Spoken – Short Story by Brody Lystang

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Below is a short story written by my younger brother.  Whom, after you read this will be astonished he’s only…  16 years old.  I read this last night, and it took me about an hour to get through it.  I had to stop myself every paragraph it seemed, and remind myself A) This was written by a 16 YO kid. B) This was written by my brother.

This is utterly amazing, and I can honestly say one of the best short stories I have ever read.  Have yourself a read.

Brody…  Great job on this.  I still can not find words to justify how incredibly good this is, and how proud I am of you.  I think you have found your calling.  Keep writing so I can retire in a few years! #HankMoody

SPOKEN
Written By: Brody Lystang  

                        Dry Hands cradled Jeremy’s head as he leaned forward in his chair, Streaks of red and thoughts of angst swarmed his mind only to be interrupted by the sound of a friendly yet unwelcome “hey!” Jeremy’s hands lowered to reveal a face of constant indifference as his eyes adjusted to the rays of light that pounded the carnival grounds his surroundings were revealed to him. He sat in a poorly built shack that housed the carnival game he was in charge of, across the front of the building hung a sign that read “2 in wins” this was accompanied by similarly decorated banners graced with the same slogan hung around the inside of the structure. Behind him lay a row of baskets and stuffed toys, all of which was covered by a even coat of dust. Jeremy slowly rose from his chair, stretched and stepped forward revealing the words “angry chair” carved onto his former seat “If ross catches you snoozing he will have your ass you know” Jeremy faked a smirk and wandered towards his dark haired friend “And if he catches you out of your stall he will have yours ” Him a Ron shared a laugh. “Pretty packed today huh?” Ron stated, Jeremy peered out of his shack and and nodded while examining the grounds, Carnival rides and and tents stared back at him along with the thousand or so attendees that accompanied them. The song “If 6 was 9” by Jimi Hendrix blared over the loudspeakers Jeremy smiled.

Jeremy sauntered home from work reflecting on the day’s events until he stood at the foot of the house that was his mother’s. he peered over to the driveway of the one floor building acknowledging the fact that his mother’s boyfriend had yet to arrive, he still had time. Quickly entering the home he was greeted by the aroma of alcohol and the sight of  his mother lying on the couch asleep he Shifted towards his room. The door was a somber grey and as he pushed it open the inner contents flooded into sight, paintings and drawings covered the room apart from a closet and a small dresser with medication bottles sprawled atop. The pictures consisted of hastefully drawn images of mountaintops dawning a lone man atop of them with human like figures lining the base of the mountain below. The one exception to this trend was a picture that dawned the resemblance of a women, blonde hair flowed towards the edges of the paper she donned a judgmental face with noticeably alive eyes that seemingly pierced the conscious. Jeremy glared back at her and his face of indifference changed to that of Longing and despair, he feared the oncoming day. His focus changed to a record player that lay beside his bed, vinyls stood stacked beside it. He walked over reaching for the first one, Large bold letters spelling the phrase “The Who” reached back at him, he slipped the record out of its sleeve and set it into the machine the song “Acid Queen” greeted him. He shuffled over to his dresser and searched throughout his medication, he raised a bottle labeled “Anti DeathPressants” and opened its cap. Removing its contents he placed a small purple tablet onto his tongue and proceeded to lay on his bed, closing his eyes he slipped into the void. Streaks of colors leaked into his mind and the once black vision became a flurry of colors, Images shot throughout his mind all adorning hues of blue and green. A distorted yet calming filter washed his mind clean and for the first time in the day jeremy was calm, he relaxed his body and fell further into his mind. A scene of people screaming as a red substance flew towards them played out in front of him until the the echo of a slammed door pulled Jeremy from his dream. Disgruntled Jeremy rolled to the side of his bed quickly raising the needle from the record. Rae was home, and Jeremy did not wish to draw attention to himself, slowly but surely the sounds that adorned Jeremy’s ears every night began to play out. What started with hushed aggravated voices turned into that of loud violent screams accompanied by the sound of objects being thrown and glass being smashed. Hate spewed from the two voices until the sound of skin slapping against skin silenced them both. Jeremy’s eyes wandered towards the raw skin adorning a purple bruise on his arm. Weeping could be heard and the male voice began to overpower the competition, the beating continued until a abruptly shut door gave way to silence. Jeremy rolled over and closed his eyes however this time there was no void to escape too.

Jeremy sat in his shack in anticipation listening to the loudspeaker at the carnival grounds, the song “I want you” by the beatles echoed aloud. The weather at Coney Island had cooled and the number of attendees dwindled. A figure approached jeremy’s stall, as she stepped closer jeremy could make out the blonde hair that he regularly admired. Arriving at the stall she stared at jeremy, she wore a familiar judgmental face along with alive eyes. Jeremy smiled and stood up to greet her for the last time “I leave soon” she said in a low tone “I know” Jeremy replied. They walked throughout the grounds and conversed on there dreams and aspirations, they spoke of her new home and the amount of pain they would suffer without each other, they spoke of their love and what they meant to each other, they joked about marriage and played out “what if” scenarios that most certainly would never occur. They did this until the sun set over the carnival grounds and Jeremy muttered the last words he would ever speak to the girl he loved, “Goodbye Sarah” and with those parting words she was gone.

Jeremy wandered into his house in disarray his mother sat at the dinner table with a bottle of whiskey propped beside her. At the sight of this Jeremy’s mind finally gave way, he strayed from his usually path towards his room and approached his mother. “Thats enough” he exclaimed reaching for the bottle, his mother put out a hand and gripped the bottle before Jeremy could. Jeremy pulled the bottle away from, her silence followed. His mother turned to face  the now heavily breathing Jeremy. dead eyes stared at Jeremy and as his own eyes widened, he recalled a similar look he had seen upon another’s face before. She raised her hand and struck him.

Alone in his room Jeremy sat upon his bed with his head in his hands, Tears soaked the bed sheets. The song “Space Oddity” by David Bowie blared from his record player, He brooded and pondered his situation for hours. The pictures once covering his room now all lay crumpled and ruined on the floor aside from the portrait of Sarah which was now missing from its spot, his pill bottles lay scattered and empty throughout the room. Jeremy raised his head and now like his mother dawned dead eyes. He walked over to his dresser and pulled an envelope from his top drawer along with a small circular object, He then took a deep breath and reached for his bottom drawer.

Jeremy arrived to the carnival grounds late the next day, he was greeted by Ron “Hey man where have you been?” Jeremy ignored his question “Hey can you do me a favor and mail this envelope for me, i’m not gonna be around after” Ron smirked and nodded “No problem man” Jeremy smiled and began to walk to his stall, he noticed that the loudspeakers were not playing any music. As he entered the shack a group of people arrived eagre to play, Jeremy set a black backpack he had brought with down at the back of the building and inspected its contents. “Hey! can we play?” a voice behind him asked, Jeremy ignored it “Hey! Kid!” Jeremy closed his eyes and replied “Yep just let me finish up” He pulled the gun from his bag and turned around placing it in his mouth, dead eyes stared at him, he pulled the trigger.

Sarahs mom entered her room, “A envelop came for you.” she said whilst handing it to her. Sarah tore open the parcel and emptied it onto her desk, a small golden ring fell out along with a large folded sheet of paper, Sarah lifted the sheet and unfolded it, alive blue eyes stared back at her.

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