The Couch

Emptiness

Comments on Emptiness

Paul
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Jun 03, 2005
Location: Northern California

Total Topics: 13
Total Comments: 370
Avatar Paul
Posted 01/06/07 - 3:05 AM:
Subject: Emptiness
A man clothed in white lay unmoving, his eyes closed. He awoke gradually to the discomfort of the hard surface beneath him. He opened one eye, saw only blinding white light, and closed it again. Listening intently, he heard nothing around him -- an unnatural silence. He opened both eyes togeather and was hit again by the light, but forced them to stay open and adjust. He could make out the smooth white floor as a distinct surface. There were no objects or walls visible. There was no way for him to determine the size of the room or his position in it.

In a dusty corner of his mind he found a memory of another world, a world full of color and activity. As he gazed into the endless white expanse he longed for that more stimulating world. He wondered if the dim memories might have been a dream, but whatever their origin they gave him motivation to explore.

Slowly he stood. "Hello?" he called. The air seemed to eat the sound. There was no echo. Reaching out into the air he searched for resistance. Cautiously he took a step forward, then another. He began to walk. Nothing held him back.

Every step brought the man in white to a place which looked identical to every other place. He wondered if he was moving, or if instead the floor adjusted itself with each step as a giant treadmill keeping him in place. Even if he was moving, he feared he was walking in the wrong direction -- perhaps the exit had been close to where he started, and he was moving away from it. He changed direction. Soon he had no idea which way he'd come from or whether he was walking in circles.

A black dot in the distance caught his attention. It moved. It grew into a person, clothed in black. The person approached and spoke. "Hello," she said. "Do you know the way out?"

The man in white shook his head. "I was hoping you would."

The woman in black frowned, hesitated a moment, then walked onward. The man in white followed silently.

After a while another black figure came into view. The man in black introduced himself to the woman. "Hello. Do you know the way out?"

"No," she replied, "but I think it's this way. Care to join me?"

The pair conversed for some while. The man in white couldn't help noticing that his two companions walked next to each other while he lagged behind invisibly. Neither would have noticed if he'd turned and gone another way.

He'd walked twenty minutes before meeting the first person, and another ten to meet the second. It was only five minutes before a third newcomer joined, and the frequency of new people increased until the group became very large. With each addition to the group the man in white's discomfort intensified. The more people surrounded him, the more alone he felt. Each newcomer melded seemlessly with the others, leaving him more conspicuously on the outside.

"Look!" a woman shouted excitedly. She was pointing at a door which had just become visible in the distance. The group ran for the door as though it held all their hopes and dreams, while the man in white walked behind watching them. Despite their numbers and enthusiasm it seemed the group could not open the door. They gathered themselves and flung their bodies against it, but came away with only bruises. At last they withdrew to rest and plan, leaving room for the man in white to approach it.

He inspected the door not with the emotional desperation of the others, but with curiosity. It was smooth, as was the wall around it, and evidently sturdy. The frame blended with it almost imperceptibly. The man ran a finger along the edge. He came to a spot which felt colder than the rest, and paused there. He pushed it lightly, and a section of the frame slid away to reveal a button. He pushed the button and the door slide aside, revealing a busy and colorful world beyond.

The people streamed out and quickly melted into the world. The man in white stood aside and watched them exit. When all were gone he stepped into the doorway to get a better look at what they had sought.

Fear enveloped him. The world beyond was a giant machine, with billions of parts moving in perfect synchronization at incredible speeds. If he were to jump into the machine a single misstep could become deadly. He watched for an opening, a safe entrance from which he might begin to work his way up to the more complicated parts of the monstrous mechanism. There was none. He stood for an hour looking out at it. There was no hope.

He closed the door. He turned away from it and wandered aimlessly into the white expanse. Finally, tired and defeated, he laid himself out on the hard white surface to sleep.
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 01/06/07 - 10:40 AM:

clap
Morgena
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Aug 01, 2006
Location: Midgard

Total Topics: 42
Total Comments: 868
Avatar Morgena
Posted 01/06/07 - 3:44 PM:

Indeed, it sounds like somebody else’s dream, very well written

Thank you very much!

Solong

Morgena

thumb up
Nihil Loc
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Oct 16, 2005

Total Topics: 56
Total Comments: 864
Posted 01/06/07 - 6:10 PM:

This might make for an interesting short silent film. The beginning struck me as a setting from Lucas' THX 1138, when Duvall wakes up in a white expanse and is tortured by black-clothed robotic police.

Paul
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Jun 03, 2005
Location: Northern California

Total Topics: 13
Total Comments: 370
Avatar Paul
Posted 01/07/07 - 2:22 AM:

An intentional resemblance, I did heavily borrow from THX 1138's prison sequence. It's the same endless white room in which they walk in circles, and outside of which they find a world they can no longer handle. The black dot in THX marks the exit, I changed it into a person.

My current avatar, as you may have noticed, is of when THX, SEN and the hologram open the door and move from the empty prison to being caught in a torrent of people and noise. I love how that scene captures the overwhelming nature of society.

Edited by Paul on 01/07/07 - 2:30 AM
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 01/07/07 - 12:51 PM:

this piece definitely feels the most personal of any you've written. i have high hopes that your character will find the internet someday.

smiling facelib
Nihil Loc
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Oct 16, 2005

Total Topics: 56
Total Comments: 864
Posted 01/10/07 - 4:22 AM:

I get that nightmare desire (nostalgic ache) to return to a non-existent past, before I was alienated and found myself in a white emptiness. The mechanics of the new world frightens me with a cosmic indifference to my previous nature.

There is definitely a known feeling of being stuck (existential reality) between two bad ends. One, for me, is the long and slow agony of waking to the same old shit (habitual rounds) while never seeing a way out. Not ever being able to admit myself -- always avoiding.

There is archetypal matter here. A door that won't permit you to enter it, because of what you see in it or beside it: Cheribium, Samurai Warriors, Giant Three Headed Dogs, the choppy mechanics of the massive cattle grid.


Rudi
banned

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 20, 2005

Total Topics: 44
Total Comments: 474
Rudi
Posted 01/10/07 - 1:58 PM:

I liked it...

clap

Rudi


praxis
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 18, 2007

Total Topics: 3
Total Comments: 378
praxis
Posted 01/22/07 - 7:17 PM:

Search thread for
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



Sorry, you don't have permission . Log in, or register if you haven't yet.



Acknowledgements:

Couch logo design by Midnight_Monk. The photo hanging above the couch was taken by Paul.

Powered by WSN Forum. Free smileys here.
Special thanks to Maria Cristina, Jesse , Echolist Directory, The Star Online,
Hosting Free Webs, and dmoz.org for referring visitors to this site!

Copyright notice:

Except where noted otherwise, copyright belongs to respective authors
for artwork, photography and text posted in this forum.