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The Hurricane's Eye Blinked · Original Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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A Word from the Second Chair
One morning while he was clipping the topiaries of his master’s promenade, Foxforth was disturbed by a cry and a crash which sounded like timber being thrashed repeatedly against a wall, with vengeance and vituperation, that emanated from the chamber of the mentioned quiet gentleman, the famous violinist Mr. Maurice Roosevelt; and so, with a sudden and unaccountable upswelling of loyalty for his man, the gardener dropped his sheers and rushed into the manor to see what the trouble was.

“How, Jack, sir!” said the gardener, stepping into the chamber. He found Mr. Roosevelt skulking about his room red-faced, with his chin jutting out like a rooster which had lost a toe. “I’ve seen many ah falcon get into the coups in the yard,” the gardener continued, without any further preamble, ”they’re natural enemies, you know, falcons and roosters—but by the token of me old Aunt Miriam, have I never seen nor heard one in such a way as you, no sir!”

“Foxforth, thank goodness!” cried Roosevelt. “You are a man of sense. Do you see what the fools of at the Polyphonic have given me?” He pointed to the round table of his antechamber, on which was centered a basket with a little woolen, knitted piglet, clad in polka dot suspenders. “Look here,” said the maestro, gliding over to it for his servant’s edification. “Do you see that is holds a simulacrum violin in its right hoof?”

“Aye, I does, I does,” nodded Foxforth, with the air of an academic scholar. “And t’were it a thing to see, a cloven-hoof’d man making music, like the says appears in the churchyard, for doers of solitary pleasure?”

“Precisely so, Foxforth,” Roosevelt rapt vigorously, thundering his jowls as far as he could. “If the instrument were in the left hand, you see, the gift would be only an acknowledgment of my personal desire, and virtually a form of praise. But as it is in the right hand, it only means that the first violin in Brahms Op. 90 has gone to that fiend, Strendel! Because, it is what they do with all the second violinists—they send them pigs, with a violin in the sex hand, that share their mothers’ eye color.”

“’Tis right, sir!” Foxforth roared in indignation.

“What an insult, to be put down to scum like Strendel! Why, it’s too much for one man to endure!” bellowed Roosevelt, flinging his arms over his head until his elbows were through the ceiling, and his hands had exploded through the roof.

Foxforth spent the afternoon working hard to steer pigeons away from Mr. Roosevelt’s tantalizing angry fingers, until the latter, having been granted a moment of meditation toward equanimity, resolved to see his rival directly. He stepped through the door of his bedroom, over the islands of vocational pride and through the balcony window onto the pavement with his fifteen-foot long legs. Then, being unsatisfied even with this, he stepped all the way to the top of the city where Strendel maintained his apartment, and slipped inside through a crack beneath the Lazy Susan.

Strendel was a sickly, always-smiling gremlin of a man with a weed of hair that looked like two beds of green insulation, or like two layers of clouds that form between pressure zones in the atmosphere. He horked and gamboled about at the sign of Roosevelt, who now appeared in his kitchen, fully dressed, and pulled out a violin from the past to play on the Andante while his companion brewed animus.

Mr. Roosevelt, being not impressed with Strendel’s crescendo, threw a punch out the window and caught the minstrel from behind, who bawled at the blow like a boy’s chorus and lost his bow in the flotsam of the checkered kitchen tiles.

“I’ve come to make this right, Strendel!” said Roosevelt, spinning his moustache at the thought of missing the opportunity. “I received a piglet this morning, and now I am in the lists with you, and how!”

