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Old 10-23-2011, 12:38 AM   #1
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No Love Lost, Chapter 10

I've been spurred on by a lot of guitar-y music and guilt over procrastination of many kinds.

Still. Why is writing so harddddd. This was a difficult chapter.

***

Chapter Ten. Running Away From What You Don’t Understand.

I went out riding
Down that old eight lane
I passed by a thousand signs
Looking for my own name


Soon as he was gone he was running. Air gnashing teeth past him ripped into the fiber of his body with no trouble at all. His limbs moved over and through it faster. Solidness of the pavement through his shoes consistent. Roads ran like veins. It was avascular where Avery’s parents had looked after Ciarán, there was no road. He’d just cut through the trees in the place of least resistance, reluctantly leaving the brief buzzing pocket of warmth the middle of nowhere insulated. Then ran through the capillary roads where sparse houses appeared and larger ones could be seen distantly. Veins and arteries, the roads weren’t falling apart, the houses were, then houses got larger still and it was people shoving each other, people falling apart. Now the highway rushed near him. He ran just outside the metal railing, keeping an eye out for cars. But there was no-one.

Not til night. He stopped to blow on freezing hands and leaned against cold metal. A sudden slamming of air against his body, the bulk of a car passing him by inches, widened his eyes and tightened his fingers. It was so dark and the headlights missed him. Only his startled heart identified him in the night. But he smiled with a little less energy than before, the pale ghost of danger just escaped still resident in him.

There was also no-one there to witness the bursts of energy, no real way he could chart how far he’d gone, no-one to shake him out of thought. A strange eerie soundscape was pushing into his recollection. He didn’t try to identify what song it was, he just stopped, looked up at the stars and thought he didn’t mind he was lost.

What Ciarán hadn’t thought about was that this was all about control of his own life. But not even that. The way things repeated themselves, there were some he needed to do over again. There’d been a time when he hadn’t known where he was and it was a bad thing. The worst thing, to be alone with no way home. With every step he was attempting to rewrite that.

With that theory, he didn’t know where his da fit in. It wasn’t a simple rule of opposites. That he’d loved him back then, hated him now—that wasn’t true. He just needed time on his own to try and understand things beyond his grasp. He had only one guiding star and it unbalanced him. Having and not having. Being so similar to his parents…no, he only knew one of them. Apparently he’d acted up just like the young Paul Hewson had. And he’d loved and he’d lost and…their lives were weirdly similar. But Ciarán had a whole landscape of his own, here. He had practically an entire country where he was anonymous. That, he reflected thoughtfully, was something Bono might never have.

He fell asleep once he reached the first signs of life (buildings in the distance). Pulled his jacket around himself and pillowed his head against scratchy grass. Cars rattled demonically as he tried to sleep, but he did. He dreamed about a man walking through a landscape. Just walking. Not arriving anywhere. The man had a vaguely familiar Stetson but he was not Edge. He held something silver on a chain that glinted against the sun as he walked.

He was absorbed back into society in stages. He had to sleep somewhere else than the highway obviously. There was actually a sort of shelter at the place he’d found, one of those towns pretending to be a city in Europe when its contents were only a handful of people. He remained static for three days and looked for other people, saw just a few and some whose lives were too complicated for him to comprehend or interrupt. He didn’t interrupt anything at all, just watched. He found a lighter and used it to (carefully) set fire to a newspaper or two in an empty lot, over which he dried a handful of dollar bills that in the cold had stayed wet from the river. The fire snapped about half up. By the time the rest of the money was gone he was on his way again.

Not joyous to be back in the middle of nowhere, he thought. He came upon another river but it probably wouldn’t lead him back. Still, he followed it for a few miles, he tested the water, he left again dripping and alone.

