file Attalway

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il y a 5 ans 5 mois - il y a 5 ans 5 mois #20777 par Vuld Edone
Attalway a été créé par Vuld Edone
Je suis tombé par hasard vers onze heures du soir sur une image qui m'a rappelé de très mauvais souvenirs. J'ai donc subitement eu le besoin d'écrire une petite histoire en pur freestyle, comme ça me venait. Voici le résultat.
C'est en anglais, parce que le texte m'est venu en anglais. Le héros s'appelle probablement Kernel, mais comme j'ai tout inventé à la volée...

**** **** ****

So here is a little bit of a story. The kind of which I had hoped to forget.

You probably don't know of Attalway, mostly because it's gone now, but other than that it wasn't very known to begin with. It was the little community you passed by at the blink of an eye on the supreme highway, that was, when the highway was a thing. I guess, when it crumbled, little heroes wannabe's would take a stop at that town.

Of course, bad guys had the same idea, and so the Rash Claw's clan established itself just upwards in the woods they transformed in what is now the crater. Or was the crater, probably, given how fast things tend to move out there. They thought of themselves as a militia, the town thought of them as raiders and their rifles made that a moot point. It was some eight hundreds against their two thousands.

But then came that little girl, named Rocky, basically the height of a door knob and those big whiny blue eyes of perfection. At first I thought she was a mechanic or something, because of the suit she was wearing, but turned out she was just good with a gun.
Long story short, she single-handedly massacred the Rash Claw's clan.

Then she left, then we stayed, then the clan stayed too. And so I got arrested, and then she came back and she asked why I was in jail. They explained, because I was a traitor, and she wouldn't believe it. Tried to get me out. Got my cell door open. Next thing I know I was at her throat trying to choke her. Let's just say I didn't get released on good behavior.

She left at that, probably convinced I was mad, and went crushing the Rash Claw a second time.

But enough catching up.

From my cell all I could get of the outside was tidbits and rumors. As far as I got, she had just slaughtered everything resembling a party from the clan, and bloody earth if she wasn't happy about that. Then she had spent ten minutes tending to the wounded for good measure before deciding to vanquish some evil at breakfast. That was as much as Ted could tell me.

I wouldn't look at Ted. Half out of shame, half out of hatred. Man I missed the time when we were friends. He was begging me to talk or just move from my bench. I just wished to be left alone, away from the madness. Had a bad headache, like grenades exploding deep in my heads, the kind of stress you only know the evening of a big feast, when it's you against the coming darkness and the horizon looks like an horizontal pit.

Truth is, Ted wanted to prove to himself that I wasn't a traitor. I wanted to yell the opposite, and there was so much misunderstanding between the both of us that it was the most crushing.

"Why did you try to kill her?" He asked.

He got what he wanted. I glared at him. Eyes like those of the beast I was. He barely saw me through it. But no answer. I was angry, not suicidal. The words I had at the edge of my lips would kill me for sure.

"Come on, it's not like you!" Ted insisted. Poor guy. One door knob too high for a romance. I could read on his face he admired the girl. Prime reason he would come back and tell me all about her errings, hope to sway my opinion. You know, the exact opposite of what one should do. But he was distressed and that I couldn't bear.

Thing is, I had lost. Trapped between three walls of concrete despair and the metallic taste of fate.

I wouldn't answer, so he gave up. Turned away, left me behind the bars. I listened to his steps on the stair, then the heavy door closing on solitude. And with him finally gone, unable to see me weak, I exploded. Just a frenzy. Just the need to hurt myself, break a few bones on the walls until fatigue or pain would calm me. Because I hadn't taken enough of a beating yet. At that very moment, and it wouldn't last, I didn't mind being dead.

By instinct, I wanted to get out. So even as, exhausted, I was letting myself slowly slip on my shoulder, heart beating, I was trying to find an escape. But then immediately I would jump at that second, bigger, far worse jail that had become Attalway. Escaping was a sour joke, but at least it would make me forget the pain.

Seriously, what's up with us hurting ourselves in pain. What's wrong with evolution.

