View Full Version : Open Book (Short Story)

10-20-2009, 01:18 PM
This is a little experiment. I tried to create something behind the words you read without making the words you read complete nonsense. It's also the first time I ever wrote a short story or antyhing into that direction for that matter, so feedback would be cool. I mean come on, it's not so long.


Open Book

There are times when a story lies right in front of you, for everyone to read, but not being read by anyone in the end. It's when the story happens on the inside and tries to veil itself, and when it is not made of letters, words and phrases but only of silent memories that it remains unseen in its haze of spilled ink and wasted days.

Just a normal piece in the puzzle of a crowd, he's standing in the shelter of a bus stop, and I'm standing with him. It is only me and him, the day is too young for the street to be crowded now. His left hand is clenching to a cup of coffee-to-go, he looks down at the ground before him only lifting his head to have a sip. I can smell that the coffee is pitch black. He holds his right hand deep in his pocket, there is no other way for him to keep it warm.
There's music on his earphones, but it's not loud. I can only hear cymbal hits with their high frequencies every now and then, fading away quickly without leaving me with room to speculate what music he listens to. His hair is cut just so it's long enough to cover his eyes, which it does. Whenever a breeze rolls by and blows his hair aside, unveiling his brown eyes, he moves his hair back over them.

When he moves at all, his movements are so slow it's mezmerizing. Watching him, my perception of time gets blurred a little. Everytime he drinks from his coffee, the slight view I have on his eyes allows me to see them strain.
He looks down to me without moving his head and I quickly look away. My vison catches onto his hand holding the coffee once again and I notice it's also pressing a little paper firmly onto the cup. There are handwritten lines on it, but I cannot see them well enough to decipher the feminine script.
He rises his head one last time to empty the cup of coffee now. Carefully he transfers the little paper from his left hand to his right, before throwing away the empty cup. The plastic lid becomes loose and falls off as the cup bounces off the rim of the trash can, falling to the floor right before his feet. I look back at his face to see he has not cast his eyes on it. Seconds pass until he starts to look at his coat, checking it for dirt all the way down to his shins. Fastidously he wipes over it on small areas ever so heartlessly. The task does not seem to be important to him but he treats it like something he has to do. Anytime he finds a piece of lint he sighs a little before cleaning it away.

A twisted smile runs across his face quickly. No matter its usual meaning, his smile has no expression. It disappears again, giving way for the dull, unseeing eyes once again. They have more to them than the simper. In the matter of a heartbeat, his expression melts into a sad, sorrowful gaze. He had unraveled another piece of paper and holds it in his two hands very carefully, I can see it has two butterflies drawn on it, "Forever" written across one of them and "more" across the other in the same handwriting that the piece of paper he held earlier had been lettered with. His thumb wipes over the paper slowly and cautiously. The words across the butterflies are struck through and while he carefully folds the paper together I can read "Sorry" beneath them. As he closes his fist around the paper, I look at his eyes. They are shut, he is taking a deep breath and opens them as he exhales. Now bloodshot and hazy, they stare at the ground before him again. The papers and his hands disappeared in his pockets now. For a second, he lifts his shoulders and peers up, raises his head and remains in this posture. His movement has gotten faster for that very moment, but slowly as ever, he collapses into an effortless and weak position again. He sighs, his eyes still bloodshot, his lips trembling every so often.
On from the moment he catches his shallow breath again, deafening silence surrounds us. I can hear paper crumble in his pockets from time to time. Instead of pulling his hair back when it gets moved by the wind, he now closes his eyes when they're exposed and lets the hair fall back naturally. The cymbal crashes from his earphones are gone.

Minutes pass, a bus comes into sight around a corner. It's his bus. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a purse and walks up to the street slowly, sighing reluctantly.
The bus pulls by without ever slowing down. His eyes follow it until he loses sight, when he turns around and stands still for a second before pulling out his earphones. As he walks back into the shelter with small steps, I can now hear bass and middle frequencies of the sound, and I start to put together what music it is. He lays his purse onto the bench and sits down on it for the first time since he's been here. Stiffly he just gazes at his own wet footsteps on the ground for a while before slowly turning his head a little in my direction. His watery eyes meet mine for the first time that I don't think I should look away, but he does, gazing at the floor in front of me. After another moment of silence sweeps by, he whispers something to me in a shaking, broken voice. "I knew I would stay here forever."

10-20-2009, 05:19 PM
I didnt really get it.
Ill try to reread it.

10-21-2009, 02:17 AM
Nice story, a few grammatical things to fix up however.

It's when the story happens on the inside and tries to veil itself, and when it is not made of letters, words and phrases but only of silent memories that it remains unseen in it's haze of spilled ink and wasted days.

The second "it's" shouldn't have an apostrope, as you only use that for shortenings of "it is". Sorry if this was just an unnoticed mistake.

"I knew I will stay here forever."

You've mixed up past and future tense here. To correct it, you could use "I knew I would stay here forever" or "I know I will stay here forever".

Anyway, sorry to nitpick, it was good. I think I understand what it was about, and although the emotions were a bit inconsistent (which was a bit confusing) it was fairly well written so good job.

10-21-2009, 03:59 AM
Thanks Bonk, I'll correct those.

The inconsistency is in parts intended, I didn't want to make it all too much like a straight line. Thanks for reading. :D

12-07-2009, 11:01 AM
Bonk, you made a boo-boo on your correction. It's supposed to be apostrophe, not apostrope. Sorry. I'm like that.