A Caterpillar Crossing By Soren James

November 12, 2015 Comments Off on A Caterpillar Crossing By Soren James

I once saw a caterpillar crossing a road, while in the distance a car headed toward it. I stepped into the road to halt the car, and when it stopped, the driver asked me if it was an emergency. I said, “Yes, there’s a caterpillar in the road.”

He said, “That’s odd, I remember when I was about your age, I once stepped into the road to save the pupa of a caterpillar, and a strange thing occurred . . . the driver began to tell me a story about how, he too, had once saved a butterfly on a road by stepping in front of car.”

So I said to him, “Okay, I’m bored now. Would you like to run over the caterpillar? I’ve got better things to do than listen to your stories.”

“I felt the same at your age,” said the driver, “Sometimes you just have to get on with life.”

While in the process of marching away, my lack of interest was disrupted when I turned back to ask, “Did the driver in your tale say the same thing?”

“Eventually, yes. You see, I was more patient than you and allowed him to unfurl a long series of similar tales, spanning all the way back to the early age of the horse and cart.”

“A bit like I’ve now allowed you to do?”

“I suppose so, yes. But you’ve got away with the short version. The version I heard had twenty-seven embedded stories, and I was forced to listen to every one of them.”

Again turning to leave, I said, “When I grow up, I hope I don’t become like you, boring other people with the details of my stories.”

“When you get older, you’ll be unable to resist passing this story on. It regenerates itself regardless of personal will. One day you’ll be driving along in your hover car, or whatever it is you’ll have in the future, and you’ll be stopped by someone trying to save a butterfly. When that happens, you’ll be unable to prevent yourself from relating these events.”

Twenty years later, I found myself driving along in my laser-elevated vehicle when a kid stopped me in an attempt to save a butterfly by claiming that they were nearing extinction. I felt an urge rising in me to recount the similar, earlier incident from my own life, but I resisted this impulse by shooting the kid in the head.

Twenty years later in my prison cell, having had time to reflect on my previously angry and impatient nature, I’ve finally decided to let go of my hostility toward the world — to here and now recount the details of my fable in the hope that it may be passed on to others who are concerned about nature on our roads.

© 2015 Soren James

Soren James has been previously published in Every Day Fiction, Page & Spine, and Freeze Frame Fiction.

A Day in the Way By Soren James

June 1, 2015 Comments Off on A Day in the Way By Soren James

A day had just ended with everyone agreeing that it was the best day ever. Anxious to relive it, everyone searched for another, but unfortunately, there were no more days like it marked on the calendar. People knew that, somehow, another would have to be found — or created.

No one knew where to get days of such high quality, and soon, unrest set in as people undertook frantic efforts to locate such a day, or at least something of comparable worth. Bins were searched. Flats ransacked. Sofas upturned. Even scientists endeavored toward finding a day similar to the one people remembered. But all searches were a failure.

As time passed, and their strivings and actions faded quietly to become routine, the people forgot what it was they were working toward, even as they continued their work. In time, they found themselves performing tasks merely out of convention and habit, until eventually, they began tiring of their labors and started to relax back into themselves, forgetting . . . things, their goals having been lost somewhere in their efforts.

And so it happened that one evening, when their struggling had completely ceased, a day ended with everyone agreeing it was the best day ever, anxious to relive it . . . .

© 2014 Soren James

Soren James is a writer and visual artist who recreates himself on a daily basis from the materials at his disposal, continuing to do so in upbeat manner until one day he will sumptuously throw his drained materials aside and resume stillness without asking why. More of his work can be seen here: http://sorenjames.moonfruit.com/home/4580917876

Narratorial Impersonation With Meteor Shower By Soren James

March 9, 2015 Comments Off on Narratorial Impersonation With Meteor Shower By Soren James

Maybe this will imitate

the form of a sentence

and be told

by an impersonation

of a narrator —

conveyed in replica words.

 

In this sentence I will be your narrator. In this one, bob will play narrator — but only under my close supervision. In this one, Carole will pass through a doorway for about eighteen hours and then take four years to change her mind about something that‘s not there.

