Monday, April 21, 2014

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW YZ... a story (A to Z Challenge)

X dared to help humans achieve some immortality -- and that has led to the realization of all previously-imaginary things, and the further descent into madness of the woman who created most of it.  Now, the letters of the alphabet tremble and wonder what they can do to avoid destruction.

This is a serialized story; links to the other parts are at the end. 

Ragnarok is upon us.

We stand here talking when we should be acting.

No, be quiet, A. You and your faction, C, you others: keep quiet. Whatever support you had from me at the start is now gone, as I recognize reality.

The reality is this:

We need X.

Having allowed the creation of a god, we now find we need that god to help us.

I was with the others when they went with Diana, you know that, and I saw her sister’s ravings, and I was one of the few, the very few, who realized what was happening.

X had – has – crossed reality with the abstract, and with that, all of imagination became real, and so much of what had been imagination had been created solely by her, Diana’s mad sister.

When first she vanished, we were stunned. Such a thing did not happen, Diana’s face said, and I found myself looking from Q, who had shied away, to L, who almost immediately turned and went in the direction the sister had headed when she had disappeared from our view.

Nobody went with L. The others of us stayed with Diana; we were scattered, now, among the room and among the worlds.  The papers slowly fell, their rain ending, until the room was still again.

Where did she go?” Diana asked.

That is the question, I told her, and I saw a few of the other letters nodding.  I found myself looking at the papers around us, the scribbled writings few had ever read, some of them beautiful, some of them agonizing, none of them mundane.

Think, I told myself, and then told the others.  We read then, through our minds, the worlds that had been created by the sister, remembering and reading and realizing that now, those worlds were not merely the dreams of a shut-in but had themselves become real and were multiplying, multiplying, multiplying beyond belief, driven by the energy that crackled in every cell of her sister’s mind.

This is bad, I said to the others.

David…” Diana said.

“There is no time for David,” I told her.  I could feel the trembling already, then, the same shaking and rumbling that we have all felt now and that grows more and more tremulous, more and more threatening.

David… has always had the ability to talk to her,” Diana said.

L suddenly stumbled back into the dim view afforded by the window.

“So many,” L said…

… L, where are you now? Do you hide? Have you learned caution?  Come here, L, show them, show them your visage, the remainder of the realms you roamed after the sister…

So many, L told us, and we all stared at him as the words on the papers – words we helped make! – soaked into us.

My sister dreams of worlds,” Diana said.

“And now those worlds are real,” I finished for her.

And she is lost in them,” but that was not the only part of it we needed to know.  L had seen, and L told us what we did not yet know but soon would: that Diana’s sister was in all of them, she was everywhere, and that wherever one went…

Listen…” L said to us then, there in the dark room, and we all paused, and heard it.

Off in the distance, almost too quiet, too far, too low registered to hear, almost, and we all shuddered.

It was Diana’s sister, laughing through tears of pain.


Each letter has had a turn to talk.  Here's links to all of them.  They're best, probably, if read in order but each is also more or less independent and they can be read in any order and result in the same story.


Robin said...

Briane ~ I must say that this has turned into a darn good story.

Your tag question... I see them like typewritten letters. In the beginning, particularly, they didn't have much substance to them. Now they feel more solid, but faceless.

Briane Pagel said...

I have been starting to picture them as flickering images, like flames only with movies projected in them, of all the things they have been.

Andrew Leon said...

As I was reading this, I was thinking about the question of what they look like, then I got to your tag, so that was... kind of weird.

I don't think of them as looking like exactly anything. I mean, an "A" does not always look like "A" because sometimes it looks like "a" and sometimes it looks other ways that I can't make on the keyboard. I see them more as shadows (but, then, that might be typical for me) with occasional flickers of substance. Maybe more flickers as we go on. They are, though, ideas, not substance.

Also, I was thinking about how often your stuff takes on a multi-dimensional quality, which made me think that I'm not very far off of that either, considering House and Spinner.