Comments Posted By Ruben Williams

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vapor

He stepped up to the just-barely-open door and hunched over, catching his breath from the long walk up the never-ending steps.

The long walk to heaven, he thought. God, that’s lame, he thought.

He stood up straight. Composed himself, wiping the sweat from his brow.
He swallowed, and prepared for the rest of what would come.

He stepped through the doorway. As it swung open, its aged frame no longer the gold it used to be, it creaked quietly. Just a little warning for who or what awaited beyond.

But a warning was not necessary.
It had waited, a long, long time.
Longer than the chain events that led him here had taken place. Before they were even propagated by fate.
But, what was fate? Not much. That much he had learned.

He took a step through the doorway and into the space beyond.

He stood there, gripping the handle, and looked on in awe.
Everything ahead of him was star-like. There were not any physical features to the world, or whatever it was. It was just /there/.

He looked behind him and could see the old hallway that had begun falling apart far before he was born. At the end of it, the treacherous stairs that lead back down from whence he came. Back to his old life. To secrets unearthed. To friends waiting, hopeful he would return. To friends waiting beneath the earth, hopeful they never met again. To all the answers he had discovered. To certainty. To affirmation and confirmation.
To security.

But he could not. Try as he did, he pushed with all his will. He wanted to run. Run back down those stairs, back to everyone and everything he knew and held dear. Even to the fearfulness and danger. He wanted with all of himself to see their faces.

But he stood, longing, paralyzed, his hand gripping the doorknob until finally there was nothing else to do.

He shut the door behind him. It faded away, the doorknob disappearing from his grip.

There was not /a/ direction to go. This place was directionless. Forever and infinitely vast no matter where he may look. And at the same time everything was so close to him, perpetually small to the point of almost not existing.

So he just breathed.

He would know when it was right to do /something/. Whatever that something may be. He would know that too when it was right to know.

So he just stood, breathing, and closed his eyes.

The sounds of the world beyond washed over him unexpectedly with such force that he nearly fell to his feet. But there was no where to fall. Not here.

He could hear it all. Everything and everyone going about their lives. Hoping for better tomorrows, laughing in the joyous moments of /now/, crying, smiling, running, hurting, praying, caring, hating. He heard all their tiny little sounds like a drum pounding in his ears, loud and present, demanding his full attention.

I can’t, he thought. It’s too much.

And it was. With each sound pulsing through him, his body began to ache to the point that he could feel himself beginning to tear apart like a million cuts opening up all over his body.

He had been mistaken.

It was true, as he had learned, that fate is not law. It can be broken, and without consequences.

But this time, fate was right.

He bled. He bled his soul out from all over himself. And he could feel it seeping away as he tried to open his eyes, but could not.

And it went on and on, as if it would never end, until, finally, he faded away.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 07.29.2013 @ 10:41 pm

bloomed

She was still laying there in the middle of the meadow. It was where she had waited all week when she decided she had to see him. This place, that she could no longer remember how she found in the first place, was the perfect medium. It was a sea of flowers, blooming and full blossom, petals moving about with every breeze that passed by. If the word lovely looked like anything, this was it.

She lay there, thinking of him, until the longing swelled up inside of her to the point she had to let it out. She breathed in, deep. Then let it all out.

A breeze blew over her, petals full sail on the waves of air, down the hill, across the meadow, towards the large oak tree.

She looked over her toes at the tree and the corners of her mouth curled up. She rose to her feet and tugged her billowing hat down over her pointed ears to keep them from twitching (which also happened when she was excited). She rather liked her ears, and their bad habit, too, but she wanted to look her best for him.

He waited beneath the oak as she joyfully made her way across the sea of flowers, a slight skip in her step.

Finally. They were face to face.
He looked down at her through aged spectacles. The left lens carried a deep scratch across it that lined up perfectly with the scars above and below his eye, forming a line. He studied her intently as she just smiled.

“I waited for you,” she said.
He nodded.
“I am surprised I found this place. It was so far away. Did you make it?”
He nodded.
Her smile widened.
He studied her further. She tilted her head sideways and squinted at him. For a moment she seemed so serious. She lost her smile and stared deep into his milky blue eyes.

“You know better. That’s personal,” he said.
She squinted even more, her eyes nearly closed.
“And yet she still searches,” he smiled.

