Literati? Am I alone in thinking that carpe diem is Latin for “Crappy Day?” Apparently so. Either writer Timur Iablokov has a crappy moment or a moment that ceases–oops!–SEIZES.
It has been a while since the lad has swung the swings in our playground, the towers that are A Word with You Press. This rates a Thorning! For the uninitiated, a Thorning occurs when I publish your private email and broadcast your most private thoughts to the world without your consent. You are in good company, Timur…Even Peggy Dobbs got THORNED. Congratulations!
Here is the email that accompanied his entry:
I realize that it’s quite some time since we’ve last spoken. Regrettably, it is too much time. Since our past exchanges regarding contests and such, I’ve managed to finish high school, I’ve started a few books with a friend of mine and I’m now at university in the UK. Even though I haven’t been able to participate with any previous contests or even provide any updates or comments, I have been following what has been happening at A Word With You Press and am glad that things have been picking up again.
I am however sorry to hear about Peggy though. You put to very nicely when you said that she is the mother/sister/friend that everyone wished they could have. I guess that I couldn’t pass by the opportunity of not writing for this so I send you y entry. I realize that it might be late, and even though you may swear that it’s never too late, it still is. I’m not exactly sure about the time difference. In any case, I just managed to finish up this story. I haven’t been able to write for quite some time, and I’m not completely satisfied but I did my best to convey some emotion. Anyway here’s the story, and if it is too late to submit it then I wouldn’t mind my story not counting in the contest, but I feel that I should still send something.
Anyway, all the best and hopefully I’ll be able to contribute more in the future.
That French Guy”
Here is his entry–the one that made it just under the wire!–for The First Annual Peggy Dodds Write-of-Passage contest.
If you are counting down with me (do vampire groupies ever go down for the Count?) this makes # 4 of the 24 that started posting yesterday. Twenty to go! (Today’s posting fueled by Oreos. I needed something to dip in my beer.)
Seize the moment (I swear it’s not too late)
by Timur Iablokov
Across the tormented battlefield, the wind howled painfully in devastating beauty. It gnawed at the skin and flesh, feasting relentlessly. The automaton of war was in full swing, unleashing havoc upon mankind. Black flags whipped about ferociously as the stench of death hung in the air and the sound of nothing echoed in the hearts of men. No more emotion or loving memories, no more personal thoughts or opinions. Follow orders. Obey. March on until your end. That was the life of the company.
A certain young private named Rhodes could not quite make sense of what was happening. He knew very well of the tragic fate that awaited him, but fear turned into confusion and made him question everything that he was doing, and that he had ever done. In truth, he had enrolled to make a difference, to contribute and to do the right thing. But in this sea of confusion, a whirlwind of doubt was brewing. The young private was fading away from his purpose, from his very being in the worst of times.
Despite the certain demise that awaited the company, the men marched further on, blindly but bravely. For the better part their minds were numb, unable to think, remember, or imagine. With powerful voices, the commanders beckoned where to go and ordered what to do. However, it would be unfair to place these leaders at fault. If they lead their own men to certain doom, they do so in inspiring ways.
As the company climbed the final hill, the noise grew and progressed into a violent clamour of chaos. Weapons at the ready, expressions determined yet visibly melancholic and defeated. They came to an abrupt halt and as the leader slowly turned around to face his company, his voice boomed like a frightening war drum:
“And so you feel Death approaching, the final hours of your lives clear and tragic. But I swear it’s not too late to make a difference. It’s never to late for that final call of valour, to step up one last time on this demonic day. It’s never too early to lose what you hold dearest to you, but it is also never too late to obtain that well sought redemption.”
A moment of silence came for those words to sink in, and sink in they did. The once wavering company was as aware as ever. Even Rhodes’ lost attention had been found. Those word were understandably not enough to console him, but they seemed to have struck him, as a miner strikes something that interests him. Briefly clearing his voice, the leader continued:
“I don’t know you about you, but I can hear a clock ticking. It may well be the clock of your lives, tick tick ticking away for some final moments. You can look at it like the end, or you can recognize it as an opportunity to do something. I promise you that there is time to take that opportunity, as the clock ticks on. But you have to seize it and make the most of it before the time stops. You have to take it now. That is why I ask you to join me today. I give you the chance to live in the moment, however brief it may be.”
By now he had everyone’s attention. He no longer sounded like a confused man and resembled a man with a purpose. As strange as it may have seemed, his leader looked younger and younger, by the second. With every passing moment, Rhodes had further trouble to distinguish his superiors from his fellow soldiers. The time was approaching, and he was not sure if he was ready.
“So my friends, the purple hour has come. The end is near, but we are not yet at that stage. Take arms and fight for what you believe in. Run forth and unleash yourselves. Seize the opportunity, I swear it’s not too late. Make it your own.”
A loud ring of deranged cheering followed. A few bodies appeared to break from the main pack, before a unified mess heaved itself forward. His vision blurred and all of the crew fused into a sole unified sound. The moment was there for the taking. Meanwhile, the young private Rhodes listened carefully and recognized a persistent ticking within.
It was now or never. To stand up and fight for what he believed in or to cover and die the life of a useless traitor. The board was set, and the pieces were in motion.