Friday, July 03, 2009

Long, long ago...

"Ah, warmth again," he said. Well, not "said" really. It had been a very long time since he'd said anything. In that way, at least.

But, either way, there was warmth. He turned towards the sun, bathing himself in its light and heat. He had traveled so far, he'd grown cold. Time now to warm himself, to regain his energy. Before moving on.

He moved slowly, reaching in towards the heat. He tried not to disturb the spinning balls, so perfectly balanced.

"Always so careful."

Pleasure, not unalloyed, shot through him. He moved, filling the space between the fourth and fifth balls, seeking her out.

"Not always so careful, I'm afraid," he countered.

Her laughter was like the chiming of little bells, and he warmed to its effect.

"Ah yes, I remember that unfortunate incident. It was quite a bang."

He looked around. There she was, off to one side, warming herself. He could see pleasure in her every movement. And took pleasure in watching.

She reached out to him, but her attention was snagged by one of the spinning balls.

"Oh look, this is a very pretty blue and white one, isn't it?"

She moved away from the heat and curled herself around the ball.

"Careful now," he said. "Don't shield it from the light. Who knows what will happen?"

Even as he said this, he noticed the blue fading, the white growing dominant.

"Oops," and her laughter chimed again.

He moved closer to get a better look and she uncurled from around the, now very white, ball. They watched as the blue began to return.

"You see? Good as new."

"Well, at least you managed not to kill off everything."

"When did I ever?" He heard the undercurrent of challenge, but ignored it.

"Tell you what," she said, "let's go down there. You'd learn so much."

"No," he said, but she was already gone.

"They'll tell stories about us -- forever". Her voice floated up to him.

"That's not why--" he began. He sighed, a breath over the deep around him.

"Eve," he said, as he began down after her. "Don't spoil it for them."

Again he heard the far off chiming of bells.


  1. So that's what really happened! :) Great story!

  2. I don't know, but it could be, no? :)
    Glad you enjoyed it, Laura.

  3. I like stories that move forward on the strength of dialogue. Very nice work.

  4. Thank you. I've just noticed it's far more dialogue-driven in the latter half. There may be some imbalance there, but the interplay between the two characters was what I was going for.
    I'm glad this worked for you.

  5. Ok, it took two read throughs for me to fully appreciate it. An interesting take on the creation myth, if myth is the right word. Nicely done.

  6. This is a very clever, wonderful piece. I am dizzy with all the ideas swimming in my head right now because of it.
    Thank you :-)

  7. @jon - I like the word "myth". Glad you enjoyed it.
    @2mara - You're welcome. Dizzy is good. If I've caused ideas to go swimming in your head, then I'm ridiculously pleased with myself.

  8. Love the way this plays with the idea of creation, speaking things into being and the use of 'said' in the opening. Really interesting idea.
    You should check out Michel Faber's short 'Toy Story' for a thematically similar tale though otherwise very different tale.

  9. Wow, that's so powerful. It's difficult to get dialogue right but you've managed it. And this is one of those 'two for the price of one' stories where you read it again with a completely different perspective and it's as new and wonderful as the first time round.

  10. I'm sorry I'm getting to your story a little late. Fourth of July (and then Sunday) with family has a way of taking one away from other things.
    I love the ending, how he tells Eve not to spoil it for them. So much for all of that, huh? ;)
    I also like how you try to explain the ice age, or at least that was my interpretation of the spinning ball turning white and then finally blue again. Cool idea.

  11. @Dan thanks for the pointer to Michel Faber's story - I'll check it out. It didn't start out as a creation story - but morphed as I wrote/rewrote it. I'm still wondering about the "bang" Eve mentioned. :)
    @Pippa Thanks for the comments on the dialogue. No, it isn't easy to get right, but it's wonderful when it does come together. Would that it were always so.
    @Stephen Yes, time does seem to run on a different scale for these two characters than for the rest of us - an entire Ice Age within the space of two or three sentences! Glad you enjoyed it. And an Ice Age reduced to an "Opps"? :)

  12. Duh, I'm the dense boy. I thought you were anthropomorphizing (?) billiards. Some really funky billiards that turn colors. But I figured it out at the end. Without reading the comments. Really. I did.
    Loved that "Don't spoil it for them." But, of course, she did.
    Yeah, what I like is dialog without character tags. I know it annoys some, but I love to see how long you can go before you get so confused you don't know if it's the eight-ball talking or the cueball. "Hey, don't spoil it for them!" Felt rips. Stick breaks. Some idiot with an army claims God is on his side. Man. It can get out of control, can't it?