Monday, October 29, 2012

Augustine In The Window


There is a girl who lives in the window.  Her name is Augustine.

In an alternate universe, Augustine discovers the cure for cancer.  She doesn’t live in a window in that universe, but an upstate New York neighborhood.  She goes to an elite private school; Dad’s in real estate and mother is flawless.  Augustine is lavished, lovely, and sweet.  She graduates valedictorian from high school, magna cum laude from university.  Cancer is cured 10 years later.  All except leukemia, with which her daughter is diagnosed at age 15.  Daughter dies shortly after her 17th birthday.  Husband leaves her a couple years later for the little whore in his office.   He tells Augustine that she just cries too damn much and has let herself go, but Libby makes him feel alive again. 

In another universe, Augustine discovers travel at the speed of light.  She doesn’t live in a window in that universe, either, but is given up for adoption at birth.  Mother is an addict, leaves Augustine at a fire station in the middle of the night.  Her parents are not rich, but Augustine never goes without.   She is cherished, lovely, and sweet.  She is diagnosed with schizophrenia in her junior year of college, but thirteen years and a master’s degree later, she is nominated for a Nobel and three dogs are on their way to Andromeda.  Not long after, her illness gets the better of her and she is found hanging in her one-room apartment with the entire periodic table carved into her stomach. 

In the here and now universe, she is just Augustine In The Window.  Stringy brown hair that hangs below the windowsill, so I never know how long it is.  Maybe she holds a doll or a blanket.   Or maybe she waves so discreetly that it is hard to tell it’s a wave.   I know her name is Augustine because her mother always screams it.  And I am pretty sure her mother’s name is Please.  
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3)  a venal or unscrupulous person
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17 comments:

  1. the last paragraph is unforgettable. So much angst and loss and heartbreak. awesome..

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  2. Oh that was SPLENDID. I love the way you have also created a metaphor for what we as writers do when we create.

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  3. This is really great! I love the different Augustines and I agree with the others--the last paragraph nails it (:

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  4. Switching from one reality to another is an intriguing plot element. Such different lives, each with it's own heartbreak. NIcely done. The last line was perfect.

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  5. Love the parallel lives. You should keep going.

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  6. My heart breaks for Augustine in the window and her counterparts as well. Well done.

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  7. The horrible things life can do to folks. I do agree that this could be a much longer piece, altho this short one is good too.

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  8. That last paragraph made the hairs on my arms stand up.

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  9. I like the straightforward telling of these possibilities. It has a rhythm that flows well. Unique and creative. Very nice.

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  10. That final sentence! Incredible.

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  11. This was great - loved the different universe idea and the brevity of your sentences. It's also much more interesting that each of the universes is far from perfect. Oh, and it'll take those 3 dogs 2.5 million years to get to Andromeda, at which point they'll be really, realllly dead :-p

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    1. Yes, it sounds like it would make sense, doesn't it? Even if the dogs could travel at the speed of light, Andromeda is still 2.5 million light-years away. But that isn't figuring for time dilation or other space-time distortion, traversible wormholes, or even quantum tunneling or other quantum possibilities yet to be discovered. I mean, can you imagine if string theory were proven? Helllooo galactic superhighway!! Anyway... it's NaNoWriMo month and you are distracting me with science ;-) Bah!

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  12. What an interesting read! I love how your short sentences picks up the pace and makes for a fast read without sacrificing the details too!

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  13. Oh wow! This is incredible! I am a new writer and reading this and how well it is done is very inspiring to me. Thank you!

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