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The Endless Wall - chapter 1
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Argonaut



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 344
Location: California

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:11 pm    Post subject: The Endless Wall - chapter 1  

My earliest memory is of the Wall. It towers over me, a smooth black curve
stretching towards the sky. At its base the Wall seems to grow from the
ground like a living thing. I sit on the roof and stare at it for hours, it
terrifies me.

We live in a small cottage in the shadow of the Wall, just behind the power
station where mother and father work. They shovel coal into the furnace as I
clean and tend the garden. When I finish my chores I walk through the forest.

It is quiet in the forest, deep within the trees, away from the noise of the
power station, away from the sight of the Wall. Also there are the birds. I
stand still and I hear them, their songs echo through the woods, through me.
I stand still and I am part of the song, part of the woods, part of the
birds, but I do not see them.

At home, I ask mother about the Wall.

"It is a perfect circle.", she says, "Within the Wall is everything. It
encloses the forest, the fields, the town, the lake, everything."

"But what is outside the Wall?", I ask.

"There is nothing we need outside the Wall."

I am full of questions about the Wall, but mother does not know, and father
does not answer.

It is winter, and father goes to cut wood in the forest, he does not return. I
search the woods in vain, all I find is my father's axe.

I help mother to run the power station. The work is hard, the furnace bakes my
skin, my muscles ache from shoveling, and I have no time to walk in the forest.
I hear nothing but the sound of the power station, and mother speaks very
little.

It is spring, the snow melts, the sun shines, but mother does not get out of
bed. She lies, coughing, unable to rise. I bring her food and water but she can
take niether. I blame the power station with it's fire and smoke, I blame my
father for dissapearing, I blame the Wall and its silent terror. It does not
help, I can do nothing, mother only coughs more.

I stay with her all day, trying to calm her. Her body jerks violently in my arms
with each cough, but I hold tight. She coughs up something black and foul, her
eyes open wide. I stare into them for a long time, then I reach up, and close
the lids.

My eyes stream tears as I stumble outside. My mind is filled with anger, my
vision, the Wall. Without thought I am running, my father's axe in hand. Closer
to the Wall, closer.

The shock is tremendous. My arm is numb from the force of the blow. I lie on my
back, broken axe-handle in my hand. The Wall mocks me, standing smooth and
silent, utterly oblivious to me. I close my eyes. I give up.

I hear it again, the song of the birds. I almost do not recognize the sound, but
it is here, just above me. I open my eyes and see my first bird. It is
beautiful, blue feathers shine in the waning light of sunset. The bird tilts its
head as it looks me over with its inscrutable black eyes. What does it think of
me?

"what should I do?" I ask.

The bird leaps into the air, wings flapping franticly at first, then catching
the wind and soaring. Spiraling up, higher and higher, it floats effortlessly
over the Wall.

I fill my satchel with food and water, take up my knife and my walking stick, I
do not look back. I walk past the power station, to the road I never take, the
road that leads through the fields. I will find a way to beat the Wall, I will
leave this place forever.



____________________________________________________
I've been inspired by stories of walled in communities like The Garden, and Beyond the Wall, here in the city. But mostly by Haruki Murakami's book "Hardboiled Wonderland and The End of The World". So I hade to write this strangely tensed experiment and hopefully get myself unstuck with my next page of Scrapyard :)

Now you may be saying "where's the decision point?", well that's the experiment part. I make the decisions, but the players suggest what I find as I explore this surreal world. Aside from the fact that there are fileds, everything else is up for grabs. What's growning in the fields? who's tending them? What buildings, tools, or strange artifacts might I find? This is a surreal world we're building so try to think of very mundane things and give them a twist. I'm not sure how to work the poll, but I might use one to determine what item/person/building will be most important to the story. We'll see how it works out. If you're not sure what the hell I'm talking about please ask questions, I'll try to explain myself better :)
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8771
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject:  

Oooh, this is cool. Is there a DP, or is it a prologue?

[Edit] Duh. Missed your last bit! Erm, have to go to work now, so more later.

