This is a tale, told by an idiot.

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(Edited)

This is a tale, told by an idiot..png
Created in CANVA using elements

“Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

She stood at the window. Quite still. The slits in the venetians cast grey shadows over her body, cutting her into a hundred pieces. Quite like how she felt. She felt a hint of nervous excitement. She felt desirous for what would come next. She felt a certain uncertainty that it would all unravel – to what extent, however, she could not be sure.

Her eyes moved from the tall buildings opposite her, which rose from the sidewalk; windows crawling up each of them like ants. Her eyes darted from the parked white coupes to the black sedans which sidled by; an occasional horn breaking the monotony of the streetscape. She noticed the bustling pedestrians; some strolling; some with deliberate pace, and others with far less of an understanding of whether they chose to walk with a steady gait, or meander with a somewhat less sense of determination – perhaps with a certain timidity of expression, perhaps with a creeping smile, perhaps with a maniacal guise of disdain for life. The joie de vivre of the bright red fire hydrants and the swooning swallows was left unnoticed by the city’s residents, a grey pall had been laid over the entirety of it all.

And then she moved.

The light slouching through the blinds continued to cut the room into slithers of grey and darkness, transforming the woman’s appearance from poised grace only moments earlier, to something far more sinister. She reached down to take a cigarette out of the case hidden by her garter belt, and with a practised flick of her wrist she demanded flame from her lighter. Further shadows danced around the room, offering enough luminescence to see the clock face. It was not quite time; not long, not soon, but not quite.

The phone rang, and she answered it in a terse tone, which she slightly elevated to intone her question. A dispassionate conversation played out alongside the continued transition of the woman. She had stood erect only moments earlier, yet now she began to slump, the sharp angles that her body had formed were now softened and her head felt closer to the ground. She took a deep breath, not hearing the pretence of remorse through the receiver. She took a deep breath, not really knowing what she would say next. She took a deep breath, and had come to understand the line was now dead.

She dropped the phone and, as if in slow motion, the phone began its descent. It slowly arched backwards as the weight of the corded end sought to balance out the drop. The lifeless cord seemed to hang in the air and it didn’t seem to notice that it was about to be pulled to the ground. The receiver continued to turn, and by now, it was gathering momentum. It didn’t seem to want to stop, and would only be satisfied with a loud thud against the old pine floorboards. As the phone smacked the ground, it seemed to grasp at safety, as it bounced once, and then again, before settling onto its side – the dial tone missing, and once stilled of its ordeal, offered only silence.

The woman was silhouetted against the lounge room wall, still sliced in shades of black and grey from the window. Sitting on the table was a half empty decanter of an amber liquid. The cut crystal tumbler, half emptied in a single swill, sat perched on the woman’s lip.

In only the span of a few minutes, she had become a shadow of her former self. She moved to the window to watch. The time had passed, it was no longer quite time, but it quite some time past. She stared to the people below, and resumed their stories: they were jovial, they were purposeful, they were, she imagined, everything that she was not.



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39 comments
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How can this be so vivid, and relatable? I don't know...but i have found myself looking at people and trying to tell their story. Or try to imagine what could be running in their heads. I'm guessing whatever came through that receiver wasn't good news. Oh! A beautiful piece this is!!

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Morning deraaa;
Thanks for popping onto my page; glad you could see the piece - in my mind, I kept seeing this scene, as in an old black and white film. Hopefully that resonates with your image too!

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Oh now it does! Alot! Hahahahahah ❤️

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(Edited)

I can see that old fashioned phone’s receiver twisting into the cord’s momentum so clearly. You create such and amazingly vivid scene that it actually plays out in my mind’s eye as if it were reality - that’s a truly rare gift that you have there. You’re a master of the art🤗❤️💕

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Sounds like she received a worrisome kind of info through the phone. Shadows can be more meaningful than actual actions.
!ALIVE

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Absolutely, it was a great prompt this week. How did you find this challenge? Has your piece gone live yet?

