| 03:59:13 4 May 2007
On forum: 04/13/2007
Hey there everybody. This is my first writing 'foray' into the STALKER world. It's short and, as I'm writing it on the spot, somewhat of an improv work. I have done some writing before (Foopy.Deviantart.com) but nothing really grand.
Before I start, a few things about me.
I was born on September 13th, 1990 in Irpen, near Kiev, Ukraine. I was not alive when Chernobyl exploded, by my parents were. This story is more or less "inspired" by a short talk with my Dad a few years ago. He was camping in the outskirts of the Red Forest on the day of the accident, and shortly afterward. He remembers the trees glowing crimson.
Thankfully all of us in my family have escaped relatively unharmed from the accident, the only adverse affect I can think of is that I am genetically missing one of my teeth for no reason whatsoever. My parents and I have all had strange moles and tumors, but they were all tested to be negative for cancerous effects, for which we are all thankful.
Now let's see, where to begin...
There is something both ethereal and comforting about a tree, and even more so about a forest. The arboreal giants seem to be so utterly everlasting, a static reminder of reality as it swirls and gyrates. They stand rooted firmly into the ground, columns of wood and bark. Utterly oblivious to the changing of the world around them, they simply go on, heedless of everything around.
I long ago decided that trees were a lot like people. Both trees and people don't really care for what's going on unless it directly affects them. But I also long ago decided that trees were better. Whereas people don't care because it would inconvenience them to, trees lack the capacity for caring. I like to believe that if they could, trees would help the world actively. But they can't, so they don't.
I spend a lot of time in this place that they call the Red Forest. I always laugh when someone says that...it's the only forest in the Zone, why bother specifying it as Red? It isn't Red anymore though. I remember when it was, because I was there. I was here then, and I am still here now. I have stopped counting years.
It was a day like the ones before it, and in many ways like the ones after it as well. I was alone, camping out here as I usually did. I had woken up late in the afternoon, and gone with my old fishing pole handed down from my father to me to see if I could catch dinner. I walked along paths that I had trodden since I could barely walk, along meadows where I had sprinted along ecstatically celebrating the coming of summer with my friends, along the hill I had rolled down in the stupid ecstasy of my first inebriation, and along the speckled tree stumps where I had clumsily kissed my first love.
I walked as one walks in their own home, so accustomed to the shape of things with every little turn and path programmed into muscle memory...I could find my way in the dark. My attention was caught by a single tree, standing alone near the path. It was surrounded by an aura of color, and a feeling of warmth. Reds, yellows and oranges all played around the bark as children would a Maypole, but there was something drastically different about this.
Looking closer at the Bark, I could see it was cracked and torn, sap bleeding from viscous rends in the tree's flesh. It had the look of a giant with festering foot-fungus, a speck-ridden window. It was utterly cancerous in its' feel, the crimson flowing from the cracks like blood being slowly drained from a helpless screaming victim by some unnatural force.
Looking around, I saw that most of the trees had similar, though less profound, auras. It was a feeling of revelation, being surrounded in a sea of cancer and poison and remaining unaffected. I ran through the forest like a child again that day, searching for untouched remnants of my beautiful home away from the standardized apartments. I found little untouched.
Undoubtedly one must wonder why I didn't leave, if I was obviously aware of this sea of cancer around me. It is a question I have asked myself often, and have yet to come up with an answer that would satisfy anyone other than myself.
How could I leave? Here is my home, I would die here of the same cancer that claimed my beloved trees, which were more my family than anything else on earth...who else had watched my grow up, watched me laugh and cry and rage and wander? Who else had taught me the harsh lessons of climbing when you're unsure, or running through the forest pell-mell? Who else had offered arms to shade me from the sun after a day of life? Who else had kept the cold night away by sacrificing their own flesh for my fire? I would rather die here as a testament to my family. I would rather wither away at the same painful rate as the poison corrupts my body, than to die somewhere else of homesickness.
And so I am still here, in the later years of my life. I have seen enough of Stalkers and Artifacts and Mutants to stifle my curiosity. I seldom speak with others, and when I do they always ask whether I am here for the artifacts and the Zone or not. I pity them. They see the Zone as a place to struggle against, to combat as they seek their prizes. They are shocked to see I wear no Suit to shield me from the radiation.
They always ask if I am afraid to die here of radiation poisoning. I always give the same answer, or rather the same question.
I can die here, or I can die somewhere else. Here I am at peace, among family and friends. Isn't that how you would choose to die?
So there you go...all improvised in about half an hour.
Please do share your thoughts, I always welcome critique.
Forgive any spelling errors
| 04:05:33 6 May 2007
On forum: 04/13/2007
thumbs up! nice environmental motive there
Hehe I wouldn't refer to myself as a hippie but I do live in Liberal California, and I very much appreciate the value of nature and forests.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is an anti-development piece, but it is certainly pro-conservation to some extent.
Areas like forests can't be replaced by human hands, it just won't be the same... some people have a lot of memories tied to woods and fields Should keep them safe, neh?