Sunday, 3 August 2008

SHORT STORY: Untitled.

I wrote this short story for a contest but then I got waaaay over the word limit, so I had to scrap it and start over again. I wrote another short story and sent that one in instead.

The abandoned short story is as follows. Tell me what you think.
It was already a week into the month of Ramadan but all Afiq could find in the dark corners of the sprawling town built on the back of the humongous beast, Buraq, was water to break his fast every evening. The water, whenever it was found, was not clean, and Afiq often had to lick it off the most repugnant of surfaces, such as the walls of an abandoned hut, rotting away, as was walls made from the skins of long ago deceased tics were wont to do after a brief period of time; or in huge acrid beads of sweat in between the the beast’s fur, where ever he could find it growing–sometimes in between buildings, other times in between blades of the beast’s fur, growing like tall blades of grass in patches very much like small fields, on the outskirts of the vast decaying Town.

It was the beads of sweat that kept Afiq going on. He had no doubt the odious and vile liquid excreted from underneath the beast’s back contained some vitamins and minerals–though perhaps limited, it was enough to keep his body alive. His, and other food scavengers as well.

The problem with the fur patches outside town was that it was getting harder and harder every day of Ramadan to find a big enough bead of beast sweat to last until the next breaking of fast. Competition was stiff. Fights often broke out amongst the scavengers and the militant Jayshists. Afiq had no intention of getting himself mixed in any of these squabbles. He knew that in his weak state, he would most probably die if ever he got into a fight. That was why he kept his searches mostly within the confines of the Town.

But that was before he stumbled into the house of the Imam. In his stupor, brought on by his extreme hunger, he had clumsily dragged himself into a district of the Town where he had not gone before. In this part of town, the houses and buildings were made of a different material, something more rugged and longer-lasting than the skins of tics. He did not know what it was but as he slid his palms on the walls while walking between the buildings, the walls felt coarse and slightly elastic, very much unlike the brittle and smooth qualities of tic skins. Even the ground felt different. In other parts of the Town, the ground was soft and springy, as a Buraq’s back should be. But here it was solid and hard and shiny.

The musty stench in the air quickly gave way to a fragrant aroma, something Afiq’s nostrils had not had the luxury of smelling before. His nose clearly could not cope with this new sensation. Small streams of blood flowed out his nostrils. He wiped the blood with his grimy wrist and licked it. His mouth started watering. He quickly swallowed the saliva produced. He was not one to waste moisture. He followed the aroma to an open doorway. Inside he saw a sparse room, decorated only with a table and two accompanying chairs, as well as a small black stove in the far corner. On top of the stove, there was a wok, and it was being used to deep-fry something. Attending to the wok, was a tall man wearing a white skullcap. This was the Imam.

The Imam turned around and saw the skinny figure of Afiq standing in the doorway. If the Imam had any change of expression, he did not reveal it. Afiq expected the Imam to burst into a rage, a reaction he was used to getting whenever he appeared in strange doorways. But the Imam did no such thing. He turned his back once again to Afiq and resumed giving his full attention to the wok.
Yes, yes. It's unfinished. Probably might stay that way for a long time too.

12 comments:

  1. menarik, macam terdengar suara magik realisme ala Salman, tapi untuk apa ya cerita ni? dan ke mana ia berakhir?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Entah. Tak tau lagi ceritanya nak ke mana. Mula-mula nak masukkan dalam contest, tapi dah tercarried-away dengan description dia. Limit contest tu 500 perkataan je.

    Saya tak bermaksud untuk menulis ala Salman, tapi bila baca balik a'ah, memang ada pengaruhnya. Sebenarnya saya cuba untuk membawa masuk elemen "mitologi" Islam ke dalam gaya fantasi ala barat, kalau jadi magik realisme pun apa salahnya.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hm, I can't help that your stories have a lot of licking of sweat. Coincidence? I think not! Dirty, dirty boy!

    Erm...that aside, it's a nice story. I have to agree with Fadz when he says that there is a hint of Salman Rushdie in your writing (which is loathsome, because I usually hate Rushdie's writing. He just goes too far at times. You, however, had a nice balance...so far).

    Good job well done! That is why you are the best. ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well it was either sweat or breasts. I must have been drunk that night to choose sweat instead??

    ReplyDelete
  5. Foolish Teddy! Between sweat and breasts you should pick breasts 100% of the time! Unless they are sweaty breasts, in which case you would have sweet, sweet synergy. >_>

    ReplyDelete
  6. But I can never tell which is which! Everything happened so fast!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ooh finish it please, I want to know what happens!

    If it's for a competition you could probably cut this without losing too much story. Or finish it and keep it for a longer word count competition?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well the competition I wanted to send in to has already closed so no point cutting it down. At least not until I finish writing and get down to revising it.

    I will probably want to finish it for a longer word count competition of perhaps I'll submit it in to a magazine somewhere. We'll see.

    If I do finish the story, I will alert you! Thanks for the interest! (am feeling more motivated to finishing it now... hehe!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Being nice won't help. It's convoluted. Consider this. To become a writer, clarity of mind is essential. Be clear to your readers, not to show off words you know. Chances are, your future readers know of the words you used but find the syntax atrocious. THIS is honest. Good luck then. At least you possess the spirit to write on irregardless...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you person who hides behind anonymity! I will take your advice. If only you'd tell me what you meant by syntax and my happiness shall be complete!

    ReplyDelete
  11. am really intrigued by what you have written so far. surreal!

    the syntax is fine from where i'm standing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the boost Sharon! I was scratching my head over which part of my syntax I got wrong...but I guess I'll stop worrying about it for now.

    Have since continued writing the story and hopefully it will be a nice little novella when it's done which I can submit to a fantasy mag somewhere.

    ReplyDelete

Currently Available E-Books

Available from: Amazon | Smashwords | iTunes | Google Play | Kobo
Available from: Amazon | Smashwords | iTunes | Google Play | Kobo
Available from: Amazon | Smashwords | iTunes | Google Play | Nook