Saturday, January 3, 2009

Please, Hear Me

I am not particularly proud of my craft in this one, and I am fairly sure that there is more here, however I am unsure of what it is and fairly sure that writing much more without adding any plot elements wont let the reader infer enough for themselves. Before the editing it was bare bones, I added almost a page of exposition and some extra meat. It is still very short, the shortest I have written, but there is a point to the brevity, let me know what you think. The format turned out kinda weird in the blog so I added some spacing to make it easier to read. Enjoy.

Please, Hear Me

— “Fine!” I said, yelling into the receiver. “I… I just… I’m having a rough week and it would be really nice to see you… No, I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

I hate yelling I thought to myself. Why am I yelling? I heard her start to cry softly and I paused for a moment until there was silence.

— “It’s not that I don’t want to come visit you this weekend,” she said. “But my aunt wants me to baby sit and the extra money would be nice; I can come visit you next weekend.”
— “Whatever.”

I hung up the phone abruptly. I had never hung the phone up on her before and felt immediately guilty. I let out a deep sigh and put my face in my hands. My roommate entered the small room and walked to the window after setting down his books.

— “So… Is she not coming this weekend?” He said, reading my expression.

He looked down at all the people walking about, far below us. We could hear the faint sounds of cars and voices rising up from the bustling campus. He broke the silence after a few moments.

— “Ya know? I really wish we could get this window open so we could spit on people… or do something.”

He was just saying something ridiculous to try and change the subject or lighten the mood, I thought. I always appreciated his random lightness, and it had helped both of us through the difficult semester.

— “I hung up on her. I didn’t even tell her I love her.”
— “So, call her back. She knows ya wanna see her; it’s been three weeks.”
— “…I know… You’re right; you always say I never admit when you’re right.”
— “I’ll give ya some privacy.” He said, with a slight chuckle.
— “Just wait, it will only be a second and we will go have lunch.”

I reached over and picked up the phone, but as I touched the dial we heard what sounded like a loud explosion that was accompanied by the building shaking violently. My roommate braced himself on the bedpost and the lights flickered and then went out, with only the light from the window shining through.

— “What the hell was that?” he said.

I put the phone to my ear but there was no dial tone. Seconds later the fire alarm began to pulse loudly in our ears. I opened the door to see what the commotion was and went into the hall. There was a thick gray smoke filling the hallway which quickly rushed into the room as well. I looked down the hall and could see the sky through the smoke and fire at one end as if the building had been cut in half.

— “Oh my God,” I said. “Part of the building must have collapsed.”

Most of the other people in the hall had already begun to crowd through the doorway to the stairs, which was about twenty feet away. At that moment, the building began to shake again and I heard people screaming from the stairway. The hall suddenly became misshapen and twisted and my balance left me. Something fell and hit me squarely in the back as I dove though the doorway into the room and pinned me steadfast to the floor sending a hot knifing pain through my legs. I blacked out.
I awakened to something dripping on my face. I opened my eyes but could see nothing, for a moment I considered whether I was blind but having no means of determining the answer my mind quickly moved on as I collected my senses. The same pain in my legs from before rushed back into the forefront of my mind. I couldn’t move my body, though there was not any crushing feeling. I turned my head to the left to keep the warm liquid from dripping on my mouth.

— “Heeeelp!” I screamed, starting to become hysterical as I realized the nature of my situation and the reality of what must have happened. “Someone help me, please!”

The words seemed to bounce around in the small emptiness above my face and go nowhere. After a few minutes of struggling in the drip, drip torture and the claustrophobic tightness I became short of breath and listened intently. At first I heard only my panting breath, but then, in the quiet, I heard a painful moan that sounded extremely close. It sounded like Ryan, my roommate.

— “Ryan!” I screamed.

He released a noise that sounded like a mixture of a cough and a whimper. I was now sure it was Ryan.

— “Ryan, are you okay? Can you hear me?”
— “I… I can’t move…” He said with difficulty in a small weak voice. “I can’t breathe; it hurts.”

He sounded so close I couldn’t believe it.

— “Hang on Ryan, keep breathing; please just keep breathing, someone will help us!” I said desperately, reassuring my self as well.

I realized that I could move my right arm a small amount and worked it until I freed it into the small space before me. I reached up to find the size of the cavity which extended almost a full arms length above my face, but what I felt wasn’t brick, or anything as solid, it was warm and soft. It was also wet, and the source of the constant dripping which by now had saturated my face a mouth. The moaning had stopped now and Ryan would no longer answer my shouts. I reached out again and pressed against the object and could feel the contours of ribs and a spine, but no movement. I began to cry.

— “Ryan!”

I screamed again and again but to no avail. I was alone now in a quiet stasis, in complete darkness, alone with my trembling thoughts and visions in the void.
What felt like hours passed and breathing was beginning to become difficult. The pain in my legs was now fading but that only worsened my worries. In place of pain was numbness spreading to my other limbs. My mind began to calm and drift to my home and my fiancee; I saw her at her home playing with her nephews and watching cartoons, unaware of the events that had transpired, then her phone rang. I began to weep bitterly, remembering our last phone conversation. I tried my hardest to speak, though the only words that came were quiet and fell only on my ears.

— “I love you… I’m so sorry... please know…”

I closed my eyes, praying that somehow my words would travel farther than I could force them and reach her.

By T.J. Seale
Copyright 2007 Thomas Taylor

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