Author Topic: The Last Day of Parker Thom  (Read 118 times)

Offline NothingName3

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The Last Day of Parker Thom
« on: September 13, 2018, 08:51:14 PM »
.“Park?”

“Park!”

Ringing. Tuning forks equalizing.

Inhalation. Breath.

“Park!”

“God! Oh, God! Waiter!”

“He's fine. Just some water.”

“Just some water!”

“Park? Park!”

Smiling—Smiling.

“Park?”

“Why are you smiling?”

Hand.

“You want to tell me why, baby?”

“Thanks—it happens; he's fine. Fine!”

“Park, I need you to listen to me, listen to my voice. I need you to come back.”

Marian.

“Marian....”

“Yes, Park,” 

Sobbing.

“Oh, you're so wet! Look at you! Your damn curls!” She brushed his hair affectionately, “And you swagger in, and freeze up, and forget me.”

She rested back in her chair, “You're still adorable, you know that?”

“Mar, you know I don't like eggs.”

“We can change them, baby; you don't like the eggs? I'll call the waiter—he's really nice, Park.”

“I don't mind, Mar.”

“Where were you, yesterday?”

Silence.
« Last Edit: Today at 06:31:06 PM by NothingName3 »

Offline Mark T

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Re: The Last Day of Parker Thom
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 01:03:43 PM »

Read it a couple of times and it's making me feel thick as I can't reconcile the dialogue-driven narrative with any confidence. I was hanging on until "Sobbing" but lost the plot after that. Still, it works as an exercise in non-attributed dialogue, perhaps. I think I did something similar once in a section of a weird short story that I also think I might have posted here in the Gallery. Just going to have a look-see...

Offline Mark T

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Re: The Last Day of Parker Thom
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 01:24:20 PM »
Ah yes - here it is. I've posted the whole thing - please forgive the hijack. I can easily remove it if it's a bother but thought you might like something to read here.   


Raymond arose, wondering if the latest translation made any difference. Or if it would add up to the same numerological weight. Last night, the hypnological visions, trembling with portent, had engulfed him in swirling clouds of masked profundity. Latterly the dreams, if such they were, had painted the inner sphere of his mind with vivid omens that endured into his waking hours, rising with the tides of his body.
Oracular genesis demanded infinite divination. Four of his seven guides concurred with the conclusions of the Star Abacus.
Thematic apperceptions of good and evil were irrelevant. Hard secular forces of ignorance would array themselves in battle-host. Earthshine illumination could cast no shadow of protection.
Death held no fear of the unknown. Intuition and soul travel gifted knowledge. Chance riddled a fateful pack of jokers. Every exhalation of the universe was fraught with fragile freedoms.
                     
Raymond sealed the doorway of the celestial library and descended from his meditation. He looked around his apartment. The painting of the storm-wracked lighthouse had moved along the picture rail, as usual, but there were no other disturbances.
   
He showered, dressed, ate fruit, drank water, and left his dwelling. The colourful shells of cars formed a flowing river of dense noise and glittering movement edging jerkily between the layered pillars probing skyward. His bicycle was a quiet chariot tracking between the arterial clots of the traffic streams.
   
The decision appeared and slid away into time. Before he went to kill the priest whose future contained elements to unwittingly prevent the destruction of Mankind, Raymond would trust fate to allow the quantum complexities of parallel intersection three opportunities to manifest synchronicity in the form of his death.
   
He left his bicycle and entered the high tower. There was a viewing platform near the summit. He would have a conversation with a stranger there. If the word coincidence was uttered, Raymond would contrive to fall from the tower, thus betraying the prophecy.
   
A married couple joined him in the elevator. Their auras were drawn into the raw ambit of sensitivity slowly fading from his earlier reverie. They each secretly suspected infidelity; the woman fantasised sex with another. A mutual child would generate redirection. Unsuccessful attempts at procreation revealed the nudges of their pathway guides. Raymond focused on the man, who was turbulent with crimson and black, and growing a cancer in the root of his manhood, smothering his seed.

Raymond drew three breaths. Alignment, protection and supplication. He beheld a roiling energy mass of liquid amethyst vapour between his palms. He stepped forward and offered to heal the man – who shouted and shoved him away; the stabbing daggers of the woman’s glare a false solidarity.
 
The concrete plateau of the tower was windswept and bleak. Brass telescopes drooped sightlessly into the void. An enclosed glass café tinkled with cutlery amidst a steamy bustle of bubbling words. A professorial Negro, crinkled and snowy with age, sat with Raymond and spoke of philosophies but not coincidence.
   