When the clouds finally revealed that noon had passed, rumors from the street shook me out of apathy. With Rocky in town and about to wipe out the bad guys, it was almost obvious Bodin would have advanced the town meeting. I forced myself up, failed, struggled to reach the bench and put my weight on it to get as close as I could from the outside. What I could hear could be the usual animation of that lively town I knew, or it could be people going to the glass tower. I was imagining the crowd forming in front of Bodin and him and his gang aligned in beautiful theater. Elected by fame and guts. Just that thought was choking me.

So I could yell all I wanted, from my cell, without even knowing if the meeting had been advanced. But what were a couple days, really.
Back on my end, sit on the bench, I was licking my wounds silently when the guard came with my food. She called me, warned me, I let her do. In better days I would have cared to remember who she could possibly be. Right now she was just another townfolk, and that was already too much.

"Someone wants to see you." She told me while putting my meal on the floor. I didn't answer. My mind raced. Elizabeth, Patrick, Roland maybe. That kind of impossible hope at that last name, that I raced to quelch. With all the good names gone I began to worry.
She was about to leave, so I asked: "Who?" But my voice had weakened, so she didn't hear me, and I didn't have the will to ask again.
It was Karen. They probably assumed I wanted the visit, or didn't give me the choice. I looked at her approaching my door, through the bars, and tried to understand. Because I was fearing hope as much as I was fearing everything else.

Because Attalway hadn't been passive all this time. The town had its own struggles and its own ideas. As the highway crumbled, the result for this community had been a mixed bag. People were stopping in town, which on paper was nice. Except that included heroes and bad guys. When the Rash Claw came around, they thought the town was united in fighting them and their malevolence. Good guys hate bad guys. Turns out not everybody was of this opinion, and Karen was among them.

"What do you want?" I opened.

I was angry, but mostly at myself. She wasn't like Ted, but she sure was reminding me of my failure. And the thought that she was bringing me an escape was the worst. Because if there was such an opening, however slim, to turn the tide around, I knew I would take it.

She seemed appealed at my state. Shredded clothes aren't very esthetic. Me, I was noticing her formal ribbon.

"The town meeting?" I asked.

"Bodin advanced it. It's about to start."

"Stop him?" I smirked. And I looked behind her shoulder. First, because I had been put in jail for such words, and for all the clout and fame she had she wasn't above joining me. Second, because I wondered if that jailer of mine was sharing the tone. Third, because she had no army. And if she was here, my guess was she wanted to free me so I could convince a crowd not to go for blood.

"You still have allies." She scolded me, or more likely to keep her assurance. "If Bodin goes unopposed he will have his coalition ready to take arms, maybe march before the evening towards the Claw. Maybe he thinks at night we will have an advantage."
I couldn't tell if she was joking, because she had to be joking, but at this point anything was truly possible. She was here, hoping for me to save her. Relying on me when I wanted to rely on her. She had no idea how desperate things were.

But that was an opening.

"What do you care?" I burst, getting off the bench. "Fear we might lose? Fear the gunfight? Is that it, you just want Rocky to do all the dirty work!"

"Shut up!"

She had me up. I had her upset. Somehow that was reassuring for both of us. She wanted me to spill the beans, I wanted just as much.

"They will listen to you!" She insisted. "We can stop this madness but for that you must get out and confront Bodin! You want to let him win, like that, without even trying?"

"I already tried." I groaned.

"Well try harder! Or do you want to let Rocky destroy all we worked for so hard?!"

So turns out, it's hard to tell who is a good guy. Maybe there is a monster out there who can see right through people's intentions, but until then we only had our guts and instincts, and mine was to stop Bodin and a whole town from mindlessly attacking the Rash Claw. However heroic that heroic charge could sound like.

It was desperate, it was so desperate and that was making my blood boil. If she could get me out, yes, I would go and talk some sense to that entire crowd by myself.

She saw right through me. Called the guard, told her to release me. It was only the second time today that someone of high rank was asking that, and earlier it was Bodin of all folks, so she was pretty uncaring at this point. I left my cell as easy as that. Didn't have time for clothes. Went upstairs, opened the door, Karen on my tracks.

