Monday, October 31, 2011

Magpie Tales: ClickclickclickclickclickclickclickTing


ClickclickclickclickclickclickclickTing
Shzipp


The page stares back into his heavy lidded eyes, bloodshot and burning, he forces a blink knowing the contest is unnecessary. Flexing his fingers, he feels tension release from within each joint, then brings them to his face, dragging them down from hairline to hollow cheeks. His tongue dampen his lips, as if he has something to say, but doesn't. A fly lands atop the typewriter, rubbing its front legs.

Taking a cotton cloth from the table top, he works his hands, removing ink and oil, paying close attention to the nails. Longer than he usually kept them, he wishes for a moment he had clippers nearby, contemplates retrieving them from the bathroom. This would mean crossing the room and he can barely feel his legs as it is, just little pin pricks of life along their length.

Stretching his legs under the desk, a small fire erupts in the muscles. It hurts, but feels so good. He smiles and retrieves a crumpled pack of cigarettes from one of the drawers that run along the right side of the desk. Shaking one loose he places it between his lips, where it dances. He inhales, even though it is not lit, savoring the smell of the tobacco as he centers on the fly on the typewriter.

The fly walks a small circle, now facing the page that still rests, pinched in the roller. He wonders if the fly is reading and if it likes what it sees. Kill it, a stray though dances through his thoughts, but he dismisses it. The desire to touch it, to feel its wings, is almost overwhelming. The tobacco tastes sweet on his tongue.

Careful not to disturb the fly, he puts one hand on the roller knob and takes the top of the just completed page in the other and rolls it until released. The fly cares little, remaining where it is, as the man lays the freed page on an inch deep stack of its brethren.

The wall behind the typewriter is grimy with years of fingerprints and sweat of its occupants. Notes are etched in its surface, notes he has left himself among those of others, he left while typing, too busy to pause and find paper. Some he can read and understand, others are nearly intelligible, scrawled hastily in manic swirls.

 كلمات غير      מילים לא נעמרות Unausgesprochene worte
parole inespresse

Gouged deep in block letters he recognizes as his own, UNSPOKEN. Puckered edges bite his fingers as he traces each letter, he is sure, not for the first time. His eyes spasm wide, accompanied by a sharp intake of breath. The fly launches itself from the typewriter, turning a sharp corner over the man's shoulder disappearing from view.

Grabbing the stack of completed pages, he flips through, a river of white cascades to the floor where pages splash in various directions. Blank, how can they all be blank. A moan begins deep within him, the distant call of a train rising into a howl. Abruptly, he wrenches open the top drawer, removes a fresh sheet of paper and feverishly feeds it into the machine.

Clickclickclickclickclickclickcli---

The fly lands on the crest of the man's ear, crawling to the point where it joins the rest of his head and begins rubbing its legs, which if the man could hear so minuscule a noise, would sound like chaotic laughter.

This is a Magpie Tale.

81 comments:

kaykuala said...

Brian,
So the fly finally won the day!
Excellent write!

Hank

kaykuala said...

Wow..wee!! Top of the list again. This is 3rd time lucky!

Hank

DJan said...

I love your style. I wish I knew what happened here. :-)

The Bug said...

Shades of the Shining - spooky!

5thsister said...

Dang! I thought surely the fly would go "splat" on the wall! Hee hee. But then again, that would be too obvious. Wicked fly!

Pat Hatt said...

Damn those flies, they are the devil in disguise.
Distracting and then laughing over their win, one should clearly whack them and send them to the garbage bin
Thankfully no fly on me
The cat eats them down for free..haha

Brian Miller said...

the other languages all say 'Unspoken words'...my though was this writer is in his own Hell for not writing what he should...or for anyone that has left things Unspoken

Nanka said...

Will not let that fly anywhere near eeeks!! but nowadays they have taken a liking for the computer screens doing what they do best..rubbing their legs :D
An enjoyable read despite the bothersome fly!

Anyes said...

It feels so raw and so intense. Wanting to be a writer and not having written much yet I can totally understand, Brian :-)

ladyfi said...

All those blank pages, all those unspoken words. Well written - sad and intense.

Kathy Bischoping said...

Nicely done! (And seasonal too.)

TechnoBabe said...

Lots of stress for this writer in the story. Whew. Makes me wish he would just concentrate and type.

blueviolet said...