Astride the bicycle, Raymond closed his eyes. The murder of the priest had drawn a breath closer. There were thirteen traffic lights interposed before his next destination. The heaving streets of the megalopolis growled with the crisscross stampede of steel, plastic, glass and rubber. The narrow sky drained a faded purple of opportunity forsaken.

Raymond pedalled away before looking. Crossing a red light would kill him. Momentum could be adjusted but nearing a standstill conjured red ahead and obedient death by speeding headlong into the rolling jaws of a voracious truck. All lights green signalled a safe passage to the domain of the fisherman.

Rusted dinosaurs swivelled and fed from the gaping bellies of iron whales as Raymond cycled along the greasy quayside. A volant dissipation of gulls heeled and stooped in cawing arrogance above the sullen green water. A warehouse and gate, derelict with the neglect of yesteryear, led to the tumbled rocky amputation of a breakwater upon which a planked cabin was salted silver with faded creosote.

Within, the fisherman still lived. Raymond requested a third and final offering to perhaps indifferent gods. The fisherman fastened a heavy sack to Raymond’s body. A peahen’s egg flung aloft smashed onto the breakwater, selecting his stone. The fisherman placed the heavy burden inside the draw-bag and tightened the noose.

Raymond pushed slowly off the shallow bottom. The impulse of the body to survive clawed for the craven air above, drowning the call of reason. Bubbles silvered away to a ceiling of light as dark gravity beckoned. The surface vibrated as the water embraced him with a flooding of searing lungs and bursting heart.

‘What the hell happened?’
‘Raymond tried to kill himself.’
‘I don’t believe it! Suicide?’
‘Attempted suicide.’
‘But why? I don’t understand, Michael.’
‘Neither do I.’
‘Tell me what happened.’
‘He jumped into the harbour tied to a rock. A water patrol saw him go under and rushed over to the spot. An officer went down after him with a torch and a knife. He found Raymond and cut him free. They managed to resuscitate him on the boat. It was touch and go.’
‘Is he all right? My god, how is he?’
‘He’s unconscious in intensive care.’
‘He’s in a coma? How long has it been?’
‘Thirty-six hours.’
‘Thirty-six hours! Why am I only hearing about this now?’
‘They had no identity for him. The police took fingerprints.’
‘This is awful – it’s terrible!’
‘Please don’t shout, Sharon.’
‘Has he seemed unusual to you? Depressed or worried? Suicidal?’
‘No. But I don’t see him very often.’
‘You should do something about that. Where are you now?’
‘At the hospital. I came as soon as I heard. I spoke to the doctors before, before… I left the message for you.’
‘What did the doctors say?’
‘That he’s lucky to be alive. He may have brain and heart damage. He’s at risk of lung infection.’
‘Can he heal himself?’
‘I don’t think his… talent …works like that.’
‘Michael, I have to go to the island now. They’re waiting. I have no choice.’
‘I understand.’
‘Phone me again at nine your time on Wednesday night. Will you do that?’
‘Of course.’

Michael replaced the handset of the dial telephone. The occupants of the hospital lounge attentively ignored him. He didn’t blame them. A sober and distinguished man in a business suit speaking into an unplugged old telephone should be avoided. Madness was contagious.
Michael wanted to explain that he wasn’t just speaking into a dysfunctional telephone but was in fact dealing with his dead ex-wife who had apparently managed to achieve the remarkable privilege of telephonic communication from the afterlife.
Michael had no information about exactly where Sharon was, whether above or below, so to speak. They never discussed it. Perhaps it was forbidden. The bBlockedity of their previous conversations had lulled him into half-believing she had merely moved to another city – except for the unconnected telephone and the unusual background noises.   
 Michael had been forced to concede the probable existence of ghosts and wasn’t sure he appreciated that revelation. The red telephone had rung eight times in the past three years. They now spoke more often than when Sharon had been alive. The topic was inevitably his stepson Raymond, and burnished with Sharon’s complaints. He wanted to destroy the mysterious red telephone but was afraid Sharon’s voice might become a permanent feature inside his head.
 Michael had tentatively sought counselling; but no one believed his story of a dead woman nagging at him over a broken telephone, not even wise old Father McCracken – who was now unexpectedly limping toward him along the hospital corridor, clad in full priestly regalia.

