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Old 10-15-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
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No Love Lost, Chapter 8

I should be mural painting. Whatever, I'm tired.
***

Chapter Eight.

"Oh how I realised how I wanted time
Put into perspective, tried so hard to find
Just for one moment, thought I'd found my way
Destiny unfolded, I watched it slip away"

—Joy Division, "Isolation"

sound/vision/so this is permanence


All of those days sketched hard and impermanent like names onto concrete. He walked down city blocks trying hard not to look at her. The warm air seemed this time to welcome him: he belonged better in this place (among these people). He didn’t know where it was he was going yet but he was on pause for now.

The sky burned fierce purple onto the water. Trees stood attention on the edge, merging above and below to create long shadow lines, deep red. Ciarán took Corinne’s hand, and with that energy she smiled at him and all of the sudden the lines of the lowering sun were connecting in them; he breathed out and looked at her from the corner of his eye then looked at her fully. Insides of his eyebrows turning up. He looked a little afraid. As for her, steady brown gaze. She wasn’t.

He turned away. A possibility snapped. He looked down, mouth set hard, and she looked at the fading sunlight holding his form together and said into the pause of their conversation, “Oh.”

Remembering, her. The last person (the only person) Ciarán had loved lived now only in fragments of memories stretched across his mind. Blown into nothing one day.

Corinne looked at her own hand in the sun, the way the light looped over and over and over each finger when she turned her wrist. She thought about permanence. She wondered if a wish could be permanent. But she knew neither of them was. Permanent. They were both instants.

***

That day, if she could, she would have told him it was only borrowed time.

It all happened after that day.

Mats said he would get him a job, agreeing with Corinne in a roll-eyes sort of way. Corinne whispering into Mats’ ear excitedly bothered Ciarán for some reason. But then she looked at him.

He did everything. He scraped grime off the floor in a dubious bar. He glued posters to walls. Afterward, he had a week on and off of labor-intensive jobs that made his muscles ache and vibrate in exhaustion. He’d lie awake and look at stars through the crack in the ceiling; they lived at the top of an old hotel now. At nights, he’d dream of nothing.

The days began to gather speed and weight, hurling themselves into him. His shoulders felt strained. His eyes skimmed everything instead of seeing it properly. He was, for a period of a few weeks, receding. Out of the world, into the wheel. What had first been escape now needed real escape. Escape within escape. The night was deep purple when Corinne knocked on the door of the toppermost room and found Ciarán staring awake, his words receding deep behind his vocal cords into silence. Mats and Ciarán were defined differently now, after three weeks: Ciarán was tired (thinner), his hair having lightened from being outside so much, his arms slightly stronger, his hands unmoving, shoved into his pockets. Mats, darker, enduring, remnants of words of property fading from his hands, looked at Ciarán in concern one day, a Tuesday, removed his headphones from his ears. They dropped to his collarbone with an unexpected sound. Ciarán was looking up at the ceiling, yawning, every 15 minutes or so his eyes would close a bit and he’d sleep. Corinne had gotten Mats upstairs and they’d both seen; he was tired, beyond that really, and it wasn’t worth the money he was getting.

“You need a break, kid. We’ll figure out money somehow.”

They took him down to the water. Under the bridge, there was a river. Beyond it, trees and sun. The occasional rumbling of cars over the highway. But if you looked up past the trees, past the sun, there was infinity. He looked up and up and up, waking up a little. He fell asleep there with the sun all over him, and Mats left for his own work, and Corinne turned around when he asked. He took a huge burning gulp of what remained in his backpack, felt it sting into his inside, and jumped into the river, gasping at the cold.

She was confused, she didn’t hear him jump. Then concerned. Her heart beat too hard for her narrow ribs. Struggle with shirt over hair, nearly tripping on pants, she jumped after.

The water was warmer after a few minutes, though around his shoulders it hurt. He heard a noise, felt a sharp tug on his hair. “What was that?” Corinne asked, breathing hard.

“I’ve been swimming in colder places than this, believe me,” Ciarán said, then ducked his head underwater. Hands on either side of his head. Pulled back up. The current drifted angrily around them. She looked at his sad sad eyes and he felt her warm hands. Couldn’t look away, but this time he looked at her directly. In hindsight, people always say they saw it coming. Whatever it was that changed their lives. They say if they’d turned a second before they wouldn’t have been on the other side of the sidewalk before the car passed, if they’d boarded that plane they wouldn’t have been there now.

Ciarán was there absorbed in her wet frozen face, his hands stones at his sides, his legs moving only a little. He felt something brush against his back. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was hard and started to dig in a little. She saw him wince; assuming, her hands dropped. Then the water moved harder. Something dark arrowed in from behind Ciarán; she saw his face twisting and a rush of his body moving before offbalance, she followed and was also torn away into the current. Her confused shout was preserved underneath the water. In an instant.

He fought water. He grappled at it. His hands clenched, he battered at it and slapped his arms above it and struggled to get his legs kicking above it. It whirled and tore and pushed him onwards. He cried and spat and struggled for air. For long confusing minutes, he went through a dark second birth. Light and air and water separated finally into distinct separate halves and he gasped abovewater and pulled himself up enough to swim on in the direction he thought was back. Trees watched him on either side. Exhausted, nonetheless this was easier than trying to get air had been. Weariness set in and he was spat back onto the ground. He lay down, covered in river muck, his back soaking the ground and getting it on him, and dragged in sweet air, trying to stop his head from spinning.

He raised his head and looked up at the trees, saw they looked the same as the ones where he had been, but where was the funny shaped outcropping by the riverbank? and—he was alone. He let his head drop. Someone found him but it wasn’t the right one. Neither of him. By that time the sound of the river had slowed down for him and he was counting the seconds between it and his heartbeats. When he didn’t move they picked him up, then someone saw, and tugged off his shirt and he flinched away, tree branch protruding from his shoulderblade. There was apparently a gash just underneath, parallel to his spine. He stopped listening because the only words he’d spoken were asking where he was.

And where he was, was very far away.

The light flickered and decreased and the gash closed up with a tugging and a piercing of skin and the raw pull of the needle. He watched other lights race by outside the window as he was taken to the hospital. When they asked him what his name was he asked where she was. But they didn't know where she was. And he was very far away. And once again he had no name and nothing.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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Pretty short...

No, he can't be lost! Things were just starting to happen! Let's hope Ciaran finds Corinne again. And that the injury wasn't very bad...
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:34 PM   #3
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Heehee

This is actually where things really start to happen...
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:59 PM   #4
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Yeah, I can tell! Everything else was setting up...
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:15 PM   #5
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Technically it's all just setup for what happens in the prologue...but yeah. Except some of the stuff that's already happened was rather important and will be a problem later...
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:41 PM   #6
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You. Are. AWESOME.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:48 PM   #7
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Resisting the urge to quote Star Wars but...



Just replace it with 'you're awesome' and we're all set XD
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:05 AM   #8
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:03 AM   #9
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Oh goddamn. That's not 'Isolation', that's '24 Hours.'

forget that typo...
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:03 AM   #10
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Oh goddamn. That's not 'Isolation', that's '24 Hours.'

forget that typo...
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