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Snake Pit Champion
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Registered: 08/12/99
Posts: 21,652
Loc: Wexico
    #3979113 - 03/28/05 04:06 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Turmoltuous, dark, bulging clouds swirling low around a point somewhere over the hillside. There is a gentle, steady breeze blowing from all sides toward the same point.

Ray sits slouching on a bench near a deep pit. Freddie is with him, both are silent.

Ray tosses an empty beer bottle into the pit, it screams like a bottle rocket against the rocky descent, and he withdraws another from the dwindling case at his side.

Freddie watches this out of the corner of his eye and takes another pull from his own bottle. He sees that Ray is staring intently at a point somewhere over the hillside. He takes a look himself and sees the gyring clouds, omenous as buzzards. "Getting chilly," he croaks.

"It's always chilly here."

The bench on which they sat had grooves in the concrete behind its legs, from when he and Ray had pushed it from a spot fifteen feet away, so that they could let their feet dangle over the pit. They had done this in August. It was 100 degrees and they had both sweated profusely. "No it isn't."

"There's more to 'here', than a geographical location."

"Oh." Freddie looked at his now-empty beer bottle and wished it had been filled with whiskey. Ray was a good guy and all, but goddamn was he weird. He launched the bottle screaming into the pit. Ray handed him another.

"Ever wonder who dug this pit?" Ray asked, eyes never wavering from that point over the hillside.

"No...I'm not even sure it was 'dug'."

"Sometimes I think this pit was placed here specifically for us to throw beer bottles into."

"This hole could have been here for thousands of years..."

"Still, I wonder."

"Seems kind of presumptuous."

Ray drained his bottle in three mighty gulps and sent it spinning.

Freddie thought for a moment and said at last, "Nobody's ever returned this bench to its rightful place."

"Exactly. And no one is ever sitting here when we arrive." Ray stood suddenly, teetered drunkenly over the pit's edge, and began walking around it.

"Where you going?"

Ray turned and faced his old friend. "Are you lost?"


"...Are you lost?"

Freddie drank deeply and considered the question. "No more than anyone else I guess."

"Your assumptions spread across the Universal plain."

"Fuck the universe."

Ray grinned and turned back toward that specific point in space.

"Where are you going?" Freddie repeated.

"Where am I always going?"

"Oh." Freddie's tone was flat and it subtly revealed dissapointment.

Ray smiled to himself and staggered toward the hill.


When he reached the summit, Ray could see the cave on the other side of the hill. "I knew it," he mused. He sighed deeply and turned back into the breeze. In the valley below he could see his entire town. Eddie was a speck in the distance, drinking beer and watching him from the bench. Ray waved. Eddie waved back. From the top of the hill, he could almost see the bottom of the pit at Eddie's feet. The bottom was impossible to see from ground level. They knew only that it was unimaginably deep.

Certain points in the town below were bathed in golden light. Ray's boyhood home was one of them. He remembered playing street hockey with Freddie by the faning light of autumn nights. Innocent times, lost.

He could clearly see the spot in the parking lot of his high school, where Marie cried and told him she was pregnant.

And there was the abortion clinic where the thing had been killed.

"My God, how we stumble blindly through."

On another hill was his mother's grave. Not too far from that was his brother's. He was the only Doulen left now; well, the only one with a stitch of sanity, anyway. He wondered about his transient father, roaming the streets of San Francisco, mumbling and drooling over a flask of rotgut. He could almost see the shadowy ghost, eyes ablaze in the light of a street lamp, leering sinisterly at him. "Its not the path," slurred the drunken ghostbum. "Its the destiny."

Ray blinked the vision away and turned back toward the cave. An empty plastic bag hopped past him on the steady breeze and continued on its way toward the cave.

With as little thought, Ray followed it.


The mouth of the cave loomed heavily before him. Ray looked up into the sky and saw that the rainless rainclouds continued their weary circle above the cave. Directly above, the sky was deep and purple, with the clouds skimming along around the patch of light. Ray coughed and peered into the pit.

It was familiar, treacherously familiar. Razor sharp stalagtite like grinning teeth watched him watch them near the bottom of the cave. Ray gulped and stared blankly ahead.

"Go toward the light," sayeth the crumb.

The crumb?

"That's right," said Ray. "'Ever swallow a piece of food, and get a crumb stuck in your throat, and no matter how much you swallow, cough, puke, or scratch at it, you can't get to it? Its so maddening you don't know how you will live? I had a piece of salsbury steak lodge itself into that corner of my throat during my sixth grade lunch period and it NEVER loosened. Five years ago it started talking to me."

