After The End

Aaaah…. Creative Writing Ink. The only reason why I even try to enjoy Monday.

And what d’ya know? Another challenging artsy-fansy picture that boggles my mind! I think edited pictures like these are my kryptonites. I really had to work my brain out for even coming up with a plot, an interesting story line. *sigh*

To be completely honest, I’m not happy with this particular short story. Not happy at all. It felt…odd for me, somehow. So don’t spare me. As always, I’m open to any harsh yet constructive criticisms, especially for this one. Fire away, my fellow bloggers.

After The End

Vultures.

In the distance, I see four vultures on top of the leafless tree. They’re just sitting there, waiting for a reason to fly away. With the gray and unsettling sky in the background, they look like gargoyles on the perch of a deserted cathedral. I stand and stare, my ponytail swaying as I tilt my head in curiosity. “Where is everyone?” I ask them. None answers. Some look away and some just stare at me with the same intensity as my curiosity.

I look around and find nothing. I know the correct question to ask right now is ‘What happened?’, but somehow the voice in my head keeps on asking, ‘What now?’ instead. I walk a little faster to the tree. It seems silly now, to carry my backpack, so I take it off and leave it on the dead grass. Everything feels somewhat lighter, so I skip the rest of the way.

The moment I get to the tree, all four vultures look down and stare at me with their heads tilted. They look so cute that I giggle. But when I start to climb, one by one, they fly away, and I end up perching on one of the strong branches alone, swaying my legs and singing a made-up lullaby.

Little rabbit, wait for me

Little rabbit, let me see

The reason why you’re running

The reason why you’re hurrying

 

Little rabbit, come with me

Look what my world has come to be

Little rabbit, stay with me

Until I find another company

I sing that song on and on, until I finally catch a sound other than my own. At first, I wasn’t so sure. I was so convinced that I was alone in here. But then the voice becomes clearer, closer. I look over my shoulder, at the ground beneath.

And there he is. A boy, sitting on the grass with his back leaning on the tree. So, it’s his sobs that I heard.

“Hello.”

He looks up, startled. I giggle when I see that his face is black, a result from covering it with his ash-covered palms. “You look like an overcooked clown.” I say with a grin.

He stares at me for a few seconds. “What…why are you up there?”

“Why are you down there?”

His mouth opens and closes like a fish. “I’m….I don’t want to see everything.” He answers while wiping the tears from his cheeks with the back of his hand. “That’s why I’m down here.”

“You don’t want to see everything?” I repeat, puzzled. “But…why? Everything looks interesting from up here.”

He mumbles something I can not hear. “What?” I shout.

“I said, it’s not interesting if you’re the cause of the mess!!!”

I stare blankly at him. He stares back at me with his breath uncontrolled. He shouldn’t have screamed like that.

“How?”

“How what?!” He snaps back in irritation.

“How did you do it?”

He blinks, which reminds me of a confused cartoon character. “You mean…how I burnt the whole city down?”

I nod.

He blinks again, uncertain. I can tell that he’s struggling to find the words. Poor stranger. “What’s your name?” I ask, ignoring the fact that my previous question has not been answered.

“….Murphy.”

I tap on the branch that I’m sitting on. “Come, Murphy. Everything looks better now, after the fire.”

He doesn’t believe me, but he climbs up anyway. When he finally sits next to me, his tears are already dry. He stares at my feet, which are still swinging playfully. This seems silly for him, somehow. I, on the other hand, pretend to not notice his confusion and sing some other made-up song to fill the calm silence between us.

Little rabbit, here he is

Little rabbit, what a bliss

I found myself a lonely friend

I guess this story has no end

 

Little rabbit, he started the fire

The final result is what I admire

Little rabbit, such peace he’s given me

A strange new fellow I shall call Murphy

From the corner of my eyes, I notice he’s a bit calmer now. He is staring at the horizon with an empty gaze, and slowly but surely, his feet start to swing in the same rhythm as mine.

“Don’t tell anyone I started the fire. They’d be pissed.” He mumbles.

Despite everything, I laugh. “They already were, silly. But now that you’re here too, I don’t think they would be as furious.”

