Hope you and yours are happy and well.

Bernie said...

Brilliant my friend, kind of scary but absolutely brilliant....:-)Hugs

Tracy said...

So do we get to hear the "rest of the story"? And does it involve Mr. Wilson? :-)

Captain Dumbass said...

Leaves you wanting more, nice.

C.M. Jackson said...

spooky---it is as if we are there in each moment, frightened, terrified, confused and relieved --well done-c

Lady Fi said...

Oh, wonderful writing that raises more questions than it answers!

Just Be Real said...

Hmmmm..... interesting Brian. Do not know where to go with this one. Blessings.

Mona said...

maybe it was half a hallucination :D

Brian Miller said...

really for me it is the story of the unlikely hero...the man is a maitenence man...who works in those hidden spaces, out of sight of the ones that dont want to be soiled by such things...who really does not care for the attention anyway...but we see them as creepy or scary...a modernized good samaritan if you will...

dana said...

There's nothing to equal the feeling of total confusion that the woman is suffering from.

Lack of understanding, or memory, in any situation: the primary fear for all of us.

The Empress said...

Now I have to look up words and songs.

It's never just a simple read here,Brian, is it?

(you know I kid...)

Excellent. They're ALWAYS excellent.

Maggie said...

This one was very interesting, Brian. Sometimes we just don't take the time to think about these kind of working men.

The Urban Cowboy said...

I really enjoyed this, excellent writing, as usual!

...and the twist? Got me thinking here..."what man"?

"the red rust still embedded in the lines of my hand"

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Like waking from a bad dream and finding 'evidence'........

kathew said...

chilling take on the photo...what is the reality when there is red rust on your hands...yikes
Well done!

Siren said...

I had to read with the lights on. I liked this alot

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
There is several unanswered question in this installment
of Magpie Tales:Red Rust
but,very detailed writing and very vivid imagery prevails
again.
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

California Girl said...

Having finished "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" and now reading "The Girl Who Played With Fire", both by Steig Larsen, I immediately thought of his protagonist, Lisabeth, who has seen and done much of what you describe in this tale. Nice piece of fiction, Brian.

mairmusic said...

Eerily gripping! (no pun intended) You are so good with narrative writing, giving your readers just enough to tease them on.

Jennifer said...

Crikey! What a whirlwind of images and perceptions... Can't help but think about my sister having had a brain injury and waking up in hospital...

secret agent woman said...

A lesson not judging character by appearance.

Marla said...

Brian! You are freaking me out! Stop it!!

Ok, wait....maybe don't stop. I'm so confused. :-)

Angie Muresan said...

Brian, I can't believe I haven't commented yet, but this is so wonderful for all the questions it raises. Loved it!

Ed Pilolla said...

where you throw in 'concrete and dust' to rhyme with red rust in the beginning is really fun. it was like a lyrical opening, the kind of entrance to a story that promises more. and you deliver, as usual. you're so consistent.

Syd said...

When I saw that rusty pipe, I thought "it needs wire brushing and then some Ospho followed by primer." My mind is on fixing rusty parts of the boat engine these days! Good story.