Author Topic: The Facade  (Read 698 times)

┼llnephew Tvř­le■°n

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The Facade
« on: October 18, 2012, 02:40:09 am »
Short story companion to the Masks thread in OKM. Not looking for collaboration here since I have a direction in mind, but feedback and suggestions are more than welcome.
Steely-Eyed Replicant Frottage Master of Yesterday's Lost Glory
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Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS

┼llnephew Tvř­le■°n

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Re: The Facade
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 02:40:59 am »
CHAPTER ONE

Iĺve always been a plain person. Nothing much set me apart from anyone else. I was not unique or extraordinary. I was just as featureless as the lines of expressionless people that one passes by on the street, wandering through existence to their destinations, their dim eyes gazing ahead into nothingness. That I was one of these automaton-like creatures disturbed me. I did not want to be one of the billions of shadows that glide purposelessly through the omnipresent fog that clings to the city, as forgotten the next minute as they will be after they fade away into oblivion.

More and more it occurred to me that the world was populated with extras in a film with no plot, no starring roles- indeed no characters at all. God must be some screenwriter or director who mistook mediocrity for genius and decided to take to filming inert, silent scenes in black and white to illustrate meaningless monotony of it all. I became fixated on the idea. These musings were more plausible to me than any other allegory.

I began to wonder how I could develop my own character to make myself memorable to the viewer, to become more of an actor than an extra. My own character development would become the plot of this dreary, pointless, ceaseless film and give it all at least some purpose and direction. My obstacle in this was that my own face was everyoneĺs face.  So I made myself a mask that I could make alterations to as I became more distinct from the throngs of walking garments.

At first I didnĺt know what to put on the mask. That was no matter. The fact that I was wearing one in the first place set me apart. The act of putting it on and looking at my new face in the mirror for the first time would signal the stirrings of identity. I began to walk with a purpose, weaving in and out of the slow-moving mannequins in my way. I had somewhere to go. I had something to seek.  The camera followed me wherever I went. The scene cut from night to morning while I slept, instead of showing a darker and quieter skyline.

The first thing I added to the mask was a slit that I cut where a mouth should be, so that the film would have sound. And then the drab sounds of traffic and indistinct babbling began to fade-in. I screeched out to the world, ôCAN ANYONE HEAR ME?!ö I accosted passersby, grabbing them by the lapels and shouted in their faces, as they farcically waved their arms around to affect surprise, just to immediately snap back into their downward gazes and aimless shuffles as soon as I moved on to the next. I jumped up onto parked cars and harangued the inattentive crowd with my soliloquies. I threw trash cans and smashed windows just to make noise, and I cackled insanely as I did, ôLET THERE BE NOISE!!!!!ö

I carried on in this manner for a few hours, and felt growing hunger from exertion, and thirst from shouting myself hoarse. I went into a tavern, where I saw drones sitting in front of plates of grey food, attempting unsuccessfully to empty their glasses of grey beer. These I took freely and without notice from the people who had purchased them, sampling from each to get a sense of which tastes I preferred.

Full, and inebriated, I went home, and listened to music ranging from the melodic to the cacophonous, the bombastic to the dolorous. The scene faded to black, as I resonated loud, drunken snores.
Steely-Eyed Replicant Frottage Master of Yesterday's Lost Glory
Sentence or sentence fragment pending[/size]

Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS

┼llnephew Tvř­le■°n

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Re: The Facade
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 02:42:45 am »
Riffing, however, is also welcome, upon completion of the story.
Steely-Eyed Replicant Frottage Master of Yesterday's Lost Glory
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Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS

┼llnephew Tvř­le■°n

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Re: The Facade
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 04:59:16 am »
CHAPTER TWO

After a few days had passed and I had grown tired of the colorless background of the city and the shapeless suggestion of a sun through the mist. Despite the clamor that I could muster with my rubber mouth, the continual flow of the dispirited with their downcast black dots for eyes began to prompt me to further alteration. Were my eyes not identical to theirs? Looking in the mirror, I took up a black marker, and drew irises around the dots, to make them into pupils, and then around those the rest of each eyeball. Then, using a grey marker, I filled in my right iris.

Simultaneously I saw color and I saw only grey. My right eye was orange, and I could see the different colors of the markers. To that I added flecks of red and yellow. Grasping a blue marker, I began on the left eye, and completed that one with flecks of green and purple, and the full spectrum of colors at once came to me in both eyes. I painted green lips to my line of a mouth, and I gave myself eyelashes, and glued pipe cleaners above those for eyebrows.

It dawned on me at that point, that I was bald like everyone else was, and I stapled different colored ribbons to the edges of my mask. I swept them back behind my head and tied them into a knot to hold them into place. I went to my window and looked out at the city with my new vision, and found it lacking. Though I could now see color out in the city, the fog still enveloped everything, dimming out any vibrancy that the sun had to offer.

Disappointed, I sat looking through my mask, at my mask, pondering how I could add more clarity of vision, to see through the murky air. At last, using the black marker, I drew another circle around each eye, and a line connecting them to correct how I saw the outside. The room grew brighter, and a column of light came in through the window. The mist cleared, and the flat cloud cover obscuring the sun separated into patches, letting the color blue dominate.

