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Old 12-12-2005, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default Green Tea

I don't think you can understand how hard it is for me to articulate on this subject. I"'"ll give it my best, you know the 110 percent effort, but remember I"'"m sitting in a stranger"'"s room using his typewriter to collect and express every part of me that I can. I"'"m trying to express and describe everything that I remember as accurately as I can. But I"'"m short on time. My ash is falling out of my hourglass-body.
I know. That last sentence didn"'"t really make any sense to you. Well, I was born a mannequin. Like I stated before, this is where it"'"s really hard for me to articulate:

Well, this isn"'"t a metaphor. This isn"'"t some cheap allegory; this is nothing more than my best attempt to retell the events leading up to my desertion. And now I"'"m doing my best to collect all the ashes and place them as fast as I can into this story, this urn.

Technically, I was born a small, deformed child. '"'Surprise'"' said the doctors, '"'Here is your whopping 5.5 pound, eleven and a half inch stump of a baby.'"' No one wants their child, their genetic mirror, to be that. I was born with no legs and no arms. I was a stump. I assure you; no one looks at a stump-child and feels a sense of comfort because this thing is a duplication of their chromosomes. I"'"m not really sure how my parents felt. But I do know that they burned me. They, themselves, did not burn me. Rather in some scientific laboratory, they arranged an '"'experimental'"' procedure. The details were never really explained to me. All I can really comprehend is my situation now. The ash left over from the '"'experimental'"' procedure was placed inside of a wooden mannequin. Every particle and substance that was once named Munin was burnt and placed inside of this wooden mannequin. I am this wooden mannequin, and everything inside of me is a piece of Munin, but when someone like my parents calls out, '"'Munin.'"' It just seems false. I never knew Munin. Ever since the experiment, my life was some predetermined '"'death'"'. Everything seemed trite and trivial, and as weird as it sounds it seemed like I was born dead, and my only solace was to know that I"'"m really just some living urn. I couldn"'"t find comfort in being an urn, because besides my mannequin body I am a normal kid. And all urns do is sit on countertops, bookshelves, or on unused dinner tables and occasionally people offer some half-recognition to them. But every so often, a family finds it best to go and throw the urn into the wind and just pray that the ashes scatter the earth peacefully. I needed to do this:

When I was seventeen, I started my ritual. The couch was warm and fuzzy. I was sitting in a perfectly reclined position when I heard a sound like sand falling through a time clock. It was my ashes falling onto the couch. My hand reached back and rubbed my spine. There was a small crack. It divided my backside in a zigzag pattern. Thin gray particles covered the surface of the couch. It was me. My ashes were covering the couch. Standing opposite of the sofa, I stared down at the pieces of me that were staining the perfectly upholstered furniture. Those ashes were Munin"'"s; they were the only thing that had been with me from birth. Some children carry small blankets or plush dolls that remind them of youth. I"'"d been carrying my ashes.

Dinner was prepared at the usual eight o"'"clock. Two Tupperware containers were placed on the table. Chicken was in one off-white container, and mashed potatoes were in the ugly olive-green container. I begged my mom to throw that old Tupperware container out for so long. But she seemed to be rather fond of its awkward hue. My mother loved dinner. The tables were usually immaculate. Every knife was perfectly parallel to its partner fork, and there were always at least two plates. One for bread and salad and the other plate was for the main course.

I sat down and felt sorry for my mother. I was about to ruin her perfectly planned meal with my self-centered story. But like I said, I needed to do this.

I pushed my mashed potatoes back and forth across my plate until my vocal chords gained enough courage and voiced, '"'Dad, my ashes fell out today.'"'

'"'What?'"' I stood up and turned around to show him the self-induced injury.

'"'Jesus! How did you get that?'"'

'"'I don"'"t know'"'

'"'Of course, you do. That mannequin was perfectly designed. It"'"s thick wood. How could it just break?'"'

'"'I don"'"t know!'"'

'"'Don"'"t raise your voice at the dinner table.'"' My mother was angry for ruining her planned meal.

'"'Sit down. Son, we"'"ll talk about this after dinner.'"' He realized how upset my mother was becoming,

'"'No, I don"'"t have time to wait any longer. I"'"m seventeen, Dad. We need to discuss this now or never. Because I fell like my past is one big blur. I know nothing about this experiment, nothing.'"'

'"'Munin, sit down!'"'

'"'No! Hear me out for once. I think I"'"m dying.'"'

He interrupted, '"'How are you dying?'"'

'"'Well dad, my ashes are falling out of my body. I have no idea what"'"s going to happen once they all fall out. I might die. I might cease to exist.'"'

'"'You don"'"t understand. We did the best we could.'"'

'"'You couldn"'"t have just accepted me? Or was that too much?'"'

'"'Sit down! Munin, no one wants to grow up without limbs. You can"'"t do anything in life without limbs…'"'

'"'But as a mannequin, I can?'"'

'"'It"'"s the closest there was…'"' His voice trailed off and softened. I hated it when I got worked up. I always added a little rhetoric that came across as a personal attack. My dad"'"s face sunk deep into his lap. He was obviously ashamed of what he had done. It was hard looking at him like this, so I left the dinner table and went to my room.