Like it. :cool:
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LordoftheNight



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5259
Location: Hell

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:18 pm    Post subject:  

Argo wrote: Now you may be saying "where's the decision point?", well that's the experiment part. I make the decisions, but the players suggest what I find as I explore this surreal world. Aside from the fact that there are fileds, everything else is up for grabs. What's growning in the fields? who's tending them? What buildings, tools, or strange artifacts might I find? This is a surreal world we're building so try to think of very mundane things and give them a twist. I'm not sure how to work the poll, but I might use one to determine what item/person/building will be most important to the story. We'll see how it works out. If you're not sure what the hell I'm talking about please ask questions, I'll try to explain myself better

You didn't read to the end did you C'ren?
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Geek_girl72



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 810
Location: Earth, The Universe

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:48 pm    Post subject:  

This is neat. It has some poetic elements, similar to prose, and has a good narrative flow. Cool!

So mundane with sureal twist? Hmm...how about a pinic group doing...something wierd. Whatever they'r eating could be the twist. A little lame I know, but it's all I can think of off the top of my head.
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8771
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:07 pm    Post subject:  

I think you need a sidekick. So, how about a small dog-like animal that talks?

Could be an experiment from some strange and twisted factory. Twisted is always good.

We need to start thinking about who built the walls, and why they did so.
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Argonaut



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 344
Location: California

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:40 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks Geek Girl, keep thinking about the twists.

You're being too logical Chinaren :) Who built the wall is not the question. What this place is, and why it exists is a complete mystery to me. I hope to bring the entire reality into question. Talking animals seem quite appropriate though.
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Geek_girl72



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 810
Location: Earth, The Universe

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject:  

Oh! I know! Maybe the picnicers could be bone-thin and eating nothing, but insisting they are. Maybe it could be some sort of metaphor of the emptiness of life there or whatever.
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8771
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:30 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: Maybe it could be some sort of metaphor of the emptiness of life there or whatever.

Oh. Heavy maaan.
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Argonaut



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 344
Location: California

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:31 pm    Post subject:  

well some interesting ideas so far, but don't worry too much about metaphors and details. I'm looking for a large quantity of little ideas, interesting things, and whatnot. Then it will be my job to mash them together into some kind of collective whole. So feel free to invent a detail that dosn't have a reason to be. Something you think might be cool if it was there, just because. I'm trying not to come up with my own ideas, so I can "discover" this world as I travel through it.
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Chinaren



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8771
Location: http://www.NeilHarlteyBooks.com

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:48 pm    Post subject:  

The region of Upsyturvy.

The Pink Zone.
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Geek_girl72



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 810
Location: Earth, The Universe

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:52 am    Post subject:  

Ok, how about a puddle that goes hundreds of feet deep?
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The White Blacksmith



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2629

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:23 am    Post subject:  

They could find somewhere where it's exactly themselves and what they're doing and what they've seen only backwards.
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chiacutie
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Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:57 pm    Post subject:  

hm well actually the metaphorical suggestion was a good one. When I write stories for school (there alays short and unwworthy of posting here) I set up a theme (such as good always conquers evil, or nice guys finish last, or slow and steady wins the race etcetera etcetera etcetera), a conlfict (person versus nature, squrrel versus humanity, person vs evil, person vs self, person versus society etc etc etc) and all that good stuff. So my teachers love it because its very clean cut and obvious. Of course, youre a better writer than me and could therefore have a much more conplicated theme or a super complicated conflict (such as chinas greed which was huge) (i.e. person vs society vs nature vs good vs evil vs humanity vs family vs life vs self etc etc etc.)



:D
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Geek_girl72
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Location: Earth, The Universe

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject:  

A surreal idea...how about inside-out people? A little gruesome maybe, I should stop watching Q.T. movies....
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OldJoe
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Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 125
Location: On mah steed.