Upstairs there was Ted, Patrick and Elizabeth. Kelm, Ormin, Anis, Petra, Armand. And just as I thought they had it all planned, here was Meln rushing through the door, stopping just as surprised as I was. They had all come by themselves, at the news that Karen was going to see me, and just as it started a countdown for me to go and confront him, it also made me lose all reason. I was simply galvanized. Invincible.

The kind of state where you do every mistake possible.

Before I knew it, I was in the street. Before we knew it, people tried to stop us. Things like traitors belonging in cells, and how we would all pay. I shouted: "Well stop me!" and kept walking, and for some reason unknown to nature, that was enough. When we reached the glass tower, my crowd was at least half that of Bodin's.

Him and his troup had already begun their speech, saying enough was enough, bad guys are bad guys and how come we dared let that poor little girl with a gun who had wiped out the entire clan by herself fight alone?

I went straight through his crowd and the crowd opened. By what miracle I didn't know, didn't car, didn't have time for that. It was as if others could get burnt at my contact. Maybe it was me being beaten up, a bit bloody, a bit pitiful, or maybe it was me being anywhere but where I should be, doing anything but what I should do, or maybe they wanted for me to have a fight.

Up on the stage, I was just three meters away from Bodin. He threw a line about rats that I wouldn't listen to, and neither did the crowd. One more step and it was war.

"Well done, you won." I simply said.

And I made that step.

At this very instant I was isolated, one beast against twelve and my half of a crowd against his, knowing full well they wouldn't fight with me. But here I was, weak and tired, broken I could fairly say, and looking exactly for what Bodin had been advocating during all of those days. He wanted blood, we had an agreement. I made that step and had he held firm, I would have died so fast or fallen at his feet by the crowd beating me to submission.

But he did the one single thing he shouldn't have, and stepped back. A single second and for that crowd of beasts, he had lost all credibility.

I moved towards him as fast as he tried to escape, until my hand would clutch his neck. The next moment he was hurled down on the glass floor, and I looked at his acolytes. They could still turn this around, play strong and win. They backed down. So I turned my furious eyes at the crowd.

"Isn't it what we want? Blood?! Well come on! Kill me! I'm right here, I'm noone, come on, come and kill! Because that's what we are, beasts, understanding nothing but the law of the strongest, because that's all that exists and this whole town, all you have built, all you fight for, all of this is just an illusion! You were born to fight, raised to fight, you breathe to fight, isn't that all that we want? To feel good in the end? That good old adrenaline in our veins?!"

Why weren't they killing me, I couldn't tell. Just this morning they were calling for that, and now they were silent. A whole crowd of names I never spent enough time knowing, that would better listen to Bodin.

He was up again, helped by his gang, and he was waiting. I could tell he didn't like the bit of humiliation, but he was again all confident, snarky at my stupid speech.

He clapped a bit after I had finished and turned to him.

"Bravo, so compelling. And what do you propose we do?" He challenged me.

"We go and meet them, and we offer them a surrender."

"A surrender!" Bodin feigned to laugh. "Our little pacifist here wants to play nice with raiders! Maybe we should offer them flowers too!"
Hearing the crowd echo his joke a bit reassured me about the order of the world. I was just an attraction before the main meal. At least I wasn't crazy.

"Then we kill them, then we kill the next one, and the next ones, and the next!" I threatened him. "An endless war from the endless flow of the endless highway, until someone on the other side calls us raiders and sends little Rocky against us! Look at that town, they do drugs! And they are near our forest, now that deserves dying, right?!"

I dismissed his answer. He had the number but I had the stronger voice, and there was a whole crowd who was excited at this idea of going to war forever.

"Go home already! Nobody will attack you, nobody will come, nobody cares. Go fight out there, go kill but at least be honest, you'll spill blood for blood and for nothing else."

And with that I left the stage.

And that's pretty much the whole story for Attalway. As far as I understand, as soon as I left Karen took over, and they listened to her. Maybe it would have been enough, maybe it would have stopped nothing. I personally didn't care. I chased away all those who wanted to follow me. I had a last thing to do before I could die.