My bed was warm and soft. I"'"m not sure what most teenagers do after small fights with parents. Some teenagers probably pout or cry, but I had already come to terms with my situation so I gazed at the levelness of the ceiling.

This was it. I realized immediately that my life was gone. My body had turned into an hour class. I didn"'"t want to resort to pointing fingers, but this one was on my parents. I resented them because of everything they did for me. Although, it may have seemed like it was the '"'best thing for me'"'; it really wasn"'"t. And if this life were perishing, then all I had was the '"'afterlife.'"' Sadly that meant nothing to me. Christianity is based on the belief that everyone is born into this world as a sinner. I was born as a sinning stump. But I was killed, and my parents chose to reincarnate me as some wooden urn.

I"'"m sure most men get this feeling around the age of forty-four when they start buying red convertibles. You know, that feeling of life seeping out from the pores of your skin. They can"'"t point fingers; they can"'"t blame their parents; the only thing those men ever do is act obliviously towards their lives and try to rationalize their irresponsible actions by the desperate longing to rejuvenate themselves. I couldn"'"t do that. I had to go. I already cracked my urn and now all I had to do was throw myself into the wind.

If you guys enjoy this I'll post more!
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:19 PM   #2
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Hm, I must say that this story is rather interesting to me. It just simply stands out in the sense that I haven't even heard of this before. But, you know, I really found those parentheses kind of destracting, but that may be just my problem. You know, I think you could expand the story, I mean, the voice in that mannequin is extremely bitter.

I hate to improve the implied but, uh:

Well, I was born a mannequin.

which makes sence, I suppose, but then you said this in the nex paragraph:

Technically, I was born a small, deformed child.

Well, the voice goes from mention this person "technically" - the deformed child without the limbs, but then all of a sudden, the child that had been burned in that experiment had then been referred to as Minun for the rest of the story -- which I had noticed.

Everything seemed trite and trivial

The way you used it in the story really bugged me out. I wasn't sure what you were saying when I had read it in the sentence it was in. Hm, like I said, pretty good - but I get the feeling something's missing altogether. Perhaps, that admiration of the (possibly) so-called "oblivious" days when the mannequin wasn't aware of what was going on. I'm not really sure, I'm just giving you an idea if you ever want to go improve on it. (Which is something we all can do.) It amused me.

Anyway, welcome to Teenlit. I would go to the introductions thread or something to show myself to the other members.
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response... Here is the rest of the story:

The next morning I walked to the bus station. I had eighty three dollars and forty four cents. The Concord to Augusta trip was $77.42 after tax. I could do it. It would be rough, but I could do it. For the degenerates, seclusion has always been the most seductive form of life.
I walked up to the counter. “Hello. Can I get a ticket for the 4:30 trip to Augusta?”
“The 4: 30 trip is…” she glanced at the screen to check the status of the afternoon bus. “Sorry, but it’s full.” Without argument or hesitation I turned around and began walking away from the ticket booth. I thought to myself that no matter how much you plan or don’t plan anything in life things like this always get in your way. These tiny little impediments always stop you from moving on.
“Hey kid,” her voice echoed. Questioningly, I pointed toward my chest. “Yeah, you.” She understood my gesture.
I strolled up towards the counter. On the glass separating us, handprints acted like fog blurring her image. All I could make out were her two buggy blue eyes. They shone through the glass and penetrated my hollowed body. She saw the ash.
“We can fit you on the 4:30 trip to Augusta,” she understood my need for perpetual motion. Her hand pushed a ticket under the glass. I reached to grab it. Our hands grazed each other. Her skin was soft and delicate and mine was, well, firm and wooden.
“I can help whoever’s next in line.” Her eyes moved over my shoulder and met the broad man standing behind me. She raised her hand gesturing that she was available to sell the man tickets. I hadn’t even paid for my ticket. She was telling me to move. She was screaming, “Go!” I took another glance at her hand. And on the tips of her fingers, I could see little pieces of ash.

