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The Endless Wall - chapter 3
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Argonaut



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 344
Location: California

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:02 am    Post subject: The Endless Wall - chapter 3  

The town is amazing. Old, weathered buildings seem squeezed against each
other, almost as if they had grown closer together with age. People of every
shape and size crowd the narrow streets. They walk hurriedly from place to
place, paying no heed to those around them.

I wander through the streets, marveling at the dance of the crowd. They each
move as if alone, looking straight ahead, turning just in time to avoid
collisions, never making eye contact with one another. Many of them carry
packages, or strangely shaped objects.

I realize that I am lost, I do not know how far I have wandered into the
town, the streets and buildings all look the same. I take a deep breath to
calm myself and the smell of hot food makes my stomach grumble. I follow the
unfamiliar scent to a low building with a smoking chimney atop it.

Inside it is warm and dark. A man stands behind a long counter, periodically
poking at things with a long metal fork. He pays no attention to me. My eyes
adjust to the darkness and instantly my hunger turns to revulsion. Cooking
slowly on the counter are a wide variety of horrible bugs. From a mass of
still-writhing worms, to a hairy brown beetle the size of my head.

I back quickly out of the shop and stumble into the street. The crowd dances
around me effortlessly avoiding contact. The urge to leave this place
overwhelms me. The narrow streets feel stifling, the buildings threaten to
crush me. Gone is my feeling of wonder at the strange townsfolk, replaced
with a nameless dread.

I run through the streets taking turns at random. I know that I am only
becoming more lost, but I cannot stop. The crowd parts before me as I run,
pretending that I don't exist. I crash headlong into a woman standing in the
middle of the street. We tumble to the ground and roll until my back comes
up against the side of a building.

"Help me." She whispers, her eyes filled with terror.

Somehow she reminds me of mother, I hold her tightly but I cannot seem to
speak. Her body jerks suddenly and she wails in pain. The townsfolk all
around us have stopped moving. They stare expectantly at us, waiting for
something they seem to know is coming.

The woman's body spasms again. She twists and bulges unnaturally, wrenching
free from my grasp. I gaze helplessly into her eyes. Her terror echoes my own
as the back of her dress tears open, revealing a mass of feathers. They pour
forth, unfolding into a brilliant blue pair of wings.

Before I can move, four men from the crowd are upon her. Grabbing her arms and
wings, they begin to drag her away.

"No! Please no!" She cries as I struggle to my feet.

A sharp pain shoots through my leg and I must support myself with my stick.
I hobble after them, but they move too fast and the crowd no longer parts
for me. I loose sight of the woman in the crowd of standing onlookers. In
desperation I push on, fighting the pain in my leg.

The sound of a huge bell cuts through the night air. As if in answer to my
unspoken wish, the crowd disperses. Townsfolk rush in every direction,
disappearing into buildings by the dozen. But I see no sign of the woman
with wings. The huge bell rings again and I am alone.

The street is empty and dark, the only sound is the faint echo of the bell.
I sink slowly to the ground, resting my injured leg. I am overcome with
despair, I wish I had never come to this terrible place.

A brightly colored spot floats past me. It slowly comes into focus. It is a
butterfly. The absurdity of it astounds me. I can't help but laugh. Soon
another one flies by, then several at once. They seem to leave a strange
shimmering trail behind them, no thicker than a strand of spider silk. More
and more butterflies appear, floating past serenely. I reach out to touch one
of their trails.

"Stop! don't touch that!" A voice calls out from behind me.

Startled, I turn to see a tall, thin man in ragged clothes, coming towards me.
"What? Why?" Is all I can say.

"It's dangerous! get away from there!"

I look at my hand as blood seeps from a thin cut on my finger. Realizing my
peril I get back to my feet but I am already nearly surrounded by the shining
strands.

"You can make it through here." Says the thin man, "Use that stick."

I swing my walking stick at the wall of strands forming around me. They bite
deep into the wood, but I manage to bend enough out of the way to clear my path.

"Come on, this way!" He runs down the street, avoiding clusters of the ever-
growing swarm of butterflies.

I follow as fast as I can. We turn down a tiny alleyway, and down a narrow stair
to a basement door that is nothing more than a collection of scrap wood nailed
together. Behind the door is a dusty stone room with a makeshift fire pit in the
center. Old boxes and luggage lie piled beneath the remains of a wooden
staircase that once led into the house above.

My rescuer sits down on a box next to the fire and I take a seat across from
him. We say nothing for the moment, only wait to catch our breath. I speak
first.

"Thank you, I've never seen... do those things come often?"

