Bliss: Chapter I - The problem with immortality is...

Bliss: Chapter I - The problem with immortality is...

A Chapter by Wolf Beaumont
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Dive into a metaphysical fantasy with ancient Greek Gods in modern day America. Join them in this dark comedy/horror thriller as they seek to discover the answers to the past.

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The problem with immortality is that you can still die, it’s just that when you show up for the big ol’ grand finale without a ticket, like I do, you lose a little piece of yourself on the way back. And when you’ve died as many times as I have.. well let’s just say my memory’s not what it used to be. So who am I? Well, let’s not ruin that surprise just yet.


Our story can begin in Tijuana, a lovely little bordello snuggling Lady Liberty’s snatch. Of course technically the story began long before then but that’d be getting ahead of ourselves. Or is it behind?


Puritans used to call the city Satan’s Playground, which when you think about it had to have been seen as a pretty great sales pitch. A bootlegger’s paradise, Tijuana shone out like a beacon to the world: come one, come all to the City of Sin; and come they did.


It’s been a century since the golden days of prohibition, and yet Tijuana still beckons to the darkest corners of the human heart. That’s always been my problem really, I’m drawn to sin: a fly to honey and this time round it earned me two bullets to the chest with a dip in the deep Pacific blue.


Death isn’t that bad once you get used to the fall, it’s the coming back that hurts far worse. Even so I’d never drowned before, not once. The irony of drowning is that it’s inherently peaceful, ironic because if you’ve ever watched kittens drown, well it doesn’t look very peaceful.


Alright, alright, so no kittens were harmed during the writing of this narration. But speaking from experience, the act of drowning expresses the human condition perfectly. The violence we express as we struggle to breath is that desperation to survive. The pain flooding our nervous system, a klaxon to the wet meat inside our heads as every cell in our body get's starved of oxygen. But when you surrender to that moment, when you finally let the water flood your lungs: that torrent of dark cold liquid soaking up inside you, well all that pain goes away in an instant. For a few brief last moments you get a respite, suspended between two worlds with an equal measure of both hind and foresight.


That's when I saw it. Caught between life and death, the fractured rays of sunlight scattered through the ocean’s waters, a prism of cool light against the skin. Whereupon that final moment on the cutting edge of life’s stage, a creäture of shimmering blue tendrils swam towards me from the depths of the oceanic abyss. Glowing with an ethereal light I made out the face of an old man before succumbing to the darkness of death's sweet embrace.


Our story should have ended there, with my bloated corpse floating away in the North Pacific Current, but the Fates really do have a perverted sense of humour and believe me, I’ve met them.  This right here folks is a bona fide modern-day Greek tragedy, or is it a comedy? It’s hard to keep it all straight in my head sometimes, sadly death ain’t a cure for senility and it leaves you with one b***h of a hangover.



Tijuana’s outskirts catered to the poorest of the poor, small fresco concrete and rusted tin shacks baking under a desert sun. The cool blue water of the ocean the only solace found in the unbearable heat. This particular stretch of sand played host to a scrap-yard of washed up trash. A pack of stray dogs wandered along the damp sands of the shore, puppies chasing each other whilst their mother investigated a washed up cooler in their path, making sure to mark it as they moved on.


The sickly sweet scent of urine and sharp tang of salt in the dank and humid air of an enclosed space brought me back with a start. Gasping desperately for air, putrid water dribbled from my lips as I sat up with a bang, my head smashing against the cooler’s hard lid. I collapsed back into a fetid puddle of water soaking through my clothes, before throwing the lid open with a heavy kick, the muffled caws of gulls outside exploding into a ruckus upon intrusion.


I flinched at the scorching sunlight, my pupils too sensitive to cope. Arms thrown up, my eyes could barely make out the sharp beams of light cutting through the blades of my fingers, each aglow with a rosette hue.


“Well you’ve gone taken ya sweet time coming back,” a Caribbean baritone greeted me, accompanied by the overwhelming smell of burning ganj which was pungent enough to make me rench in my current state.


“Water” my lips croaked out in a hoarse whisper, raw with need, blinding thought and reason.


“Ah’ve done spent da past hundred lifetimes looking fa you and dat’s da best you gotta offa me?”


The tight veins in my arms strained, wrapping tightly around the brown parchment of my wasting flesh as puncture marks tracked their course, a neon road map of vice. Unshaven, gaunt cheeks gave way to blood flecked orbs popping from sunken sockets. Dark locks of damp hair clumped against my shoulders. Half-heaving myself from the wet sarcophagus I hacked a violent cough before collapsing onto the wet, sun-kissed sand headfirst. With a mouth half-full of ash and eyelids snowed in fairy-dust, I finally turned to the voice in question.


