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Member Rara Avis
since 1999-08-02
Posts 8296
Purgatorial Incarceration

0 posted 2000-06-28 06:11 PM

Vagrant Dreams
©2000  Christopher Ward

     Moonlight, jaded and dull, reflected off the placid waters of the city lake. Vagrants plod on tired feet next to its shores mumbling incoherently to themselves and the slight breeze. In the north the lights of the city can be seen beckoning with promises of family and home.


     Evan shook his head slightly, letting several strands of dirty, unkempt hair wisp into his face. Home was a distant memory and an unrealized dream. It had been many years since that word had held any meaning for him. So many in fact, that he'd all but forgotten those days. It was only on nights like these when he was cold and lonely, that his subconscious drudged the past up to surface in his thoughts.

     His pondering was interrupted by a sudden bout of phlegmy coughing. He noisily went with it, and finally after a few moments was able to breathe again. He took a deep breath, spitting out a gout of the greenish bile that had been burning his tongue.


     Evan glanced across his shoulder to see a lady speeding rapidly up the street. Her eyes kept darting back at him, evidently disgusted... and somewhat afraid.

     Evan shook his head softly, mumbling incoherently beneath his breath. It had also been many years since the degrading glances of others had sincerely bothered him. Wiping at his mouth with a palsied hand, he slowly stood up and stretched.

     His aging bones creaked and popped, providing some relief to the constant fatigue that plagued him. Standing now, he was taken by a sudden wave of vertigo.

     Moments later, he was standing again.

     Obviously he'd fallen.

     ‘Bummer,’ he thought.

     Shaking his head again, Evan picked up the few belongings he had and carefully stacked them into his cart. He was proud of his cart. Out of all the others living near the lake, his was the most intricately decorated.

     Sure, Lunetta draped clothes all over hers, but he figured that didn't really count. His cart was art. Beads and such were braided around the handles, formed into an intricate pattern of colors and symbols decipherable only to him. And woven into the metal grid of the sides, he had various sashes, twine and shells. On one side, the shells formed an "E" and on the other, a "D."

     The "E" stood for "Evan."

     The "D." stood for "Death."

     At least that's what it used to stand for. As he'd become more accustomed to his... situation, he'd changed the meaning in his head. But he still remembered those days when he first lost his job, his wife, then finally his home.

     No matter what anyone said, Evan believed that the city did have a heart. He was just convinced that it was cold and black. After Karen died, he'd sought out help. But no one was willing to spare the time or money to help him. He'd tried and tried to find a job, but all the factories were turning automated these days. It was nigh to impossible for an unschooled person to find work.

     And in the end, he'd given up trying.

     Really given up. He’d looked for a way to end what he considered a useless existence. Pills, weapons... he’d even tried drowning himself. Nothing worked. He lacked the courage to follow through with anything. Finally he’d been caught and taken to the hospital. That was when he discovered the real irony of his life. The people who couldn't spare him a dime for some food, were the same people who then spent thousands of dollars making sure he would stay alive to endure the torture of a failed life. He’d begged them, but though they had denied him food in his belly, they insisted that life was worth living. ‘Nothing’s bad enough to just quit,’ they would say.

     His bitter laughter rang out into the night air, causing only a few heads to turn in his direction. He didn't care. After months and months of "therapy," he'd given up on giving up. It was at that time that he'd changed the meaning of the "D" on the side of his cart.

     Denial was the new meaning.

     It was his way of "coping" with his "situation."

     Deny everything.

     Which he did.

     When he reached the lush oak that bowed over the softly lapping waves of the lake, he repeated his nightly litany.

     "I deny this life, I deny this reality. So I close my eyes, and dream my fantasy." Evan closed his eyes and drifted off into the dreams of a madman.

< !signature-->

I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life
I know you’ll be a star
In somebody else’s sky
But why oh why
Can’t it be
Oh Can’t it be mine?
-Pearl Jam

[This message has been edited by Christopher (edited 06-28-2000).]

© Copyright 2000 C.G. Ward - All Rights Reserved
Member Empyrean
since 1999-09-21
Posts 28049
1 posted 2000-06-28 07:21 PM

Christopher--A very realistic look at this man...told in such away that there is no pity or belittling...just painting the way he is with sensitive writing that looks into the human heart.  In other words, well done!
Poet deVine
Member Seraphic
since 1999-05-26
Posts 22612
Hurricane Alley
2 posted 2000-06-28 08:07 PM

Fantastic story. You weave them so well, Chris. I think I'll find you a Government Grant so you can sit home and do nothing but write!!  
Jeffrey Carter
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 2000-04-08
Posts 2367
State of constant confusion!
3 posted 2000-06-29 12:40 PM


Amazing talent you have Christopher I am seriously impressed! You write with such authority and command , yet you present the charecter with such ease and nonchalance. Simply amazing

All my love,

serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 2000-02-02
Posts 27738

4 posted 2000-06-29 06:17 AM

Loved this...just wanted to think awhile...I like the focus on the humanity of Evan, just wish there was more....(there IS more, isn't there?)  one page is not enough.  my only complaint.  well, maybe two, but i will leave you hanging, as you did us...hee hee
Irish Rose
Member Patricius
since 2000-04-06
Posts 10263

5 posted 2000-06-29 08:24 AM

You definitely have my vote!