"Only every night in springtime." He replies.

"But, how?"

"Their webs will evaporate as the sun rises." He explains, "Where did you come
from? You're not from town. why did you come here?"

I hesitate at first, but see no reason not to tell him. "I come from the power
station. I lived there, now I'm trying to find a way outside the wall."

"Me too!" The thin man sits up excitedly. "I mean, I want to find a way out, but
I have never left this town" He slumps back down. "There is no gate in the wall,
and no force that can break it."

"Birds fly over it... I.. I saw a woman grow wings, but they took her away. If
only I had wings."

I wait expectantly for some reply, but the thin man only looks down at his feet.
I think perhaps I have said too much.

"The wolf said I would make more enemies than friends" I mutter to myself, but
at this the man looks up.

"The wolf? I hate the wolf!" His eyes narrow in anger. "It is because of the
wolf that the townsfolk become beasts!"

"But why? And where do they take them?"

"They take them to the Orange house." He says sadly, "I don't know why?"

"Where is it? I must go there!"

He closes his eyes and lets out a long sigh. "It is a terrible place... I can
show you tomorrow. Rest now, it is a long walk."

We pull some bedding from the pile of old boxes. My new friend falls to sleep
immediately, but I lie awake a long time. On a whim I pull the mirror from my
bag.

"I'm not sure I trust this guy." whispers my reflection.

"He saved my life." I reply.

"So did the wolf," my mirror self retorts, "and you don't trust that creature
one bit."

"What do you know." I snap back.

"Everything you do. Just be careful."

I tuck the mirror back into my bag and try to sleep. As my eyes close I feel a
hot breath on my neck. I jump up to see the wolf sitting there, looking at me
with amused eyes. It seems to fill the room between me and the thin man.

"Come now, before you wake him, lets go for a little walk." The wolf's tone
implies that I have no choice in the matter.

It is daytime outside, but the sun is obscured by thick black smoke pouring from
the chimneys of every building. As we walk we pass townsfolk, but they move
slowly. On their faces, the same lifeless expression of the thistle-eating
farmers. Some appear to have bite marks made by some large animal.

The wolf leads me through the labyrinth of streets. Slowly the buildings we pass
become stranger. Jutting out a odd angles. Twisting impossibly around each
other. We come to a dead-end where, at the center of a circle of twisted
buildings, sits a squat, wicked looking, black house.

"Here we are." The wolf says cheerfully, "Let's go in."

Again I cannot argue. Inside the old house is even worse. A sense of dread comes
over me as I ask, "what is this place?"

"You wouldn't recognize it of course," the wolf grins, "but this was once your
father's house."

I touch the walls of my father's house. They are not painted, they are burnt
black. Soot covers my palm. Parts of the wall crumble at the slightest pressure.
The wolf is gone and questions fill my head. I stand transfixed in my confusion
until a piece of crumbled wall begins to writhe in my hand.

The charred wood crumbles as thousands of tiny black worms eat through it. I
fling the mass of worms away from me, but the entire house is crawling with
them, as though the walls were made entirely of worms. I cannot find the door.
Worm-eaten walls collapse, and the roof comes crashing down upon me.

I wake with a scream. I am still in the basement. The fire has died, and my new
friend is nowhere to be found. On his bed is a note, "I cannot go with you"
scrawled on one side. On the reverse, a map that should lead me to the Orange
house. Sunlight peeks through the cracks in the door. I will go alone then.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What do you know, I actually wrote chapter three. I hope this one isn't too confusing, I certainly jammed a lot of stuff into it. Still, I have more suggestions than I could use, so I'll try to put some in chapter 4 if I can.

That being said let's get suggestions going for what I find at the orange house, and even what I find on the way to it. are there some more obstacles you'd like to throw in? the sky's the limit, I look forward to your comments everyone.
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Geek_girl72



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

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:07 pm    Post subject:  

Cool! I like the woman sprouting wings and getting hauled away. I think he should make an attempt to find his friend and see why we wont come, maybe he's been taken too? he should try and find out. He should also try and find his father's house, to accertain if it was really all a dream.
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OldJoe



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 125
Location: On mah steed.

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject:  

excellent writin' Mr A.

Ah reckon that he should head ter the Orange house.
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Argonaut



Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 344
Location: California

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:16 pm    Post subject:  

alright, looks like people are finally reading this again... unfortunately we seem to have forgotten that I control my own actions. I am going alone to the orange house, and what I need from you, dear readers, is suggestions for what I encounter along the way, and what I see when I get there :)
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Chinaren



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

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject:  

A great new chapter Argo, very surreal. Still love that mirror. :D

So, it's off to the orange house eh? Mmm, what would we find on the Orange brick road? It's a tough one alright. I mean other than the 'Sniffers', who are out in force to lap up the fallen butterfly wings, there will be the Disposal sqad, out to ensure any bodies are taken to the re-education rooms.

