Maybe it has been the mood of all the media that surrounds me. Maybe it is what I read or see or hear. Last night I saw the requirement for entering a writing. It said to be sweet. Show some love. Hug the pages you are submitting.
Normally I do. I think several pieces I have posted here fill that requirement but I had a hard time working in sweet and peace. Instead…For those that read my postings, my short fiction, even much of my book realize that I don’t write well of violence and although I write about love, rarely do I write about sex without love.
Today, I chose to provide a character design of someone I call The Hollow Man. He is a character in a piece I am working on called “All the Children are Insane.”
Please enjoy and I look forward to your comments.
The Hollow Man…
(an excerpt from “All the Children are Insane.”)
A Hollow man squats at the edge of the playa. He is hollow as no songs play in his head. He hears nothing. It is the silence of a breeze on a flat plain, not meeting a tree, brushless, without structure to break the breeze of the Playa. Just as the Playa is barren, that stretches out before him, the Hollow Man crouches at the edge among the sagebrush and saltbrush that line the slight banks of the long dry playa. He stands and removes his plaid shirt and ragged jeans, folding them into a square to sit at the edge and watch the movement of dust into the beginnings of Black Rock City. As he sits, his naked skin in dark brown almost like leather. Short black hairs curl out from his chest and legs. His body shows no fat, no lines of white blocked from the sun. He is the color or leather as he crouches back into the bush.
On the outside of the tight muscles of his leg, there is a worn scabbard, a used bone handle only exposed, strapped tightly to his leg. A breeze, stiff and brisk, quickly surrounds him in a white alkaline cloud and he is blinded and rises to his feet, straining to pull through the cloud to the infinite blue overhead of the playa. He is just in his mind. As his body quakes to choke from the dust, he has risen, outstretching his arms and hands and strains his head upward. He feels nervous being normal and as quickly as the cloud comes, it is gone. His eyes dart looking for an observer, someone that watched his emergence from the white cloud and then back to his squatting among the low growth.
There is silence. His eyes strain past the lines of clouds that form in the distance as they approach
The playa, empty wind, empty dust, moves past the hollow man as he sits at the edge of the empty playa, staring into the clouds of dust along what he know is a path a pavement they must follow to enter the magic of the Playa.
On a road not seen, the hollow man follows a path beginning made across the playa, dust billows behind an invisible car and his eyes follow the path as it crosses from his left view and then appears to stop. But what has happened, is the vehicle has followed the path and is moving slowly away from the edge of the playa until the clouds settle and and movement disappears.
A drop, another tiny salty drop finds the path from the edge of his hairline and follows a path downward until it is lost in the short week’s growth of beard roughly erupting from near the bottom of his cheek. Another drop forms and follows the path cut by the first bead of sweat. His head moves upward to follow another vehicle along a distant path.
Somewhere between the clouds of dust is a tiny figure, just movement of a tiny shape and the weakest of sound hailing the dust as it approached. The figure moves, pauses, it extends every so slightly and then a tiny voice his heard, shouting to the dust. The form looks to the approaching cloud to take them past the magic of the entrance and to the gates.
He is single, alone and one of the lost ones. He is single, alone and one of the lost ones. He is single, alone and the cloud pauses and as it fades away, he is gone. The Hollow man follows the cloud past the turns and slowly to the gates. It is early and slowly the trail of clouds approach the first set of gates. A tiny figure enters the cloud and then as it settles makes its way around the truck and trailer and pauses at the rear of the trailer. A tiny hand ways on the truck and on the cloud moves to the next line, pausing, moving so slowly in line with the others that no dust is raised.
The Hollow Man watches as the truck and trailer and the speck of the single lost one approaches the first Y, the first decision to go to the larger clock numbers or somewhat in the Hollow mans direction to the smaller clock numbers. The truck pauses and goes right and an anxious cloud of Playa dust is raised until near the road known only as #3, the truck pauses. The lost ones emerges, with his bags and slaps the side of the truck and waves. The lost one waits until the truck goes on, picks up his load and begins his singular walk across the playa, to an empty space, to a place where only the dust and the dust and the desert breeze will venture. Only the weakest of chirps will be heard, only the faintest of bass beats emerges from the distant stages that grow strangely in the distance.