This is something I wrote in the quest to become more of a morning person. I’m not one, at all, but I’ve found that if I’m not at least a little productive in the morning the day tends to be less productive overall. Apparently snoozing is bad, but my bed is too comfortable for not snoozing to be easy. So this is something I’ve stuck next to my bed. The idea is that when my alarm rings, I recite this poem and then get out of bed immediately after the last line:
Category: Stories and Poems Page 2 of 3
Part 5: Rebels
This was a terrible idea. As Janet went down the stairs, she began listing in her mind the number of things that could go wrong. She could get lost, just by forgetting her way. She could get lost because the hotel’s architecture could change. She could fall through the floor. Someone could see her, question her, and then probably fire her. She could end up in another world full of unfriendly people.
Part 4: Basement
Family breakfast at the Ling household was an awkward affair. The kitchen wasn’t really made for seven adults, and everyone insisted on helping with the eggs. Janet decided to sidestep the entire affair by getting cereal. She was finished by the time the third egg hit the floor. After that chaos, it was almost a relief to get to the hotel.
Part 3: Anchor
Janet slumped against the wall, eyes fixed on the gaping hole that had replaced most of the lobby floor. She was vaguely aware of people crammed against the other walls, but she could not look away from the bottomless depth at her feet. “What the hell is going on?”
This poem is an attempt to use the same structure/rhyming scheme as Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice.
Can we place trust in distant stars
When it is night?
When past regrets deal out their scars
When times of darkness come to pass
Will blackness truly blind our sight?
Or will hope, fearless, pierce the dark
And shine through tiny points of light?
Could just one spark
Light up the night?
This is the second part of my fortnightly serial. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.
Part 2: Orientation
Nobody had told Janet what to wear, so she walked in with her best idea of a hotel server outfit: pressed white blouse and black trousers. She still felt out of place among the grandeur, the immaculately dressed workers who knew exactly what they were doing, all striding back and forth with purpose.
The receptionist greeted Janet coolly and asked her to wait. The lounges were all occupied, so Janet stayed standing, watching the people go by. After about ten minutes, she cleared her throat.
Okay. This is an exercise in imagination. A thought exercise. Just go with me for a minute, and imagine this is all true.
In fact, I want you to imagine that everything is true. Everything you ever thought of, every story you ever read, every lie you ever told. All true, all real. Not here, of course. This world is a very strict, rules based world where not everything is possible. But out there, somewhere, in some other dimension that we can’t quite reach, it all exists. And here’s the thing: it all exists because we believe in it. In fact, we don’t even have to believe in it! Just imagine it. That daydream you had about the perfect life, the perfect job, your dream house, your dream man or woman? All there, somewhere. Just out of reach.
This is Part 1 of my serial story. Stick around to find out what happens next!
Part 1: Interview
Hotel Fulcrum was a square brick building, four stories high, roof tiled in white. No balconies — no view. No valet attendant, just a square car park, almost empty. On the other side of the car park was a petrol station. Nothing special. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Janet Ling walked through the doors and marvelled at the contrast between the hotel’s plain exterior and its grandiose interior. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling. The floor was white marble, except for where it had been covered by rich red and gold carpet. Maybe it wasn’t quite the Ritz, but it certainly beat most hotels she’d been to.
This is was partly inspired by the Matrix and every Matrix-like story, but mostly it was inspired by Steve Reich’s first experiment with phasing, It’s Gonna Rain. I actually like phasing as a technique and enjoy later works like Piano Phase and Violin Phase. On the other hand, the first part of It’s Gonna Rain (The phrase ‘It’s gonna rain’, on repeat, slightly out of sync, for about eight minutes) is akin to being punched in the head repeatedly for eight minutes. I started out trying to replicate this in prose form but fortunately, I don’t think I succeeded.