Le Untitled Fiction – Part #2

As you get closer to the man, you see him disassembling the tent with quick motions. His back is towards you, and he still seems to have no idea that there is anyone in the vicinity. Just when you are about ten feet from him, he suddenly turns around. You freeze. A flash of panic passes over his expression, but he quickly recovers, and his dark eyes narrow into an enquiring gesture. He drops the edge of the tent from his hand and starts walking towards you with long, slow strides. For the first time you notice how tall he is: a little above six feet, give or take.

When he has crossed the distance between him and you, you still haven’t moved a bit. He clears his throat.

“Err… I don’t mean to be rude or anything but, what are you doing here?” he says in a flat voice.

“I could ask the same to you,” you surprise yourself with your calm tone. You feel your thumping heart gradually slowing down. There is something about him that makes you feel relaxed and safe. Instead of wanting to run in the opposite direction, you look straight at his eyes. He speaks again.

“Okay stranger, let me rephrase my question. How did you end up in the middle of this place out of nowhere? I know for a fact that you don’t live around here because if you did, I would have run into you at least a hundred times by now.”

“So you live here?”

“Near here, yes.”

“Alone?”

“Am I the only person in this place capable of answering a question?” He does a dramatic eye roll that immediately makes you think, if he knows when to do an eye roll then he must have had contact with human society for at least some part of his life, which means I’m not dealing with a Tarzan case. Phew. Which then makes you think, oh well he was just speaking with me in English, I think that is enough proof that he wasn’t raised by monkeys and bears. By this point you realize that you have been staring blankly at him for several seconds while having a conversation with yourself, and you still haven’t answered him.

“You’re right, I don’t live here. I mean, what kind of a person lives in the middle of a forest? No offense to you. The thing is, umm, I don’t actually know how I ended up here. Yes, I know, super weird. And creepy. And not believable at all. But that’s all I’ve got.”

He stares at you as if you just spoke a bunch of gibberish that makes no sense.

“No, seriously. I don’t know how I came here. I think I lost my memory or something. Maybe I knocked my head against something?” You laugh out and realize that the man isn’t finding this the least bit funny.

“Do you have a concussion? Can you feel any pain?” he asks with a calm seriousness.

You instinctively reach out and touch your head. You realize that you haven’t felt any pain in your head from the moment you found yourself in this place, neither have you found any signs of an injury. The man seems to read that from your expression.

He gives a slow nod, as if coming to a conclusion.

“Is there anyone with you?” he asks softly, although he looks like he knows the answer.

“No, just me.”

“Okay. Come with me.”

He goes back towards the tent, which is lying in a mess, and starts to gather it up. He asks you to hold the corners and with your help folds it up and then rolls it into a neat, small pile. He reaches out and grabs a backpack that he had taken out from inside the tent before he had started disassembling it l, and ties the tent with the bag. You have a thousand questions running through your head but decide to hold them in for a little longer.

He straps the backpack onto his shoulders and starts walking towards the direction from which you had come.

“Um, wait, where are we going?”

“Hunting.”

“Hunting?”

“Yes, that’s what I believe I just said.”

He is walking a few feet in front of you with confident steps that can only come from someone who has passed through this path many times before. You force yourself to keep your questions at bay. After all, this man could possibly have killed me by now, but he hasn’t. So he must be trustworthy, right? Unless he is going to the den of his fellow smugglers, or murderers, or pirates. Well, not pirates. Unless this is an island. You look around in sudden panic and after some observation decide that these trees aren’t….island-ish enough.

A scratching noise breaks your train of thought and you find the man sharpening a short, wooden arrow and putting it in a pocket-like pouch on the side of his backpack, where at least a dozen more arrows lie. He then takes out a small bow-like thing that looks like it was carved by someone who had a major grudge against conventional bows and had decided to invent a style of their own. You wonder what other weapons of mass destruction he is hiding in that innocent looking backpack. As if on cue, he brings out a street-gang style pocket-knife. He turns back and hands it to you.
“Just in case,” he says as if that is enough explanation, and starts walking again.

You feel the coolness of the metal against your hand. There is some rust along the edges. It looks several years old.

“So…what are we going to hunt?”

“Red Deer.”

“Oh. Okay.”

A few seconds pass before you speak again.

“Why Red Deer?”

“My wife felt like eating it.”

“Your what?” you almost stop in your tracks.