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interesting story friends. I'm always amazed by every writer in the II community. I feel like I want to be like them.

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The phone gave her the goosebumps. Many would gave crawled out of such situation deflated.
Nice and relatable.

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Every now and then (not often enough) we read a story that is crafted with such exquisite precision that we linger on the words. Sometimes, in those instances when words delight us, there may be a sterility of purpose, a lack of dimension to the characters. This is not the case with your story.

Even without the title or the introductory quote, the story would have 'soul'. The woman would live, the people on the street would 'strut' upon their asphalt stage with a weariness to which we can all relate.

It's a great story, many lines worthy of being quoted.

We appreciate that you share your narrative gem with the Inkwell and appreciate even more that you support your fellow writers with meaningful feedback.

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Can't get any better. I could take it apart and dwell on the separate pieces that make the whole perfect, but it is the whole that impresses me most.

Ah, that phone call:
...the phone began its descent... The lifeless cord seemed to hang in the air and it didn’t seem to notice that it was about to be pulled to the ground.

And then the last paragraph:
In only the span of a few minutes, she had become a shadow of her former self

Do you care about this woman, as a writer? I don't know. Your magic is that when I finish reading, I care.

Thanks for all the wonderful touches--the slicing blinds, the flame demanded from her lighter--so many I will not catalogue them here.

The story was too good. I can't write this week, because I will think of this as a standard and there is no way I can match that.

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Morning Agmoore;
I didn't so much write this week, but felt one of those old film noir detective flicks come alive in my mind. I'm glad you picked up the phone falling. It was the funnest part to come up with - I kept thinking, it is a 2 second fall - how do I stretch it out as far as possible!

Although Agmoore, I think you should definitely write. This week's prompt has the potential to go EVERYWHERE! There's a million stories in it; I started three stories this week, and abandoned three, before coming to this point.

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I never get disappointed when I read your stories. You right so well.

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It's really obvious the woman had received an unpleasant call and she was feeling helpless, I couldn't help but imagine the scenario. This is a beautiful piece @lordtimoty.

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I could picture everything you said, it was all so vivid. This was really a nice piece to read. The way you describe her surroundings was perfect! I’m truly amazed.

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(Edited)

This was quite simply wonderful, Tim! You actually changed the film for me. I started reading this in colour... and then the introduction of the corded telephone and my brain switched to black and white, just like your film noir haha... So funny...how did you do that? It was such a switch flip!!! I was standing there with her the whole time, at once watching her, observing, and also finding myself a part of the scene. The blinds so cleverly used to foreshadow the unraveling of her pain and accompanying emotions

The slits in the venetians cast grey shadows over her body, cutting her into a hundred pieces.

And then the way you slowed down time with the deeply descriptive falling of the receiver to the floor. It allowed the reader to pause, to feel, everything that she was feeling...

And then the full circle... everything that has happened to her... her life in microcosm compared to the world that exists beyond the window panes... the lives of others, busling pedestrians in life, unaffected by whatever calamity has just charged headlong into her own.

Would you mind if I shared this in Dreemport today?

!LUV !ALIVE !hivebits

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Well, Tim, @samsmith1971 , did just as she asked, and so now I'm here reading your post, because you are the first of my five posts this morning for DreemPort.

The feelings that were numb as I began my day, have flooded back in. The pain excruciating as I feel the shadow of the world loom. But, no, that is just my "sound and fury, signifying nothing." Escaping, I step once more onto the board. Reading your story stirred the shadows, but I will cling to the joie de vivre of colour and nature, noticing more than the humdrum, mechanical existence that eats up time.

You have written such a powerful and emotive piece.

dreemport_gif1

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The description was so amazing, I could visualize it all; amazing writer you are.

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Wow what an amazing write up you're a good poet by this

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You've kept me hooked to the story throughout as if I were watching the woman myself. A very well narrated story.