I lifted myself up by my arms, shaking cold and nauseous. Not five feet away an old man of rich mahogany, sat with legs crossed. Garbed in a 70’s wish list fashion-line, he was a thin man but for a comfortable pot belly, his diminutive form standing in contrast to the exceedingly large wispy grey afro he boasted, tied back with a ragged strip of cloth.


A wave of the periwinkle smoke greeted me with his infectious smile, a fat spliff drooping between his fingers. Suddenly, a wave of dizziness overcame me, his words echoing as my vision blurred.


“Easy, boyo, I’ve got you.” He was at my side in all but a moment, hands lifting my head gently as my arms gave out. His skin felt like soft worn-down sandpaper and for a moment I thought I recognised that touch, something in the depths of my buried memories stirring.


“Who are you?” my throat scratched through split lips.


“So it’s true den, you’m don’t know who you are?”


Suddenly my body began to shake violently, spasms coursing through my nervous system leading to a full-blown seizure, froth foaming at my mouth. Opioid withdrawal sank its claws into my clammy, sweating flesh.


“What have you gone done to ya-self, sweet boy. Hush now, I’ve got you. Jas take a sip a dis and you’ll be feeling right as rain.”


Something wet moistened my lips, sweet and warm to the taste. I followed that sensation, rode it far from the sun and sand into the darkest of dreams.



At last the world falls silent and the boy floats in an aquatic gloom, hair twisting with the slightest of motion, he stares wide-eyed with wonder into the abyss. Far above lightning grazes the heavens, flash-by-flash illuminating the endless space surrounding him, shards of light probing the water. An eternity passes in this place, the distant heaving roar of storm-ridden waves smashing in upon themselves far above, perpetuating a sense of peace and sanctuary.


Every now and again, bubbles escape the child’s lips until a pod of jellyfish appear from the depths, rising towards him, aglow with a natural radiance of cerulean blues and malachite greens. These denizens of the deep pirouette around the boy, an aureole of will-o-wisp’s dancing in delight, a cadency of melodic hums rippling about their forms.


With every pulse they glow more incandescent, drawing closer together until one by one they coalesce, each distinct in melody and pitch, yet a harmonious chorale of one. From the heart of this new-born star a tendril of light extends slowly, wrapping the boy in its embrace. He looks directly at it, his honey brown eyes sparkling with joy, devoid of any fear, wide with reverence. Thus a face forms within the light, that of an old woman with a warm and virtuous smile.


“Dionysus” a word without sound, but a woman’s voice nevertheless, soft and overburdened with love.



I know what you’re thinking, there goes the suspense, right? Well you’re not wrong. But this isn’t a mystery adventure for Scooby Doo and the gang to solve, we’re dealing with a tragedy here wrapped up in some warm and fuzzy comedy. So pick your poison and buckle in, because this little story’s only just begun.



© 2018 Wolf Beaumont


My Review

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Featured Review

You might want to have your computer read this to you, aloud. You've written this as the script for a verbal storyteller. But that's a performance art, where HOW you tell the story matters as much as what you say. Your tone, cadence, intensity, and all the vocal tricks vanish on the page, as do facial expression, body language, and gesture. All that remains for a reader is a mental voice that contains only the emotion suggested by your punctuation.

Remember, you can tell the reader how a given character speaks lines of dialog. You can make us know the character's mode, so we can assign a tone. But we can't tell the reader how the narrator speaks their lines. And making things worse, the reader can't tell what a given line WILL say. And after it's read it's too late to add in the emotion.

In short, you're using the techniques of a visual and audible medium in one that reproduces neither sound nor vision. In other words, skills inappropriate to our medium.

Not happy news, given how hard you worked on this, I know. On the other hand, it's a problem you share with pretty much everyone who turns to telling stories on the page because our schooling is in the nonfiction skills employers require—skills meant to inform—not the specialized skills of entertaining the reader that the fiction writer uses.

The solution is pretty simple, though. Add the tricks of the trade to the writing skills you already possess. Given that the goal is to please readers who are used to seeing those tricks used in the fiction they now enjoy, doesn't it make sense to find out what they are, and why our medium mandates them?

Check the local library's fiction writing section. It's a HUGE resource. And while you're there, seek out the name,s Dwight Swain, Jack Bickham, or Debra Dixon. They're pure gold.

Hang in there, and keep on writing.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wolf Beaumont

3 Years Ago

Thanks for taking the time to read and review these opening couple of pages, Jay. I appreciate the a.. read more
Wolf Beaumont

3 Years Ago

I forgot to also thank you for the writer recommendations, I'll absolutely look into their works.
JayG

3 Years Ago

• that's the way I wanted it to be. A conversational, relaxed narrator.

