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No One But Us

by dionisio 

Posted: 26 October 2003
Word Count: 542
Summary: A tiny bittersweet tale about life, love and what happens when you fall in a hole


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Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.



Last week I fell down a well. It was Saturday and I was hurrying down the Strand to meet a friend for lunch. The street was packed with people. I was making my way through the ranks of shoulders and swinging bags when, all of a sudden, there was no more pavement. So surprised I was, I forgot to yell.

I recall the fall was quite lengthy. At the bottom, I recovered myself and checked out my limbs. Incredibly, youíll find this hard to believe Iím sure, I was unhurt. No breaks, no fractures, no problem. I pulled out my mobile phone. I called people but no one answered.

I yelled, desperate for a time. I imagined my shouts working their way up the tunnel and being swept up in the endless clop and swish of the perambulating, uncaring crowds above. Eventually, I sat down, waited and began to think.

And now itís been a week. Surprisingly, quite a lot has happened. A girl has joined me. She landed on my leg, which really fucking hurt. Her name is Kia. Initially, she was like me in the beginning. A little hysterical, a little hurt that the world seemed to carry on fine without her, a little angry. Kia had been on her way to become an actress. She said the part was made for her. She began to cry. I offered her some lichen. It seemed to calm her down.

I forgot to mention the lichen before. This mossy lichen grows all over the well. Itís edible, very deep all around and absorbs a lot of water from the air, so sustenance isnít a problem down here. The taste varies, but generally think rocket lettuce. Additionally thereís a side-toilet well attached just off the main chamber. So weíre quite comfortable.

Last Friday, Kia finally agreed it was good we were to share out lives like this. We lay down together, thereís enough room to do a moss angel each, and pretended we could see the stars. After a while, we could.

No one but us. We think together a lot. We miss a lot together too. I miss family dinners, reading and tennis. She misses acting, horror movies and cigarettes. But weíre in great shape. Fashionably slim, a little pale maybe, but with a lot to talk about.

Itís no longer dark down here. The walls reverberate with lights and sounds. We see things together. Some of it is beautiful. Some of it is a trick.

Itís been a few months now, I think. Kia knows she is pregnant. Weíve learned amazing things you wouldnít understand. Messages come straight down the well all the time. Life is divided up for us between the Day and the Night. We worship them together, as a family. There are others here now, but they have their own worlds, their own wells. We all speak different languages and sometimes they fight.

There is something Kia and I share. It isnít right, I see this now, but I wonít destroy it. It binds us together and keeps us apart. I made a promiseÖ


I was told, yesterday I think, that we escaped a long time ago. But I donít tell Kia. I want her to be happy.







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Comments by other Members



Ellenna at 17:52 on 26 October 2003  Report this post
Hi dionisio..this is a quirky tale and I enjoyed it ..it may be just me but I didn't think the expletive really added to it.. but it is enjoyable and very inventive..

Welcome to WW by the way..hope you enjoy this site..:)

Ellie..

spud at 19:52 on 26 October 2003  Report this post
Dionisio welcome to WW

I also really enjoyed this piece. I love the idea of a subterranean world under the Strand. In a previous life I worked just off the Strand so I know how unlikely it would be for anyone to hear any shouting that came for a hole - no matter how deep.

I think you'll find that this is a web site worth joining, so hope to beable to read some more postings from you soon.

cheers

Spud

<Added>

...that should be 'from a hole'

PeterOC at 22:15 on 26 October 2003  Report this post
Hello and welcome Dionisio,

I liked your story. I think the thing I liked best about it was way your main character describes the adversities that he's facing in such a matter-of-fact, almost chirpy way.

I really liked the lichen eating (yum!) and the moss angels. Great imagination. I'd like to find out what happens next.

One thing that struck me was that you say that the guy was phoning people but they didn't answer, not that he couldn't get a reception. Maybe the people have fallen into another dimension?

Anyway keep going.

BTW: I only read the summary afterwards and I thought it was very funny.

~Peter



Becca at 23:00 on 26 October 2003  Report this post
Hi Dionisio, and another welcome to you. Strange tale right enough. Interesting, I wondered if the two girls were the same girl. I felt I didn't quite have enough clues, although I wouldn't want to have more clues if it took away from the surreal edge of the story. There are a lot of ideas and atmosphere in this story and you've done it all in less than 550 words, that's an achievement. I look forward to seeing more of your writing.

dionisio at 08:57 on 27 October 2003  Report this post
Thanks to each of you for your welcomes and the feedback particularly, this is exactly what I'm after.

I think it's been made clear that there aren't enough clues as to what lies behind the upfront surreal facade.

Peter picked out one of the few scattered about, that of the difference between lack of reception and lack of answers. What I was getting at beyond simply a strange love tale, was that these are people who have suffered delusions, a mental illness of some kind. The escape mentioned at the end is told to the narrator from a standpoint of average, standard lucidity, so it refers to society's stresses as opposed to the well. There's a crossover of realities. ?

