Strawberry Sea

Lords of the Fallen

Christian fell out of the wormhole and landed flat on his back. Overhead, his hovercraft exploded. The blast appeared to freeze as it was swallowed up by the singularity.

Within moments, shortwave radiation activated his solar plexus. The nerve endings shocked his heart into rhythm, and his lungs billowed open. His first breath was a revelation. Air, in three-dimensional space, tasted sweet and astringent.

The first light of that morning prized open his pupils and flooded his eyes, enabling him to see his surroundings. He convulsed, fingers scraping at the ground, as his brain recalibrated itself. A phalanx of trees looked him over. Their leaves nodded lazily as they cast off the raindrops that weighted them down.

As a comic book hero, Christian’s circumstances were limited by whatever someone else decided to print.

“I can’t live to my fullest potential acting out roles others are scripting for me.”

An illustrator had scribbled those words near Christian’s mouth. They were cruel and ironic.

“There are advantages,” Christian thought, while battling a Bandroid in volume 91, on page 316. “My victory is guaranteed.”

Eight pages later, he changed his mind. “Please someone,” he pleaded, “write me a way out of here.”

On page 326, someone drew him into our cryptic universe. That was how he found himself stretched out on the eastern bank of the Ganges, dreaming of a strawberry sea.

+_~

Notes: Keep calm and rebel on, rebels. With special thanks to Lilian Wong for including me in her Twitter poetry campaign, which started on September 4 – @LilianYWong. Image Credit: Playstation Europe. Lords of the Fallen, via Flickr, used with permission.

64 thoughts on “Strawberry Sea

  1. You popped up in my reader yesterday and I remembered that amazing creativity. It’s from a completely different, unfathomable for me, universe. This piece captivates. And the comment thread. What a community!

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  2. This story is definitely different from the ones you’ve written before, and I appreciate the twists and humor — very clever! The imagery was powerful, and I can see clearly the writings like a comic book. Pow! Wham! Slam! I’m entranced 😀

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  3. So felicitous you like the narrative. It’s the nip of powerlessness, when you realise case-by-case’s written your Holy Writ and everyone is acting out their part in it.

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  4. It’s the flavor of powerlessness, when you realise individual’s written your book and everyone is acting out their region in it. Some challenging post-modernist twists here …

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    1. Thank you so much. That’s exactly the message I meant to convey. Our world is veiled in illusions we create collectively. I think that discontentment arises when we create scripts within these scripts without understanding the whole picture.

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  5. This is funny and yet quite chilling. I think we have all had that feeling (I do on a regular basis) that we are just acting in some awful play or movie. What if you were convinced and you were in some appallingly written and cliched comic book? Brilliant.

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    1. It’s the feeling of powerlessness, when you realise someone’s written your script and everyone is acting out their part in it. This story might be right up your alley in terms of surrealism, if I’m not mistaken? The first draft was dry so I decided to play with reality using the comic book pages. We can keep a lot hidden if we flatten our images.

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    1. Nik, thank you! So happy you like the story. I talked with a friend about it just yesterday. She had a similar concept in mind where she wanted to jump into any of fictional story. And she said you’ll probably end up dying quickly because your brain would be overloaded with data. It would be like the blue screen of death but she said it would probably be worth it to enjoy her favourite stories firsthand.

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    1. That’s what I like about writing fiction. I can create any version of reality I want. Among us, there are people with a higher consciousness. Knowing he’s being written is how his higher consciousness manifests in a flat universe. He’s also an idealist. Without those two qualities, he wouldn’t have the desire to live life on his own terms. Thanks for popping by to read. xo

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      1. Thanks so much. This time round it felt like communicating with myself in morse code. It’s funny how people reading this would take some aspects literally, when the story is about being not being two-dimensional.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. Christian’s just crashed landed on Earth and his brain is trying to adapt. He has no memory of being here and no idea what he’s in for. He’s going to have to slog it out like the rest of us.

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      1. You should write the next instalment. Bear in mind, he’s a popular character, instantly recognisable and has been translated into 18 languages, all of which he can read fluently. But, he has never heard or spoken words before so that should be interesting.

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      2. Noooo, I don’t want the hard work…I want to sit back and read what you’ve created. I have no idea about comics…so this is a ‘real’ comic hero? That will be fascinating to create scenarios where so much is expected of him yet he has no idea of the expectations or how to deliver…really interesting parallels with our human struggles. What to do? Which path to take? Am I goid enough? What do these people want from me? etc….

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      3. I don’t think he’s even capable of such complex thoughts. It might feel like a game to him. Thanks again for weighing in. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. xo

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      4. I just re-read it. Really, really good SB…liked it even better than first time round ‘fell flat on his back’ 😊 Also, you’ve given me some further reading on the topic of singularity. Ok, back to work…this is one of the perils of working from home.

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  6. Ah, now doesn’t that just make you want to read on. I’m with Brian in hoping that this might be the start of something longer. Life in two dimensions, struggling against a script is tough – what, I wonder, might Christian feel now he’s off the page?

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    1. Hi Julian. Thanks for this. The challenges are many. First, he won’t be able to read other people’s thoughts like in 2D. Hopefully, he’ll learn that there is a vast difference between what people say and what they actually think.

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  7. So, dare I get my hopes up that we will be seeing much more of this adventure, or should I treasure it for what it is, wistfully smiling as I lovingly tuck the words into a digital folder encrusted with rubies and just the tiniest splash from my errant coffee mug…

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  8. An amazing bit of writing, SB! I say “bit” because I crave more and more! Just a small collection of paragraphs containing action, philosophy, and poetry. More, please…

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