Never los.. read more



Reviews

So what I love about this piece is how your intelligence screams through articulate vocabulary, fantastic imagery that leaps to my mind’s eye as I read lush descriptions. I love that you pay attention to the details of describing your scenes.

What I’d like to see polished up a bit would be subject-verb tense agreement, particularly in your introduction and transitions. You’re describing a past event and then switch to present tense. I realize that this is a story that takes place in both the past as well as the present, but you want that transitions from one time period to another to be smooth for your readers.. also I think extra punctuation would help as there is such a flowing conversational style to this piece, which is very nice, but because it’s conversational in nature, as a piece of writing that one reads, we need the punctuation to make it easier to follow/read. There is a LOT of humor, sarcasm, wit and undeniable flavor to your characters, and not everyone can do that well. Thank you for injecting your writing with that dark, sarcastic voice... just remember to help us read it better by polishing up your writing devices..

I must give you MUCH credit because I have like 4 books “started” and I’m the sincerest state of chaos, I’m too much of a perfectionist and I know how I want it to sound/look in my head.. and it’s so hard to articulate into a well-formatted book... ahhh that is such a daunting word for me!!! So, that said, I have to give mad credit to anyone who has even attempted to write a book. I lend myself more to poetry and lyrics because I get overwhelmed trying to approach the big “B” word and resign myself to just free verse that tumbled out from my brain in a few minutes.. no heavy literary lifting here! Plus I can somewhat “hide” out in poetry.. for whatever reason, I feel that writing out characters, descriptions, scenes and plot are far more vulnerable and revealing, at least in my case it is, as the 4 books I’m writing are all very personal to me...

Didn’t mean to ramble on in my review, except to say, I hope you accept my feedback and can use it and that you realize it’s blanketed in a tremendous amount of respect for the genre of actual BOOK-writing!!!

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wolf Beaumont

3 Years Ago

Thank you for your in-depth remarks, they're extremely clarifying and much appreciated.
Your writing is wonderfully engaging... :) Your choice of words and how best to use them to your advantage, was brilliant. Your presentation is conversational, always anticipating the reader's response...and never disappointing. Absolutely delicious...thank you for sharing. :)

Soft smiles for you...
Ahnjolie

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wolf Beaumont

3 Years Ago

This review means so much to me Ahnjolie. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your feelings ab.. read more
Ahnjolie McKenna

3 Years Ago

It was my pleasure, love...and I shall most definitely subscribe.
Ahnjolie
You might want to have your computer read this to you, aloud. You've written this as the script for a verbal storyteller. But that's a performance art, where HOW you tell the story matters as much as what you say. Your tone, cadence, intensity, and all the vocal tricks vanish on the page, as do facial expression, body language, and gesture. All that remains for a reader is a mental voice that contains only the emotion suggested by your punctuation.

Remember, you can tell the reader how a given character speaks lines of dialog. You can make us know the character's mode, so we can assign a tone. But we can't tell the reader how the narrator speaks their lines. And making things worse, the reader can't tell what a given line WILL say. And after it's read it's too late to add in the emotion.

In short, you're using the techniques of a visual and audible medium in one that reproduces neither sound nor vision. In other words, skills inappropriate to our medium.

Not happy news, given how hard you worked on this, I know. On the other hand, it's a problem you share with pretty much everyone who turns to telling stories on the page because our schooling is in the nonfiction skills employers require—skills meant to inform—not the specialized skills of entertaining the reader that the fiction writer uses.

The solution is pretty simple, though. Add the tricks of the trade to the writing skills you already possess. Given that the goal is to please readers who are used to seeing those tricks used in the fiction they now enjoy, doesn't it make sense to find out what they are, and why our medium mandates them?

Check the local library's fiction writing section. It's a HUGE resource. And while you're there, seek out the name,s Dwight Swain, Jack Bickham, or Debra Dixon. They're pure gold.

Hang in there, and keep on writing.

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wolf Beaumont

3 Years Ago

Thanks for taking the time to read and review these opening couple of pages, Jay. I appreciate the a.. read more
Wolf Beaumont

3 Years Ago

I forgot to also thank you for the writer recommendations, I'll absolutely look into their works.
JayG

3 Years Ago

• that's the way I wanted it to be. A conversational, relaxed narrator.

Never los.. read more

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Added on August 14, 2018
Last Updated on November 2, 2018
Tags: horror, thriller, comedy, greek, mythology, gods, fantasy, metaphysical, road-trip, america


Author

Wolf Beaumont
Wolf Beaumont

London, United Kingdom



About
Every hour of every day I am tormented by words. Story after story begs to be heard until I eventually succumb to their whispers and begin to write. more..

Writing
Bliss Bliss

A Book by Wolf Beaumont