Wednesday, August 17, 2005

i got soul (but i'm not a soldier)

Another short piece of fiction, momentous only because it's my first since moving to Hyderabad.

Written for the paranoia challenge in my writing community. A little over twenty minutes, 463 words. Minor edits to some foul language in v1.0.

Credit to Joseph Heller for a paraphrased quote and The Killers for the title.



All These Things That I've Done

If you think about it, thinks Achilles, this whole war is an excuse for killing him, an elaborate game on the parts of the Ones In Power - bloody effing pigs, begging their pardon - to seek him out, gun for him and obliterate him, to pound his skin and hair and bones and jizz into grains of foreign soil.

"Well then," he says, "I am not going to fight."

Patroklos reads serenely from the seditious literature one of the newer Armernian recruits was caught writing. "Yossarian," he reads, "they're out to get everyone."

Achilles kicks him with all the savagery in his human heel.

"If you think about it", he says, "it began even before the war, didn't it?" He steps out of the tent and walks along the sand, kicking up great shovelfuls of it every twenty-fifth step - the number of years he has lived. The moon is a baleful orb, paler than his mother and less pretty (much less prettier than himself). "I was born to mismatched parents. If they'd stayed together I might have had a normal childhood, grown up to actually like looking after my cows and horses that the Trojans have never so much as looked upon. I might never have had to go to school with a centaur who taught me what it means to be human. I might never have become a girlie-hatin’ cross-dresser. I might never have liked you enough to consider going to war in arms with you worth all the stinking trouble."

"If you doubt now, Achilles," Patroklos says, rubbing his chin, "nothing's going to remain simple any longer."

"What do you mean?" asks Achilles. "Nothing is simple, Patroklos. Everything is conspiracy. The world is spinning about us as we stand here by the will of the gods, the ones to whom this beach is a strip of a chessboard and we mere pawns."

Patroklos bites into a peach. "Aren't those my lines? I'm the smart one, after all."

Achilles blows his nose into the pockmarked sand. "That's true," he concedes.

"And how do you know they even exist, the gods?" asks Patroklos. "Have you ever seen them?"

"Well," Achilles begins with great sarcasm, "just my, you know, mother."

"A scion of the world's second-biggest publishing house," says Patroklos.

"Yeah, and?" asks Achilles.

"Have you ever seen her change someone's life?"

"She ruined my dad's."

"Helen's ruined thousands, and she's only of dubious descent."

"Hm," reflects he of the river of red hair. "If you think about it."

"Yes."

"I've never actually seen Helen."

Patroklos grimaces. "I have come to realize," he says, "that one can never trust the media."

Achilles thinks about this.

"The media's out to get me?"

Patroklos scratches his neck and spits out a stone. "It'd make a great poem."



As always, for Emily and Lindsey, with thanks.


current musix: pink floyd - shine on you crazy diamond (parts I-IV)

9 comments:

  1. nice post very nice.....

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  2. Fantastic stuff, darling, and there's no need to thank me (I can't speak for Emily, of course)!

    So glad that you're writting again.

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  3. Absolutely delicious.

    ./w

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  4. Thank you very much, guys! Glad you enjoyed. :)

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  5. Anonymous2:32 pm

    I Like!!!

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  6. Anonymous2:34 pm

    that was me kaush. you can't leave your name on the posts kya ?

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  7. Thank you Kausha! And you can leave your name on the posts - either log in with your Blogger ID or leave a name and e-mail addy/blog URL. Try eet.

    :x

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  8. Lufferly writing. Like, yeah. Am SO glad. :D

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  9. hey i really like that one... nice work sup...

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