That said, a shooting star has just fallen in my back yard, and I don’t know what to make of it. I’m not sure whether it’s a sign to stop writing, or a sign to continue writing. Perhaps it’s neither, and it’s just a shooting star doing its own thing, for its own inscrutable reasons.

But I can’t help sticking my theories onto it. Getting my block head ideas and projecting them all over that innocent piece of space dust. I’m aware that our ideas seize upon approximate, even non-existent, things — because ideas like a game. Or they just like the idea of a game that’s not there. Or maybe they like falling through their own anus every so often to reaffirm the pointlessness.

I don’t know. All I know is that I said something. Said it. And left it at that. And if that’s not enough to be going on with, then we’re all fucked. Some of us more than others.

© 2014 Soren James

Soren James is a writer and visual artist who recreates himself on a daily basis from the materials at his disposal, continuing to do so in upbeat manner until one day he will sumptuously throw his drained materials aside and resume stillness without asking why. More of his work can be seen here: http://sorenjames.moonfruit.com/home/4580917876

The Identity Contribution By Soren James

January 5, 2015 Comments Off on The Identity Contribution By Soren James

In the event of my death, I had decided to offer my identity to medical science for them to do with as they pleased. I believed my identity would be of some interest, as I’d spent nearly a whole lifetime of appreciation in the confines of this individuality — and not once tired of the experience.

Those bastards on 5th Avenue chose to decline my magnanimous proposition, advising that if I wanted to offer my identity anywhere, there was a philosopher in Lower Manhattan who collected such things.

So, after the event of my actual death, I ferried myself down to this Lower Manhattan philosopher, who proved rather dismissive: saying that I was merely a construct of words, feelings, and outdated concepts. She instead recommended I take myself to a priest in Midtown Manhattan — one who dealt secretly in matters of the dead and other vagaries.

On introducing myself to this religious peddler, I was looked up and down contemptuously, only to discover that he didn’t believe I really existed! I swore blind that I did, and even laid before him an intricate network of beliefs and ideas I’d collected — by way of evidence of life.

The bastard priest remained unconvinced and suggested I try the mystic somewhere just to the north of his apartment.

I took my increasingly frail self north, and there introduced myself to the mystic, who implied that I was a little too wishy-washy for their outfit and informed me that perhaps I might try a writer on the Upper West Side.

I introduced myself to said writer, telling him my story. He said, yeah, why not, I’m stuck for ideas.

It’s not much of an existence, imprisoned behind these few words, but it’s the best identity I could get in today’s competitive market.

© 2014 Soren James

Soren James is a writer and visual artist who recreates himself on a daily basis from the materials at his disposal, continuing to do so in upbeat manner until one day he will sumptuously throw his drained materials aside and resume stillness without asking why. More of his work can be seen here: http://sorenjames.moonfruit.com/

Nothing Is Ever Replacing Nothing By Soren James

August 28, 2014 Comments Off on Nothing Is Ever Replacing Nothing By Soren James

One day I found myself suddenly doomed to a life of thorough idleness. An idleness so wholly encompassing that from within its grasp I couldn’t even choose to do nothing — I was forced to passively sit and have nothing happen to me. Sometimes even having to wait for that nothing to happen.

That was the worst, the waiting for nothing. I had never waited so intensely in all my life. At such times it somehow seemed there was more sitting to be done — enveloped in a shroud of aching nothingness that seemed to increase my seatedness. On occasion I would feel somehow that I was sitting for two people, sometimes looking round me to check if, in fact, there were someone beside me, also waiting. Invariably there wasn’t. The suffering was all mine. The waiting all mine.

Life continued this way interminably, unremitting in its vacant delivery of nothingness. So much so that I had, of late, begun to believe that I may never have anything to write about again — fearing that my prospective memoirs may prove to be of little account, and that my reflections on life would fail to reach beyond the mind that deliberated them.

In due course, this proved to be the case. So I ceased writing, took to my favourite chair, and humbly continued my subjugation beneath the cloak of nothingness.

Late evening of the following Thursday, as I routinely underwent the incessant, bored pressure of nothing, an incident occurred — the nothingness stopped. It had ceased and been replaced by something I was unable to identify. Having access only to my customary language of nothingness, I hadn‘t the words at my disposal to classify it.

So it was that I ignored this intruder in the hope it would go away. Three protracted and arduous hours later, it did, and left nothing and nothingness in its wake.

