Monday, March 05, 2007

The Great Blog Short Story Project: "Nobody's Listening"

“Tell me why I’m here.”

“You know why.”


***


Thursday, May 14th


It’s been a while since my last update.

***



“I have no idea.”


“Yeah?”

“What do you want?”


***


Sometimes I just get so down, I can’t even be bothered logging in here. It all seems like so much effort. I mean, who cares? Who would even come here?

***



“Look at the picture.”


“I’m looking.”

“I don’t mean just wave your eyes about. I mean: Look. At. It.”


***


Those are the sort of thoughts that go through your mind when you believe you’re alone. You start to think that there’s nobody else out there who gives a damn. Nobody out there who’ll ever care what you think or do.

Makes you wonder why anyone would do this, yeah?

Its just… its kinda nice to say what’s on your mind even if you know that no one is listening.

***



“Nice.”

“You’ve never seen that picture before?”

“Uh-uh. No way, hose-ay. But nice.”

“And there’s that person would know you?”


“Not unless they were stalking me.”


***


I hadn’t logged in for so long. And then someone leaves a comment. They leave a comment. And I feel like maybe this is worth it. Something is finally working. Somebody finally notices. Somebody gives a damn! Check it out:


Tuesday, May 14, Lake Ng says: “Nice profile. Nice picture!”

***



“Is it too hot in here?”

“Uh…”

“I mean, I’m fine… but you’re sweating.”

“I’m a naturally warm person.”

“I can turn down the air conditioning. You want me to get someone to do that?”

“Well, uh… no, no. Its fine.”

“Really…”

“Its fine!”

***



“Nice picture.”

Makes me feel good. Makes me feel like maybe…

But its just one comment. He’ll probably never read this blog again. A ghost. Like you, my non-existent readers.

***



“You don’t know them?”

“I swear, I…”

“You don’t recognise that picture?”

“Honestly, I…”

“Because I find that odd.”

“Yeah?”

“You log on to the internet much?”

“I have an account at home. Use it for work.”

“Remind me what work you’re in.”

“It doesn’t…”

“Remind me!”

“Self employed… I’m an artist.”

“Sell much?”

“Enough.”

“You’re not living off your daddy’s inheritance, then?”

“Fuck you!”

***


Friday, May 15th

Lake Ng has a real name. A real name. Hey, baby, let me wave at you!

Ha, sorry if this gets you all down, all my non-existent readers (except you, Ng… or should I say, Johnny), but really, he’s so charming… and he lives round here, too.

***



“What do the names Lake and Ng mean to you?”

“What should they mean?”

“They were serial killers. The pair of them. Sadists. Torturers.”

“You know I knew that.”

“How’d I know?”

“You knew I was an artist. You know that my art…”

“Portraits of killers.”


***


It seems like fate, you know? The choice of screen name. How close we live to each other… fate, yeah, that seems…

Told you it would get you down. Who wants to know about me dancing on air? We haven’t even met yet. That’s for tonight.

We have such a connection me and… Johnny (use his real name for the real world, eh?). I sent him .jpegs of some of my art. Some of things I haven’t posted up here. He loves them.

***



“The man’s name is John Abbot.”

“I’ve never…”

“Yeah, you said. He had a thing for serial killers, you know that? He had this blog… a true crime thing…”

“Really?”

“You got one of those?”
“A blog? No, or… I…”

“The screen name, KillerPortraits mean anything to you…”

“Listen…”

“You think anyone reads the internet?”

“I…”

“I mean, really… who gives a shit about some crappy little blog hidden away in the corner of the internet… who actually bothers to read about other people’s lives? Who would be interested in, say, someone like you?”

“Exactly…”

“Even the most private people feel the need to confess. Really. Most politicians are let down by their diaries. Most serial killers keep a log… a diary… a memento of…”

“I know this…”

“That’s my problem, I talk too much.”

***


He sent me a picture. Look at it.


Go on.

Look at it.

He’s perfect.

***



“My wife says I talk too much even when no one’s there.”

“I don’t understand…”

“Like, I’ll be in the bathroom and I’ll start bitching about work. Saying how I feel about the chief… because, hell, I don’t think anyone’s listening.”

“I never saw…”

“You said it yourself, that there was no one there. No one was listening. Until he commented on your blog. Until you realise he was listening.”

“Not my…”

“Stop fucking me around. We got the evidence. We read the damn blog. We saw the damn photo.”

“Please…”

“You want to see photo’s of what you did to him. Huh? Here, go on. Look at them. Goddamn you, you sick bastard, look at them.”

“Oh, Christ…”

“Or maybe you took some yourself… right now there are guys going over every inch of your apartment and…”

“Oh, Christ…”

“Yeah, you picked a fine time to get religious.”

***


Not that anyone will know how perfect he is. Because no one is listening.

Except him.

Except Johnny.

***


“You finished crying? You able to write? Because you’d better write. You’d better tell me all about it. And I’ll tell you, something, pal, this time someone really is paying attention to what you write.”

***

And, you know, nice as it is to know there’s someone out there…

When we meet tonight, I guess its going to be the first thing we talk about.

But I still don't know for sure how that makes me feel.

9 comments:

JD Rhoades said...

Two thumbs up, Russel. This is great.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You have to admit, we're a f***** up group of people. Late to the party perhaps, but I'm glad you showed up with this one.

Gerald So said...

Two stories in the space of one. :) Nice showcase of structure, Russel.

Russel said...

Dusty

Two thumbs up from a man such as yourself makes me grin like a lunatic.

Okay, maybe nobody can tell the difference...

Patti

I'm always late to the party - usually stumbling through the door holding an empty bottle of wine and closely followed by the police. And yes, having started to look at some of these - I feel almost normal in my psychoses!

Gerald

I should have known you'd pick up on the structure issue. It was nice to have the chance to do something different...

Daniel Hatadi said...

Nice work. One of those stories you want to read twice.

Bill Crider said...

Very clever.

Gerald So said...

I missed a story by John Stickney posted Monday, and Jim Winter posted a late entry last night. I've added both links to the list of project contributors on my blog. That's a total of 22 stories. Wow.

Christa M. Miller said...

Wow! I loved how this unfolded. No segment was too long that I lost track of the last one. And the way it dribbled out information was great.

Russel said...

Daniel, Bill and Christa

Cheers! Glad you enjoyed. It was good fun doing this, and I was stoked when The Q asked me to take part.

Although, some of these other stories: man, some smart (and twisted) minds out there...