Author: 4MeJasper PM
R stumbles across an unusual item on one of his hunting trips, a kaleidiscope. This is a story that explores characters from the book, before R's meeting with Julie...including a Boney soldier, in Chapter 2. February 12, 2013 - now posting character sketches for my plot-driven Warm Bodies story, A Dark Negative of Love.Rated: Fiction K - English - Hurt/Comfort/Horror - Chapters: 6 - Words: 6,998 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 03-06-13 - Published: 01-10-13 - Status: Complete - id: 8896645
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I don't own the story Warm Bodies, or the characters R, M, Julie or Nora. Isaac Marion does. And Summit made the movie great.
Hey, guys. I'm submitting some musings and ramblings on this fascinating book as well!
Chapter 1 – Finding the Kaleidoscope
It had started out as just another day, same as any other, in this gray existence. I had no idea that something I would pick up randomly would have the capability to change my world.
The morning started out with the usual routine. Being dead, though still walking, I don't do much, and I'm used to passing the time going up and down the airport escalator, when it works. I fall in with the crowd that slowly paces the derelict airport that we all consider home. There is nothing homey about it; I think we are just here to stay out of the open air. Having a building around us seems better than just openness everywhere. There is already enough lack of meaning in our existence. To not even have a physical structure around us would be worse.
After the morning had gone by, I returned to my hideaway, my airplane. Having this probably does set me apart from the others, I suppose. Now it's my home, but back then, when the world still worked the way everyone thought was normal, this was a commercial airliner. I often stare at the embroidered name of the airline on the seatbacks as I sit in the seats, reclining if I want, and try to remember what it felt like to sleep and dream. When that doesn't work, I look around, and my eye invariably falls on the name of the airline, printed on the seatbacks. I can't read any more, of course. It's as if the letters, though they exist, flit away from my eyes before I can focus, slipping off before I can make out the intended meanings behind their squiggly shapes.
But the airplane has become more than a place where I recline in the seats. Now, it's where I stash my stuff, the treasures I collect from each hunting expedition.
I mean that I bring home more than just limbs or other assorted body parts to feed those who don't go out. And it happened on our hunting trip today, that I made my discovery. On this trip, organized by my friend M, we found some people holed up in a toy store. And that's where I located my treasure: a kaleidoscope. A long, cylindrical brass tube, with joints you could twist. As you looked inside, each twist of the tube revealed a different picture.
I look inside of the kaleidoscope again. Each time is so different. Like a book made of sand, you never saw the same image twice. You turn the cylinder, and the items inside-whether they were beads, pebbles, or bits of glass-form a new pattern. This elegant toy seemed capable of revealing endless variations based on a few pretty items, reflected in the kaleidoscope's internal mirrors. Sometimes I thought I saw a cathedral window, an image of a God I could no longer believe in. Other times I thought I saw the agony of the damned, a gashed eye or a screaming mouth.
As I continue looking into this tube, it begins to change my sense of what I would see when I looked away from it. Would anything have changed? Was there a different possible outcome in this world which had seemed to offer endless possibilities in the past? Had there ever been a different possible outcome for us?
I try to share the experience with my friend M. I take the kaleidoscope with me when I join him and put it on the table where we sit in airport's abandoned sports bar. But he doesn't pick it up. I hold it up, showing how to use it, but he's just not interested. I ponder again, how did we end up here? Did we just drift off into such emotional distance that our failing spirits didn't have the energy to leave our bodies when we died?
When we died, or whatever it was that had happened to us all way back when, were we supposed to lie still and just didn't? As we had approached life with so little enthusiasm, were we now unable to embrace the full finality of death?
Or were our spirits, denied passion in life, still searching for meaning in this new life? Because every time we feasted on a brain, images shot off inside like our heads like fireworks. It's as if the neurons inside our skulls remembered how to fire, except what we saw were not our own memories; they were the memories of our victims. It was as close as we came to dreaming.
But these experiences are more than our version of dreaming, they are also our temporary shot at living, at experiencing life again as a living being, capable of forming new experiences.
It made me wonder, though, what would happen to us when the living, those amazingly scented, walking food sources, ran out? There were certainly now more of us than there were of them. None of us had any idea of how many living were left. Numbers, like letters, fled from our minds in a scattered haze when we tried to think with them.
After a few days of looking through my kaleidoscope, I also began to look at the living I hunted differently. I began to think that they formed their own kaleidoscopes as they fled us in terror. Light bounced off of their still glossy hair, or I would see flashes of light reflecting off of a bright eye or glistening tooth. Even the inanimate objects that the living used to adorn themselves seemed to radiate this kind of energy. An earring that caught the sunlight, or even a watch or ring could shimmer against their still living skin.
But all this living beauty would be subsumed into our gray, slow world at the time of their death unless we removed and ate the brain. The flashes of brilliance would be gone, and their beautifully scented, graceful bodies would fade to gray and join our slow parade of suspended existence in the airport.
And so, after my hunting, when I was no longer hungry, I would return to my kaleidoscope, searching for something just out of reach, just out of focus. Maybe someday I would be able to reach out and grasp it.
PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW, AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. I WILL SEND AN EXCERPT FROM MY NEXT CHAPTER, WHEN IT IS AVAILABLE, TO ALL REVIEWERS.