This wasn’t it yet. He was still getting there. Finally, finally, when once again he almost got run over by a car on the highway (they never planned them for people trying to cross into the city from out of it) he arrived somewhere larger. The first night he thought miserably that he missed the middle of nowhere. It was less loud. Even cars over the highway. He pulled his arms over his head and clamped his fingers over his ears and tried to sleep properly. Waking up blearily, he decided it was time to move on. But before he left that city, startled, he heard it. Handing food without looking to the cashier at a seedy grocery store, a girl who was making a face at the state of his hair, the lack of socks, etc, he suddenly stopped. What had registered only as a distant sort of humming now made itself out to be words. For the first time in months he heard his father’s voice, disembodied, over the speakers, not directed at him or present. She snatched the jar of peanut butter from his fingers. “That’s gonna come to…” She rattled off a small figure. He handed some money over. How he’d come across it he probably wouldn’t admit to authorities. She had to snap him out of whatever it was again so he’d get the food he’d almost left behind.

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for...

Of all things, the sound of bass, the drums just behind it, had crawled down his throat to his body to remind him. Grocery bags trying to cut off the circulation in his fingertips ignored, a great gust of rhythm filled his mind. Suddenly, with the tuneless scraping and howling of the wind falling apart around him and revealed to be hollow, the road was not enough. The highway was just empty. He ran faster.

He was beginning to see himself through other people’s eyes. A long cut of vision while he cleaned himself up and set the other man’s wallet a little out of reach of passersby, all the money gone and balled into his pocket. Maybe the guy would get it back. When Ciarán pushed open a door, he saw how the bartender squinted and tried to weigh the scars against the thinness (how old was this kid?) He didn’t want to drink. He just wanted music. He listened to the same loop of canned radio over the drifting of other people’s voices and muffled arguments. Could see outside himself to the bartender’s disbelief that he’d just sit there and not pay for anything. Fragmented briefly into a woman’s pitying glance that misguessed Ciarán’s age. A few men’s irritation at him, that he was sitting where they’d rather be sitting. His ears woke up again, and his fingers wanted to do something (he wasn’t sure what). Someone had pushed a few beers his way. For some reason it was hard to hold his liquor, which was weird because he’d had an awful lot of something or other in the house with two stairwells. He felt hazy, then sad, then ecstatic, then thoughtful. Someone giggled as Ciarán attempted to translate pop songs to Gaelic. More fragments. There were so many people here none of them saw him long enough to notice his gaze become frantic, his eyes starting to wince. He ducked and pushed away and let them all resume their lives. More fragments as he passed them quickly. He found what he presumed was a bathroom but he didn’t make it that far. Something dark came out of his mouth and he finally got rest, slumped down on the floor. Too many. Too many people.

***

She didn’t expect to find him there. She thought it was just a kid who’d somehow charmed his way in and gotten drunk as fuck. But it didn’t matter. What did matter was he was blocking the entrance of the ladies’ room. Of course, she wasn’t feeling all that great. But she turned him over and saw first, shit, that was blood, wasn’t it. Not very much, though, thankfully. He had one skinny freckled arm over his eyes. She moved it, and then stepped away fast. That face she shouldn’t be able to recognize after so many years. But it was a weird combination of both his parents’ faces. She didn’t know what to do. So many times she’d run away from situations like this. It was why Oisín had been so angry upon finding she existed, she’d just escaped. She picked him up, wincing, feeling suddenly regretful. Ciarán blinked a little hazily before dropping back into unconsciousness. He thought she looked a little familiar. That he’d seen her once. Maybe.

***

This time, in his recollection, as the man and the woman fought he looked down and saw blood.

If someone was hurt, why would they be told to keep it silent?

He tried to see the man more clearly, but all he could think was they both looked familiar. Maybe.

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Old 10-23-2011, 12:54 AM   #2
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Wow.

......

Just, wow.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:05 AM   #3
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Holy cripes, that was fast!
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:19 AM   #4
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I'm a very good reader. Always have been.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:14 PM   #5
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Wow!

Arrrgh, not another dream... (oh well, dream scenes can be really cool.)

And... I bet the woman's someone we haven't met before. More people I have to keep track of...
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:25 PM   #6
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I think I'm just gonna keep you guessing

Hint hint: recurring dreams are important

Hint number 2: whoever this is has at least met Oisín, which means it's not someone totally random
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:21 PM   #7
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(I've just gone off and reread some chapters from your old stories... la la la....)

And I only have two thoughts in mind, one's highly unlikely and one's possible but not probable.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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I like your way of thinking
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bars n shite, ciaran went out walking, ciarán, dreams oh my, no love lost, running, the plot thickens, wanderer, who the crap

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