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Subterranean Rivers - Ch. 7TWELVE YEARS LATER
In the fall and winter of 2001 following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Charlene started contemplating the sudden nature of death with unhealthy tact. The news of the terrorist attacks had been a global shock, and while the crisis was an ocean away, she still couldn't shake the feeling that the exact same thing could happen to her.
If my familiar is doing his job, then you know it already has.
One day, Charlene wrote a letter to her boyfriend, XXXX – yes, they went from childhood friends to twentysomething lovers – leaving behind something for him to find in the event that she died and wouldn't be able to show it to him herself. By circumstances I refuse to go into because it's a whole other story entirely, Charlene acquired the missing piece to the spiraling brick wall in the easternmost part of the River Effra. With luck, it would lead to the fabled City of the Dead, but she decided that it would be better for XXXX
Subterranean Rivers - Ch. 6LIFE MAY GO ON, BUT HE'S STUCK.
What am I supposed to do while he just sits around in his flat all day all depressed and lethargic and uninteresting? I was being easy on him for the first couple of months, but now I'm starting to lose my patience. More than anything, I want the plot to go on.
It's been a week since we drove to Dewsbury and confronted Hasina Khan. I had expected the conversation between her and XXXX to last longer, but I guess there wasn't really that much to be said between them anyway. Meeting Hasina didn't exactly provide XXXX the closure he was looking for nor the satisfaction of getting back at the family of the man who killed Charlene and so here we are in his flat, an apartment large enough for two engaged lovers. I imagine the place must seem a whole lot emptier to XXXX without his fiancée around.
For the past week, XXXX has been burying himself in his work – he works as an architect – and it's exactly this kind of thing that sh
Subterranean Rivers - Ch. 5THE RIVER EFFRA
Following the outlandish circumstances of how XXXX and Charlene met, the two became good friends (I skip them actually becoming friends to show the progression of time).
The two kids had not gone to school that day and favored instead just sitting by the River Thames talking and speculating on the crazy way they had met. It wasn't until well into the afternoon that a few passersby helped them up out of the embankment – Charlene needed the most assistance getting out due to her broken ankle – and the two kids were subsequently taken to a clinic by their parents and had their fractured extremities bound up in casting tape. Their parents were clueless as to if the two kids knew each other – XXXX and Charlene merely told their parents that they got into bicycle accidents. They never mentioned each other.
It turned out that the two of them literally sat right next to each other in the canteen at school, all this time unaware of the other's
Subterranean Rivers - Ch. 4CONFRONTATION/CLOSURE
It takes three to four hours to drive from London to Dewsbury, or a little bit less if you take a train. But this drive is one that has to be handled personally. You don't get the rush of getting closer to some kind of epiphany by waiting in a train carriage.
Also, the both of us have been reluctant to use the trains lately.
It's been two months since what happened on 8:50 A.M. on 7 July. XXXX hasn't been the kind of guy to appreciate a sunny day ever since, if you know what I mean. At this moment, we're driving north towards Leeds on the M1 motorway, and we don't have the radio on. I understand why XXXX would want the silence right now, but after being stuck with this bloke's moping for the past several weeks, I think I'd appreciate some of the good ol' music right now.
I'm being insensitive again. Sorry. Bear with me. I've been staring out the window for the past two hours now and I'm gettin' a little stir-crazy.
The suicide bomber that killed C
Subterranean Rivers - Ch. 3INTERSECTION
In 1989, XXXX and Charlene met for the first time. (By the way, this is the Author speaking. I think you'll be able to tell from now on who's narrating the story based on our attitudes, use of slang, and the fact that I write in past-tense. That other guy writes in present-tense.)
Anyway, getting back to how these two met.
XXXX was ten years old, and Charlene was eleven. The two children lived completely separate lives from each other – and in opposing suburbs – and there was nothing linking them together other than the fact that they went to the same school. But even there, the two were separated by class schedules and passing periods and the finer nuances of school life.
In school, they were nobody to each other. The same principle applied in their two vast neighborhoods. In fact, neither was aware of the other's existence. If there was one thing the two of them had in common, it was that they both rode their bicycles to school in the morning
Subterranean Rivers - Ch. 2IMAGINE YOU'RE IN LONDON.
Probably not a good place to start. Okay, uh…I'll try describing the scene.
Edgware Road Station. Just one of the many entrances around town leading into the London Underground, a tubular network of subterranean train lines you could equate to New York City's subway system. The washed-out white bricks that construct the station's façade make the building look like a dramatic change of scenery when juxtaposed to the stark red Hyde Park Mansion block just a hundred yards away across the narrow lanes of Chapel Street. The two behemoths of red and white face each other from opposing sides of this black river, daring each other to make the first move, and yet neither of them is willing to yield. And so they eternally stare each other down over the monotony of everyday life in central London.
It's a sunny morning – very different from London's usual tact, if I may add. London is usually swathed in gloomy overcast for most of the yea
Subterranean Rivers - Ch.1KUMFUMBLED
NARRATOR: Let's get one thing straight here, Mr. Author. I'm the hero of this story.
AUTHOR: Yes, I know. But you're also the Narrator.
NARRATOR: Yeah, okay, I get that. But you have me following some young blighter around narrating his life and times throughout this whole buggering thing and that's gonna make the audience sympathize with him and not me. Readers are gonna be quite kumfumbled, y'know?
AUTHOR: Which is why we're speaking right now to clarify that you are the hero of the story. By the way, readers, kumfumbled is slang for confused. Our hero here has picked up quite the vocabulary. Can you tone that down, by the way, please? People are going to be kumfumbled if you use words like kumfumbled.
NARRATOR: (laughs) Sorry, it comes with spending time in the setting. Be grateful I don't speak Nadsat like the main character of A Clockwork Orange. So if I'm the hero, then who's the kid?
AUTHOR: His name is –
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