Author Topic: new short story  (Read 591 times)

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pete

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new short story
« on: November 18, 2005, 10:53:39 PM »
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I finished this last night.  I used to do these improv exercises a lot.  now I'm just trying to get back in shape.  It was fun writing but I dunno if it's fun to read.  lemme know?  but you know me, I can take brutal stuff kinda good.

Pepe has been digging for three years.  An empty lot, back of his house, 40 feet below the surface.  Still no sign of his wife.  Pepe's wife, according to him, woke up one night about three years ago and was devoured by the Earth.  After a few days of symbolically searching partying, going along with the bereaucratic procedure, Pepe bought a shovel and started digging.  The problem is, all that digging loosens the earth all around it and it makes the wife's soullest remain sink even deeper.  Well, gravity can only be so greedy right?  Sooner or later, Pepe and wife would reunite.  And when they do, he'd of course, properly bury her. 
   40 doesn't sound so deep, it should, but it doesn't.  Family members, aside from all that snide quiet judging, don't even consider you successfully insane if all you can show for it is a 40-foot ditch behind your house.  They've been to shopping malls, man, that parking garage went for like four floors below the sea level.  But what's Pepe gonna use?  A drill?  A yawn could burst a water main, or his wife's remains.  What else is he going to do with all this time anyways?  Putting food on the table, asking the empty chair "how was your day"?
   Pepe feels no particular connection when immersed in soil.  Is it true?  People actually think they COME from soil?  And women, they come from our ribs?  And ribs give birth to more soil?  What?  Pepe used to touch his wife with his fingers, going over the ribs.  He should've counted when he had a chance.
   The worst was the rainy days.  On the surface, acid rain, beneath the surface, worms.  On days like that, Pepe turned off his brain.  People always dreamed of becoming birds so they could fly away with nary a worry in their pea-sized brains, but Pepe thought birds would probably loved to be underground, with food just to their left and right.  Isn't there a bigger picture in that?  Every animal imperfected by its own desire.  Every desire imperfected its sad dirty rotten origin--the pea-sized brains.
   there are many theories explaining the opening of the earth, some blame the pacific ocean and its rim of earthquakes, others the construction cranes down the road that didn't think twice, still others on the poor land preservation, uprooting the trees that kept the soil from starvation, and the rain...nevermind.  blaming these mysteries only tire Pepe's arms even more.  He's already got denial to plow through.  But he's taking his time, 'cause after denial comes regret.  He's already prepping himself, "Shouldn't have let her go out to check the noises"...etc.  Shouldn't have gotten out of bed afterwards.  Pepe used to love teasing himself with drunken philosophical possibilities--"is life a dream/ am I awake"...etc.  Now he knows.  No dream can ever be this boring, no dream can detail every painful spec of dust.
   Pepe has lost sympathy for all the other survivors long ago.  At least your love had cancer, car crash, choking on a lollipop...etc.  Dust to dust hurts so much.  Dust to dust makes him so crazy.  The unnatural clanking of the shovel against this here earth taunts him rhythmically, and every clank sounds exactly like "dust to dust" to Pepe.  The loosened soil slides down quite often, and Pepe's post-mortum sorrow becomes counter-productive quite frequently.  The deeper the ditch, the deeper each inch.  And to be perfectly honest, the deeper the gratitude.  Had Pepe been the one to put on the slippers that night, instead of his wife, Pepe wouldn't be here, gratefully mourning with a shovel.
   Every once in a while someone would joke about how all that digging will make the soil so fertile.  The idea sickens Pepe.  Farmers use manure to fertilize the ground, my wife was so beautiful and loving!  She didn't belong to this foul cycle.  Maybe that's how a droplet of water feels when its companions evaporate into the clouds.  There has to be some droplets too beautiful to roll around in them lazy clouds.
   Months ago, Pepe concluded that he was not too far off from the corpse, when he found her watch in the soil.  He must'd gone down six feet in those three days.  But three days quickly soured into present time.  Until recently, it's getting harder and harder for any light to penetrate.  He's been thinking about bringing down a ladder these days as well.  At this brand new loweth, every breath of air feels like the sky.  The concept of sky becomes so much less abstract when you're surrounded by soil.  Miserable miserable earth, rich with God's seemingly half-finished creatures.  Also, richer, now, with his wife.
   Pepe doesn't know this just yet, but in three inches of time Pepe will feel resistence in his shovel.  It will be his wife.  He doesn't know that he will touch her rib cage, with nary a piece of flesh nor fabric on there.  Pepe doesn't know yet.  He will thank the earth, for removing the flesh that used to hinder his fingers from counting just exactly how many ribs she has missing.  Two more inches Pepe, turn off that brain of yours.  You have the rest of your life to catch up on these two more inches of missing thoughts.  Isn't life incredible?  Isn't my wife incredible?  I've only 6% of what she used to be, physically, but she's made me ecstatic.  Pepe finishes counting the ribs.  He puts his hands in the cage where her heart used to beat for him.  Ironic.  When she was alive he couldn't feel her heart, now she's dead and he can never feel her heart.  Pepe whispers a joyous prayer and pretends that the cage echos his words, then he buries her in dirt again.  This time, it's a proper burial.  Return to the dust, twice.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

 

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