Once again I hunkered down in my favourite chair for the expected onslaught of nothing. But on the following Sunday, while enthralled in my blessed nothingness, something occurred. Again, I couldn’t convey what it was; all I knew was that its arrival had chased the nothing away.

Slowly, though, the nothing seemed to reassert itself over this something. Something was there, but so was the nothingness. It seemed that nothing had chased something away, and the something had become nothing.

That is, until the police arrived and asked me why I was sitting in a room with a dead person.

Suddenly my memoirs were looking up.

© 2014 Soren James

Soren James is a writer and visual artist who largely exists in London. He re-creates himself (with amendments) on a daily basis, because he doesn’t know who else to create.

The Release By Soren James

July 14, 2014 Comments Off on The Release By Soren James

Start here, read these words, let them into your mind, allow them to accrue — gently building a picture there, forming thoughts that can only be yours; because these words are saying nothing, only you can bring life to them, it’s you saying all this, telling this to yourself, while consoling yourself that it‘s not you saying it, assuring that self of yours that it is all delivered from some author somewhere, for you would not speak to yourself in such a manner, or at the very least, you would never say the things that are on their way in this text, things that are slowly approaching you from the bottom of this page; in this passage you are about to tell yourself things, and describe things, that you have never described before: these are exciting times, and you should experience them to the fullest, for such things pass all too quickly, so much of life passes without us being there with it, every interstice and lull in our lives should be filled with awareness, for to pass up being here in the now because of an adopted attitude of waiting, or wishing time away until an event comes, is time killed and we can’t, as humans, afford to kill time, for that is a form of self-slaughter more effective than the actual choice to end oneself; that said, it’s not long now until things start to happen here, before images are thrown into this mix, the unknown is just down there, down this page, scan down the text a bit and you might get a glimpse of words like “sodomy” or “miscalculation” though probably not, because those words do not appear here again, more likely you’ll see such words as “fly” and “escaped” as these are the two most notable words coming your way, they will be used extensively in the coming story, a story that you will question the very existence of because you can see that this text ends just a few lines down from here, so you‘ll probably reason that there‘s no space for a story, yet there is room here for a fable about a fly who escaped — the moral of the tale being to leave more windows and doors open in life; and you can tell yourself that from me.

© 2014 Soren James

Soren James is a writer and visual artist who largely exists in London. He re-creates himself (with amendments) on a daily basis, not knowing whom else to create.

The Ending Up of Things by Soren James

February 10, 2014 Comments Off on The Ending Up of Things by Soren James

A piece of writing was begun which, as it turned out, was more difficult to finish than anyone could ever have predicted.  Not long after the piece commenced, its initiating author was called away to perform an emergency psychoanalytical procedure.  So a new author was called upon, but he seemed to fade from existence only a few words in.  An additional author was brought in to continue the script, but she too was called away on urgent business — something to do with a bag of copper bananas.  Author number four in the line up simply scanned the piece and immediately wrote it off as utter trash.  The next author corrected some spelling mistakes, added a small reference to himself, and declared the piece finished.

The editor disregarded this attempt at an ending as not conclusive enough.  So they brought in writer number six — who also failed.

Things were going from bad to worse — to the extent that an alternate writer was obtained merely to finish this sentence.  The writing was getting absurdly polluted in self-referential waste.  The editor was confounded as to how to continue, and then.  Only two counterfeit sentences later.  The piece of writing became incongruous.

The editorial room was now at a loss.  Something would have to be done to resolve this piece.  Yet no one had self-assurance enough to deal with this incongruity, and so it was ignored — the hope being that no one would notice.  But everybody noticed.  Even the cat who occasionally sauntered through the office in lunch hours sensed there was something wrong.

So it was that author upon author had failed to finish this text.  Each falling by the wayside in their own distinctive way.  Apart from me, who is writing this now.  I maintained composure, finished the piece, and was paid handsomely.  On completion, I went home to my bomb-shelter, my wife, and my two fast disappearing children only to find . . .

© 2013 Soren James

Soren James is a writer and visual artist who largely exists in London. He re-creates himself (with amendments) on a daily basis, because he doesn’t know who else to create.

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