Beginnings are always the hardest. The man could form up his whole introduction in his head, the way he was going to approach the other, the way he was going to ease into the subject of “you’re being hunted and I can help”, the way the other was going to believe wholeheartedly and follow his every lead. The imaginary conversation was going well, so well indeed, that he wasn’t going to discard the idea that they would become best friends sometime after the hunt was done.
But that’s just it, isn’t it? Every thing is easier in his mind. The man deludes himself into thinking that planning is a good idea, that he can plan for every contingency. And when life throws its unexpectedness in his face, he’s surprised and says there’s no reason to keep planning, that he’ll just “live in the moment” from now on. And next time, there he is, spending hours planning the next steps. It isn’t a bad thing, though. Planning gives the man a sense of order, it structures his thoughts, his expectations and, to a certain level, gives him confidence to go through with the plan. As long as he is aware that as soon as he starts the plan, it will have to be discarded, he’ll be alright.
The other is nonchalantly leaning against the wall, its tuxedo several numbers too big, a man obviously out of his element. The smoke draws elaborate patterns and stains the white shirt framed by its coat, the cough hangs in the air above one smoking as if to meet a social demand. The man approaches the other, an all too familiar shadow trailing him. The smoke stings his eyes and he restrains a cough, it could very well tamper with a perfectly laid-out introduction. As he reaches the other, while still trying to manage the synchronism of putting one foot after the other, the man chokes on his own words, no sound comes out. Fortunately, the other seems to not have realized the man’s pretensions, for he was still looking dumbstruck at the patterns of smoke that rose to mingle with the thick legion above.
The man decided to try again, the words were at the tip of his tongue, there didn’t seem to be a reason for nervousness, so what was happening? He formed the words carefully, first impressions and all that jazz. The shadow behind him seemed to be laughing, but he disregarded it. The words were fleeting, the more he thought about them, the worst they sounded. No, he couldn’t begin the conversation with something so bland, it had to be intriguing, make the other want to know the whole story, avoid an indifferent or awkward response. But that was mainly dependent on the other’s personality, wasn’t it? How could he prepare against that?
Say anything, measure his personality based on his response, then shape the rest of your discourse based on that. That could be a good way to do it, but what if his response to your first phrase is one of introspection, what if he goes away? The shadow isn’t even trying to suppress the laughter now, useless prick. The other pulls himself from the wall, does that mean he will leave? No, he can’t. He can’t. If he goes out…
The man is possessed by impulse, the social and volitive parts of his brain clashing and melting everything else down. His mouth expulse the first words of a half-forgotten introduction and, mid-way through it, it dissolves into a cry for help, mingled with a warning for the other’s life. It’s a train wreck. But as the man clutches his face to hide the shame, he opens one eye to see the other stepping purposefully on the ground, the last trail of smoke engulfing his tattered shoe. The other resumes walking, apparently oblivious to the man’s bizarre discourse, and opens the door at the end of the terrace, the way down. After a moment’s hesitation, the man screams for attention. The hasty introduction falls on the other’s deaf and the shadow’s knowing ears. No point in first impressions.
The man is gone.
So, I’ve decided to post short stories here, so as to refrain from using this only to reblog unfunny shit. To kickstart that idea, I’ve decided to get a challenge list of 100 themes for writing. Although I’ll doubtfully respect the list’s order and will probably post a few short stories outside of the challenge, that list will assure that I’ll post with a fleeting semblance of frequency.
I hope I can count on whoever reads them to critic at your leisure, as long as they are constructive remarks. I appreciate any attempts to guide me through the shapeless and contrived dimension that is writing.