almost flora kane

United States

my pen name is flora kane. i'm a slytherin, infp-t, christian, and generally insane. joined 3.30.2018.

~ will do reviews on request ~

new series: all we see (blackout poetry of the book "all the light we cannot see." updates every day?)

Message to Readers

the bones of all my left behind ideas litter the ground behind me like stepping stones across the river.

a world of gray (title ideas pleases)

February 18, 2021

FREE WRITING

4
It is dusk in the city. The kind of twilight that takes a face with both hands, cupping curves in shadow. So similar, perhaps, to any other night, an ordinary person wouldn’t acknowledge the minute differences which set this twilight apart from any other. It is simpler, it seems, to ignore such a time. 
    Luis Santoro wants to ignore it all tonight. Everything, from rustles and swishes in alleyways to his own dress shoes making rhythms on the sidewalk. The cars, too. Oh, the cars. He’s convinced they’re the reason he can’t forget about anything. Maybe if there weren’t so many cars in a dusk like this, he’d be able to let his head go fuzzy, drunk on almost sleep. 
    Luis stops in front of a 24-hour drug store. He should go in. Get a pint of ice cream. What’s cake anyway? He could try to get whatever’s closest to a beer. It’s his birthday tomorrow, after all. Only a few more hours until he’s nineteen. Luis, the big brother. Or really, only older. You can’t be a big brother if you don’t have a brother, he thinks, watching a light flicker inside the door. Younger siblings can’t become older siblings just because one of them’s dead. Right? He doesn’t know, and it scares him. Luis turns back down the street. 
    Close to a crosswalk, a woman waits for the light to turn green. Her eyes catch fire in the orange of a streetlight. Luis doesn’t notice. He makes it to the crosswalk as she begins to walk across the blacktop. It’s like a play, how the scene is set. 
    The lights of a car scream death as he glances backward. Luis recognizes those lights. They don’t break, they shatter. Shards of windshield and bone collecting with gravel on the street. The woman sees it coming too late. Luis can’t see her face. 
    It’s all brown skin, curly hair, and terrified eyes. Those, at least, are hers. It’s the face of Will, the one Luis has imagined for almost three years. The face of a last breath. The face of a lost brother. 
    Luis is there before he even decides to move. Throwing himself at the woman - no - Will, without a single thought to how it will end. For a split second, he almost smiles. 
    The woman crashes to the ground, screeching in time with the brakes of the car. It rings in his ears, but he refuses to close his eyes. Icarus echoes in the burning dusk, staring into death as one mortal man. 
    Luis sees it then. A great cloud opens upon this little piece of Earth, a swirling mass of transparent gray. It swallows the car into its depths. For one second, a cry of  “No!” splits through his head. 
    The woman sits up after a long minute. Luis manages to ask if she’s okay. Nodding, dazed, she runs to her apartment building on the other side of the street. She will chalk up the whole incident to having too much to drink. A trick of the light, maybe. 
    Luis sits in the street for another moment, repeating what he saw in his mind. His body aches, but the tips of his fingers feel as if static electricity is jumping from ring fingers to thumbs and back again. It itches, for some odd reason. Pressing his hands onto the blacktop, Luis pushes himself up, barely. Another shivering circle pulses where his right hand was a second ago. It glows bright white in the middle, a star surrounded by a man-made sky. Luis remembers his fingers slipping into the puddle like they were dipped in a bucket of ice water. The static left his fingertips then. 
    A car is coming down the street now. Luis shakes his head, glancing down where the shape lies. Go away, he thinks, don’t do it again. Somehow, it shrinks in size. Luis steps toward the sidewalk, staring at the star until it’s a pinprick, until it’s nothing. 
    The static is stronger again. He can feel it in the soles of his feet, and climbing up his wrists. Luis begins to walk faster. He wants to go to bed, and pretend none of this ever happened. Maybe he’s dreaming. 
    No, there’s itching. There’s pain. There’s blood. Luis takes his electric fingers to his forehead. Red is dripping into his left eye. The adrenaline hasn’t worn off yet, and he wipes the cut with the end of his untucked button-down. He can’t feel it hurting.
    Luis blinks, and it’s gone.