He should have killed that fly when he had the chance. Now it's all over his ear and stuff. ;)

Magpie said...

I think he needs a new ribbon. :)

Ann Grenier said...

"Knowing contest is unnecessary..." rings a bell. I thought I might take on NaNoWriMo but so much else to do...

There are all kinds of contests all the time I guess. Lots of swirling meanings in your creative Magpie I think.

william said...

thought I was watching a movie lol whilst reading this masterpiece, well done as always :)

anthonynorth said...

Delicious horror, there.

Eva Gallant said...

Eerie...though he really should have swatted the fly!

Valerie said...

Fabulous piece of writing. Sounds like me when I get writer's block... minus the fly.

Barbara said...

Great storytelling!!

AmyLK said...

so it doesn't pay to leave things unspoken..... Love the tale.

Orang3 said...

Everytime I see a writtermachine I think about fringe tvshow

Sue said...

We've all been there at one time or another.

"/

Daniel said...

Another tale from the Twilight Zone from the mind of Brian. Great!

Friko said...

Nightmare!

Heaven said...

creepy and chilling write...my kind of halloween tale...using fly as a metaphor is a good technique in driving home your message

happy halloween ~

happygirl said...

I hate a blank page. Since my job is to begin the letter or the report or the whatever, I face many blank pages before I send my words to the fly, I mean, my boss. :)

Mama Zen said...

Yikes! Talk about scary!

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Is that what you call "fly paper"? :-)

hedgewitch said...

Bringin the crazy--and so well. Loved it. And I'm not sure some days if I'm not doing the same myself.

SassyModernMom said...

Oh that moan:) (damn fly)

lori said...

You do crazy oh so well. I love the detail because I can see the whole scene so clearly. I tend to write with strokes that are too broad, so I admire those that can bring life to the tiniest parts of the story. You bring out this tortured soul and shine a light on him for us. I have too many favorites of yours, but I think I'll add this to my list :)

WINDOWLAD said...

..creepy and silly – i always wonder how you managed to write huge stories with such ease as if like you’re just chewing some nuts... ha, think ye mastered the art of storytelling.. adorable and truly exceptional – yup, that’s you!
Good day!

~Kelvin

Glenn Buttkus said...

Brian, bang on again, as you
create something kafkaesque,
with a touch of Borroughs, and
this allegory, this macabre romp
this fevered episode will stay with
us for a long time; a terrific take
on the prompt, plunged into
miller-darkness, into an abysmal
daydream, or the writer's nightmare.

My 2 Pesos said...

Happy Halloween!

manicddaily said...

Ha! (All work and no play makes Jack a good boy.)

Though this is very different, lovely pacing, sense of niccotine-stained fingers throughout the entire fly walk. Even the flame is unconsummated. Very nice.

K.

Doctor FTSE said...

Hi Brian . . . you have mastered the art of storytelling better than your character, clearly. Quite spooky.

tera said...

Obsessive compulsion is a bitch.
Nicely done.

Lyn said...

Who said that it would be easy...glad it's not...Ars Longa, Vida Breve..

Claudia said...

ah he should've killed that fly and write down these words before they kill him or drive him mad...great capture about that state of madness he's already in..wanting to touch and please what destroys him..love that you included some german words..made me feel at home a bit in all the madness...smiles
honestly, i tried to write a magpie tale..short story because i like the pic..but i was just so bored by my own writing that i fell asleep before the story was finished..smiles

eclipsingwinter said...

Write, I must writewritewrite as insanity perches at the tip of my ear to read every word the the old machine fails to print.

Vivid, I was engrossed throughout, not by the mesmerizing fly but by the subtle shifts of mood and contemplation. UNSPOKEN is intense and in hindsight could only lead to stacks of blank paper.

Love it

Beth

Tara Miller said...

dark. To me, this man felt very distraught - almost on the edge of losing his mind.

Someone is Special said...

I just love it man.. and I want to comment you first at least once in my lifetime.. Last time I tried but ended up in 4 or 5th.. You are rocking..

Someone is Special

Laurie Kolp said...

I knew there was something with the fly! This is so beautifully written and descriptive, Brian!

Leovi said...

Oh! Wonderful story, in the end I was just looking sympathetic fly.

The Silver Fox said...

Hell? I read "The wall behind the typewriter is grimy with years of fingerprints and sweat of its occupants." and thought "Prison?"

