Action Figures
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stadarooni
stadarooniEmpathy is the human superpower.
Autoplay OFF  •  5 months ago
What does reality feel like? A short story based on a prompt from @skye!

Action Figures

Ink bleeds out of my fingertips like dreams decaying into dawn.

I sketch a pastoral portrait that seems to flutter my fantasies into fairytales:

I sketch a pastoral portrait that seems to flutter my fantasies into fairytales: Hazel horses and prairie pleasantries that glitter the gates of my gleeful gambol.

Yet, what if the layers peel off to unmask a machine of mankind?

Do my nerves weep and whisper warhorses and

Do my nerves weep and whisper warhorses and worship gold that grinds into ghastly grime,

Do my nerves weep and whisper warhorses and worship gold that grinds into ghastly grime, alliterating my art like an assassination of bubble-wrapped hallucinations?

Suddenly, fantasy seems to fade into fire.

There are many realities, it seems.

There are many realities, it seems. I shouldn’t think of fire or the future – yet,

There are many realities, it seems. I shouldn’t think of fire or the future – yet, are those the same?

Any answer antagonistically aspires itself to isolation inked in illustration,

Any answer antagonistically aspires itself to isolation inked in illustration, beyond the coloured calms of huckleberry hills that splotch my own runaway reverie.

The breeze breathes and exhales ecstasy.

I am alone in a sunset sea of sanguine serenity.

Delight twirls and twinkles my cottage into a castle;

Delight twirls and twinkles my cottage into a castle; redwoods and rainbows uplift into a wonderland.

Delight twirls and twinkles my cottage into a castle; redwoods and rainbows uplift into a wonderland. Lullabied love pirouettes and duets with daydreams through fantasia.

I can paint truths over the action figures that mar broken promises.

Hope hues hearts like children of cherry cheer,

Hope hues hearts like children of cherry cheer, pastel pleasures of pink prance their pigments onto watercolour wonders.

Hope hues hearts like children of cherry cheer, pastel pleasures of pink prance their pigments onto watercolour wonders. We need pink in lives that verse grey gloss without glamour.

But suddenly, the grey gushes gloom through jet-fighter screams.

Despair downpours and scrapes the sky,

Despair downpours and scrapes the sky, butchers the blue,

Despair downpours and scrapes the sky, butchers the blue, hemorrhages the heartache of morose memories.

A figurine – no, a man – hovers over the horizon like a superhero statuette,

A figurine – no, a man – hovers over the horizon like a superhero statuette, but impales gazes of judgment like an iron maiden.

His mask – engraved in animal pride – is a menagerie of marvel and madness.

“You’ve been missing for some time, Commander.

“You’ve been missing for some time, Commander. What’s the use in setting up in the countryside?

“You’ve been missing for some time, Commander. What’s the use in setting up in the countryside? Nothing here besides ponies and picnics,” he said.

“You aren’t supposed to be here, Carter.

“You aren’t supposed to be here, Carter. That hushed casket around your body is not armour.

You’re draped in a cape of missiles and propaganda.

Unlike you, I won’t be blindfolded like an indoctrinated child,” I respond.

“You’re a real wizard of words now, aren’t you?

“You’re a real wizard of words now, aren’t you? You know, you once used to protect people and you loved it.

“You’re a real wizard of words now, aren’t you? You know, you once used to protect people and you loved it. You then turned a blind eye on the world and now expect to live as some nomad?”

“I see the shattered shadows of your world, but I’m done.

“I see the shattered shadows of your world, but I’m done. I don’t take pleasure in paparazzi that piles like corpses,

applauding the televised terrors that we are –

applauding the televised terrors that we are – that I was.

We aren't heroes, we're war machines.

We aren't heroes, we're war machines. How do you believe in freedom through fear?”

“Look at the horses.

“Look at the horses. Look at that nice cabin of yours.

“Look at the horses. Look at that nice cabin of yours. Don’t talk about ‘my world’; it’s ours.

“Look at the horses. Look at that nice cabin of yours. Don’t talk about ‘my world’; it’s ours. We’re the good guys, Commander.

Come home with me.

Come home with me. It’s not too late.”

“I’m sorry, Carter.

“I’m sorry, Carter. That isn’t home.”

“We were your team.

“We were your team. What happened to that?”

“Our futures were expended so their wars can look as good as they do on VHS.

“Our futures were expended so their wars can look as good as they do on VHS. We were brainwashed in algorithms, Carter.

Used.

What you think we are –

What you think we are – Superheroes, action figures –

that only happens in fiction.”

“What about that painting that you’re working on, then?

“What about that painting that you’re working on, then? How is that any more real than I am?”

All of a sudden, our worlds ignited like fire

All of a sudden, our worlds ignited like fire in an insurrection on imagination.

My world is like another action figure.

Why does reality feel make-believe?

(Aside) So, this is my first piece in a long time AND something a bit different from normal. I wanted to write a short story on a prompt that @skye gave me, and this is what I came up with. :)

I hope that it isn't too confusing, but I also hope that it is open to some interpretation on its meaning. I was inspired by a few things, here, both in terms of 'high' culture and 'low' culture. (I hate those terms, but I am not sure what else to call them.)

That includes the Marvel movies (I imagined 'Carter' as an Iron Man-like figure), Nineteen Eighty-Four, Halo, the rock band Muse, and postmodernism. I hope that you all found it interesting and liked it! :D (I even toned down the alliteration, haha!)

In terms of the narrator, in case it wasn't clear (I don't like unnatural exposition in stories to explain plot), they were the former leader of a 'superhero' team that got disillusioned. I wanted to do a more introspective look at superheroes and their impact, so yeah. :)

Take care, Commaful, and keep on writing! Stay awesome! <3

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