And there it is. His very first smile. A weak one, but it’s a start. “What’s your name, anyway?”

“I’m Alice.” I brandish my right hand, “Welcome to the afterlife, Murphy.”

*****

Note: This is a continuation from the short story: Murphy’s Dream

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wanda
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 14:14:28

    I guessed you talk about Alice:) Interesting story~

    Reply

  2. Theresa
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 20:08:55

    Ah, I like how you continued on your previous story from a couple of weeks ago 😀 I like the mood of this one, it seems sinister but still, Alice comes across as blissful and innocent. I can’t say I have any criticism on this piece, I liked it! 🙂

    Reply

    • si_ulil
      Aug 07, 2011 @ 15:16:31

      I didn’t plan it at first, then eventually I thought it makes more sense to continue from Murphy’s Dream. I wanted to say there is something about Alice than meets the eye, but I don’t even know what to do after this, so I’ll keep my mouth shut, at least for now 🙂
      Thank you for the lovely comment, dear.

      Reply

  3. jewel2
    Aug 06, 2011 @ 17:24:49

    I took a deep breath before reading this as I respect the fact you want honest constructive feedback, however harsh, in order to improve!

    It is hard not to be positive! I am a big fan of your introductions. I love your descriptions and how you set the scene. I particularly like your use of similies in describing the vultures!

    I always look forward to your twist in the tale and you didn’t disappoint!
    ‘Welcome to the afterlife!’

    I agree with Theresa that I like how you continued on from your previous story.

    What I feel now is that this is a great start to a potentially longer piece of writing. If you are combining the two pieces of writing, I would like to know more about this boy who appears to have powers to make his thoughts come true. More about the details of the events leading up to the fire. I would imagine he has made other things happen before the fire.
    Who is this other girl? What is her story? Now they are together in the afterlife what happens next?

    It would make a very interesting and entertaining read. I would buy your book!!

    Good luck!!

    Reply

    • si_ulil
      Aug 07, 2011 @ 15:22:23

      As always, your comment put a huge, silly grin on my face 😀
      I like describing things and situations in writing. I can never do that vocally, somehow.
      I’ve been trying to cut back on the similies but I just couldn’t help it! It feels more fun, if that even makes sense. hahaha…
      Like I told Theresa, I didn’t plan on creating a continuation, it just came to be. And about the potentially longer piece of writing, I guess we’ll see. I have no drafts whatsoever, though, since I’m just making these stuffs as I go based on the pictures Creative Writing Ink posts every Monday, but that will be an awesome challenge 🙂

      Again, thank you Jewel! It feels so wonderful to know that someone out there cares for my writing.. *hug*

      Reply

  4. Novroz
    Aug 07, 2011 @ 03:07:44

    Nice piece 🙂
    You connected it with the previous one…tho Cillian would be a better name than Murphy 😉

    I like the twist at the end…poor Murphy. Just like Jewel said, it would be great if there is another connected story.

    Hehehe creative writing is a great practice, isn’t it. I am too hungry to think of something from this picture. Maybe the next one 😉

    Reply

    • si_ulil
      Aug 07, 2011 @ 15:24:13

      I already used Cillian a while ago, it just felt weird to use the same name in a different story, hehehe…
      Yes, creative writing is AWESOME! Thank you so much for introducing me to it! Creating a blog to join that is no doubt one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!!!!

      Reply

  5. Martha
    Aug 07, 2011 @ 20:22:45

    I really liked this piece…so simple but mesmerising, just like a strange dream! Keep it up!

    Reply

  6. Neni
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 03:20:42

    What a coincidence, huh? I remembered your comment on my post: Great minds think alike… 🙂
    Why should we ‘put’ a boy in writing this prompt, anyway? Why should we, do you think? hehehe…
    About the vultures, I missed them but you made it something… Interesting story, Ulil…. 🙂

    Reply

    • si_ulil
      Aug 08, 2011 @ 12:27:01

      For me, I put a boy in this short because it connects with my previous one. As for your story…..I have no idea, hahaha…
      Thank you, Neni!

      Reply

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