Monday, March 5, 2007

Chapter Eleven: Living Twice

Dorian helped Allyson down the dank hall toward a room that had once been hers, lost in thought. He had walked this hall many times. It was familiar, safe, almost loving, or at least a hall that brought about feelings of love. He had loved her once, loved her still, not that it mattered in all of this mess of amnesia and war.

It was not a world to love in, Dorian thought imagining Pakistan exploding off the radar in a blinding flash of light, the new Hiroshima-agent orange-napalm all in one. The world had seemed so vivid that day, ever building and person awash in an almost iridescent light. The world had seemed too real, as Dorian came to the realization that his family, his entire family, had perished, he being the only one to emigrate from Pakistan, leaving tradition and unrest behind.

Had his mother been alive, she would have peered out at him with no recognition of her son. In another life, a fabricated life, in which he could have brought Allyson home with him and talked of love, his mother would have wept and wept not understanding his new existence.

He felt Allyson shutter on his arm, and brought himself back into focus with reality. They were at her room, he was opening her door, and trying so hard not to imagine nights here, Allyson laughing into the pillowcase.

They had not moved her things, had not dusted for fear of disturbing what they had previously believed was a shrine to the dead. That was until they heard from Archer, station Montgomery Sector - they had all been stationed in various hospitals looking for her. Dorian's relief at hearing Allyson was alive had been mixed with jealousy. Why Archer? Why did Archer have the be the one calling him a bit of snide pride mixed with the joy at having found her first.
Allyson was moving slowly through the room in what seemed like a sort of mix between a Zen and numbly shocked state. "Don't worry, Baby," he thought, "Everything is going to be all right." But he could not bring himself to utter such platitudes, such falsehoods. Not to her, their golden girl who had come back from the dead.

"I'll leave you now," Dorian said, instead.

"Yes," Allyson almost whispered.

"I would stay... - I have to meet with Tyler. There is a lot to be done before - Don't worry; just rest, okay."

She was sitting down now, at least. The sheets, he knew, were clean, Sandra having changed them when she heard the news, having cleaned like a manic person in laughter and tears all at once. Not knowing what to believe. In such a time there were always lies to keep one believing.

"Right," Dorian steeled himself, "Just rest," he said again, smiled in a way he thought was kindly.

He concentrated carefully on trying to close the door without a sound.


Madison said...

I like the insight you give. As someone who's worked with collaborative fiction before, I totally understand how frustrating it is to get one of your storylines squashed out. Writing is a sticky, self-serving act, and can become cut throat when you introduce more cooks into the kitchen. Collaborative writing requires a bizarre sort of selflessness -- you find yourself being the one giving things up because you don't want to be the one demanding things.

Either way, it's good to see some internal thought and character work in the midst of dialogue-driven plot.

Burdamania said...

Hm, Dorian is a Pakistanian name? Never came across that one in all the research I did on the country and their cinema. Why would his mother disapprove?

Mags said...

I'm guessing that Dorian was living in Pakistan since it seemed a lot of the world kind of conglomerated. This story is definitely not going in the direction I thought it would, but I think it's even better for that.

I'm curious what the original plan for the story was, and how much it changed having to accomodate for the ideas of three people.

Also, is it me, or is there something between Allyson and Tyler as well? I see a triangle coming up (or more since she is the "golden girl")