He encroached further on Strendel, then attacked with his full length, pink fingers flying fast in all directions. Strendel withdrew, feeling peckish, and began to shake the weave of green hair that ran like a cataract down his back, from the force of which a hundred defense lawyers, drawn from the greatest constitutional republics on the Earth, flew like dandelion seeds, sparking the tiles of Strendel’s kitchen floor like power bursts over the great grid of Rio de Janeiro. They came from all over the world—first and foremost, Ajamu Igbinedion, the estate attorney from Uyo and amateur racket baller, whose life work began at the behest of a pill bug, and whose bias toward multi-footedness he had since expunged; after him, a horde of anti-pedal prosecutors, counting amongst their ranks the prolix Mukhamatnazar Sepermerat Mulkammodnova, Junior, son of the noted mortuary clerk Mukhamatnazar Mikhaylove Mulkammodnova, who, in his youth, had pondered the legal status of detached limbs as divestments before becoming a barrister; then, in descending order of prolixity, but not in proclivity—to say nothing of probability—was the esteemed Mlle. Caroline Géraldine Francine Ombeline Merceline Thomas, sworn enemy of the ‘swift’ iambic foot, and all other swift feet; and many other fact-checkers of constitutional limits—in Mr. Roosevelt’s case—including Captain Alfred Dreyfus, Joan of Arc, and Herr. Joseph K.

However, so infuriated was Mr. Roosevelt at the remembrance of losing his spot in the first violin chair, that he did not even blink at Strendel’s statutorial display, strewn across the longitude lines of the equator; his eyes nearly boiled in their sockets at the show of defense, with the hiss of the subdominant key of Op. 90, while his teeth chattered with fire spits to the rhythm of the concluding Allegro. And, not in the least way daunted by the false verbal limbs of his litigious opposition, he loaded six of his arms and legs into the clutch of a multi-tiered ballista, and let them launch into the linoleum sea where his oppressors arrayed themselves rafting, typing, and providing useless witness testimony.

Brahms rained down from the sky, in giant pillars of fire that punctured the dialectic ocean. It was all that Mlle. Thomas of the iambic foot could do to eschew the excoriating ebb of a wayward sting section, which, though delicate in the way that it framed a melody, launched the Mlle. into the black tiles of Strendel’s kitchen sea with the lofty persuasion of Roosevelt’s hell-scream. Flying fists floored the fleeing freeholders in forte sforzandos, full with fury finished the frocked forum in its fiat fastigium, with fermatas fracked the flowing fifths of their Fortuna’s forte.

Strendel, his defensive sunk, grimaced; and, seeing no alternative to deal with the unhinged umbrage of his fellow on the second violin, did the only thing an accused in his position could think of, and flipped the Sistine Chapel upside-down, onto its vault, from whence it could be used like an ark abreast the angry flood of his persecutor’s temper. And though he had found in it a nimble vessel, indeed, it was his private hope that some other fish might appear from that terrible sea, and lob itself flopping onto the Creation of Adam, or, more pertinently, the Creation of Eve, which might in some way (Strendel believed) propitiate Mr. Roosevelt, or at least validate his position, somewhat. For the good and humble violinist had already ascended, like a cumulonimbus, to a fathomless height beyond the top of Strendel’s ceiling fan, where the news of his impending wrath could not be so easily circulated. He was not daunted, in the least, by Strendel’s vaunting across the ocean in a fresco, no matter how many sacred verses It might have illustrated—and, to be sure, the audacity of it all only enflamed his rage.

“A piglet!!” whirred Roosevelt, his thousand-pronged cuffs spinning gyroscopically around his shoulders, until he self-propelled like a virgin zeppelin above the shallow waters of Strendel’s corner kitchen, stirring up stardust, and shifting the very orbits of this and many other star systems within a modest radius. His limbs and face became blurred of a blazing, galactic totem of the Olmecs, staking the heavens with noumenal acerbity.

“A piglet!!” he whirred again, having briefly forgotten, but now remembered, the slight, like a child in time’s grocery store of dissolving dependent phenomena. “A piglet!! A piglet!!” he churned, with the frequency of the frames of a moving picture, until it hung in the air in the still sonic image of a terrified foghorn in a red sky. As he reflected on the warm discussions he had had with the orchestra’s short, turtling conductor, (in appearance, much like a slightly more surprised Stravinsky), Mr. Tadodo, Roosevelt’s oscillations intensified, stirring the electro-magnetic universe around him into primordial fronts of negative and positive charges, and therefore, scaring away any fish that might have caught themselves in Saint Strendel’s boat.

