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[Original Fiction] Atrophie Exquise, 1/?

Posted 10-18-2008 at 05:12 AM by Catharsis
Updated 08-11-2010 at 05:29 AM by Catharsis
This is Cath trying to be a pseudo-writer.

Title: Atrophie Exquise (Exquisite Atrophy)
Rating: R
Summary: [Anthology] Julian’s road to self-destruction in several snapshots. "Downfall is sweetest when you accept its inevitability."

Author's Notes: Behold my attempt at a quasi-empathic style. The scenes are sectioned into “acts” (while they can be read independent of the others, they flow in sequence). Since this is a writing experiment, expect me to screw over some grammar technicalities.


Take this fetid heart
Pull it apart
The man you once knew is in there,

(Veuillez trouver me...)

Atrophie Exquise

Act 1 : PEAU

Its scent was sweet and pungent and spicy; intoxicating to inhale, a relief to exhale. Julian took another puff, deeply.

The living vapor escaped his lips, and he watched it circle in caresses around outstretched fingers – barely there, barely real - drawing higher and higher still in its ascent to the ceiling of his dressing room until it rendezvoused with stark white glow of the fluorescent light.

A flash of pain washed over his eyes, made that intense lime green gaze waver and water before falling away to a trembling hand resting against the arm of his chair. The cigarette clutched between those fingers was nearing death, the smoke fading.

“Too bright,” he murmured, voice deep and velvety and thoroughly stoned. “…Too much.”

Loud banging; violent fists slamming against the wooden slabs of his barricade interrupted his sullen thoughts. “Juno! Fifteen minutes ‘til show time! Haul ass, now!”

Thick lashes flickered riotously before resting against the pallor of skin disguised by shimmering make-up, an illusion hiding the reality of too many sleepless nights and a not-so-charmed life. He closed his mind to the frantic voices, the banging on his door, the commotion of the stage crew, and the roaring fans just beyond this isolated corner of his chaotic universe.

The banging only grew louder, however, competing with the noises outside and the noises of his thoughts. That one annoying voice multiplied into several more naggers, all yelling at the same time.

“Juno, damn it, get onto the platform! We already talked about this…”

“Please, I need to retouch your make-up…”

“Juno, I have your clip-on mic…”

F***, so noisy…

“Midou! I got the stuff, man, come on out!”

The last one registered with a click amidst his manager’s voluble cussing with a hopeful start. Byron, Juno recognized, and he scrambled to his feet… or at least, attempted to.

His fingers grew flaccid and released the burnt out stub of nicotine before they clutched at the arms on his seat and pulled his lax body – stand up, damn it – turning white at the knuckles as his will fought against alcohol and anxiety over command of his body.

He finally managed to stumble to and yank the door open after kicking an empty bottle of Stolichnaya on the floor, the crash and crack and tinkle of breaking glass escaping him completely. “F***, my head,” he muttered, baleful as his hazy glance slid past his manager, who was starting his tirade on the stupidity of getting plastered before a major concert, then bypassing the faceless/nameless backstage peons, finally rested on the person that is his Messiah: Byron.

“Shit, man, you look like hell,” Byron began, kohl-lined eyes exasperated.

“Shut up,” Julian could only grunt, impatiently batting away hands equipped with powder puffs and tissue paper and what looked like a clip-on microphone as he desperately grasped for Byron’s. The mix of concerned and bewildered stares went ignored as Julian found, snatched, and struggled with a small plastic filled with colorful pills.

There was the soothing sound of ripping plastic, and too quickly the pills slipped down his eager throat even without water. The package was carelessly discarded as Juno collapsed against a wall, clutching his sweaty body with cold arms as he waited for the pills to take effect.

“Jesus, easy on the shit, man, those are…”

“I don’t want to know,” Juno snapped before the drummer could say another word. Ecstasy, coke, morphine, whatever; as long as it worked, as long as it corked this growing chasm is his chest. God, had it always been this hard to breathe?

The Almighty Manager cleared his throat. “Well then. Now that we got that anxiety attack out of the way…” A pause, allowing Juno’s glazed eyes to sweep over the snarky lift of his manager’s lips; the usual scolding without words, because there wasn’t time for squabbles. “Let’s get you into the box, shall we?”

And ah, there it was; the mental tug on the leash.

Even as Juno allowed himself be herded up the platform underneath the stage and into a tight, enclosed space – almost an elevator, but too small, too dark – that would rise up to the main stage in a dramatic entrance of drama, dim lights, and pyrotechnics, he remained deathly silent, choking on his own miasma of phobias.

His hand still shivered. He stuffed them into his pockets, closed his eyes, and concentrated on pushing down the bile rising up his throat. His breaths were shallow, almost pants, and God, getting fainter and fainter and…

The first of the fireworks exploded onstage over him, and the three thousand fans flooding his first concert in Perth went audibly wild.

And he heard himself whisper, so soft it was almost a prayer, “Not the dark, please not the dark, please not there again…”

He sagged against enclosure’s wall, felt his world falter and fall away as the door closed.


The plot and characters in this drabble are my original creations, lifted off an unfinished 140k-word novel buried somewhere underneath the LiveJournal/FictionPress.Net haystack. Heh.

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