"Shut the fuck up and go toward the light," sayeth the crumb.

"What light, its fucking black as hell down there," but still he stepped into the cave, his sneakers slipping on the gravelly angling granite toward the grinning razors.

"This should be a castle," he thought as he struggled for balance. "I should be walking up a carpeted staircase, not slipping down a slate of rock."

"The light," sayeth the crumb.

"I know, I know...the fucking light. The goddamn black-hole-light."

He skidded to a stop inches from the razored, stalagmite teeth and peered past them into the blackness. Again it struck him all-too-familiar. Again it struck him all-too-dangerous. "What the fuck am I doing?"

He stepped past the narrow opening between the cave's teeth and walked toward the gaping cleft in the granite. He saw the rickety rope bridge and traversed it, sweating and gulping the entire distance. As he crossed, he could hear the rhythmic pounding from the cave's depths. "Ba-dump...Ba-dump." It could have been rain water dripping into a pool of eyeless fish. It could have been anything. What it sounded like was a heart beat. "A heart beat," he thought, "a mother's heartbeat as heard from a child inside the womb."

"Womb rhymes with tomb."

"Shut up, crumb."

"Follow the light, Ray."

On the other side of the bridge was strewn out before him a labyrinth of boulders, high-reaching stalagtite, low-reaching stalagmite. Hidden corners, unknown paths, all leading toward the pounding sound. "The guardian's lair," thought Ray and he quivered, before ducking into one of the hidden corners. He lit a cigarette there and hesitated. "There is nothing sweet about this, no romance, no love."

The crumb laughed shrilly.

Ray could hear the guardian stumbling clumsily through the labyrinth. It would be by pure chance if the two should not meet. And if they met, it would be the prison cell for Ray again. That cell with the lone idiot who would never be released. Ray remembered spending what seemed like an eternity in that cell, with the prisoner. The only thought Ray had in those days was "How can it be that I am equated to this monster." The prisoner would grin toothlessly at him, and turn back toward the bars, bashing his head eternally against them. "Who was this madman?" He was never able to figure it out. Her father, maybe?

Ray dropped his cigarette, prayed for stealth, and faced the maze.


My God, he actually made it. After all this time, he stood at the altar. The booming heartsound vibrating through every fiber of him, he stood before the altar, and on it was the hearth, and in the hearth, neatly arranged and waiting patiently for him or for some other, was dry kindling. Ray, his awkward movements betraying his awe, climbed the altar's two steps, fumbled through the pocket of his jeans for his Zippo, lit it, and tossed it into the hearth.

Fire erupted instantly, and the entire cavern was bathed in its warmth and light. Ray looked back in the direction from where he had come. He saw the guardian, made of stone, leaning against a boulder, arms folded, smiling at him in wary welcome.

Ray looked toward the roof of the cave and saw IT. The fleshy, heaving portion of exposed balloon bulging through a crack in the rock. As the fire's heat touched it, Ray knew that at any moment the pink, fleshy material would burst open and the sweet contents would rain down upon him, and then it happened.

Gushing, white liquid rushing toward him. Ray opened his mouth and gulped the substance. And it tasted like honey wine, and was ten times as intoxicating. Ray drank gladly as he was washed away in a wave of the stuff, washed uncontrollably back toward the cleft and razor teeth beyond.


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Snake Pit Champion
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Registered: 08/12/99
Posts: 21,652
Loc: Wexico
Re: dwindle [Re: Senor_Doobie]
    #3979794 - 03/28/05 12:24 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)



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Owl Lady
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Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 6,962
Loc: Massachusetts
Re: dwindle [Re: Senor_Doobie]
    #3979834 - 03/28/05 12:36 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I always enjoy reading your writing doobs.  It's descriptive, well thought out and structured, and extremely articulate.  Thanks :smile:

Remember, remember the fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

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Snake Pit Champion
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Registered: 08/12/99
Posts: 21,652
Loc: Wexico
Re: dwindle [Re: Liz]
    #3979916 - 03/28/05 01:10 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Thank YOU


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Registered: 08/13/99
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Re: dwindle [Re: Senor_Doobie]
    #3981544 - 03/28/05 09:10 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

friggin nice read

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Picktish TexasStyle....

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 8,243
Loc: was born down in the sout...
Re: dwindle [Re: Senor_Doobie]
    #3981832 - 03/28/05 10:20 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

That is good reading...*smiles

Come to Paw Paws place there will be no sleeping tonight

Eric just wants to catch reds ..
Don?t look back, don?t look back
He?s right on your trail
Don?t look back, don?t look back
He?s just a step away from hell

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