For many nowadays, having a typewriter and not a computer would automatically mean "Hell." Heh.

Brigid said...

Clever, entertaining tale, as usual!

rosaria said...

The fly is laughing? Ouch!
Poor Hemingway, poor man.

Janice said...

That fly is having way too much fun with this poor beleaguered writer! I'd get the swatter immediately.

G-Man said...

Is this a retro post?
When is the last time you heard the clicking of a typewriter?
The only thing missing was the carbon paper...:P

PattiKen said...

Now that truly is a nightmare. This reminded me a lot of a book I read once. It was by Dean Koontz, I think. Writers understand what fears most haunt people like themselves, don't they?

Fred said...

Cool piece, seasonally fitting for certain. Definitely a bit of a shadow cast here. Very interesting how it all played out. Thanks

jabblog said...

The pain, the tension, the unending search - it's all here.

ayala said...

Excellent write, Brian.

Ruthiey said...

This is so intense. Wish I could've seen your face while you were writing it.

Pat said...

I had visions of the movie, "The Fly" flash in my head. Only this time, it's the MAN saying, "help me, help me!"

oceangirl said...

I love the ending. The ending is genius.

Isabel Doyle said...

very atmospheric

Tumblewords: said...

I think the fly must have been applauding your writing. Surely. I am.

Jo Bryant said...

great story - you have to be glad for the fly
:)

Lydia said...

A real writer's story, this one. It is marvelous, Brian. So much to focus praise upon, these especially shone brightly for me:

Shaking one loose he places it between his lips, where it dances.

and the brilliant ending:
The fly lands on the crest of the man's ear, crawling to the point where it joins the rest of his head and begins rubbing its legs, which if the man could hear so minuscule a noise, would sound like chaotic laughter.

SueAnn said...

Fabulous Brian! Such a surprising direction!! Blank pages!! Wow!
Loved this
Hugs
SueAnn

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

So intense and simple, full color images come to mind as I read your writings... :)

Tom said...

that's clever. flies are so cute, I just love killing them

gautami tripathy said...

Loved it!

innards

Christine said...

ever see a David Cronenberg film?, I felt like I was drawn into a scene of something dark and psychologically twisted, nice

Whosyergurl said...

Excellent, Brian! This makes me think of the old fly movie with Jeff Goldblum.
This is so like an old science fiction flick- Twilight Zone...
very nice.
Cheryl

Lolamouse said...

Creepy...sounds like it could be an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Josh Hoyt said...

Great job! I think the fly should have died :)

Susie Clevenger said...

my my...a dark piece.. Love it!! All those pages blank...an evil fly..great stuff!!

Other Mary said...

Wow Brian! Creepy...and I also saw this almost like watching a movie. (and it sort of makes me want to say, 'Out, out damn fly spot!' lol

Myrna R. said...

Unspoken. Bet you have no trouble with that. You speak your mind, and what a mind. This was fun/strange to read and can only be produced by your mind. A fly of all things. Great write.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brian: Completely engrossing is the story's precise attention to detail which does lead this "hollow cheeked" man's into his spiralling madness. Wonderful how you allow the feelings associated with writerly accoutrements to manifest in your work. Excellent writerly skills.

Nana Jo said...

This is exceedingly clever! It captured me from beginning to end.

Goofball said...

onuitgesproken woorden

L.A Speedwing said...

Very descriptive and atmospheric. The detail of that fly feels very real. They say details is the key. It clearly is the case here. But what's happening? He is typing away but all pages come out blank...did i miss something?

Margaret said...

Typing busily but saying nothing of importance - nothing worth reading... And he is easily distracted by the fly - He was tempted to kill it... just trying to figure out the meaning of the fly...?

Shail Raghuvanshi said...

Brian, this was lovely. I loved your tale....

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Oooo....loving "stack of it's brethren"..........very piratey! ;)

Peeked at your Poetry Jam blog......and hoping to find time to play. Extremely intrigued by the lace post....how beautiful.......!

Have a creative day!
~Mimi
www.collagepirate.blogspot.com

Bee's Blog said...

I was enthralled and taken aback by the blank pages! That damn fly - gruesome.

Syd said...

This reminds me of The Shining in a way. Maybe he didn't put a ribbon in the typewriter. Nothing there except blank compresses on the paper.