What else? Can't think of anything at the moment, other than the sparkle birds nestling in the branches of the fire trees to absorb the heat. :?
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Geek_girl72



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

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:15 pm    Post subject:  

Hmmm, the woman sprouted wings, so maybe along the way near the house he sees clumps of feathers littered all over the place? since, of course, people who sprout wings need to be 'fixed' so they're normal again.
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Oniko
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Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:40 pm    Post subject:  

Awesome!!

What if when he gets to the Orange House all he finds are old rusted cages lining the halls. And maybe screams could be heard deep within.
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject:  

Maybe he sees this woman trying to escape and has to decide what to do about it?
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Crunchyfrog
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Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:56 am    Post subject:  

Wow... That was awesome. :cool:


Perhaps at the house he finds a wild haired scientist, complete with laboratrory full of bubbling experiments. The experiments may or may not have something to do with people morphing into other species. The scientist is someone with information, a device, or a potion that will help further the hero's efforts to get beyond the wall. But the scientist is not obliged to help the hero, since he does not owe him any favours.
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Argonaut
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Joined: 11 May 2006
Posts: 344
Location: California

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:43 am    Post subject:  

Some very interesting suggestions everyone. Thanks for joining in Crunchyfrog.

What do we have so far... Wild haired scientists, the winged woman escaping, rusted cages, lost feathers, 'sniffers', disposal squads, and, um, fire trees?

Well, even with the unused suggestions from last chapter I think I need a bit more before I can really put something together. Posts are coming pretty slow so I'll just have to wait.
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject:  

I think they're comming slow becaue this is something you really need to think about to fit it in with the story. It's a uniquie one that requires a bit more contemplation.

Speaking of which, how about an arbitrary wise man thrown in for good measure?
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Phang
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Location: Phang's House of Mints

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:45 am    Post subject:  

Geek_girl72 wrote: how about an arbitrary wise man thrown in for good measure?

Even better, how about an arbitary wise man who screams sporadically (all the worse for understanding him).
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Chinaren
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Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject:  

Of course, the Orange House is about the size of a garden shed on the outside, but inside it is massive, full of dark corridors filled with rusting pipes that lead...?

The screams from the inmates can be heard echoing through these gloomy tunnels, but the staff, dressed in their blood red robes, are more concerned about avoiding the Shredows that lurk in the corners, waiting for some unsuspecting victim... :-o
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject:  

I like the small on the out side, big on the inside idea, the reverse would be interesting too. Maybe he sees wolf prints all over the ground at the house, making him wonder again about the wolf?
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Argonaut
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Joined: 11 May 2006
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Location: California

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:42 pm    Post subject:  

Well I'm starting to get ideas for the next chapter. Plenty of good suggestions for the orange house, plus a few things left out of last chapter. I'm starting to write but there's still room for more suggestions. Keep giving me good ideas people :)
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Crunchyfrog
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Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:13 pm    Post subject:  

Just a blip of an idea, a tangent from Chin's rusting pipes, which of course would be an orange colour, everything should of course, be orange. Anyone found within the house is dressed in orange. All decor, orange. Any foodstuffs found there, orange. Oranges, carrots, that type of thing. Why? Anybody's guess.... o-) :oops: :| :blush:
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Chinaren
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Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:48 am    Post subject:  

welcome to you new forum Argo. Please check it out and make sure everything is where it should be!

Now, where's that next chaper...? ;)
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goategg
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Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:56 pm    Post subject:  

well what if you were somehow to find some distant relative to him? maybe at that orange house he could find a long lost aunt or something. also i really like your story.very original
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Geek_girl72
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Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject:  

Distant relative...or friend of his fathers maybe. He could get some clues about what the wolf ment when he said he was braver than his father. Maybe he finds that woman carried away before and she knows something about it...?
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DELETED
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Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject:  

DELETED
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Masterweaver
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Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:26 pm    Post subject:  

Pehaps a library of the life of someone. "Memory 783921: Slaped Bill. Memory 0962835079: Slept. Memoery 0357124389067: Entered coma. Still not dead. Not yet awake."

This whole thing could be a delusion she has whilst in a coma...
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Mastermind
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Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject:  

Random idea: The shadows start attacking him. :-o
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