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 A short plot-bunny: "If only"

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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: A short plot-bunny: "If only"   Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:55 pm

"We cannot build the future by avenging the past."
— T.H. White (The Once and Future King)

Mount Robinson stood alone and stoic, unconquered once more.

A lone grey crow was circling the vast plains of British Columbia Park, tempted by deadly allure: a black metallic mass loomed far below, just off the mountain cliff. Deciding against exploring further, it settled complacently in an unseen crevice: the bolts and gears the flight would likely procure were not in its ration. Fresh news of expired life would indubitably appear soon. It gazed up at the cliff with hope.

The large massive bus hovered, trepid, over the edge of the cliff, 200 metres above a crow-infested valley. With a single magnificent crash, it vanished forever into the depths beneath the cliff, raising a shower of black crows in its wake. Scared avian blotches of grey flew off in all directions. It took some time for most of them to settle back down, as if nothing had happened. The scene was tranquil once more, except for the bus.

All that an onlooker would see now is a lone bus, speeding quietly but forcefully along the mountain road. Neither the screams nor yells of the patients within could be heard in this deadened castle of stone. It would soon be over. And it was.

The patients did not suspect, used to the notion of being privileged by abnormality. How could they? The driver did not appear any different. Different from normal. And normal among them – well, that should have been the first clue.

But he was a mental patient bent on crazed revenge.

They were just speeding along, on a nice fun trip around the mountain, out for some mountain air. The sun was shining. Who would suspect? All their hopes and dreams lay ahead. Imagine how brilliant it must have been, how wonderful to have been so in-the-moment, so out-of-touch with everything but the little world inside the bright yellow bus, full of roadtrip songs and inside jokes. Picture it.

Picture a yellow schoolbus, far from its hospital garage, just speeding along under a blaring sun, nothing but a bright future; all the hope in the world contained within; all the happiness of nature blaring around. Two separate worlds, alive with everything, coexisting one in another. And the patients. They would travel, they would get far away from their cots and worries, and they would be content, like now, only happier.

Then everything would be alright.

Then.

If only time would flow backwards.
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Dark S3cret
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PostSubject: Re: A short plot-bunny: "If only"   Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:26 pm

... is this based after true facts? An accident like this did happen?
Could you perhaps explain?

(Just not entirely sure how to comment on this until I know).
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Owle Gray

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PostSubject: Re: A short plot-bunny: "If only"   Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:43 pm

I don't think so. I hope not. pale

Basically, this kind of sprang into my head in its entirety while I was re-reading Fifth Business. You know the part where Dunstan visits Mrs. Dempster in the hospital? It just struck me how happy they must have been to have some change to their circumstances, and how futile that happiness must have been. So, in my mind, they went on a happy bus ride. And it turned horribly wrong. I knew what the last lines would be first, and then the story unraveled itself in my head.

As far as I know, nothing like this occurred. The "facts" are a lie. Mount Robinson is in Mount Robinson Provincial Park of British Columbia, and to the best of my knowledge it's not called "British Columbia Park". So it's kind of like what Davies does: you think it's factual, but there's something wrong with the content.

I liked playing around with time. I wrote several essays on the nature of time, and I think it's a fascintating topic. I liked how resounding the ending was - it left me creeped out, though I don't know if it had the same effect on the readers.

I have been debating the sentence: "He was a mental patient bent on revenge." I considered reemoving the "mental patient" part, because I think it sends the wrong message, but at the same time I've decided to keep this because I think the story was born on the idea of the isolation that Mrs. Dempster's fellow patients had. So, when it came to "what will I use to destroy their joy?" I could only deal with a part of them.

Maybe all those Edgar Allan Poe stories I've read rubbed off on me >.>

Oh, yeah: the quote was a last minute thing, because Merlin in T.H. White's "The Once and Future King" lived backwards through time. So it was an allusion hint, of sorts, because I wanted to make sure people would eventually realize that you can read the story backwards paragraph-by-paragraph to get what happened. I don't really know when someone reading it would clue in to the time-flow idea, but I hope it's not too obvious.

Sorry for the long explanation, it's just... it's been a while.
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