The priest poured a whisky in his brocaded study. He lit a private cigarette. He thought at length about Raymond who had regained consciousness yesterday, and the rest of the strange family. Michael with his auditory hallucinations and telephone fetish. Sharon, who had gone into a deserted church, presumably to pray, and had been decapitated by a falling stained-glass window. And Rosemary, sweet Rosemary, who had innocently tempted him into liquid lust with the swelling flesh of her virgin adolescence. Rosemary, whom the priest serially ravished with his reluctant mind.
Raymond had a pagan gift of healing. The priest had jealously observed this for himself. The elderly rejuvenated. The sick restored to health.
But Raymond was a troubled young man needing the guidance of Faith. The priest glanced at his golden watch. It was time to visit the hospital. The telephone rang as he left the manse, chewing a mint. He chose to ignore the tolling bell and headed for his Volvo with St. Christopher waiting on the passenger side and wearing an elastic seatbelt.

In the private ward at the hospital, Rosemary held her half-brother’s hand. Raymond was pale, diminished and weak; appearing distant from the hale. Her ex-stepfather Michael arrived along with the pet telephone he carried everywhere. Rosemary had once heard him pretending to speak to her deceased mother over the instrument and held nothing but pity and scorn for him. The cultish priest was attendant, with his veiled hands and sticky eyes. A doctor hovered, unobtrusively fiddling with some medical apparatus not disguised as a nurse.
Raymond handed Rosemary a note. Water drink. His power of speech had suffocated in the harbour, the final syllables decaying in the silt. Rosemary placed a straw in a glass of melting ice as Father McCracken limped slowly into the ward and created discombobulation.

The priest looked at McCracken in surprise – Michael raised his eyebrows – Rosemary exchanged a glance – Raymond struggled to speak. The doctor frowned and adjusted a strap.
As the two ecclesiastical men conferred in a quiet rumble of trained voices about the curious mistake, Raymond’s only follower burst into the room – slamming and locking the door!
Unseen men pounded behind him, their shouting muffled. Raymond’s friend, whose name was Phillip, held a medieval crossbow in his hands and a command n his breast; Kill the priest. He swivelled around in terrified consternation, seeking further explication. Which priest? He stared wildly at Raymond who gestured at the two priests waveringly, his mouth working soundlessly.
The flimsy door was splintering apart before the exterior assault. A firearm intruded.
Rosemary, immobile, watched Phillip raise the crossbow, selecting the whispering priest for death. The steel quarrel launched, punching through heart muscle, bloodily impaling the holy man against a plastic crucifix.
Raymond melted his eyelids in desolation. Phillip had rightly killed the wrong priest. The survival of humanity on Earth was now immeasurable.



Offline NothingName3

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Re: The Last Day of Parker Thom
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 05:21:52 PM »
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« Last Edit: Today at 06:57:09 AM by NothingName3 »

Offline Mark T

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Re: The Last Day of Parker Thom
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 03:20:08 PM »

Thanks. It's all about being the best we can be so keep writing. MWC has helped me to improve my writing. I'll have a look for Cloud Atlas - the secret engine rooms of reality are intriguing.

Offline NothingName3

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Re: The Last Day of Parker Thom
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 08:33:10 PM »
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« Last Edit: Today at 06:57:26 AM by NothingName3 »

Offline Mark T

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Re: The Last Day of Parker Thom
« Reply #6 on: Today at 01:24:36 AM »
Would you care to explain your comment?

Offline NothingName3

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Re: .
« Reply #7 on: Today at 06:57:43 AM »
Sorry!

Offline Mark T

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Re: .
« Reply #8 on: Today at 03:49:49 PM »

Apology accepted. No biggie - let's resume normal transmission.  8)

Online fire-fly

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Re: .
« Reply #9 on: Today at 05:32:30 PM »
Nothing what is the point of putting up work and getting comments only to delete said work and all of your comments?

Anyone here doing a critique for a member put a lot of time and effort into doing so and it is frowned upon to delete the work and leave the rest of the topic sitting here looking silly.

Offline NothingName3

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Re: The Last Day of Parker Thom
« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:48:24 PM »
Sorry. I don't mean to cause trouble for people. This is why I can't keep an account open for long, because I drink heavily and I can't trust myself. I've restored the stories but can't find the comments. Sorry about that. I'm working on sobriety and it won't happen again. Forgive my irresponsibility this time. Thank you for comments, Mark. It's only in shame I deleted everything, again. Mr. Hyde appears when I'm very drunk and I have to deal with his trollings the following morning. Sorry, I am really very thankful. It won't happen again.