“Wife,” he chuckles. There is a slight amusement in his voice, as if he isn’t used to saying it.

You try to connect the dots – all the information you know about this strange person so far, and form somewhat of a story inside your head. You decide to test your theory out.

“So let me guess. You and your wife came to this place – in the middle of this forest – to spend a vacation. For going through some self discovery or that kind of crap. You live in a posh apartment somewhere in Sydney, or New York City, or whatever, and decided to spend the summer out in the wild. Like that guy Alexander Tramp. In that movie, you know? That’s what’s going on here. Am I right?”

“They made a movie out of it? Wow, what a miss. I read the book a long time ago. Always imagined how awesome it would be if someone made a movie about Alex Supertramp.”

“So I’m right? You’re on a vacation?”

He is silent for a few seconds.

“No. We’re not in a vacation.”

He says it almost…sadly. Or perhaps you just imagine it. You spot a few Red Deer in the distance among the trees.

“Then what are you doing here?”

He takes an arrow, holds the bow straight, and checks the strength of the bowstring with his fingers. He slows down his steps and looks around with alert eyes.

“That, my friend, is a long, long story. Don’t worry, you’ll hear it some time. Let’s catch our deer first.”

After at least half an hour of waiting and several missed opportunities, he shoots an arrow that hits a red deer right in the neck. He runs towards it as it falls sideways. You follow behind with trembling legs. This is the first time that you’ve watched a hunt outside of National Geographic Channel.

He holds the deer down and runs his hand along the back of it’s head several times, which, strangely enough, calms it down and puts it into a sort of daze. He then takes the pocket knife from you and places it at it’s throat. He silently mutters something and then slashes it’s throat in a quick swipe. You jerk backwards in shock, and stare aghast at the blood pooling under the deer’s head. Within a few minutes, all it’s movements stop.

He looks at you as if suddenly remembering that you are here too.

“Don’t worry, that is the least painful death possible. It died quick.”

Your are too disoriented to help out with the cleaning. You sit at a distance and wait as he partially skins the deer and prepares to carry it back. When he is done, he hangs the deer around his shoulders above his backpack, and starts walking back.

Once again you start walking behind him.

“Will there be any more hunting?” you ask warily.

“Not today. Not in a while, actually. This little fella will last for some time.”

“And where are we going now?”

“Home.”

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Let’s Not Give This A Title Yet – A Fiction – Part #1

Sometimes I write to escape. Sometimes I escape to write. Tonight, I have escaped to write about escaping, in order to escape. Let me warn you, this is not about reality. It’s not about all the awful things that go on right at the edge of the bubble that I live in. To be honest, I’ve given up on writing about reality, at least for time being.
Tonight, I’ll write about a different place.

Let me set the scene for you.

The first thing you hear is the sound of water. The soft, gurgling sound of a stream, or a small river perhaps. Then you hear the rustling of leaves. You look up. It’s green; very green. You are surrounded by trees. The leaves are a deep, calming shade of green, and they’re blocking most of the sunlight. A few yards ahead there is a clearing: a circular patch of land where warm rays have made their way in, filtered through the canopy of the surrounding trees. As you focus your view, you notice that at the edge of this clearing is a tent. Surrounding it are thorny branches and twigs, scattered on the ground. Whoever is inside, has taken precautions against unwanted animals….or humans.

The tent is a dirty, deep biege color. You remember this color from somewhere. Once you had gone with your mother to a shop looking for a fabric for your new sofa. You were going through the catalog of leather samples, and you’d gotten stuck on this exact color. That’s the one you’d ended up choosing. Wait…when had that happened? You try to track your own thoughts. A sofa…that must be in your living room right now. What does your living room look like? An image flashes in your head. Your house. How did you end up here? Your head starts aching from the sudden effort.

You give up and look ahead again. The trees are still quite full of leaves. So it’s not winter or autumn. Unless these are evergreen trees. But there are barely any evergreen trees in the area you live in. Okay, let’s try to stop overanalyzing everything. The scene before you is as still as a picture, almost as if someone took a snap and projected it on a 3D screen in front of you. You just stand there and stare in awe. Then the tent’s flap moves.

One side of the tent is zipped open by someone inside. A hand comes out, holds the edge, and opens it outwards. A head pops out. A man. Locks of tangled, black hair tanned to a brownish shade by exposure to the sun. He slowly gets out of the tent, stretches his entire body, and then laughs at the sound of his bones crackling. It seems as if he has absolutely no care in the world; as if the flow of time does not bother him at all.

