Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Drowning Room

He wakes to find that the room is drowning. Furniture floats like wreckage. Beneath him, the bed sinks away.

Somehow he struggles out of it, reaches for a chair. But the chair capsizes under his weight, and he flounders his way over to the table instead, its flat hardwood surface placid as a raft in the morning light. Clinging to it with both hands, his head barely above its surface, he wonders if he has the strenght to make it to the door. He doesn't dare risk it.

Again and again his chin slips from the edge of the table, plunging him into the emptiness below. He can feel his strength failing him, he can feel his nightclothes dragging him down. For hours he battles against the room, hoping someone will hear him, hoping someone will come. Then, exhausted, he releases his hold on the table and slips gently under. The last thing he sees are a his tennis shoes, lying submerged on the floor, laces floating.

Three days later they find him, drowned, his body washed up by the door.



n said...

this reads like one of those dreams you have at night, when u think you can't breather and wake to realise you were smothering yourself with the blanket.

Anonymous said...

a kafka moment!

Anonymous said...

wow..crazy airtight room this dude had. no cracks under door, no squeaky windows that wont close, no rat holes??? Wish my room was airtight so didnt have to hear Mike making his noises next door.

:) said...



Anonymous said...



Kusum Rohra said...

Ok I intrepret your stories quite different from what you might have intended.

The last thing he sees are a his tennis shoes, lying submerged on the floor, laces floating.

* Wonders what did she miss *

thistle said...

please tell me that this is not what pursuing a PhD does to you...please, please!

love your posts btw.

The Black Mamba said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Black Mamba said...


A dash of Kafka, but an intense Marquez flavor(Light is like Water).

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

This is why one should always check to see if the taps have been turned off (does one turn off taps? usage?). So, how many of characters have you killed off so far with bedroom floods, contagions and torture camps? And how wonderfully weird that the last thing one should see before dying is a tennis shoe. :)

km said...

First you give us the excellent fly-on-the-wall seats, then you let us watch him die over three days?

Talk about leaving your audience feeling guilty and complicit.

Waj said...

I'd agree with 'n' completely..
It sounds so similar to the dreams i usually have..
VERY well-written.

Falstaff said...

n: Aah, so I'm not the only one who has those dreams, eh?

anon: yes, clearly.

anon2: Actually, given that by the time they opened the door three days later the room was back to normal, I'm not sure it really was airtight. All you need for flooding is for inflow to be greater than outflow, as anyone who's ever waded through waist high water in the Mumbai monsoon can tell you.

:): Oh, just.


kusum: errr...okay. I'm not sure what you're interpreting it as. I don't think there's any significance in the tennis shoes. The whole point is that they're a trivial detail.

thistle: thanks. And no, this is what not pursuing your PhD and spending all your time blogging and then worrying what happens when your funding runs out does to you.

BM: :-). Ah, I was hoping someone would see the Marquez connection. Yes. Absolutely. Light like Water was certainly playing through my head when I wrote this. Though the more immediate inspiration, if you must know, was a scene in Godard's Soigne ta droite (1987) where a man hesitatingly raises his head above the table into the light.

shoe-fiend: Yes, I thought you'd appreciate the tennis shoes bit. How many people have I killed off. Not enough. But not to worry, I have more ideas coming up.

km: Ya, well, I figured if people will spend 5 days watching a cricket match, spending just 3 days watching someone drown has to be way more interesting.

waj: Thanks

n said...

@ Sometimes i wish dreams would afford me the inspiration of fantastic creatures and upside down lands. They don't. But this, hell ya