02 September 2010

"Spoiler" #Fridayflash


Photo credit: alvimann from morguefile.com


This story is unique. An experiment from a dream I had this week. Hi-five to my muse. He gave me this, but on one condition: I had to write it backwards. So here is a story-written backwards. Enjoy - CC.


There’s a dull gleam to the moment you realize is your last.

In the side-view, I saw it. Real, but not real. It couldn’t be real. It was flying, and we were going close to one-hundred-twenty miles an hour. A death head in pursuit. A bony sound on the rear spoiler. Like pebbles hitting a window. I heard it before he did.

I glanced over at Bryan, his arms held straight out like he was pushing the steering wheel away, but his knuckles bled white. His eyes were locked on the road. I asked him why was he moving; we could get a better look if we stopped where the grass wasn’t so high. There was no moon, but we could see.

Hey wait, stop the car. Oh my God. Stop the car!

A beeping sound—echoing. A sound off of the old Doctor Who, when they still used wavy tricks to make the opening title interesting.

Religious icons of every creed and culture glowed phosphorescently in the sky, over to the right, like fit-together shapes. Like Tetris. A powdered-diamond-blast-pattern of stars filled the spaces between, gradually melting behind the clouds. Clouds to the left, smoked and swirling, geometric—like Incan designs—squared and labyrinthine. I looked out the windshield, hand pressed against the cold glass.

We were on our way home after a party. It was 3AM.


37 comments:

kite said...

*comment*

See? I do read. And this is yet another one that just blew my mind.

Jason Coggins said...

I read it forward. I read it back. Then I read it forward again. I suspect this will continue replaying when I close my eyes tonight.

God damn, you are so skilled.

Cathy Olliffe said...

Wow, Carrie. Just WOW.
Unbelievable, really.
Wow.

afullnessinbrevity said...

Like Jason, I read it forward, then backwards, then forwards again. My brain still can't grasp the awesomeness of this piece. *applauds*
Adam B @revhappiness

Deanna said...

Wow Carrie! I'm not surprised at how stunning this is, (considering you wrote it), but I can't help but be awed.
I too read it forward, backward, and then backward and forward again. Brilliant!

daniellelapaglia said...

Brilliant piece, Carrie!

Marisa Birns said...

Did not want to be left out so I, too, read it forward and backward. I also read it aloud! *preens*

Great writing no matter how one reads it!

Laura Eno said...

I'm another who read it forward, then backward, then kept switching like a tennis match!

I got different reasons for what happens, depending on which direction it's read.

Stunning!

Wookies Girl said...

Awesome!!! I read it both ways.. Very cool trick. That muse of yours is quite smart. *kisses*

Lena S. said...

Now that's a neat trick. It's like having a coat or bag you can turn inside out, only better. Good work!

Sulci Collective said...

"A death head in pursuit" - wow, just wow! Then you followed it up with the pebbles on the spoiler sound and I was right there, even though I don't even drive myself. Fantastic. Real killer.

Marc

Icy Sedgwick said...

Oooh, very "Memento"-esque! I read it both ways and it still makes sense. I've never seen a palindrome in fiction before, but you, my dear, have pulled it off with your usual aplomb.

Eric J. Krause said...

Forwards or backwards, doesn't matter. An excellent story either way. Enjoyed this a TON!

~Tim said...

Very cool. [And thanks for making it short enough to read both directions without scrolling.]

G.P. Ching said...

This is over the top genius, woman. I read it both ways and each was equally mind blowing. WOW.

Linda said...

Most awesome. I loved the first/last line especially ;^)

Funny, the backwards thing. I wrote last week's story (Can't Wait) backwards first, then presented frontwards. Am I confusing you? I am confusing me. Anyways, inspired by a song called 'reverse'. Every week you blow me away. peace...

Jax said...

*stunned silence*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acYDNlMYAaI

I think that says it all.

Jim Bronyaur said...

Carrie... another masterpiece. Forward but also backwards... amazing. Just amazing.

Jim

Bukowski's Basement said...

Stunning craftsmanship... Christopher Nolan would be proud.

Jen Brubacher said...

I did what Jason did. Wow.

M. Tate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jasonwarden.com said...

I imagine i'm not the only one to read it front to back, back to front, and just go wow. That was really cool. Great Work. Thanks to the Muse.

John Wiswell said...

Reading it from bottom to top made me a little dizzy. Let me sit down a minute.

The second Dr. Who reference I've seen in #fridayflash this week. Is there an event going or something?

Erin Cole said...

Absolutely fabulous. Your muse deserves more than a high-five for this one! Maybe a tiny bit of ass-kissing.

Laurita said...

AMazing. Both first and last lines were knockouts.

Carrie said...

Hey thanks everyone. Try it yourself. It's a different way to look at a flash fiction story. Linda said she wrote hers backwards first. I've been guilty of that.

John, no I dreamed it. Take a complaint with the muse. He's weird and finds it amusing to give me dreams to write.

It humbles me that all of you checked it out both ways. Thanks for reading.

Rachel Blackbirdsong said...

Intriguing read Carrie. A real gem of a story. You need to do this again or revisit it somehow. Wonderfully written.

rexscribarum said...

Clever, Clevenger. This was a real treat to read. Even though I didn't read it forward and backward and backward and forward again. (Okay, I did, and loved it both ways. It's actually best trying to make sense of it both ways at once. Try it, people!)

Have you read Nick Walker's experimental novel Blackbox? If not, you should check it out. It's written in a similar manner--not backwards exactly, but sort of circular, definitely something that makes you work to figure it all out. Anyway, your story reminded me of it.

Keep up the awesome work, Carrie!

Anthony Deaver said...

Very nice indeed. Very, very nice. Still trying to get the two 'versions' (backward / forward) to meld. Not happening :)

vandamir said...

I don't know why anyone would bitch about this story, Carrie. It's amazing and makes more sense to me the way it's written than reading from bottom to top. Each paragraph paints a very vivid picture of events and reminds me of some ghost stories I've read. Also, oddly, it brings back memories of some of the early German Expressionist films I studied in college.

Splendid job, don't let comments from the closed-minded stop you from writing experimental pieces like this.

WookieStyle said...

ok, can I just say "HOLY CRAP!!"... I am suitably impressed. I couldn't help but read it both ways, the intrigue is strong enough that I was drawn in reading it in its original format, and absolutely blown away after reading bottom to top. I couldn't help but read it again... (on a side note, for someone such as myself who is struggling to write a coherent story in general; this is irritatingly talented *grin*)
well done my dear, very well done.

PJ said...

Great work, Carrie - it definitely has a dreamlike quality to it - very surreal.

Mark Kerstetter said...

I agree with Laura~ Stunning. I read it a bunch of times forward and backward, and I'll want to read it some more. Great work.

Carrie said...

Thanks for the extremely warm comments everyone. Travis, I'll have to check out that story.

Donald Conrad said...

Heh, yeah, that is cool.

Pamila Payne said...

I missed this one when you first posted it. Unbelievable the way you capture a moment and stretch it out for us to see like some dark specimen in otherworldly lab.

J. M. Strother said...

Very cool idea and so well done. Nice.
~jon