It was lucky for Strendel that he had achieved Communion, for all around him the earth and water began to evaporate into an accumulating fog. He seized the moment to fiddle on Brahms once more as the chapel ceiling fell from underneath him, its panels divided in the ether, and its massive frame folded into one of the cracks beneath the kitchen sink from whence it could be used a second time. Its joy had already become muscle memory in his smiling, eel-like mandibles, whatever Roosevelt’s titanic singularity might have signified. No more paintings, no more symbolic fear, for him; just him and Op. 90 and Mr. Tadodo, that oddly refreshing man, spiraling around the galactic cyclone of the jealous violinist, Strendel’s cracked grin moving faster and faster until it was blotted out, like the blinking eye of a hurricane, from the horizon even of Mr. Roosevelt’s shores.

“Hoh!” said Roosevelt, collecting himself. “I certainly needed to get that out of my system, though I hope that I have not set a poor example for Foxforth. It is important to be firm, yes, but one should be careful not to rock boats. He really does need a good role model, poor fellow.”

Musing in this way, Mr. Roosevelt at once felt the pangs of his better nature; and deciding, from now on, to be a beacon to his servants, and to Foxforth in particular, he took the highest pitched string of his violin and threw it like a dart at the crescent tip of the moon, where it stuck, and used it like a zipline to travel through remote space. As he paced asteroids and the orange vibrations of distant stars, and enjoyed the cool of the Void on and through his black opera pumps, he considered the importance of the influence of men who were certain in their strife as well as in their nicer plans for success, and held up favorably his interaction with Mr. Strendel against the placid solitariness of a gardener.

Roosevelt landed on the rock, and proceeded to travel for forty years along its white craters in search of his man. He rested, one day, at the foot of a massive porous-stone piglet that grew from the surface of that planet, where he happened to hear Foxforth nearby, looking out into the night.

“This one,” Mr. Roosevelt said, resuming his lecture from the antechamber, “isn’t holding any instruments at all, and is therefore open to interpretation as being intended for an oboist. Of course, we don’t have any kind of axe with them.”

“I see, sir,” replied Foxforth, “and further, what says me dear Uncle Malcom, as wise a wight there is, is that who plays a reed doesn’t mean no harm to anyone.”

“They just spit, is what I’ve heard,” Roosevelt said acidly, “and I forbid you to listen to your uncle henceforward. You’ll never learn from a man who knows everything.”

“Aye, sir,” answered Foxforth, dispersing himself into a cosmic cloud where, over the course of a billion eons, granules of the great galactic substrate fired and ricocheted in and out of existence through his unknown nether.
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#1 · 1
· · >>Heavy_Mole
So... I obviously don't know what to make of this. There are some clues that you had a design for it, like the one sentence with so much consonance in it. But I can't tease out what that is. It seems to be just random for random's sake, and maybe that was the goal. It's like poetry to someone who doesn't like poetry: if I know what it's trying to accomplish, I can at least evaluate its effectiveness in doing so and give points for how much effort seems to be involved. I can do that latter part for you here, since what of the language isn't nonsensical does seem to try evoking an older literature style, and at times succeeds. So this just went over my head, and I don't know how to judge it.
#2 · 1
All right, a little explanation is due!

I finished 'Windows' during the period of the drawing prompt, which I had confused for the time of the writing prompt. So I had extra time to revise what I had, to write something else, or to do nothing. This time, I went with the second option, but I wanted to try a completely different style than the first thing I had written.

I would like to say that this was "inspired" by the French avant-garde writer Alfred Jarry, but ultimately, perhaps, it is the product of some of the things that frustrate me in my own writing; I often get big ideas but have trouble describing how a character leaves a room, for example. So, no constraints. How did Roosevelt leave his apartment? Why, he used his towering legs, of course, which he has now because he needs them to leave the room.

It's poetry for people who hate poetry, as you say; or, as I judged it as I sat looking at it, a story for people who hate reading. But I refrained from disparaging it off-hand (I originally thought about giving it a self-deprecating title), because I really do love Dr. Faustroll, and it was, at least, an interesting exercise. You are forced to think entirely in the idiom of imagery, how action can be expressed that way, how to avoid repeating yourself, etc. The main interest is the depth and continuity of association, which, to be apparent, must have some sort of buoy. It was hard to write! Though, certainly, it could have been written better.