Her head shot up and she looked alarmed. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to! I just…” she looked away, embarrassed.
“Yes?”
She looked like she was about to pout. “I just think you’re great.”
“Are there not wizards where you are from?”
“Oh, yes!” she turned back to him, her ears twitching beneath her hat. “Lots actually. Well, not back home. But at the palace. At the palace there are lots.”
He chuckled.
She was about to speak again, when he cut her off.
“It is not every day you meant one who can so freely peer into another’s soul. Even more so, one who does not leave behind Fragments. Even I have leave them behind, though they be no larger than dust. You have a beautiful gift.”
She stared at her feet, blushing, and barely whispered past her curling lips, “Thank you.”

The two of them stood there in silence. She felt the need to speak up, but was not sure what to say. If she should ask what she came here to ask. A harmless question, indeed, “Will you train me,” but such a trying thing to say. Especially to one such as he. A master long since thought lost, and also a hermit, traveling from space to space, avoiding people at all costs.

But she saw him that day. There in the open, the Dead of Night, staring up at the big clock in the square. She remembered that he seemed rather sad that day. And having just looked through part of his soul, she still was not sure what troubled him.

“Well?” he called to her.
She snapped awake. Lost in her own thoughts, again.
He was standing at the edge of the meadow, the point where it met the sky. He reached over the edge and grasped a cloud, plucking it from the sky to reveal a doorway. He extended his hand towards her.

“Will you join me?”

Her lips curled at the corners. She raced to him and her new life.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 07.28.2013 @ 7:55 pm

polar

White.
Endlessly white as far as the eye could see. And then some. Below him, the snow. Beside him, the snow. Above him, sometimes snow, but clouds that completely concealed the sky and very much resembled…snow.

What was the point of this again? No matter.

He continued his trek across the tundra. Up and down hills of snow. Long bouts across a desert of white. The cold had already got to him. He hated it the way you hate a fly or gnat you /know/ you caught. You prepare to open your hands and see its ugly body lying all over your palms.
And then it flies off. To fly another day. To cast its lazy drone in your ear that moment just before you fall asleep.

He was not a poetic man, but, if he made it back home–when he made it back home (he had decided that ifs were for quitters)–he would write a novel about this hellish place.
He already decided on a title; The Devil’s White Hell.

Brilliant.

Up another hill, back down the other side. He picked his steps carefully. This land was the land of the Devil (the title stuck with him. He could not help it. It was clever, he boasted, chuckling, but only in his mind. He dare not waste the oxygen with a real laugh). And as such you never knew what nightmare might await a bad move.

The sun, which he had not actually seen since he arrived, as it stayed hidden behind the sheet of clouds taunting him from above, was lowering towards the horizon. He worried it would be nightfall before he reached his next checkpoint. He was already about a day behind, or so he thought, and could not afford any further loss of time.

He pressed on.

The whiteness dimmed all around him. The clouds turned gray.
Just a little further, he thought, a quarter of a mile or so.

And this last hill.

Up, over, and back down. Just like always.
Up he went. Careful not to hold at any lose snow.
At the top now. Time to go down.

And down he went.

He lost his footing. He happened upon the tip of an iceberg, slipped on its icy surface, and tumbled down.
A snapping sound filled his ears. He landed hard on his back, his ankle searing with pain. He looked down at it.

Sprained, he thought. We can live with that. Can still travel.

But, no. He looked closer now. The darkness of the night concealed the bone well, but it was sure enough no longer concealed by skin. His nerves told his brain.
He screamed.

He wanted to get up, to go. He could crawl if he had to, but he had to move. He could not stay here. There would be provisions at the checkpoint, an emergency flare. If’s were no longer a concern. He would be a quitter, but he did not want to die. Not here. Not in the Devil’s White Hell.

He began panting.
Stop it, he thought. No time. No air. Calm down. Don’t panic.

Crackle…

He held his breath. Not voluntarily. It was just a reaction of being horrified at the sound around him.
He could not see around him, for he refused to look. Not that it mattered, because just seconds after the crackle came the second loudest sound he would ever hear.

The sound of the ice giving way. Collapsing beneath him as his back hit the water that felt like hell-fire.
He just sank for a moment. Paralyzed from the fear, the unfathomable cold. Then, he would hate to have admitted it, but, he panicked.

