Author Topic: Can you sense this scene?  (Read 754 times)

Offline LeXeed

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Can you sense this scene?
« on: March 19, 2020, 11:04:01 AM »
This is my first post after an eight year absence. I understand that this excerpt may be a little confusing because it comes after the "inciting incident." What I will say is that the char Alma below is being followed and contrived a way to find out by whom.
What I'm mainly concerned about is that the scene can be clearly visualized. Over or under done. Of course, any other observations are more than welcome. The "I" of the story is Jacob. Levy is his father.
And as a curiosity, do you get a feeling of time and place from the little that's here? Of course most of that has been previously established, but I'm wondering if it still leaks through.

We arrived the next morning. Alma was dressed for travel in a blue shawl and hooded cloaked wrapped around her tunic. Her shoes curved up at the toes and tinkled from silly bells as she moved. A ridiculous, annoying accessory and not something I expected from her.

Two snakes hissed within a cage set on a low platform near the inner threshold of the door--a tan boa with deep brown spots, and a grass-green python with bits of white stripes. Both were smaller than the types Iíd normally seen, probably still young.

"Why snakes in particular?" Levy asked. "Why not the casualty of a dog, or the liberty of a bird?"

"I chose the most dangerous creatures I could find and contain for your protection. No one bothers a random, poisonous snake. Anything else would be too large or risky or easy to fall prey. You'd agree if you think about it. Also, the perception of a snake will help better than most for this situation."

Alma motioned us to an area in the lamp-lit dimness of the common room, just near the cat chair. The windows were covered with heavy wool cloth.

"I need you both to lie down and place your heads on the pillows there. You will be transferred first, Jacob, so Levy can watch. I will open the cages when I'm done and trust you won't attack me?"

Levy let the sarcasm pass and took his place on the pillow. Alma stepped near us, making that tinkling sound. I curse the shoemaker that thought up that idea.

"How will we report the follower?" I asked. "I mean, is there anything specific we should notice?"

"First, I want to confirm my suspicions. I'm sure itís not my imagination, but it's not impossible I could be mistaken. I may be sensing a lost spirit, perhaps in need of help and unsure how to manifest itself. Second, if I'm not wrong, I want you to follow him as closely as you dare. Mainly confirm that he is intentionally following me. Whatever information you get should be enough for me to figure out how to proceed.

"Now close your eyes, and turn them upward as far as you can comfortably go. Pretend youíre trying to see the wall behind you. It's important that you keep them that way no matter what you feel me doing. And do not open them."

I looked upward behind my lids and the first sensation was Alma's soft hands rubbing a cold, sap-smelling oil on my forehead. She mumbled a few words then rolled something the size and texture of a grape around my temple. The more she rolled, the more my mind drifted into nothingness. After a short while, I felt no body weight, no physical sensations at all, as though I had become a bodiless specter.

Without ever losing consciousness, my sight focused in a different way. The room reformed into blurry colors, though not colors I recognized. Everything bore more depth, too much depth, more of a feeling than the literal word. I turned toward Alma, but didn't see her as much as sense her. It was more a detection of the warmth of her presence, and the whole--depth, color, presence--formed as my new sight.

A giddiness filled me, like none since childhood. I would have laughed if I could. My soul dwelled within the boa. The wait while Alma performed the same to Levy was unbearable. I was ready to fully experience this new body.

Once Alma finished, she opened the cages, and placed us on the floor. "You need to practice moving and meld your human mind with animal instinct. Go to the other side of the room near your bodies."

I didn't understand her words; I simply felt vibrations. She leaned closer to speak and puffs of air struck my skin, seemingly penetrating to the bone, and I understood her meaning.

I didn't move because of uncertainty, like an infant trying to take its first steps. I allowed instinct to take over as Alma suggested, and threw my head forth. That helped my weight follow and move forward, using the floor as a source of friction. I couldn't smile or express joy, but inside, I was elated. This was a wonder! Levy had caught on much sooner and was already ahead of me.

"Here's what we'll do," I interpreted from Alma. "About this time of day, I visit my sister, and I know the stranger will follow. Just slink along in bushes and watch for suspicion. Your perception should be exceptional now. You will notice things, both visual and audible, that a person cannot. Well, I can, just not in this particular case. Looks like you are ready."

She lifted us and place us outside her back door. It probably wouldnít have been wise to place us right at the front door where her follower might see.

"You two go around to the front yard. You will see me there shortly, but donít come too close. Let me walk a few paces first. Just follow and observe."
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 01:09:10 PM by LeXeed »

Offline LeXeed

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Re: Can you sense this scene?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2020, 09:08:11 AM »
I think I must have posted in the wrong place.

Offline Contrapasso

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Re: Can you sense this scene?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2020, 10:00:03 PM »
I was not in my best mind when I wrote this critique.
My apologies.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2020, 05:52:14 PM by Contrapasso »

Offline maryhughes

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Re: Can you sense this scene?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2020, 08:06:33 PM »
In a word, no. Opening para, I thought - period piece of some kind, and bells on toes plus snakes in cages, I thought circus - but after that, no sense of time or place emerged, and I was pretty confused about what happened. I'm not a reader of fantasy or paranormal, though, so perhaps I missed some clues. Were the narrator and Jacob snakes or were they somehow transformed into snakes? 

Offline arenaofblood

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Re: Can you sense this scene?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2020, 12:49:20 PM »
 :D :D :D :D