Haha, reading this it seems a little overblown. If anyone has the inclination to check it out again and confirm that the hints are too slight, or to add anything more with this in mind, most most welcome. However, thanks to everybody who stopped in, and I'll now have a ganders at yours!

dionisio



<Added>

Becca - I hadn't considered how a differing gender viewpoint from my own would colour the picture of the narrator, something I need to look out for when I'm writing. However, I think the ambiguity worked also.

Becca at 14:06 on 27 October 2003  Report this post
I like the ambiguity, that's part of the surrealism, I don't quite get what you mean about a different gender viewpoint colouring the picture of the narrator.

dionisio at 14:37 on 27 October 2003  Report this post
Well, when I wrote it, being a man, I wrote it almost unconsciously from a male point of view, without considering that a lady would project a female viewpoint onto it, yes?

bluesky3d at 15:00 on 27 October 2003  Report this post
It was good that he had someone with whom to share his world at the bottom of the well of despond. It sounded like Kia was right for him. And now they have a little one to look after too - they seem to have made a home down there but the little one won't want to be there when he is old enough to realise where he is.

Ok it is about depression - but it could equally be about living in our semi-detached 21st century lives - are we all not stuck in our individual wells that bind us together, from where we long to escape, but dare not, in case our lives fall apart?

So it works on three levels - the surreal the actual well, the metaphorical as a well of depression, and metaphorically forever trapped - as the 'well' or the rut, where the lives of most people get stuck.

Excellent


Andrew :o)


<Added>

Anglo saxon expletives are off-putting and unnecessary unless you are indicating a certain personality by using them - and I couldn't see how this related in any way.

<Added>

one typo noticed - was good we were to share out (our) lives like this.

bjlangley at 15:49 on 27 October 2003  Report this post
Dionisio, a very peculiar piece, and I'd have to say that I would have benefited from more hints.

I'd agree that the profanity wasn't necessary, and added nothing to the character.

Interesting points about reading whether the main character is male or female. If it's not obvious, I often think it'll be about a male, unless it's written by a female, then I might assume the character is female. These assumptions are often wrong (I'm often wrong about many things), and when you know for sure, it can read as a very different story.

All the best, and welcome to the site.

Ben


old friend at 17:29 on 27 October 2003  Report this post
Hi,
What I like was the use of imagination. I understood the story very well and thought it was great. Your 'explanation' above left me wondering what I had missed. All I can say is please write more and more, but don't try to explain it - at least not for me.

I look forward to reading more of your work for you have an interesting way of writing.

Len

Becca at 18:42 on 27 October 2003  Report this post
Hi again Dionisio, I'm laughing at myself! the narrator is a man, and the pregnant girl can blame him. 'It's been a few months now, I think. Kia knows she's pregnant.' .. I thought she fell down the hole and one of the things the two girls discovered was about her pregnancy. But it doesn't make a lot of difference reading the narrator as a man, though, they're still very cosy together. Anyway forgive my ignorance and naivety.
Becca.

matheson at 11:30 on 29 October 2003  Report this post
Hi Dionisio

liked the story ...it was strange and magical. I had a slight feeling that it could have been a little leaner...for example I am not sure what the "Incredibly, youíll find this hard to believe Iím sure," added in the second paragraph or the value of the expletive(this place must be getting to me!) I think it is well worth a review and a little bit of tightening because the underlying material, voice and character work so well. Nice one. I look forward to more

regards

John

Katrina at 15:46 on 01 November 2003  Report this post
Ambiguousness as to gender of narrator interesting ploy, with possibly this resolved at the end?

Could even be interpreted as a 'twister' in disguise?

For me, its attraction is that it contains so many unanswered questions - both as a narration and a product.

A tale for our time - liked it.

citygate1 at 16:42 on 05 December 2003  Report this post
Hi Dionisio

I liked the tale very much, and the F word injected a little humour.

Hope you stay on

Richard

Mushrooms at 13:47 on 02 July 2004  Report this post
hey Chris i dreamt about you last night, we were up against the walls of the lobby in my flat.

I'd like to point out swiftly that its unlikely two girls get pregnant.

Thats all i'll say for now, since I have met Kia its not really fair... but its shown me more about you than I know you intended me to know

Always catching u off guard my baby doll xxx

(but then that caught me off guard so I have to give you points this time too!)

miffle at 14:17 on 02 July 2004  Report this post
Dionisio, Enjoyed your surreal tale... I too liked the 'lichen' detail (wonder if that's hallucinognic? / safe to eat?...) and the 'moss angels' too... Sense of relief in the two people finding each other... Yes, did read it as an alternative reality / a delusional type thing... i.e. Had to read the 'hole' as surreal 'cos well, who would want to be pregnant and down a 'hole' for real! Funny that the 'hole' becomes such a pleasant place to be! Think that overturns a stereotype! A lot that remains enigmatic - an elusive, mysterious piece... Write on, Miffle

NB I like the ambiguity of the narrator's gender... Though their obvious intimacies down the 'hole' (sharing lichen, comforting each other, making 'moss angels'... etc) does suggest that Kia has become pregnant down the hole... I think too that the verb 'knows' suggests this...


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