You wait for him to look at you. Then you realize that you are quite far from the tent and the clearing, probably hidden by trees. The man is wearing cargo pants that come down a little below his knees, a few knotted strings around his wrist, and nothing else. His face has hard edges and a stubble that looks several days old, and his skin is tanned to a deep shade of brown that reminds you of hazelnuts. He looks about thirty, although you can’t say for sure from this distance. You look around and see nothing else that gives any signs of humans living in this place. No cooking fire, no water containers, no leftover animal skin or bones, no metal or plastic objects lying around. You’ve watched enough survival themed TV shows to realize that this man most definitely does not live here, neither does anyone else. He has probably just camped for a night or two, or was spending the night on his way to somewhere else.

You wait for someone else to emerge from the tent; it looks like a two-person tent. The man brings out a water bottle – or something that looks like a bottle – from inside the tent and washes his mouth with the water. He gurgles and then spits the water in a very high arch, watching it like some kind of art that he has mastered. He then spends an unnecessarily long time untangling his hair with his fingers. He gathers his hair and they form a tiny ponytail at the back of his head, and just when he is about to tie it up, he realizes that he has nothing to tie it with. He looks around for a few seconds, as if looking for a hairband, and then gives up, letting out a low laughter as he lets go of his hair. This is the second time that he has laughed to himself, and the ease with which he does it gives you the feeling that he is quite used to living in solitude. It has been over five minutes since he came out from the tent and no one else has appeared. So you finally decide to approach.

You force yourself to push aside all the nervousness and fear that has gathered inside your chest, and push yourself forward.

(to be continued)
(or not)
(if not, please complete it inside your head)

Disclaimer 1: Okay as you might have noticed, I’ve used a 2nd person narrative. WHO DOES THAT? Yes that’s right, shady fanfiction writers who try to incorporate the reader as a character in their story. But I always liked the idea so I decided to try it out here. It will be pretty hard to continue, because the “you” i.e the reader is totally ambiguous – I can’t even assume a gender or age urghh – so I’ll have to shape the story to fit a person of any age, sex, and background. HAHA. Can you smell the fun already?

Disclaimer 2: BUT that won’t be a problem because, as you’ve guessed already, there’s a 99.9999% chance I won’t continue this for much long. Giving up is my best friend ❤ BUT don’t place bets yet, I actually kinda sorta do have a vague idea of where this is going (*shocked gasps*), unlike all the other times I started writing a fiction.

P.S. Someone once visited my blog and told me that he really likes the fact that I totally talk to myself here. That’s the point of the internet, right? Having conversations with yourself? I mean one of the sole reasons I even post anything here is so that when I’m a 60 year old loser, I can read my own thoughts from 40 years ago and feel less like a loser :v (And now she is talking to herself about talking to herself, whoa.) Okay, Ciao.

My Imaginary World Trip: Intro

“What’s Your biggest worldly dream?”
“It’s a really long list.”
“No, just name the biggest one.”

“Traveling the world, I guess.”

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Every one of us have that desorganized set of dreams especially set aside in a distant niche inside our mind, not meant to be taken seriously. Dreams that are there just for the sake of dreaming. Dreams that do not require actualization for our survival, but are there just to make us feel the tinge of yearning and anticipation that reality doesn’t seem to offer. Dreams that are less of dreams and more of fantasies.

In my never-ending list of such fantasies, one of the most haunting ones would be to travel across borders, with no strings attached to any place in the world, and just keep moving on. To seek the beauty of the Creator through His flawless creations. To fall in love with snow-capped mountain peaks and evergreen canopies. To trace shapes in the star-studded sky from all the corners of the sphere we live on. Until I get tired of all the walking and climbing and asking for directions.

No, it’s not an aspiration, it’s just a dream. It’s the closest experience to jannah (paradise) that  my tiny mind can conjure up.

I just came across a travel blog where the author shares her thoughts and experiences as she travels through Asia. It just made me feel like, “I wanna write things like this too!” But I’m not travelling and I don’t write very well. “Oh well, lets just pretend I’m on a tour and write all about it,” the pushy side of me insisted. So here I am, writing this when I should really be studying or doing something more productive. I intend this to be the intro to a series of random rants of a Muslim girl wound up on a world tour….inside her mind.

I never go too far with my projects. But I don’t have to, right?

So let’s see, where do I go first?

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