    In memory’s place there is only a gray void. He’s home, yet on the couch he’s only used when he’s sick. There’s a bandage on his forehead. It burns. Luis didn’t mean to think come to the power, its presence was flickering in his consciousness when he woke. All of a sudden, it’s there again. A pulsing shape, floating above the coffee table. No longer bright and pure, the cloud is dark and rippling, an ocean on an almost stormy night. Luis sits up, facing the thing. He notices its edge of gray, a ring similar to the one last night. Focusing on it, Luis can feel the circle even as he closes his eyes. Reaching out with his right hand, he sees it. A mark of gray. A freckle beating in time with the larger figure, about the size of a quarter, where his hand meets his wrist. 
    The cloud jumps as Luis jerks his hand back into his body. He rubs the mark and it quivers at the touch of his silver electricity. Glancing up, he throws his hands out at the mass. It doesn’t move. Luis tenses, embarrassed even though he’s alone. Making a fist, the size lessens with the movement. Again. It changes shape and size. He spends time testing these deliberate actions which bend the matter at a flash of static. 
    Eventually, he calls it to disappear, taking mere seconds as a break before throwing his arm out to the right. The sweeping motion flings books, dishes, and boxes across the room with lamps and the dining room chairs following in step. He lurches to his feet to try to silence the crashing. Realizing, finally, how his head is throbbing, he starts falling in another blink. 

    This time, Luis remembers. The long days on the couch and around his apartment stick rigid in his brain as he practices controlling these pockets of transparent mass. Sometimes, they’re the bright, shining white, pure and unbroken. Other times the darkness seems to grasp all the light in the room and tug toward nothingness. More comfortable, Luis decided, are the pieces of gray space. The consequences of it have littered the room, and more gray freckles have grown on his body. 
    Like heroes in movies he’s wondered about becoming a vigilante. Putting on a pair of tights and taking a cab to the nearest future crime scene. Most days, however, Luis only watches the news. 
    In the minutes between making objects disappear into these- these portals, as he’s named them, there’s been a lot of publicity over a groundbreaking discovery. There’s a metal we haven’t discovered until now, the reporter states, and scientists are wondering if this is the material which will save our world from decline. Her voice is heard, like many others, over the metal referred to as the Kosslyn Sample, recognition for the man responsible. 
    The Kosslyn is being distributed across the world for experimentation, and one of the pieces lands in a building seventeen blocks from his apartment. It can’t be a coincidence, he argues this while laying on the floor after a particularly exhausting session. Luis decides, then, to take up a post to watch the building.
    He has the time, well, he’s taken the time off his job, sick day after sick day, to figure out what he can do. Sleep schedule flipped, he wonders if he’ll be able to go back at all when time runs out. College is starting in a month, and he thinks of that too. Going back for another semester, learning things he doesn’t care about. This life is better. Luis feels alive with this ability. There’s a certain sense of power he couldn’t get from anything else.
    He blinks, and time swirls again. 

