A Chapter by Marlowe147

Chapter II.



The sweet smells of breakfast hour spread through the flat.

The Man shifted, turned and woke up. As he stood the sheets came away and fell to the floor in a shrugged lump.


The bathroom paint, a delicate blue. A reliant hue, cast as deep as the sky and as shallow as the tropic sea.

In all of its marble grave.

Silver fixtures gleamed.


Catching the rays devoid and so many years too late, too far-gone and dull.

Souls of the damned fixed to the texture brushed sink top.

Water from the faucet splashed and ran over the sides of the mans toothbrush. The line of paste rested, perfectly centered on the hairs of the brush. Flattening when the weight of the liquid finally broke.

He worked at his ivory smile.


He brushed away the bacteria, the infesting scum.

Threw them away with a swig and a gulp to the unmentionable bodily prison. The Man bent over, cocking his head to drink from the hissing faucet. He swished the sip, back and forth, through his teeth.

He, again, swallowed.


His Wife hummed a sweet tune and it carried around through the heavy walls into the bathroom and the Man’s ears. They twitched slightly, acknowledging the tune. He gave a sharp look out the window, down to the restless streets below.

“Honey, what is that you’re humming?”

“I’m not quite sure. It’s something I heard when I was strolling along the perimeter. It really soars doesn’t it?”

“Yes. Yes, it does.”


The Man kept to himself what he wanted to say.

He didn’t let slip that he had heard it as well, rising from the undeniable brush. Spindly and twisted thorny against the solid ash pines.

His Wife continued her humming and washing of dishes and he stepped outside. The Man sat at the patio table and swung his feet, brushing them lightly over the rocky floor. He listened intently to the birds flapping and batting away against the wind.


He listened for something below that.

Some guttural dirt-filled belch escaping from the earth and the worms.

He looked out at the cloudless sky. The blue sky whose air was thin and fruits so bare.


* * *


Around about 2 o’clock the Man took his jacket from the hook that hung from the wall right of the door, calling to the Wife, “Honey, I have to make a trip down to the shacks; I’ve got some business to take care of. I’ll be home in time for supper.”

“Alright, dear.”

And he stepped outside the door, walking quickly down the hall.


He came to the elevators.

There were two of them, both identical: large, plush inside, half mirrors and half buttons. One went up, the other down. The hall became enshrouded in purest silence. Not a solitary buzz or hum or pitch. As he waited, he noticed, on the table between the elevator doors, a letter. Mysterious. Acid burning away at the back of the skull, dissolving marrow and bone; Hollowed trenches, each dipping into fleshy rivets.


Its seal was marked with a stained kiss.

He opened it and read it to himself.

The Man quickly folded it, looking around while shoving it roughly into his coat’s right pocket.

Someone was coming long down the hall.

The bell announcing the elevators arrival dinged. The doors slide open. He leapt on. Footsteps. Coughing.


He pushed first the ground floor, marked “G” and then the one with two triangles, “>|<”, representing closing doors. The Man leaned against the one of the mirrored walls.

The elevator opened up onto a massive street, thick with clouded people. The bustling shove, the convoluted flow of the stumbling, drunkard, nightmarish grotesque. The Man turned right, branching off of the broken delta. Narrow and cobblestone-ad, looming Victorian archways; eroded and rotting: infestation.


From the dark:

“There is a price one must pay for allowing themselves to be lowered this far into Hell. Down here the choicest evils cross one another. Where the flame licks up and singes the ankles of the innocent, or those who insist so. What business brings thou down? Is it possible that the weather up there didn’t suit you? Or can we say this trip, fall more likely, is an escape from the old ball and chain?”

Speaking to the dark, the man called, “What do you want?”


A pause.


And then…

“Just a moment of your time…and, perhaps, a penny paid?”

“Why, exactly, would I pay a cretin such as yourself for no reason?”

“I’m a fortune teller, sir. Soothsay-er, I mean.”

An unsettling silence.


The Man started away.

“I know your future.”

“Who are you?”


“Who are you?!”


“Answer me!”


The Man swung out, blindly, into the darkness and caught something.

The cheekbone of the beggar snapped under the force.

A scream, wrenching, perspiring with pained tears.

“Tell me who you are!”


In a bloody spit, the Soothsay-er said, “You are the b*****d child of the Earth. Evil, evil is what you are…I won’t tell you who I am because you do not deserve it. I will tell you this, however: you and misery are divinely connected, your misfortune has shone on everyone you’ve met. There will be an end.”


“Who told you these things? Who told you?”


He pulled the stranger close, wrenching him by the collar of his moth-infested coat. Teeth: yellow, stained and crooked. His hair matted, beastly in consistency. Dirty, crusted fingers, dried blood caked between skin and nail.