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:46 pm    Post subject:  

A good start Mr. Argonaut. Ah reckon sum kinda fella who talks in riddles, and purports ter be the ruler of the place, yet never shows any of his powers, if he has 'em.
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:18 am    Post subject:  

I've got a question Argo, as this world unfolds, do you have a specific style you want the surealness to be? I mean do you want to exclude science fiction stuff and have more of a fantasy feel? Vise versa? Or does anything go?
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Argonaut
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Joined: 11 May 2006
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Location: California

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:12 am    Post subject:  

I'm not exactly sure where this is going but if you take a hint from the style of the first chapter everything has to feel like it fits in. If I can take a suggestion and twist it so it fits in I'll do it, if not I probably won't use it.

For example:

Old Joe's suggestion is something I can easily work with, a character idea that's just vague enough that I can put my own spin on it.

Geek Girl's inside out people is a little too bizzare, but the puddle and the picnickers I can certainly use.

Chinaren's talking animal could certainly make it in, but "the region of Upsyturvy" and "the pink zone" aren't what I'm looking for. I't already been established that there are only certain things inside the wall; the forest, fields, town, lake. And that I am traveling into the fields. So I need things to discover in the fields, not new places to go.

This will be very slow going at first, but if I can make the second chapter work then everyone will have a better idea of the world and the things in it for the third chapter. I hopeing it will build up naturally, but I need to controll what goes into it, so please don't be upset if your idea gets shot down :) Also feel free to ask more questions, and I'll try very hard to explain myself.
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Geek_girl72
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Joined: 19 Jul 2005
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Location: Earth, The Universe

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:12 am    Post subject:  

Thinking about that powerful guy idea...How about he finds someone in the fields who says he knows a way to get past the walls, but talks in circles and never really says what it is? ...Or something.
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Oniko
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Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:37 pm    Post subject:  

This is an Awesome start! I have always thought of a soiciey that has survived a zombie outbreak that was many years ago, even generations. Only small pockets of people remain and they have created new systems of rules and religions. When you said that the wall circles the city, I think of this. It may be too story driven for the type of surreal world that you have created; but I thought I'd throw in my two cents ;) Keep up the good work!
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chiacutie
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Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject:  

What about... Squirrels. I love squirels! (how do you spell that?)

A zombie outbreak of mutant squirels back from the dead!
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Oniko
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Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:46 pm    Post subject:  

:laf: HA HA HA That is terrific!! yes definitely zombie squirrels!!
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Argonaut
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Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 344
Location: California

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject:  

I don't think zombies would really fit in this story. At least not the standard, rotting, flesh-eating, movie zombies. Perhaps people or animals that are mentally zombie-like... not sure. Hopefully I can include a little bit of everything into the next chapter if I ever get around to writing it :)
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Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:28 pm    Post subject:  

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Oniko
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Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject:  

That's cool, don't worry about it. :D This is a fun story, because we can just throw weid ideas at you and see what sticks. Here is an interesting one. . . we have heard the experssion "raining cats and dogs", well what if it rains strange things in this world. Like dinosaurs . . . splat. . .ewww. . . well maybe not. :unsure:
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:37 am    Post subject:  

How about giants? would they fit in here?
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Argonaut
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Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 344
Location: California

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:49 pm    Post subject:  

Giants would have to be not-so-giant or they'd be able to get over the wall :) dosn't mean some people, or animals could'nt be really big though.
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joyfull22
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Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:55 pm    Post subject:  

Ya, giants would be a bit too surreal. How about something small such as pixies or imps? faeries perhaps, but they don't really seem to fit...
Or, since it is a field, lets state the obvious and go for farmers! they could farm the crops and herd the animals to be eaten, and could also help him get over the wall. mabye the farmers know something and that is why they are kept far away in the fields? or mabye they are kept out there to stop something from getting over the wall to the towns? mabye the wall is there to stop other dangerous creatures crossing the wall and killing the people? or perhaps the wall was built by the other creatures to stop people hunting them? or mabye the farmers are a bunch of mutants kept away from the people? or how about werewolfs? a talking werewolf would make a great talking companions (coz lets face it, normal animals are a bit boring, right?)
ok, this is going on for ages! but i do think werewolfs would be great
joy :cool:
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Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:11 pm    Post subject:  

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