The only one I let tag along was Ted.

Call that weakness, but I couldn't just reject him like that. Didn't know how it would turn out but there I was, with him along for the ride, walking fast downtown and towards the suburbs. He didn't know what I was looking for. I knew where I had hidden my rifle.
I had lost. It was time for blood.

So here we went, near the edge of town, to that old house that was still unoccupied, remnant of the old raid. Went in, went up and to that empty room near the old boiler. And there, behind the boiler, my rifle, the scope and as much ammunition as I could carry at the time.

"What are we doing?" Ted asked, watching me take this rifle he had never seen.

He was worried. I was gone. I silently mounted the scope, then looked outside by the window. Open field towards the forest. I remembered all the nights where I wondered what I would do, if the clan had attacked Attalway, better days when those were just bad dreams of a faraway outcome. When all ends were still wide open. At that time, I supposed I would actually take post at that window, and defend this position as long as my courage or their patience would permit. It felt so heroic a behavior.

So I took position. Put a box on a chair, almost in the middle of the room, and fixed my rifle on it. Surprisingly stable. With that I went sitting near the window.

And the waiting began.

"Talk to me, come on," Ted pleaded, "don't do something stupid."

"What do you think I'm doing?" I asked him.

He was just happy that I answered, and even happier that I sounded more bored than angry. He couldn't tell the calm before the storm.

"I don't know, maybe you think the clan will attack and you will defend the town."

"Yeah, me alone against two thousands." I sighed. "And why do you think the clan would attack?"

"Well, we just killed a dozen of their guys this morning, so there is that."

Fair point. I would be pretty mad too under those circumstances. Which was a good thing because I was pretty mad, period.
"Also, we threaten their grip on the highway."

"How." I stopped him. "How does this bloody town threaten in any way their grip on anything? At all? Ted, why do you think they are here?"

"I know why you say they are here." He retorted.

Not like I had repeated it again and again. In every way I knew how. The militia wanted to restore the highway. Maybe because the highway was beyond valuable, compared to that little town of Attalway. Maybe because, long after all of this was over, and the woods had turned into a crater, people would still try to restore the supreme highway without even knowing there was such a town as Attalway.

I checked through the window. Still nothing. But that was the main route to and from the woods.

"Eh, eh," Ted forced me to look at him. "Don't you trust me?"

I gave him a good look.

"We're waiting for Rocky."

"What for?"

I gave a single look at the gun. He didn't immediately understand. I thought it was pretty clear.

It's true that, just two days ago, all I would have cared for was to avoid bloodshed between the clan and the town. It's true that I wouldn't even have understood the mad beast who would have been at my place. But we were two days later and this was all my selfish self could think of. The town was lost. All was lost. This was the only fight that mattered anymore.

A look at the window. And just to answer my prayer, here she was. Rocky, that little girl, looking a bit roughed up by the hard fights she no doubt had. She had almost stained her suit. Almost. Couldn't tell through my binoculars.

Had I stopped for another second, had I been omniscient too, I would have noticed the expression she had.

But in the end, I was just a beast. So I got up, went behind my rifle and aimed. Ted shouted at me to stop, to think about what I was doing. I told him he was free to try and stop me. He tried. He didn't know I was trained for combat.

So here I was, in my big cell, still trapped, around me three walls of wooden lies and a window to eternity. A rifle chambered to kill elephants, aimed at a little girl who was walking in the middle of nowhere, happy to save that town of poor folks from the bad guys.
After a last breath, a last second, I took my shot.

I missed.

She didn't understand immediately, just stood there for two good seconds even as I was shooting again. Horrible how the recoil could crush my shoulder, how the box would wobble at each shot, and already it was too late. She inexplicably threw herself on the ground, right out in the open, and I took a third shot that grazed her. At this point my breathing was really hampering my aim.

