Friday December 31st, 2010

The exercise:

Let us close out 2010 with four lines of prose about: paranoia.

It's been... quite the year. Incredibly busy, incredibly good. I'm about ready to slow things down a little, but still keep all the goodness.

On the cabin front: a few baseboards left to do, a bit of painting still needs to be done, some light fixtures, outlets, and light switches need to be replaced.

Screw it. We're moving in tomorrow.


There's mice in the walls, that's all, that's all. It's not government men, listening to all my phone calls. It's not an alien, hurt and trapped after a fall.

It's just mice, that's all... right?


summerfield said...


a friend of mine sent me this wish on facebook: Hope 2011 brings you awesome writing epiphanies, and zero instances of writer's block!

i say "awesome!"



Kalan knows this business of killing and murdering people for money has got to catch up with him sooner or later and he has wished it would have been later, much, much later. All these times that Kalan has come to Father Richard for confession, is it possible that, no matter the two of them have been kindred spirits ever since their young years, Father Richard is actually a spy and an assassin? And now that Kalan's thinking about it, in all forty of his missions, Father Richard has always suddenly and conveniently appeared.

And Kalan thinks that perhaps, the priest has sold him to his enemies.

Watermark said...

Marc: Definitely just mice :)

Summerfield: I second the awesomeness of that wish! :) Oooh I want to know if Kalan's thoughts ring true!

Here's mine - very typical form of paranoia:


When the lights went out, he was suddenly aware of everything around him. Staring at the ceiling, wide-eyed, the ticking sound of the clock and, of course, the whooshing sounds that kept coming from the room at the end of the hall kept playing at him. They had warned him about the night-time visitors - ghosts was the name they had whispered cautiously - but he was not prepared to submit to their paranoia on moving in to this new flat. It was, however, quite a difficult feat given that the whooshing sound kept getting louder with every tick-tock of the clock.

Zhongming said...

Marc - I'll try my best to keep up :)

And that's a simple and perfect example of paranoia!

Summerfield - Haha! Let's hope that wish come true for all of us!

I certainly didn't see that ending coming at all! You caught me off-guard! Well done! :)

Watermark - Oh, very nicely done! I like that typcial paranoia you've shown here! :)

Happy New Year 2011, Everyone! May all your wishes come true! And all obstacle disappear into the thin air of year 2010!


Paranoia (Continuation from the snowy woods)

Memo of day six, 9:48am Monday, 25th Jan 2000.

There’s no logic behind all these! I can’t tell why these gigantic beings are here in this remote snowy woods. They certainly don’t fit into earthly being category as far as I am concern. But Sam said there’s nothing there and that I am being overly paranoid.


In my mind, I saw dark clouds gather in the sky like waves of tsunami emerging into the large Pacific Ocean. There are no standard frequencies about how they fit together as a whole. Soon, the dark clouds were horribly painted with the sign of a skull that look so real, so real and so evil. The ground begins to crack open after an unimaginable shaking that could be felt through my whole body. My mind was shattered into pieces as the thunder starts to roar as my surrounding slowly disappears like thin air.

Ever since, I became extremely sensitive to sounds. Slightest amount of noise can easily wake me up in my sleep. I don’t know why but it just got to me. I was scared and unable to control myself at times. Because of that, I have been in the state of insomnia for the past two days. I haven’t been able to sleep soundly.

I was told that I have been talking to myself since day one of the survival. That I have been acting really strange at times. I didn’t mean it but I think I am having a real problem now.

gada said...

Marc : Secret Government Mice?


She ran down the street, feeling invisible eyes on her back, imagining policemen chasing her. She knew she had to give it back but she couldnt think of a way to do so. She was trapped, and she knew it. How do you give back something you've already eaten?

Sean said...

Prompt- four lines of prose about: paranoia.

You can’t call me a paranoid because you can’t possibly know that I am right. Creeping and tickling inside my head where no one else can see them, they are teaching me. It is your kind who are making it all worse and labeling me with a disorder. It isn’t a disorder if I am trying bring you in line and restore order!

Greg said...

@Sean: nicely paranoiac! Surely though I can only call you paranoid when I can't possibly know you're right?

@Gada: neatly done. I wonder what it was she ate!

@Zhongming: your story goes from strength to strength!

@Watermark: it may be a typical form of paranoia, but you've rendered it beautifully!

@Summerfield: very intriguing and beautifully written!

@everyone: Happy New Year!

@Marc: With that little left to do, I'd move in as well! Will we be getting a review of the year just gone as a post in the next few days? You seem to have done a lot in the last year -- it's really quite admirable.
It's not mice by the way. It never is.

Thirteen hours, staring at this page. Is it the right word? Have I got it right this time? How can writing a journal be this hard?

Heather said...

I promise to go back and read and comment, but it has to wait until after the kids are in bed.

A 4 sentence excerpt from something I wrote last year. I would post the whole thing, but it would be about 4 paragraphs too long.
I feel anxious. I don't dare to type much more.... just in case the sound of the keys being pushed down and released rapidly draws somebody's attention. I need to think about this newest scenario.

Heather said...

Marc- Sounds more like termites to me. Either way, I'd leave.

Summerfield- Thank you for sharing such a wonderful hope. I, too, am curious which side the priest falls on.

Watermark- Without being funny, it made me smirk. I've so had those feelings when left home alone and all the lights are out.

Zhongming- More then 4 sentences, but I am so glad. I'd be sad to have been left with so little. I'll check for more even though tomorrow is poetry day :)

Gada- I always feel as if someone knows when I've done something wrong as well. It's always been my own conscience. I really enjoyed yours!

Sean- I love the narrator/ character in yours. I would like to meet him sometime, but probably not by myself.

Greg- One day, I will write before you again. Your comments are fun to read. Loved your four sentences. So short, and still so haunting.

Marc said...

Summerfield - that is an excellent wish for the year ahead :)

I'm still enjoying this series of related scenes and still wanting more. You and Zhongming are spoiling me :)

Watermark - nicely done. I think I've been there myself. Hard to get any sleep.

Zhongming - ah, signs of our narrator losing it. This keeps getting better and better!

Gada - oh no, anything but those!

I can think of two ways to give back something you've eaten, but neither are very pleasant :P

Sean - loved your second line. Totally hit the nail on the head.

Greg - year in review... yeah, I should get around to that. Hopefully in the next few days, as this settle down.

And damn it, it was definitely mice. Shut up.

Four very short lines, used very well. Nice :)

Heather - well, we did! Hopefully these walls are mice free. I might actually get a proper sleep.

That's an intriguing excerpt. Care to point me in the direction of the rest of it?

Vicki said...

I was on a roll for two days and then the weekend hit. Here I go about paranoia.


I told him it was a bad idea. He said, "Don't worry about it," and switched the TV on to the Jaws marathon. Now, the kids won't take a bath and our youngest thinks our goldfish is out to get her. Thanks, dear.

Marc said...

Vicki - weekends have a way of throwing us off track sometimes. But hey, you're back on now :)

Loved your four lines, they definitely got a big smile out of me. Perfectly concise final line.