Friday, January 23, 2009

Indulge me.

The city vanished at his periphery as sleep descended.

Abandoned suburbs eaten by moss, yards quilted with voracious Swarmer lichen. Chimneys like broken pencils holding the sky in condemnation. The Arc overhead, faintly visible in the daytime, ringed in greasy clouds.

Then came the fields, derelict and overrun. Ancient machines crouched in knee-high moss like the remnants of a prehistoric herd. Yellow, clanging metal trucking through the emptiness, a tide of soiled turbines and wheels gooey with spores. Rust-red moss creeping like melanoma across unattended dashboards . . .

Here and there, Eubert saw streets abraded into meandering canals, sluggish algal waters destined for Swarmer facilities. Limber, chitinous biomachines as large as sedans tended the flow with sieves and bacterial tinctures, unruly liquid blossoms like short-lived flowers, petals subsumed by the undertow and dragged away in shreds.

Farther. Now even the clouds had taken on mottled Swarmer color-schemes, oozing through the sky like psychedelic phlegm. Intermittent rains; sour fogs rose to engulf the twin moons.

9 comments:

Dr. Fong said...

This really reminds me of the H.P. Lovecraft story Nyarlathotep.

"I believe we felt something coming down from the greenish moon, for when we began to depend on its light we drifted into curious involuntary marching formations and seemed to know our destinations though we dared not think of them. Once we looked at the pavement and found the blocks loose and displaced by grass, with scarce a line of rusted metal to shew where the tramways had run. And again we saw a tram-car, lone, windowless, dilapidated, and almost on its side. When we gazed around the horizon, we could not find the third tower by the river, and noticed that the silhouette of the second tower was ragged at the top. Then we split up into narrow columns, each of which seemed drawn in a different direction. One disappeared in a narrow alley to the left, leaving only the echo of a shocking moan. Another filed down a weed-choked subway entrance, howling with a laughter that was mad. My own column was sucked toward the open country, and presently I felt a chill which was not of the hot autumn; for as we stalked out on the dark moor, we beheld around us the hellish moon-glitter of evil snows. Trackless, inexplicable snows, swept asunder in one direction only, where lay a gulf all the blacker for its glittering walls. The column seemed very thin indeed as it plodded dreamily into the gulf. I lingered behind, for the black rift in the green-litten snow was frightful, and I thought I had heard the reverberations of a disquieting wail as my companions vanished; but my power to linger was slight. As if beckoned by those who had gone before, I half-floated between the titanic snowdrifts, quivering and afraid, into the sightless vortex of the unimaginable."

Mac said...

Hmmm. Did you know I have the same birthday (Aug. 20) as the Old One?

Gareth said...

Mac maybe you can answer this. Ive always been curious how fiction writers come up with names for their characters.

Is it just a matter of visualising the character as clearly as possible until a name pops into your head that makes sense?

I found Eubert an interesting choice in this case (I like it).

Mac said...

@Gareth

I deliberately try to zero in on unusual names. Failing that, I make 'em up. ("Eubert," as far as I know, is a fabrication. The character's last name, incidentally, is "Haisch," which has a nice ring.)

Anonymous said...

Eubert, as a first name, derives from an old English heritage. Eubert, as a last name, seems to have both English and Germanic roots.

Haisch? See: http://www.ufoskeptic.org/ for an interesting coincidence of interests and last names.

Anonymous said...

If you take out the words "Eubert saw" it reads like a poem.

Stan

Mac said...

@Stan

Unfortunately, the "story" in question is almost entirely prose-poem. For that reason alone most publishers wouldn't touch it. Not to say it couldn't be streamlined.

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Boris kreiman said...

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