I walked through the city, enjoying the explosion of pigmentation, noting where patches of grey remained. These I came back to later, and rained buckets of paint on them, whether it was a stone wall, or a flock of pigeons, or the clothes that the people were wearing. Those of course, were all still grey. The colors didn't appear on other peopleĺs clothing, only in my own wardrobe. Amusing though it was to watch people thrash about as I improved their ensembles, and then watch them amble off in weary acceptance, it was no permanent solution to the problem. There were too many of them, and I never did see anyone wearing any colors in the mornings, even weeks later.

I decided that I would discover the reason for this stubbornness at a later time, since I was still thinking of new ways to improve my mask.
Steely-Eyed Replicant Frottage Master of Yesterday's Lost Glory
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Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: The Facade
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 07:11:42 pm »
Needs a little restructuring as a grabber.  Your first line either grabs people or it doesn't, and it has very little to do with the actual content.  Example:

CHAPTER ONE

Iĺve always been a plain person.

Nothing much set me apart from anyone else. I was not unique or extraordinary. I was just as featureless as the lines of expressionless people that one passes by on the street, wandering through existence to their destinations, their dim eyes gazing ahead into nothingness. That I was one of these automaton-like creatures disturbed me. I did not want to be one of the billions of shadows that glide purposelessly through the omnipresent fog that clings to the city, as forgotten the next minute as they will be after they fade away into oblivion.

More and more it occurred to me that the world was populated with extras in a film with no plot, no starring roles- indeed no characters at all. God must be some screenwriter or director who mistook mediocrity for genius and decided to take to filming inert, silent scenes in black and white to illustrate meaningless monotony of it all. I became fixated on the idea. These musings were more plausible to me than any other allegory.

I began to wonder how I could develop my own character to make myself memorable to the viewer, to become more of an actor than an extra. My own character development would become the plot of this dreary, pointless, ceaseless film and give it all at least some purpose and direction. My obstacle in this was that my own face was everyoneĺs face.  So I made myself a mask that I could make alterations to as I became more distinct from the throngs of walking garments.

At first I didnĺt know what to put on the mask. That was no matter. The fact that I was wearing one in the first place set me apart. The act of putting it on and looking at my new face in the mirror for the first time would signal the stirrings of identity. I began to walk with a purpose, weaving in and out of the slow-moving mannequins in my way. I had somewhere to go. I had something to seek.  The camera followed me wherever I went. The scene cut from night to morning while I slept, instead of showing a darker and quieter skyline.

The first thing I added to the mask was a slit that I cut where a mouth should be, so that the film would have sound. And then the drab sounds of traffic and indistinct babbling began to fade-in. I screeched out to the world, ôCAN ANYONE HEAR ME?!ö I accosted passersby, grabbing them by the lapels and shouted in their faces, as they farcically waved their arms around to affect surprise, just to immediately snap back into their downward gazes and aimless shuffles as soon as I moved on to the next. I jumped up onto parked cars and harangued the inattentive crowd with my soliloquies. I threw trash cans and smashed windows just to make noise, and I cackled insanely as I did, ôLET THERE BE NOISE!!!!!ö

I carried on in this manner for a few hours, and felt growing hunger from exertion, and thirst from shouting myself hoarse. I went into a tavern, where I saw drones sitting in front of plates of grey food, attempting unsuccessfully to empty their glasses of grey beer. These I took freely and without notice from the people who had purchased them, sampling from each to get a sense of which tastes I preferred.

Full, and inebriated, I went home, and listened to music ranging from the melodic to the cacophonous, the bombastic to the dolorous. The scene faded to black, as I resonated loud, drunken snores.

The intro line being by itself sets a tone of solemn/calm explanation.  Hit them with a brick-sized paragraph on the way in, and they feel lost.
"What can we do to help you stop screaming?"

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Re: The Facade
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 07:19:04 pm »
Thanks man- will edit to reflect tonight
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Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

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Re: The Facade
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 08:38:51 pm »
I like this. a lot.
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Re: The Facade
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 09:05:52 pm »
Thanks man. I got the outline for the rest of the story in mind. Will see if i can complete it by tomorrow night.
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Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

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Re: The Facade
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 10:15:26 pm »
This is like some kind of creation myth thing.
"Everything was the same. / Until It wasn't."
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Re: The Facade
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 10:20:32 pm »
In a sense yes.
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Re: The Facade
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2012, 10:21:23 pm »
Totally dig it.
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Re: The Facade
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2012, 10:27:04 pm »
Shweet. Theres something else going on too but thats in the next couple of chapters.
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Re: The Facade
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 01:11:57 am »
I like this. Chapter two puts me in mind of children making craft-paper masks and collage.
ôIĺm guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,ö Charles Wick said. ôIt was very complicated.ö

ôPeople get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.ö
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Re: The Facade
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 01:38:56 am »
I like this. Chapter two puts me in mind of children making craft-paper masks and collage.

This is intentional.

The finding of voice is a release.

The finding of image is an experimentation, and an awkward one at that.
Steely-Eyed Replicant Frottage Master of Yesterday's Lost Glory
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Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS

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Re: The Facade
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 02:41:37 am »
Bit of a block on chapter 3. While I was writing a new idea flitted through my mind, but I wanted to continue the bit I was working on first, and now I have to snag it back.

Taking a fiver, but I'll finish up chapter three tonight regardless of whether I get it back or not.
Steely-Eyed Replicant Frottage Master of Yesterday's Lost Glory
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Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS