THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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 Post subject: Arnold Cabacade [UNFINISHED VERSION]
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:07 pm GMT 
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Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:10 pm GMT
Posts: 666
Location: Inside the Mind
Custom Title: sucks.
So back in May, I started writing this story that I hoped I could get a good majority done by now, but due to lack of further motivation and the fact that I don't have Microsoft Word on my new laptop (yet), I ended up not finishing it. I think I might get back into writing it someday, but for now, here's the prologue:



The moment that Arnold Cabacade had opened his eyes, he knew something was wrong.

He felt the carpet underneath him as he slowly became aware of his surroundings. Then, without any hesitation, he lifted himself onto his feet, his eyebrow raised a bit out of confusion. His eyes scanned the room: the walls had nothing hanging on them, the bed was gone, the TV, the dresser; pretty much everything that was once in his apartment bedroom seemed to have vanished overnight without any single trace. And there was this eerie silence, as if he was the only thing present in the entire apartment, let alone the bedroom he was just sleeping in last night.

Quickly, he made his way out of the bedroom and into the living room, and just like that bedroom, it was left empty, with absolutely no signs that there was any furniture in there. Even the hole in the wall that was always there even before he and his girlfriend Pamela Jougal moved in seemed to have fixed itself while Arnold was sleeping. Meanwhile, the kitchen, even with its plumbing and heavy appliances, was practically in the same state: pure, unadulterated emptiness, like no one had altered it when it was first built.

Instinctively, Arnold attempted to call out for Pamela, but strangely enough, in the midst of that eerie silence, he didn't hear the sound of his own voice. He tried again, almost screaming at the top of his lungs, but no luck. His own footsteps couldn't emit a sound either, tapping repeatedly on the hardwood floor.

He desperately ran towards the door to the hallway, trying to pull on the knob as hard as he could to get it open, but it was jammed. He looked down at the knob, and noticed that it was locked. He sighed at his own ignorance, and unlocked the door, but even then, the door simply could not budge, not even in the slightest bit.

Sweat began to drip down his forehead as his silent but heavy breathing began to kick in. His thoughts were unable to reflect on the situation, and there were a billion racing through his head. Defeated, he shrugged, and decided to walk right back into the bedroom. As he took his mute steps across the living room, he felt a chill of uncertainty that stung his spine. And then, he finally heard something far too familiar: the loud hum of jets growing louder and louder with each passing second. His eyes widened.

He was going to die.

Upon this realization, he turned right back around and lunged at the door, trying as hard as he humanly could to break the door open somehow. He tried pulling the door open once again, his jaw clenched so tight that the veins in his head were going to explode. His arms were in pain, his legs became stiff and weak, and the overall fatigue of this unnecessary hard work was approaching him with each pull.

Down on his luck, he stopped, exasperated and hopeless. With a fist leaning on the door, the heavy breathing became even more apparent as his chest burned with pain and exertion. He took yet another glance at that brass doorknob, the only other means of escape besides jumping out the window to his death. He closed his eyes, knowing deep down that this was going to be his fate. The only thing he could possibly do now was just grin and bear it, even when that grin could not form on his perspiring face.

He turned his head toward the kitchen window, eyes peeled, expecting the worse to happen. The loudness of the jets was earsplitting, overwhelming the apartment with its torturous cacophony. Arnold could feel his ear drums rupturing as the noise flooded the nonexistent ambience.

And then, the building began to shake.

Arnold got off the door and turned his body around, facing the kitchen, his knees bending defensively, but the vibration from the jets caused him to tremble to the ground. Eyes darting the entire length of the living, he looked for at least something to protect him from whatever was coming his way. There was still nothing.

He managed to get back on his feet and back into the position he was in before he fell. He felt disoriented from the shaking of the floor, a dizzying sensation akin to being moments away from blacking out. He wished that could happen, so he wouldn’t have to endure the inevitable, at least in consciousness.

Outside, Arnold saw a white figure flying towards his direction. It was the very thing he had expected: a plane. But it wasn’t just any plane; it looked like a commercial jet, the very same commercial jet he saw on TV after coming home from the rubble that was once the World Trade Center, his previous workplace.

Arnold was frozen, his face growing pale and his eyes open wider than ever before. This was it. This was his grand finale. He turned away from the window, and closed his eyes tight, jaw clenched and arms held up in front of his face. The plane came in very fast.

He woke up.

He could feel his heart pound against his chest as he woke up, out of breath and out of place. He could finally hear it.

This was the third time this week he’s had this dream, and the hundredth time he’s had it at all since roughly a year and a half ago. But even with the amount of times this dream has come to haunt him again, he clearly hasn’t grown used to it.

In the darkness of the apartment bedroom, the only sources of light came from some of the windows across the street from the complex and from the moonlight. Arnold didn’t bother to turn on his bedside lamp; he needed to spare Pamela’s rest.

As his eyes slowly moved from corner to corner, he saw that everything was back the way it was before the dream: the pictures hanging on the cream-colored walls were left untouched, the bulky TV still stood upon the wooden dresser, and he was lying in the comfort of his own bed, rather than lying on a gray carpet that was in dire need of a thorough vacuuming, especially considering he and Pam will be moving out in two weeks.

He looked down at his girlfriend, who was lying right beside him on his left on the bed. She was still asleep. Putting his head back on his pillow, he hoped to keep it that way. He then closed his eyes and tried to fall back asleep, but he knew all too well how that was going to end up.

As he did this, he couldn't stop thinking about the dream, how it kept bothering him all the time, how he was the one who got the coffee on that fateful day and not his friend Jason DeMarquis, who perished in the flames eighty stories above Lower Manhattan. It kept bothering him since then, but even when the guilt of surviving the attack has plagued him time and time again, he knew that he didn't have to feel this way. He didn't know what was happening back then. He didn't know that he wouldn't have been able to save Jason if he tried to go up instead of down. Why does he have to feel so bad about something he would never be able to change?

With these troubling thoughts pulsating through his head, he opened his eyes, threw the sheets off him, and got out of bed. It wasn't worth trying to fall back asleep now. Not when his mind was preventing him from doing so.

The day had just begun, and at three o'clock in the morning no less.

After making his side of the bed, Arnold took a deep breath and quietly walked around the foot of the bed and out the bedroom door, peeking back at Pamela to make sure she didn't wake up. She was usually a light sleeper.

In the living room, he saw that everything was exactly where it was before: the black leather couches were there, the other television was there, the rest of the endless amount of pictures were all hung up impeccably, and even that hole in the wall was still there, albeit unfortunately.

He walked over to the end table that was wedged in between the two couches and picked up the remote, turning on the television before he would walk right into the kitchen. But once the television turned on, the volume was blasting in almost three-digit decibels. It didn't help that a loud, pedestrian action flick happened to be running at that very moment. Arnold gasped melodramatically and pressed the "mute" button on the remote immediately. No more gunshot sounds and explosions seeped through the built-in speakers.

Arnold waited for about ten seconds for Pamela to wake up and say to him, "You had to wake me up at three in the morning so you can watch TV? Jesus Christ, turn that thing off..." However, she never did, so he exhaled in relief and went about his business.

He walked into the kitchen and opened up the refrigerator. His eyes scanned the shelves and drawers, all stacked up with food they needed and food they ended up not needing in the first place. Down in the last drawer were a few bottles of beer hiding behind several bottles of water, his secret stash. One at a time, he took out every single water bottle and placed them carefully on the counter temporarily. A minute later, he finally took out that bottle of beer he needed, grabbed the bottle opener out of the drawer, and removed the cap.

He hoped this could somehow calm his nerves once again.


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