    On the third night of waiting in an alley near the Kosslyn’s hold building, Luis watches a girl walk past the doors another time. It’s late in the night. He's been there since sundown, but so has she. With dark clothes on, it’s hard to make out her features from his place across the street. This time, however, she slips in the doors. 
    He follows. The lock is broken from the inside. The only light inside is dim and spotty. He melts into the background before anyone sees. Luis wouldn’t know, but the girl watches him from the shadows. Once he’s out of sight, she continues into the lobby. In the large room, a receptionist desk breaks the space, spanning the center of the space. Symmetry, Luis thinks. This whole room is symmetrical. A guard walks away from the girl unknowingly.
    Taking a faster pace, she makes it behind the desk with measured disturbance. The building looks upward two floors or so before falling into offices. From balconies the hired security is pointing and whispering into earpieces. They begin moving toward the stairs as the first few men reach the center of the lobby. Raising guns and motioning with practiced actions, one of them clears the table to look around. Without warning, he falls out of view. Luis sees all of this from near the doors, except for how the man has truly disappeared. Those around the desk try to shake off their confusion. They don’t get the time. 
    It is as if an explosion has gone off in the center of the room. Men arch through the air, guns flying away from them as the girl stands. Her arms are outstretched, pushing force away from her. Luis recognizes this power as the same which threw his apartment into chaos days ago. 
    From above, guards have opened fire. Gunshots fracture the silence. Some are running to the ground floor. A portal has opened above her, taking bullets into darkness. It moves with her as she steps toward a hallway. Stairs, Luis reads from a sign on the wall. Security begins streaming from the doors. Just as fast they are thrown out of the way. Her hands follow the blasts, fingers flicking in the directions of their paths. 
    Like he did with the woman in the street, Luis doesn’t think about running until he’s halfway to the corridor. A radio host’s voice is in his head. A highly sophisticated vault, located under the existing architecture, is where the sample will be stored.
    Luis’s pounding feet seem louder than the bullets as he sprints to the other side of the room. Symmetry is one thing they value in this building. 
    Caught up in the action, the girl has forgotten about him. She brushed off his presence for a ghost’s. 
    His fingertips brush the railings as he hurries down the stairs. Praying the bottom is where he needs to be, Luis shoves the door open without touching the handle. It slams against the outer wall as he finds himself at the end of a white corridor. His heartbeat doesn’t slow while he pauses, struck by the brightness of the space. 
    Seeing yet another door, he starts moving again. His steps are cautious now, with adrenaline still pulsing toward his palms. The last thing he wants to do is set off an alarm. Though, Luis reasons, my abilities pale in comparison to hers. Facing the girl without a power above her seems hopeless in his mind. 
    The metal of the door shines as he comes closer. Didn’t I see this in a movie once? He thinks. It’s humorous and stupid, but he’s twitching now, nervous energy collecting in his legs and arms. Luis shakes his hands, placing them on the vault door. One chance. If I don’t get it now, something is going to go wrong, he decides. No pressure. 
    The door should swing toward him. How to get the pulse to move backwards, Luis doesn’t know. Running out of time, he takes a deep breath, closing his eyes and feeling the sting of conductivity flowing into his wrists. He imagines the orbit of the moon around the Earth, the turn, the pull, of gravity to come back, and come back again. An ellipse, a star flicking again toward nothing, and turning toward something again. It feels like the size of a pea, a pebble, or a marble, a tangible thing that he can roll between his thumb and finger. 
    On another exhale, Luis throws the energy forward. The power alone would be enough to throw an entire crowd away. He believes it to be so much smaller, manageable... A pulse that taps the empty space inside the vault, and turns toward something again. 
    The pressure ripping the door from its locks’ flings his half-empty body against the wall. The noise shudders, echoing into concrete and earth. The ground itself trembles, and the girl above realizes, then, what has happened. No, she whispers, struck still in a room of bodies. Adrenaline rushes through her veins for the first time as she rushes to the stairwell. 
    By the time she arrives, the heaving metal coughs again in the empty room. 