You left me, sweet, two legacies,-
a legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;
Emily Dickinson

Senior Member
since 2000-02-02
Posts 664
6 posted 2000-06-29 08:37 AM

loved it...well written...
also loved the pearl jam signature...
great work...
let people be happy in their own little what if it's a dream world?

If all was light...then I would have never learnt the dark...from which such truth evolves
from which evolves the light...
Avanti Rao

Senior Member
since 1999-06-23
Posts 1835
7 posted 2000-06-29 02:04 PM

Good choice, methinks.  

Good edits, too.
Psst..."The "D." stood for "Death."  Might want to nix the period after the 'D'.



Deputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Elite
since 2000-01-08
Posts 4697

8 posted 2000-06-29 04:34 PM

This is a wonderful tale, Chris. Well-written, as usual. You have my vote!

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -Oscar Wilde
"The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief" -Shakespea

Member Empyrean
since 1999-06-05
Posts 25505
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
9 posted 2000-06-30 12:41 PM

Well-deserving of a prominent place in the book, Chris...
linda munday
since 2000-06-17
Posts 315
Adelaide, Australia
10 posted 2000-06-30 01:50 AM

Wonderful, I wanted more, but that's the best way....leave them wanting more.
Linda M.

linda munday
since 2000-06-17
Posts 315
Adelaide, Australia
11 posted 2000-06-30 01:51 AM

omg...i forgot to vote... have done now.
Member Rara Avis
since 1999-08-02
Posts 8296
Purgatorial Incarceration
12 posted 2000-06-30 04:57 PM

In the selfish interest of keeping this near the top, I want to thank you all!   I still can't believe how well recieved my prose is at times... own worst critic and all!  
Lady in Red
since 2000-02-16
Posts 147

13 posted 2000-06-30 05:05 PM

What can I say Sir ? You leave the Lady lost for words....
Janet Marie
Member Laureate
since 2000-01-22
Posts 18554

14 posted 2000-07-02 12:10 PM

yes sir...
the master of prose should be represented
this one will shine as a reflection of your
ps cool sig  

What the caterpillar calls the end ...
The world calls a butterfly
~Butterflies are meant to be free~

Member Rara Avis
since 1999-07-17
Posts 7704

15 posted 2000-07-02 05:07 AM

Ok well...I think this just scrapes through voting wise...


good stuff here C...unusual for you - and that to me is a good thing...


Senior Member
since 1999-08-15
Posts 1906
Sitting in Michael's Lap
16 posted 2000-07-02 05:39 PM

OK, here you go ... vote number two from me on the book-thingy ...

Free verse and prose, my friend -- these are your strengths and your gifts to us.  Thank you.



It is only a test ...

If this were your Actual Life, you would have been given better instructions!

Member Rara Avis
since 1999-08-02
Posts 8296
Purgatorial Incarceration
17 posted 2000-07-03 04:20 AM

And thank you! I know this piece is somewhat outside my normal style, so I think I may write another one, more fitting! (If I can somehow manage to keep the word count down!)
Senior Member
since 1999-12-01
Posts 1493
Washington State
18 posted 2000-07-06 03:31 AM

Ok Chris sweety, I finally made it here!
This is a very bitter sweet piece.
So sad but strikes a nerve. So many people live this life and go un-noticed and ignored!
The girl making her "Gross!" Comment, made me think about my self, though I don't "Gross" people, I just drive or walk on pretneding not to notice.
Thank you som much for the eye opener........
And thanks for the story.....very well written my friend!  


Sudhir Iyer
Member Ascendant
since 2000-04-26
Posts 6943
Mumbai, India : now in Belgium
19 posted 2000-07-07 09:37 AM

Very Well written work, Christopher...

Deserves its place, definitely...


X Angel
Senior Member
since 1999-11-07
Posts 1521
20 posted 2000-07-08 04:19 PM

OMG, I have chills now. So so so very good!


Kit McCallum
Member Laureate
since 2000-04-30
Posts 14774
Ontario, Canada
21 posted 2000-07-24 02:10 PM

The "E" stands for Excellent, and the "D" stands for Dramatic!  Incredible talent Christopher ... masterfully written!  

Best wishes,

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