Aliya Whiteley

The Beauty

Bold and striking post-apocalyptic fantasy from Unsung Stories. The Beauty is a vision of a future as dark as our own fears. Somewhere away from the cities and towns, a group of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their stories in the Valley of the Rocks. For when the women are all gone the rest of your life is all there is for everyone. The men are waiting to pass into the night. The story shall be told to preserve the past. History has gone back to its aural roots and the power of words is strong. Meet Nate, the storyteller, and the new secrets he brings back from the woods. William rules the group with youth and strength, but how long can that last? And what about Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods? Hear the tales, watch a myth be formed. For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secrets can the forest offer to change it all? Discover the Beauty.
95 printed pages
Original publication
2014

Impressions

    kurenaishared an impressionlast year
    💀Spooky

    Sylwia Machalicashared an impression2 years ago
    👍Worth reading

    arnicole1shared an impression5 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    💞Loved Up

Quotes

    kurenaihas quotedlast year
    Now it is me and it is inevitable, and nothing inevitable is ever that bad. If I have to live with it, then how can it be unbearable?
    Chris Lycetthas quoted6 years ago
    To start–
    There are signs, I don’t care what William says. There are signs of change, of regeneration, and I saw the first mushrooms in the graveyard on the morning after I ripped up the photograph of my mother’s face and threw the pieces over the cliff, into the fat swallowing folds of the sea.
    Timing is everything.
    My name is Nathan, just twenty-three and given to the curation of stories. I listen, retain, then polish and release them over the fire at night, when the others hush and lean forward in their desire to hear of the past. They crave romance, particularly when autumn sets in and cold nights await them, and so I speak of Alice, and Bethany, and Sarah, and Val, and other dead women who all once had lustrous hair and never a bad word on their plump lips. I can remember this is not how they were; I knew them, I knew them! Only six years have passed and yet I mythologize them as if it is six thousand. I am not culpable. Language is changing, like the earth, like the sea. We live in lonely, fateful flux, outnumbered and outgrown.
    Last night I spoke of Miriam. She was the teacher with a passion inside her, always burning hot, making her ferocious. When the inspectors would climb up through the rocks from the town and tell her it was their right to judge her lessons, she would fling pieces of paper at them, plans and registers, and she would sneer, a skewed expression of her natural superiority. Then, after the inspectors roared away, she would rip the papers to pieces, make celebratory confetti and tell us to dance in it.
    Miriam once caught me trying to make my own records of attendance like I had seen, all our names, ticks and crosses, marks and meanings. She threatened to hold my hand over the fire if I didn’t destroy it. She said nothing good comes from anything but natural rhythms: daybreak and sunset, spring and winter. So we learned to read storms in the laying down of cows and when to plant pumpkins in the wake of runner beans. Those were our lessons, until our strengths had been discovered, and then we were given our tasks.
    Miriam died early, one of the first, with the yellow fungu
    Chris Lycetthas quoted6 years ago
    To start–
    There are signs, I don’t care what William says. There are signs of change, of regeneration, and I saw the first mushrooms in the graveyard on the morning after I ripped up the photograph of my mother’s face and threw the pieces over the cliff, into the fat swallowing folds of the sea.
    Timing is everything.
    My name is Nathan, just twenty-three and given to the curation of stories. I listen, retain, then polish and release them over the fire at night, when the others hush and lean forward in their desire to hear of the past. They crave romance, particularly when autumn sets in and cold nights await them, and so I speak of Alice, and Bethany, and Sarah, and Val, and other dead women who all once had lustrous hair and never a bad word on their plump lips. I can remember this is not how they were; I knew them, I knew them! Only six years have passed and yet I mythologize them as if it is six thousand. I am not culpable. Language is changing, like the earth, like the sea. We live in lonely,
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