She fired back, with her own rifle without a scope, two or three shots that made me take cover. I took my rifle, rushed through the door, barely stopping at the thought of Ted. But he risked nothing. She wouldn't kill him. She would save him from the bad guy I was.
A part of me was thinking that I was rushing down and out of the house to go fight her. The rest knew better, that I was trying to flee. The whole town had heard the gunshots and would come see what was happening, but I didn't care about that. I had lost the element of surprise and that had no importance. What was really make my heart beat so fast was that I had her in my scope, as clear as day, at a distance where I could have it a single coin thrown in the air, and I had missed her three times.

It is a kind of irrationnal fear when your instinct tells you you are fighting a monster.

Looking behind me, I saw her pursuing me. The little girl, faster than the older beast. There was nowhere in town to hide, so I went for the hill, up the slope, towards the highway. Running out of endurance fast, but still holding to my rifle as if it was all I had left in life.
I had failed. I couldn't even kill her. Never had the gears of this world been so tangible.

When I turned around to take another shot, maybe just to pin her down, really out of despair, I recognized the sight. It was how I approached Attalway the first time. I had left the highway, turned the hill and discovered the suburb. I was all surprised that this town existed, and I had spent a whole hour hidden in the bushes, looking at it in the binoculars.

The shot missed. Of course the shot missed.

She fired back and hit my leg. Of course she hit my leg.

I was crying, probably, out of pain and that mix of feeling when you can't even fight. I had a swarm of faces I hadn't seen in a month in my head, covering those of the town. I was tired, and this morning a friend of mine had died.

Nobody ever cared about Attalway. Live and let live, maybe trade with them if they wanted, help with logistic. But no, Attalway wanted blood. An accident here, a shooting there and soon you have a mess. It's hard to deescalate when noone wants to take blame.
I had dragged myself as far as my body would endure. She was approaching, watching me struggle from her little height. I couldn't say I feared her. But I was panicked.

My rifle had become too heavy for me to even point at her.

So here she stood, the little girl who had buried all chances of peace. She wanted so much to be the hero, and folks like Bodin had told her with such honesty that those were raiders who were evil and deserved to die. And now, looking at me like that, after I had tried to kill her, she had made up her mind. I just wished I had taken a grenade.

"I know who you are." She told me with her cold, dramatic voice. "You work for the clan."

Eventually, I was just a beast. Blood boiling at the idea of a fight. Maybe it was because this town looked peaceful, so unfamiliar to my usual life, that I thought there could be more. And here it was. What more there was. A little girl with a gun, saving towns from bad guys. Shooting me dead for being evil.

But she turned away and let me live. Because it made her feel good.

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il y a 5 ans 5 mois #20779 par Imperator
Réponse de Imperator sur le sujet Attalway
Pour être honnête, il me manque un premier degré de lecture pour ce texte. J'entends, je peux tenter d'imaginer que derrière les mots se cache une sort d'analogie politico-sociale que je n'ai pas cherché à explorer dans le détail parce que je n'ai pas le temps.

Mais tout le texte est lent, lourd et cryptique. Plus que tout, il est sombre.

Franchement, je conseillerais de prendre le même texte et de lui donner une forte teinte humoristique. Le décalage entre le côté humoristique, presque loufoque, et le fond extrêmement sérieux voire sordide du texte devrait suffire à attirer l'attention et à créer une une atmosphère intéressante tout en laissant le lecteur lambda profiter d'une aventure amusante quoique dérangeante par certains côtés.

C'est un peu la seule manière que j'aie trouvée de faire un commentaire qui puisse être constructif, parce que le fond de mon commentaire est que j'ai remarqué lorsque je suis arrivé à "But enough catching up." que je ne savais rien sur la ville, rien sur le clan, rien sur la petite fille et rien sur le narrateur ni sur aucun des motifs des personnages, donc qu'en gros je n'avais aucune raison de m'intéresser à l'histoire.

