Alone In A Crowd: Part 1

Alone In A Crowd


I’m alone in here, surrounded by people who used to know me and the clink of wine glasses. A mindless drone reverberates through the party, idle chitchat punctuated by overly enthusiastic greetings whenever another so and so arrives on the scene. People who never bothered to keep in touch were hugging one another and calling each other out like old friends. High school reunion, nostalgia, whatever. The spirit of good cheer that tries to seep inside me takes one look at the toxic goop inside my soul and dies without even trying.

I stand in the corner, entertaining myself with a beer, watching and waiting for that something bad that inevitably happens at such parties. Maybe the drunken banker gets pushed off the balcony by a jealous rival, or maybe the blonde in the short skirt ends up with that dickhead leering at her across the room.

Whatever it is, I can feel it in my bones. Somewhere in this room lies my latest muse. What needs to happen tonight will happen. The writer in me wills it.
Sure enough, as soon as that thought filtered through my mind, two bitches on the dance floor start grabbing each other by the hair.



They screamed and they fought. Carefully manicured nails transformed into demon claws as they ripped into one another over the bemused man in the middle. I watch them from my little corner, more aroused than fascinated, and secretly hope that one of them will snatch out the other one’s eye.

It doesn’t happen. Like the high school brats they once were, they are pulled away kicking and swearing. The music starts up again and small talk resumes. An hour passes and nothing else happens. This party sucks, and so does the story. I need to come up with something better.

Maybe I shouldn’t start by portraying myself as a depraved writer in a room full of people ignoring him. Quick change of the script, and done.

I see her looking at me from across the room. Perhaps it’s the dim lighting, or maybe it’s the booze, either way it has to be something that makes people do stupid things since she’s waving at me now. I shuffled deeper into the little corner, trying hard to ignore the female protagonist appearing in my story. I was never very good at romantic fiction.

“Hey!” she says, walking up beside me.

“Hey,” I said back, what else was I supposed to say.

“Remember me?”

I look at her with bewildered eyes. Long black hair, porcelain skin, white fleshy thighs… if I have seen her before, it’s probably in one of the movies of my private collection.

“Sasha Grey?”

She looked at me strangely, “It’s me Lyla, you’re Peter right?”

I tried to smile. “Yes,” at least I used to be Peter. I go by my pen name now, Borris Black. Peter Pendleton just doesn’t inspire the same vibe when you tell people you’re a horror writer.

“Wow, it is you. It’s been so long, how have you been!” She said, tucking her luscious mane behind her ear. “Heard from the grapevine you’re famous now eh. ”

“A little,” I answered to Ms Obvious here. Apparently I need to be reminded that I’m the only best selling author to ever graduate from Glendale Springs. But for the life of me, I cannot recall ever meeting a Lyla there.

“You don’t remember me do you?” she giggled, “Braces, black glasses, dorky hair, ninth grade?”

Social protocol dictates I should have at least some idea now, or at least pretend to remember, by shouting her name while I pointed at her and grinned.  But since I honestly can’t remember and don’t give a fuck about what society thinks, I shook my head politely. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about my former life as a Peter.

“It’s ok,” she said, making a good sport out of being forgotten, “Let’s just start over. Hi, my name is Lyla Fisher, I’m a management consultant with Lipper and I just moved back to town to be with my family. Please to meet you Peter!”

“Black, Borris Black,” I corrected her, shaking her extended hand. Peter Pendleton is dead and buried. “Please to meet you too Lyla.”

— END PART 1 —

This is a slightly different writing style that I am trying out. One that fuses words and thoughts together in the first person. Again trying for a more flowing and smooth style in my writing. Really need to cut back on the and/as/the/buts as well.

Let me know if this narrative works for you. I’m trying to fuse together a story about a writer TALKING, THINKING and WRITING about the events of his life into one single narrative. I.e. there shouldn’t be any pure speech or pure story parts. 


Prompt: The Immortal Jellyfish

Immortal Jellyfish

Turritopsis nutricula, the immortal jellyfish, is a hydrozoan whose medusa, or jellyfish, form can revert to the polyp stage after becoming sexually mature. It is the only known case of a metazoan capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary stage.

Source: Wikipedia

Some amazing science-fiction stuff here for you to build around. You could either go with the unkillable monsters rising from from the ocean, or you could go for the genetically spliced Jellyfish hybrids that escaped from a government facility somewhere off the coast of Bermuda.

Personally, I’ll go for the deadly Sushi dinner in Tokyo that went from bait to mate.

It Happened In Tokyo

Kari Katsudon is your typical Japanese salaryman. Everyday, he works long brutal hours in the confines of a tiny office, churning out dozens of boring reports for the electronics division of the Keiretsu he is working for.

By night however, he lets his hair down and becomes quite the party animal, spending his evenings merry-making with his colleagues at the various Izakayas scattered around the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, often till the wee hours of the morning before stumbling home drunk.

One day, his colleague, Unbutu Hori, suggested that they try out a a new Izakaya that he had chanced upon while walking home one night. “They had these colourful looking jellyfish sitting in giant tanks outside the shop. They must taste good if they’re served fresh from the tank,” and everyone agreed.

So at the stroke of 8pm, the salarymen and office ladies gathered at the lobby of their building, and squeezed their way onto the train headed Shinjuku station. It was only a short journey, and when the train reached its destination, hordes of weary office employees spilled out onto the platform. Shinjuku was the unofficial nightlife capital of Tokyo.

“This way.” Hori shouted cheerfully above the din in the station, ushering his party of friends to their dinner destination. And soon, Kari could see them. The colourful jellyfishes, sitting in giant tanks, just like Unbutu said. Kari was excited, he loved the tasty, chewy texture of jellyfish, but never had chance to try one so fresh before.

“I’ll have that,” he said to the waiter, pointing to a translucent looking jellyfish sitting alone in the topmost tank. It was a beautiful specimen, one of the best that Kari had ever seen. He can’t wait to get a taste of those chewy fibrous tentacles dipped in vinegar.

“Hai, so sorry, but this jellyfish is very special. Very expensive too.” He flashed a figure with his hand and Kari almost choked at the price. “Hai, so sorry, please choose another one.” But the more Kari looked at that particular jellyfish, the more his heart told him to go for it. His tastebuds were aching just for a taste of it.

It’s soft glowly skin must have the most wonderful of textures, he thought. And that mass of pulsating flesh at its centre, he knew that would be the sweetest piece of raw seafood he would ever taste in his life. He must have it!

Pointing to the jellyfish once again, he affirmed his decision with the waiter, and paid for his meal with cash right on the spot. “Hai! Coming right up!”

End of Part 1. This story went a lot longer than I thought. Part 2 coming tomorrow!

Just a fun story, please don’t mind the stereotypical characters. Where I’m from, Jellyfish is served pretty commonly in restaurants and banquets as a cold appetiser. It’s pretty tasty actually, try it!