    Air has returned to Luis’s lungs by the twenty-first second of waiting. It’s stuttering and painful, but the cube in his hand is cold, bringing sensation back to the right side of his body first. Dying, he wonders, am I dying? 
On the rooftop of the building wind whips around his face, caressing the line of his jaw, stuttering his gasps for oxygen. He’s on the edge, two feet of concrete is the only thing keeping him from slipping over the side. Not dying, he determines. Alive, alive, alive. Luis tries to recall the last scrambling minute, but there’s just tripping on next steps and blurry number after number.
    The bang of the door opening registers. At once, his eyes are open, and the cube which holds the Kosslyn is held out. It hangs over the expanse of city-space, far above the busy street below. He can’t find her. 
    In the shadows, she observes him in the dull artificial light. He turns to glance out at the skyline, and her breath catches. The left side of his face, from ear to his collar, is covered in gray. The consequence for all of his practice, and the blast that already seems so long ago.
    “Who are you?” She asks evenly, though a subtle braid of fear shoots through her stomach. I can’t help you, stupid boy. 
    “Does it matter?” Luis manages. 
    “Always.” She says, after moving away from the spot she stood. “I’m Viola.”
    “Luis Santoro.” 
    “You need to go home Luis,” Viola pushes. She steps out of the shadows to stand in his sight. “You don’t understand this.”
    “I understand well enough, and --” The feeling of power climbing through the building, the soles of his feet, shocks him along with the spattering of gray freckles all over her pale face.  “I can’t let you have it. One step closer and I drop it.” She fades back into the shadows at his words. He waits for his static to reappear. Viola moves around him in darkness. I can’t, she wonders. Can I? Gritting her teeth, she pulls a dagger from a strap at her thigh. 
    “Please, Luis, don’t do this.” 
    “Why? What do you want with the Kosslyn?” Luis pulls his strength together. Come out, come out wherever you are, he smiles. I will throw you over the edge. 
    “It will save our world,” she says slowly. “Reality is changing.”
    “How?” 
    “You can see it. So can I.” Readying herself to come into the light, Viola chooses her words carefully. “The gray space chose you.” 

    It takes less than a second for him to see her. In that same second, Luis expels all of the remaining force he has at the girl’s body. A black portal opens in front of her, swallowing the power into its depths, and disappearing again. She sighs.
“Please, Luis.” She’s behind him now, her voice leaving kisses of desperate hope blooming on his neck. 
    “Never.” He says softly, weakly. “You’re lying to me.”
    “I wouldn’t lie to you.” Viola’s blade presses against his throat, drawing a deep line in blood on his skin. “You were chosen for death.” 
    Even in his weakened state, he holds on to the box, still hanging off the rooftop. Falling to his knees, she catches him from falling. Blood pools down his front, and she replaces her dagger with trembling hands. Luis chokes, trying to say something. 
    “Shh… I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry Luis.” Viola shushes him, leaning his body against the wall. 
    Dying, he wonders. Is it so bad to die? After all of this, should I want to die? He remembers that night, where he was so eager to give up his life for that woman. The way he wanted to go. Finally, something within him murmurs while his body reaches the end. Luis looks up to the sky, thinking of Will in the stars and reliving the day he died. Watching the drunk man’s car shatter his whole world. This time, he’s in the passenger seat, next to his brother, and they’re going. Traveling somewhere, heading home. 

    Viola watches him take his last breath, kneeling next to his body. The little bit of static left in his fingertips joins the cube as it almost drops. The Kosslyn, she thinks. Is it worth it? Through tears, she steps up on the ledge, turning around once she sees the drop. She hears it fall and clink on the side of the rooftop. Staring at her feet, crouched, ready to jump, with tears falling onto the toes of her boots. Closing her eyes, she pushes off the concrete. 
    The girl flips through the air, arms splayed out. She catches the cube with both hands, hugging it to her chest as her path downward evens. A bright white mass of tendrils from a portal reach up toward her body, curled in fetal position. Viola hears the cars through the wind until there’s nothing. 
hiya, i'm back. electricity is not super consistent due to weather right now so i'm glad.i was able to get on here today:) i'm going to be trying to get some writing done to continue this piece. when i wrote this, it was for a school assignment, and so i kind of had to speed through it. now, i have a few questions that if you could answer even just one of them it would help me make this idea better. 

- what do you think of the piece? where do you think it will go? 
- what were the points where you found yourself skimming?
- what pieces would you want to know more about, or that you think could be expanded?
- were there any portions that you found confusing?
- what is one question you have after reading?
- would you want to meet a character (luis/viola) and why? what question(s) would you ask that character?
- were there any places you wish i showed rather than told what was happening?

thank y'all so much, i love ya, and if you have anything you'd like reviewed just shoot me a link. <333

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  • February 18, 2021 - 10:10am (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • Coolgirl2020 (LOVE YA ALL)

    Replying: That's awful! Wishing you the best!
    I will review those as soon as I can! Thanks! <3


    6 days ago