"Then she left, then we stayed, then the clan stayed too. And so I got arrested, and then she came back and she asked why I was in jail. They explained, because I was a traitor, and she wouldn't believe it."
Peut-être que je me fais vieux, mais ça va beaucoup trop vite pour moi. Des gens dont j'ignore tout font des choses sans que je sache si c'est normal ou pas, puis le narrateur se fait arrêter sans qu'on sache par qui, comment ou pourquoi, puis la fillette revient on ne sait d'où ou comment, on apprend que le narrateur est un traître mais on ne sait pas pourquoi et elle ne le croit pas pour une raison qui m'échappe complètement.
Pour expliquer mon désarroi, voici un morceau de texte:
"Puis les octopuciens attaquèrent et vint la pluie, puis le dégel et la fleur dans mon jardin fana alors que je trouvais la bouteille qui me permettrait de rembourser ma dette."

Désolé si mon commentaire a une connotation trop négative, mais de par mes principes, c'était ça ou me taire...

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il y a 5 ans 5 mois #20780 par Vuld Edone
Réponse de Vuld Edone sur le sujet Attalway
Non, aucun problème avec ça. C'est un problème de longue date.
Il était presque minuit, j'ai écrit ça sur un coup de sang et je n'avais pas du tout envie de prendre du temps pour planter le décor. Il suffit de voir ensuite à quel point les descriptions sont lacunaires -- par exemple Ted, dont on ne sait strictement rien.

C'est le genre de texte que normalement on ne partage pas, mais eh.

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il y a 5 ans 5 mois - il y a 5 ans 5 mois #20792 par Imperator
Réponse de Imperator sur le sujet Attalway
Faut voir. Y a des idées exploitables. Mais cela mets aussi en lumière l'absence de réflexes instinctifs dans l'écriture "du moment". Un réflexe en début de texte devrait être de se concentrer sur les informations à donner au lecteur. Pas de manière rationnelle, mais émotionnelle.
Je ne suis pas sûr de comment y parvenir, mais ça me semble un important réflexe à créer pour quelqu'un qui écrit beaucoup.

Après j'en reviens à ma vieille théorie de l'enjeu. Un texte devrait donner un enjeu d'entrée de jeu, puis, si besoin, passer à l'enjeu suivant, etc... Mais le lecteur devrait toujours avoir un enjeu auquel s'intéresser. Pour ce texte, l'enjeu à mes yeux devrait vraiment être la survie de la petite ville, puis la survie du narrateur et de la petite fille, en s'amusant à rendre ces deux enjeux inconciliables en fin de texte.

Une solution aurait été de mettre l'accent sur la fragilité de la petite ville durant l'introduction, en lui associant l'espoir pour les familles qui y habitent et la civilisation en général. Parfois par des choses aussi stupides qu'un personnage étrange mais sympathique qui symboliserait la communauté (un mec qui, après le travail aux champs, ferait des figurines en bois pour les enfants). Cela permettrait du reste de récupérer ce personnage comme ami du narrateur...

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il y a 5 ans 5 mois #20807 par Iggy Grunnson
Réponse de Iggy Grunnson sur le sujet Attalway

Après j'en reviens à ma vieille théorie de l'enjeu. Un texte devrait donner un enjeu d'entrée de jeu, puis, si besoin, passer à l'enjeu suivant, etc... Mais le lecteur devrait toujours avoir un enjeu auquel s'intéresser.

Je prend juste un moment pour commenter ce point en particulier.

Habituellement c'est un réflexe bien ancré chez moi aussi de présenter clairement les enjeux dès le départ. Or récemment je me suis retrouvé à écrire un texte pour lequel l'enjeu central n'apparaît que très progressivement, et j'ai constaté que ça laissait plus de place aux personnages pour exister.

En gros, définir l'enjeu conduit bien souvent à tracer une ligne dans le sable séparant les personnages en deux camps (ceux qui veulent qu'une chose se produise / ceux qui veulent l'empêcher). On peut toujours essayer de rendre plus floue cette frontière par la suite, mais il y a un fond de manichéisme qu'on ne peut pas dépasser il me semble.

En gardant l'enjeu de l'histoire "secret", chaque personnage évolue selon sa propre trajectoire et c'est au lecteur de se faire une idée de qui est "gentil" et qui est "méchant". Quitte à ce qu'il ait une bonne surprise au moment où effectivement l'enjeu se révèle et où les différents personnages sont forcés de prendre position.


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