“Tell me what else you know, you f*****g rat!”

“I know all about nothing. And nowadays nothing is everything.”


The Man shoved him down to the pavement. The strangers head bashed sickeningly against the wall. The Man punched the wall, again and again. Again until he saw the red drool from his knuckle to the vein-dug underwrist.

Slumped, unconscious on the pavement.


The Man stepped over him, out of the shadows and back onto the splintered concrete sidewalk.


* * *


The gulls squawked their icy songs, picking at the bleeding carcass of an insignificant rodent. They toyed and tore until finally finished, leaving a lifeless dripping pile to fester on the stony ground. The air’s frostbitten sting roared over consistent low horns. As stale and merciless as the wind itself.


The Man was sitting, in a cross-shaped garden, outside the hospital for the criminally insane. The sky’s of grey, a threatening hue.

Out of the corner of his eye, a glint from the shadow of the building. “A placard on a square patch of dirt”:




DEDICATED 06-15-07


This particular Dr. Shinde was, at least before it happened, world-renown. Creating cures for the worst disease mankind has ever known- cancer, HIV, the second bubonic plague.

A true hero.

A savior to the compound.

A legend. And all for what?…


Reduced to a bit of plastic gold nailed to a block of splintering wood, and all slapped onto a dirt-filled cement box.

Out of the pathetic dirt, a melancholy tree.

What a pity. A shame even.

That the good doctor has been tossed aside like dirty trash.


Survival of the compound.

Survival of the compound.”


The wall rose high and towered above the bizarre march of the ignorant parish. Like meat towards slaughter. The cool weather washed over the dwellers and mixed with the confusing heat of the beating sun. The Man hated walking amongst these filthy beasts. Wallowing in their regurgitated waste. In their shanty dirt, their patchy, uneven cobblestone roads that all led to nowhere, nothing. Nothing more than an emptiness, a chilled one. A sunless one. An infertile land, only weeds and festering sores grow, incinerating the lifeless hull that had clustered and hardened.

Business, as it seemed.



“Greenly, you sonuvabitch, get out here!” the man whispered intensely through the rusted mail slot, full of particles.


A curtain’s partial flinch


“Greenly, you primate! You owe me after what I did for you.”

The door opened slightly, the chain bar still attached.

“Alright, alright. Take it easy. I was just eating my damn breakfast. My f****n’ kid hears you bangin’ on the door, he doesn’t know what to think. You scared the s**t outta him.”

“Listen, just listen to me. You owe me and I need something…”

“Whaddaya need? Just name it, after what you did for me-”

“We shouldn’t talk about it out here, lets go inside.”


Greenly motioned the man to come close and leaned to whisper.

“My kid, he’s eating, can’t this wait-”

The Man, impatient, grabbed him through the opening by the shirt collar and pushed through the doorway, breaking the feeble chain from the wall. The kitchen door swung open and the kid came rushing from the breakfast table wielding a glistening pistol. He aimed between the Man’s eyes. He clicked the hammer.


The Man stood, motionless.

Greenly scrambled back onto his knees, crawling to grab his son’s hand.

“No. No, no, no don’t worry, he’s daddy’s friend. Just go finish your breakfast.”

The kid backed into the kitchen, his eyes never leaving the Man’s.

“Jesus, Dannyboy! That wasn’t f****n’ necessary. Just bustin’ your balls, I was gonna let you in. Didn’t give me the chance.”


Greenly got up brushing the earth from his clothes.

“When did you give the runt a gun?”

“As soon as he stopped suckling his mothers tit and started on the bottle,”


Greenly laughed.

A hyena cackle blowing along the desert night.

“ I thought you were a pacifist?”

“I am, my friend, but I can’t help it if my seed is full of hate and violence. Little b*****d asked for one on his birthday.”

© 2010 Marlowe147

Author's Note

Work In Progress

My Review

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You know there is a design flaw in elevators that only go one direction, right? Just saying.

Once again, you need to make up your mind whether or not you intend to capitalize 'man' or not, because you should either do it always or never. Or just name the guy.

I enjoy your storytelling, though it is a bit unconventional, but you seem to be in full swing this chapter, with nothing of the shaky start that plagued the last one.

No complaints so far, though a piece of advice; if this is going to be a long story, you're going to want to develop this man we're following around a little more.

Posted 13 Years Ago

wow this is getting very weird, but full of excitement. I will be happy to see how it unfolds in the coming chapter. I love stories like this and this is one you could read over and over again. Very riveting!

Posted 14 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on April 29, 2010
Last Updated on April 29, 2010
Tags: Dark, Grim, Orwellian, Grotesque, Strange, Weird, Dystopia, Religion, Apocalypse, Politics

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