A Story by inconsistentsea



I saw the sun rise before me, yet it still felt as if it were setting. My body and mind were still exhausted, but I couldn't quite remember what from. My eyes opened incrementally and took in the languidly climbing star. Cushioned by grass I sat resting against a large tree, flaccid and peacefully hypnopompic. The birds began to chirp as if to hasten me out of slumber. I yawned as I propped myself up to rub my eyes. Instinctively I looked at my hands and was not surprised to find them covered in dirt. I felt once again the all-too-familiar shake out of momentary blissful ignorance and the swift kick back in to reality, if this could be called reality.

Without looking, I reached for the shovel beside me and used it to help me up. My feet directed the rest of my body, which was fine because my groggy mind wasn't up to the challenge. It didn't matter anyhow. I knew I could have done this walk backwards with my eyes completely closed, but I also knew that I would never get the chance to find out if that were completely true. The shovel dragged on the grass behind me softly and quietly, so unlike the enthusiastic actions it had taken the night before.

The morning played out as I supposed, the only way I had ever known it to. From the tree I wandered through a littered alley and down a few increasingly busy blocks. The garbage bins were as full as they were the last time I shuffled by them and the same crows were fighting over the same scraps. The same business women were buying their same princess coffees. I passed a man setting up his hot dog cart, which doubled as a breakfast sandwich place in the morning. His movements were like a dance that I knew all the steps to. My stomach was prompted in to action and I felt my hand slip disappointingly in to my empty pocket. He watched me and smiled. He sensed that I intended to provide him patronage, but could not. I returned his famliar smile and I watched his fade as his eyes lowered to my soiled shovel still dragging behind me.

I climbed the stairs of what my feet told me was my apartment building to the fourth floor and entered a small room with large windows. I placed the shovel near the door. I didn't need to have done this countless times to know that was where it went; the small pile of dirt assured me that was the spot. Although I had awoken in the park I thought of nothing but sleep. In the tiny washroom I scoured the dirt from my hands and arms. Then I peeled off my clothes, shimmied under the covers and immediately fell asleep.

I woke from a dreamless slumber just as night had started to fall. Through my windows I watched the layered sunset, the gilded skylight of soft yellow and burnt orange on top of passionate plum and deep blue. A sense of anticipation overwhelmed me and compelled me out of bed. Maybe tonight would be the night. Maybe it would finally be the night.

I showered, dressed, then downed a bowl of cereal upon remembering that I was famished. I turned on the news, another part of my unintentional ritual. I was not sure what I was watching for, but felt I would know it if I saw it. I did not see it because at seven o'clock I rose from the couch, almost as if ejected by an unseen force. I grabbed my jacket, put my cereal bowl in the sink, placed my fingers around the handle of the shovel and opened the door of the apartment. I knew there would be no one in the hallway, but I looked around anyway as I turned the key.

Down the flights of stairs I wondered to myself. I wondered if tonight would finally be the night.

But I knew it wouldn't be.

© 2013 inconsistentsea

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very intriguing but what excellent descriptions! I'm not sure if I want to know what the character is up to.
brilliant little piece.

Posted 6 Years Ago

Interesting piece. I'm curious to know what he was doing in the park. My mind instantly went to some ominous reason.

Well written and your imagery is great.

Posted 7 Years Ago

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god damn... i think i was your parasitic twin that slimed away at some early point... or maybe i'm just familiar... my favourite of yours so far, earthy imagery, i felt the fatigue, knew the streets, the hunger, your description of sunset/rise are magnificent... reads like a movie, carries you along in womby contentment, wonder and intrigue, ending vague and open to interpretation, which is great and frustrating at the same time.

Posted 8 Years Ago


8 Years Ago

My submissions right now have been for contests. This was one of them. We had to use that opening .. read more

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3 Reviews
Added on February 9, 2013
Last Updated on February 9, 2013