Fragments of Fiction

I am playing around with incorporating this text into Fragments of Fiction.

It was barely an hour since the sun had begun its journey across the sky but the car had already begun to feel like an oven. There wasn’t much to see out here, just a long black strip that divide the desert into two halves of tumbleweeds, cacti and dirt.

Next to me the cooler was still filled with ice and drinks so for the time being the heat was not going to do more than make me sweat and that was never much of an issue for me. I had grown accustomed to working beneath the scorching heat of the Arizona sky.

The air conditioning had stopped working more than 1000 miles ago but that was a minor inconvenience compared to the lack of a radio. I could deal with the heat but I couldn’t deal with the boredom and sheer monotony brought on by watching miles of nothing interspersed with miles of no conversation and no music. There were no distractions because there were neither passengers nor cars on this road.

I began to softly sing Highway to Hell and a small chuckle escaped my lips. It wasn’t happy laughter, it was something else. You see, it wasn’t joyful laughter at all.
It was a mask that hid the deep feelings of hurt and betrayal. It was a manhole covering the empty place that used to contain my heart and I feared letting go because if I did I might find myself laughing hysterically and that frightened me.

I feared losing control. I feared looking into the mirror and seeing the face that looked back at me. The pain and hurt in those eyes haunted me. I couldn’t run away because those eyes belonged to me. I couldn’t run fast or far enough. I couldn’t hide. I tried to. I wanted to.

Do you want to know what trouble is. Trouble is when your nightmares no longer limit themselves to robbing you of sleep and when you can no longer distinguish between what is real and what is not. Trouble is knowing that you can never be whole again. Trouble is knowing that everything you thought was good and worthwhile has been taken from you and that you could have prevented it from happening but instead chose to do nothing.

Trouble is knowing that you cannot give up no matter how badly you want to. Trouble is knowing that suicide is not an option even though you are already dead inside. So you say that trouble is not the right word. You think that I should have used pain instead of trouble. Well that is great, but it doesn’t fly. I knew precisely what I was doing and why and trouble is exactly the word I wanted.

Pain is not the word to use because it is inadequate. It doesn’t say anything. It doesn’t make you feel anything and even if you could feel my pain it wouldn’t matter. You still wouldn’t understand and you still couldn’t help me because I am beyond that now. I am just an empty shell and I used to be so much more.

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  1. Jack's Shack October 5, 2005 at 5:42 pm


    I am going to delete your comment and then post it again because for some reason it stretches the page. My response is below

    Okay, so this is the first time I’ve commented here and I can’t believe I’m criticising, but maybe you’ll be glad in the end. Can I suggest you sweep that piece for redundancies, and then do it again?

    “…no conversation and no music.” “There were no distractions” Yes we got that.

    “It wasn’t happy laughter, it was something else. You see, it wasn’t joyful laughter at all.” Soooo, neither happy nor joyful?

    “and I feared letting go because if I did I might find myself laughing hysterically and that frightened me.”
    “I feared losing control.”
    No shit Sherlock. When you’ve used a good sentence like that first one, we get it. You don’t need to follow it with an explanation of ‘what you just meant by that’.
    /editor rant

    And on to more cheery comments. *skulks away* Chosha


    I appreciate the comments but in this case I disagree. There is a stylistic reason for including those lines. Sometimes it makes sense to be more stark, but not in this case.

  2. Jack's Shack October 4, 2005 at 7:04 pm

    Hi Lejnd,

    Thanks. I am trying to figure out where to add it to the Frags of Fiction story I am writing.

  3. bornfool October 4, 2005 at 1:00 pm

    I loved it. I travelled to SoCal a few years ago in an S-10 with no A/C and no radio. I identified with the monotony of the road.
    Good job of creating interest. You left me wanting to know where his pain and trouble came from.

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