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Thread: The Somber Aura of Kernt Marville

  1. #1
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    The Somber Aura of Kernt Marville

    Sitting alone at the kitchen table, Kernt Marville wore a thick sadness. By way of a withering appetite he had lost weight. His apparent negligence had born him a beard which now rounded his face. His long arms and legs had begun to lose their strength. This, however, was not due to any sort of prescribed illness. Indeed, his pseudo-sickness seemed to be manifested by the vengeful hand of some omnipotent deity. Any reputable clairvoyant would've revealed that his aura of a once deep blue was quickly becoming a dull gray.

    Hunched over and languid, he stared blankly at his coffee cup until it became cold; then, without lifting his arm, slowly knocked it onto the ground near the cordless phone.

    It had been around eight-thirty in the evening when he’d gotten a call about the accident. A drunk driver. Head-on collision. No survivors. His wife and kids obliterated by a screaming metallic beast near Toys 'R' Us.

    "You can't be there by yourself right now. I'm coming over," his friend had said to him. This was before he'd contacted his mother-in-law, before the funeral.

    "No, I don't think—I'm not fine, but just don't. Please." And he hung up, letting the phone drop from his hands onto the floor. It was then that the dam broke, and the tears began to flow.

    Attempts to console had to be thwarted at work as well.

    "Listen, Kernt, I feel terrible about this. We all do. I can give you three days paid, but that's all. I’m sorry. Bereavement is a week maximum, then it's out of my hands." The man tried his best not to sound soulless.

    "I understand. It's fine," was Kernt’s response, though his mind was elsewhere. He grabbed the family photo off his desk before leaving the office, his mind still in shock, his actions coldly robotic.

    Teary-eyed and wistful he remembered his wife’s red hair, her homemade lasagna, and their ability to communicate thoughts on a level assumingly unparalleled by other human beings. Even at a young age they sensed a ridiculous compatibility that had not diminished with time. He remembered the diapers, the drawings, the school plays. Soccer games. Gerbils. Christmas. Now, all these warm memories did was thrust him deeper into an abominable and lonesome negation.

    He'd been visited a few times by neighbors, but once they saw the state of him they soon went home to cry themselves, for his grief was palpable. It seeped from his pores and soaked malevolently into the whims of one’s humanity. He entertained the idea that this was a defense mechanism in that, contrary to his peers, he mostly just wanted to be left alone.

    Then, doing what men do, he turned to the whiskey.

    Not even after his psyche was drenched with boundless supplies of liquor—amounts sufficient to inebriate a wooly mammoth—did the shock of the deaths subside. Rather, it simply leveled off, soon becoming the fuzzy, intoxicated norm. Dumbstruck on the couch with the television on, he would think: the past was a monster, the present a hellish void—there was no future.

    In a menial attempt to restructure his thoughts around this ineffable concept of “moving on,” he decided to consult the Church. He’d been a godless heathen for twenty-seven years—now, feeling the tinge of an emerging insanity, he hoped to gain solace from the one person he felt couldn’t blame him for his actions.

    He scrambled for composure as he sat in the pew. Noticing his state, a priest approached him meditatively and sat one row ahead, glancing over at his sorrowful countenance, politely pretending not to notice the smell. The man’s years were written on his face, his authoritative manner beset by a warm tranquility.

    "Father," he began awkwardly, avoiding eye contact. "I no longer feel there's a reason for me to be alive."

    "Why is that, my son?" The priest said quickly. There was a weighted wisdom in his voice.

    “My wife and two children were—murdered by a drunk driver." He spoke the words but did not feel them. "There's… nothing left for me to do here."

    “Have you given yourself over to the Church, my son?” The priest asked hopefully.

    “I’m not really one to do that,” he said, fumbling, revealing a subtle weakness. “I needed to talk.”

    “I see.” The admittance of sacrilege did not seem to faze the priest. In preparing to speak he took in a long, even breath and elegantly adjusted his black sleeves.

    “One cannot prepare for an event such as this. One mustn’t blame oneself for what the Good Lord has brought.” To Kernt’s delight, the tone in use wasn’t condescending, but sincere.

    “Yeah, I get that. I don’t know if I mind if ‘God’ did it or not. I just want my family back.” At this his eyes swelled and his face contorted in representation of his sorrow. For a moment he lost the ability to speak, looking down, putting a hand to his forehead.

    This caused the priest to adjust his thinking. “That is completely understandable—“

    “I feel trapped,” he blurted, inhaling loudly in an attempt to collect himself. “Trapped in this pitiful mindset. I keep denying what’s happened. The whole ****ing thing doesn’t make any sense. I keep hoping that my wife’ll walk through the door and tell me everything’s okay. I lie in my kids’ beds to get their smell and it makes me think they’re still alive.” There was a pause in search of brevity. “My life has become fake, and pointless.” Having confessed this much, there was no more stopping his thoughts. The effects of liquor and sleepless nights now converged in a surprising coherence.

    “And the thing is, I’m entirely aware of it. I’m self-aware. I just can’t seem to be able to do anything about it. The denial is keeping me alive.”

    “I see,” said the man of the cloth, clasping his wrinkled hands. The priest shifted his body weight and dared a glance, and soon their eyes met. There was a subtle transfer of indefinable energy perceived by Kernt Marville, and he looked curiously at the priest.

    “We are all God’s children, whether we like it or not. We as human beings are not capable of deciding our fate. His benevolence should not overshadow His capacity for what we feel are tragedies, for He is greater than us, and we are but vessels for His eternal glory.” After this his face gained an emboldened seriousness. “My son, I do not pretend to understand your pain, but I tell you this: a jaded truth is infinitely better than a comfortable lie.”

    The atypical profundity of the statement seemed to drain the priest of his previous verve. Feeling he’d said enough, he graciously got up and walked away, leaving a stunned and contemplative Kernt Marville by himself. Thinking he’d retained a bit of wisdom, he went home and allowed it to solidify in his dreams. Overnight, one might say his aura regained traces of a bluish hue.

    Sitting alone at the kitchen table, he felt his sadness loosen a bit as he sipped his coffee.
    Last edited by larphenflorp; 11-04-2008 at 10:41 PM. Reason: Added cohesion and substance.

  2. #2
    Overlord of Cupcak3s 1n50mn14's Avatar
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    Well done! I really enjoyed this, the language and imagery was fantastic! The ending felt somewhat unresolved for me, though.
    Naked except for a cigarette, you let your mind drift and forget your disbelief. Feel the chill down your back and the flutter of wings through dandelion fields, and forget the pull of gravity in a night without stars.

    I lack eloquence and commitment to my arguments. They are half baked, and I will begin passionately, and then abandon them.

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