I came via Dreemport

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This was an extremely well written storyline @lordtimoty, it's rather rare that a story takes me in and then holds me throughout every word, and this story managed to do that. Very well done.
This post was obtained through Dreemport.

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This was so vivid. I could actually picture everything going on in this story. From her standing by the window to answering the call and I guess it must have been a bad news from her reaction. This is a beautiful read. O boy! You can write. I hope to be as this descriptive someday in my writings. Well done!

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Hello @lordtimoty. I could imagine everything you were describing with such a beautiful style, so rich in images. Your story is fabulous.
Regards

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(Edited)

Trust me, this was top notch. You wrote this vividly and it perfectly explained the prompt here. I love the way you built your characters and the story line was beautifully crafted. Kudos

This got me glued till the end.

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Oh my god,aren't we English teachers? I say that coz I also quote this passage in my story. Hilarious. Was it the first quote you thought of? Was for me. Lmao.

The slits in the venetians cast grey shadows over her body, cutting her into a hundred pieces.

Love this line as it reflects the sharpness of the blinds and the moment, and is such a great visual regardless - I can see it in black and white.

As the phone smacked the ground, it seemed to grasp at safety, as it bounced once, and then again, before settling onto its side – the dial tone missing, and once stilled of its ordeal, offered only silence.

Something very wibbly wobbly timey wimey happens in your post - the slowed down motion, the long drawn out moments, the clock, the movement on the street. I wish I knew what the content of the phonecall was, but that's part of the mystery.

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Evening Riverflows;
It's funny how some words just evoke particular references. It was indeed the first quote I thought of - where else would we go with 'shadows'?

I look forward to checking out your submission tomorrow; not got the awake eyes to do it now - was home quite late tonight, was doing enrollment interviews until 5.30 - can you believe we're already up to the 2023 planning?

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(Edited)

I'm not - I'm enjoying the respite of CRT. Although I do have a two week load, mist is prepped but I do get to teach a poem for lit which I am actually looking forward to!

Once you've studied that passage, it's forever burnt on the brain!

not got the awake eyes to do it now

Ah! Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care!

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hm... what can you even say to a post like this?

honestly! I feel like I should stare in awe - or give a standing ovation - but leaving a comment feels so very inadequate!

From your first lines (after Shakespeare hehe) I was thinking... wow. Well, he dug himself in deep with those first few sentences. Because how can one possibly deliver something as impressive as those?

and then, I reached the end and found you had even surpassed! hehehe

This was perfection! I'm so glad that @samsmith1971 shared it on your behalf to DreemPort... and - you know there are times when I wonder if we are doing our jobs well there! Seeing that this ranked #2 for the day... I'm very pleased! hehehe

Surprised it's not #1 actually - hahaha but, I guess it gives you something to shoot for next time! hahahaha

Wonderful!

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Morning @dreemsteem - thanks for dropping by, and allowing the piece to be featured on DreemPort. I guess where a piece is #1 or #2 can sometimes be irrelevant, the key, I reckon when it comes to fiction, is writing for yourself and developing skills.

You know, six months ago I decided to participate in the Ink Well challenges because I fancied I couldn't write creatively. The journey The Ink Well has taken me on has been absolutely fabulously rewarding in regards to confidence and refining some language tricks!

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Are you serious??? You didn't know this was inside you 6 months ago?!?!?!?!

oh my gosh - Well - thank you to @theinkwell for revealing what a gift you have!!!

and yes - hehehe #1 or #2 - or even lower?? hehehe it doesn't even truly matter. but it is kinda nice when other writers recognize you and give that thumbs up! heheheheh

any time you'd like to drop another post onto DreemPort - I'm sure we would all be salivating!

oh - and you sure did earn some Dreem tokens by being in the top daily 5. hehehe i think it might even be in your wallet as we speak! (hive engine wallet) hehehe

we distribute our tokens weekly - but i think last week's tokens all went out today! so - hooray! hehehehe

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