For the first thirty minutes of the trip I read a Greyhound pamphlet. Apparently, it is the largest intercity bus company in North America. It was founded in Hibbling, Minnesota towards the beginning of World War I. It was all useless. These pointless facts explaining the corporation’s past did nothing for me. All that mattered was its current location. It’s perfectly designed leaping dog. The legs on that dog stretched from San Francisco Bay to Tampa Bay. Or so it seemed.
I-95 was the most beautiful road I’d ever been on. It ran almost completely parallel to the Atlantic Ocean until Brunswick. In Brunswick, the road curved almost ninety degrees north pointing straight to Mecca, straight to Augusta.
The bus stooped to refuel at Brunswick. The other passengers and I got off. We were allotted 30 minutes for rest. Most of the passengers went to the rest room or purchased some food for the remaining trip. I decided to stroll around the town of Brunswick. I wanted to experience as much as I possibly could before… well, before my ashes were gone.
The town was perfectly green. The hills all curved and complemented each other. The summer blessed this town with holy water laced with chlorophyll. A man wearing khaki shorts passed and noticed that I was staring at the overwhelming landscape. “You should really come see this town in fall.”
“Oh yeah?” I questioned.
“Of course, the leaves change colors. Reds, browns, yellows, you know fall.”
“I’d like to see that. I’ll try and make it out next fall,” I lied. I wouldn’t have time to make it out next fall.
Realizing my thirty minutes were coming to an end, I turned around. The gas station was empty. There was no comforting greyhound dog stretching its body across the metallic surface of an oversized automobile. The bus was gone. It was probably already on I-95 and heading straight up to Augusta.
I sat myself on a curb and pouted. I thought about how this was all the woman from the bus station’s fault. She sold me a faulty ticket. How could she? The ticket she printed probably wasn’t even for Augusta. She just gave me that ticket to get rid of me. But I gave her my ash. It coated her fingers. All I had was my ash. And she took it. I would have gladly paid for another ticket. Anything, I would have done anything to get to Augusta.
“Hey kid, what’s wrong?” The man wearing the khaki pants came back.
“Nothing, nothing really,” I lied again to the man.
“No, there is something wrong. What is it?” He could see through my lies.
“It’s just, it’s just. I need to do something”
“What do you mean? What do you need to do?”
“I need to move.”
“I was going to Augusta and now my bus just left”
“Do you need a phone? I could call someone”
“I don’t have anyone to call.”
“Sure you do. You have to.”
He was trying so hard to help me. But I didn’t want to call home. I couldn’t call home, not after what they did.
“Kid, kid you gotta have someone.” He kept trying.
“Don’t take this the wrong way Sir, but do you live far away?”
He paused and stared at me. His eyes studied my physical stature. His pupils were judging whether or not I was worthy of his home. He smiled, “No, not at all. Just down the street. Let’s go.” He understood me. His decision to let me into his home was swayed by my depleting ashes. He put out his hand and helped me onto my feet.
His house was a small nook. It was perfectly nestled between two towering trees. He gestured towards the trees, “I’m telling ya. You should see ‘em in fall.” Although he pointed at the trees, his hands caught my eyes. They were dry and wrinkling. They showed years of work and in the tiny little crevices of his palm there were minute pieces of ash.
The door creaked as we entered his house. “Here, let me getcha some tea.”
“No, no don’t bother.”
“Green or black?” He smiled reassuringly.
“I prefer black.”
“Good because I don’t even have green tea.” He let out a warm chuckle.
For an hour or so we sat at his kitchen table and sipped our tea. He told me stories about his son, Brian. Brian was studying at the Naval Air Station in Brunswick. He was in his third year there. Instead of interrupting with my own stories, I just let the man talk about his son. Every time he mentioned one of Brian’s accomplishments, a glimmer of light reflected in his large dark eyes. I sat there dumbfounded, watching the man spit stories from his mouth. The whole time, I could feel my ash falling all over his kitchen chair. But it didn’t really bother me, because he was different then every other forty-some year old man I’d ever known. He was happy with his position in life; he just lived alone in this cottage reading and digesting life. He wasn’t going anywhere with his life and he was fine with it.
After he was done speaking of his son, he guided me to his bedroom. In the corner was a small typewriter. He said, “I don’t even have a phone. That’s all I can offer you.” He walked out of the room.
I positioned myself and began typing. With each push of the key, ash fell from my finger and stained the manuscript.

After talking to that man, I realized that I didn’t even want to go to Augusta. I only wanted to flee Concord. I knew nothing about Augusta. It just seemed like it was the right place to go.
There is very little ash left in my wooded mannequin. But I’m not really worried about that. Because after I finish this, I’m going to walk to the post office and mail a copy to my parents. I guess they did do “the best they could”. I always felt that they were ashamed of my original status.
And after I mail a copy to my parents, I plan to leave a copy here for the old man. This is my thanks to him. I’ll ask him to make as many copies of my manuscript as he possibly can and give them to as many people as he can. He’ll help my in my final spreading of my ashes.
And you, whether a woman or a man. You’re as much as a parent as anyone else. You’ve managed to believe in me and dig through my urn. Here’s my confession to you, I created that small crack in my back. It wasn’t some delayed version of suicide, rather I making sure that my ashes were thrown in the wind and that they scattered peacefully across the earth. I know it’s my family’s job to complete that final sacrament. I just didn’t trust them. But I do trust you, so go and remember that everyone is born a wooden urn and the only thing they can do is throw their ashes at everyone they meet praying that somehow they’ll be remembered.
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Old 12-13-2005, 04:44 PM   #4
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does this "urn" look like a wooden box or does he look like a normal person only wooden? i like it, is this the end or is there more?
Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic.

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:21 PM   #5
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He looks like a wooden mannequine. Any yes the those two parts are the entire story, it's assumed he dies. What did you like about it?
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:00 PM   #6
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i LOVE the way you write it, you know the attitude of the narrator. The whole thing about him being burned as a baby, i thought was xtremely cool . do you have any other short stories?
Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic.

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:41 PM   #7
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I do have more short stories. I will post them reletively soon.
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