Arms flailing hopelessly about him. He tried to force himself up, but continued to sink deeper. He kicked his legs and regretted it. The waters had not helped ease the suffering of his peeking ankle.
He screamed. Or tried to, but only succeeded at swallowing water so low below zero that his entire body began to ache. /Like a full-body-brain-freeze/. That is how he would have put it in his novel.

If he would have ever written a novel.
He quit.
No longer an explorer. He was now an official and, as far as he was concerned, professional quitter.

So he sank. Still on his back, staring straight up through the hole above him and–would you look at that. The sun came out to pay it’s respects.

He closed his eyes. He had little choice now. He had sank so far that the only light was the tiny, quarter sized sun above him. Two suns.

Wait..

His eyes snapped open. Two lights above him?
He flailed around and managed to twist his head behind him. There it was.
The mocking sun sitting right..behind him.
So he was facing down now.

Sinking deeper beneath the tundra. Facing the depths.
Two tiny suns facing him.

That was when he heard the loudest sound he would ever hear.
The beast beneath him opening it’s gigantic mouth, letting out a bubble-filled screech that shook the entire sea.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 07.27.2013 @ 11:58 pm

plaster

A rumble beneath their feet.

“Come on, let’s get out of here while we still can!”

“Not yet. Sorry, you go.”

Through gritted teeth he stared. Furious.
This was stupid, foolish. A waste of time from the beginning. But they knew that before going in. Before they that bastard ever hobbled into the room on his cane and fancy new leg, his grin plastering the walls of the apartment in hope and good intentions.
And terror.
God, the terror was so evident. They didn’t even speak a word, not at first. He just stood there, grinning at his friend who could only stare back, sucking his teeth against fortified teeth. But after a couple of minutes, after his jaw relaxed and his lungs emptied themselves, he said, “Okay.”

Another rumble.
“This was stupid, so stupid,” he thought as he ran away. Leaving his friend there, his shiny new leg not as shiny as it was before they crawled through the earth, before it was smashed to bits.
He wanted to turn back. And, by God, in another life he did and they both made it out alive. But not in this life.

Maybe the next would fare better.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 07.26.2013 @ 7:07 pm

dot

“Don’t do that”
“Why not?”
“Just…please?”
He sighed. This is how it always went. They were just one move away from winning, as usual. One step away from their dreams.
“I just…it’s not time.”
“When will it be time?”
She was silent.
“I just don’t want us to be…” he turned and looked away. Behind them the setting sun was barely a dot in the sky. It could have easily been mistake for a lesser star.

He looked around them. Taking in the blackness that was their world. Behind them, the dot that was the sun, ahead of them a doorway of brilliant emerald. Between the two; void.

He looked back to her. He was about to say something wise and poetic about the two of them and the world and not wanting them to end up being one in the same; voids. But the look in her eyes as she stared at him, the way she clenched his hand.

“Okay,” he said. “Not yet.”
They walked past the emerald lining that would have been their future. They walked into the void and continued down the road that was their history; their past.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 07.25.2013 @ 10:36 pm

stapled

“Cluh-clack”
“Cluh-clack”
“Cluh-clack”
So it went and so it went. Hours and hours and hours. Papers and papers and papers and papers and papers.
Then all of a sudden, he stopped. He looked up.
A blasphemous act.

All eyes turned to him.

All their faces staring as the “cluh-clack”-ing continued.
All just staring.

He knew it was his time to end.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 07.24.2013 @ 11:55 pm

“Cluh-clack”
“Cluh-clack”
“Cluh-clack”
So it went and so it went. Hours and hours and hours. Papers and papers and papers and papers and papers.
Then all of a sudden, he stopped, looked up. Blasphemous. All eyes turned to him.
All faces staring as the “cluh-clack”-ing continued.
All just staring.
He knew it was his time to end.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 07.24.2013 @ 11:38 pm

salt

Dry, dry, dry. What am I doing here? I keep pouring this flavorless article into my mouth, hoping words will pour onto the page. I know that nothing comes so easy, yet I pursue it so. What am I doing here? This is not my home. This is not my mouth, these are not my hands, these are not my words. I think its time to leave.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 04.19.2009 @ 1:23 pm

brick

The red balance of calamity and security tightly bound itself around my arms and legs. I lay there, wondering where this all began, how it started. But more concerned of how it will end. With a person’s mind enveloped in this colossal elapse of time, drowned in existence, I find myself curious.

» Posted By Ruben Williams On 09.06.2008 @ 4:39 pm

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