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19 December 2006 @ 02:49 am
Heroes Fic: Till Human Voices Wake Us  
Posted to heroes_fic

Title: Till Human Voices Wake Us
Pairing/Characters: Peter, Nathan
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Fallout
Summary: Inside Peter's head is cacophony not silence (Fallout Post-Ep)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


A crow swoops, circles overhead. Circles become spirals become a whirlpool of faces he has known: his father, his mother, his brother... A young blonde woman appears and although her lips do not move he can hear her words. Her secret is in a red box. It expands, growing bigger than a house, bigger than a city... He fails her. The box is opened and the ashes of New York fall out onto the barren ground. Alone now in the wasteland, words assail him – blaming him, cursing him. The howl wind bears his name in its anger and beats him with icy blows. He pulls his coat around him and disappears into its warm depths, walking through folds of darkness seeking absolution.

His journey weakens him, wears on him. The absence of touch leaves him bereft, hungering for the fuel he needs to go on. He reaches out a hand, but there are none to hold. The horizon holds no hope as he forges onwards, knowing no other way but forward even if there is no direction, no destination in this lifeless void.

The arid ground cracks beneath his feet, cracks that crawl up his legs – infecting him, fracturing him, leaving fissures in the dry husk he's become.

He breaks, he crumbles. Millions of angry souls push him to the ground and shatter his remains.

Earth to earth.

Ashes to ashes.

Dust to dust.

Every particle of him remains conscious – alive, yet separate.

A presence is felt. The gentle hand of a warm breeze stirs him, raises him.

With the lightness of nothingness he rises up, floats heavenward.

He dances in the clouds, swirling in the ether as he recomposes, is made whole once more.

He flies up into the sunlight and is born again.


"Peter... Peter..."

Nathan's hand is the earth that grounds him and the sky that lifts him high.

Cacophony quiets.

He opens his eyes.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 19th, 2006 11:01 am (UTC)
I swear I wrote this.

Really I did.

It may be nothing like all of my previous fic, but it came out of my fingers, amazingly enough.

My theory? My muse took a break and left another muse on duty who is nothing like her.

I mentioned before that my Heroes fic titles tend to be formal, but this one reminds me of another word I considered in lieu of formal and dismissed: erudite. The title comes from the end of the TS Eliot poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

Yes, that one you had to study in school. ;-)

It's rather a polarizing piece of work. People tend to love it or hate it. I can see both sides of that coin although I do profess a spot of affection for the piece. (Do I dare to eat a peach? LOL!)

The final line of the poem is actually longer than the portion I'm using.

Till human voices wake us and we drown

I considered making that the title, but it kind of got in the way of Nathan bringing Peter back out of his coma to the sound of his voice.

I have to give some credit for the idea away, even if it's to a fic I didn't read. I was perusing my Friends page for fic and saw the headers for a post on heroes_fic. I glanced at the fic's basics including the summary and the cut tag and decided I should write a fic not so much based on Peter waking up, but on what it's like for him being in a coma.

There's this idea that comas mean everything is black and silent, but I liked the idea of a chaos of sound and image. My original inspiration was a mix of Prufrock and Salvador Dali's dream sequence in the Hitchcock film Spellbound. (If you've never seen it, do so! I love Hitchcock anyway, but the surreal dream sequence is brief yet awesome.)

So I leaped into this having no clue of how to write like Dali's visuals, but it just happened. I wish I could find out how so I could repeat it, but I fear this is the kind of fic that's meant to be one of a kind.

I did finally go back later to read the fic that inspired me to write Peter in a coma in the first place. It's called the road ahead is turning. (Lower case author's.) Thankfully they're nothing alike. That would have been awkward. Hehehe

I honestly can't remember where the impetus to use Prufrock came from, but FYI there's a movie by the same name!

I did look up where the earth to earth part came from. I knew it was part of a funeral rite, but evidently it's not from the bible. Huh. Who knew?

Very special thanks to the lovely asemic for inspiring me to stretch myself as a writer and to discover the truth in this line from Illusions when it comes to how I see my writing.

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."


Emma DeMarais
Julie: Fantasy - It's a fantasydecadentdream on December 19th, 2006 12:49 pm (UTC)
Wow, I gotta say there was some very vivid and beautiful imagery there, and I have to say it was an awesome idea to write what coma!Peter's world is like. It's got that slight tinge of confusion, other-worldliness and darkness that makes this show great. I applaud your work :D *claps*
rawthorne on December 19th, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC)
There’s something very symbolic about this piece. A lot of writers, including me, have been tackling the dreams undoubtedly plaguing Peter as he lies comatose, yet I am unable to recall any who have quite taken to the path of metaphors as you have.

The layout even follows the action, beginning with a big paragraph that truly is a cacophony of people and things that he’s remembering and imagining, and ending with a series of very short statements, as if going full circle until cacophony ends.

When you write about the blonde woman and the red box, I don’t see Claire, but Pandora and, in a way, whether you intended it thus or not, this impression accords itself neatly with the rest of the story. The absence of touch that you weave into the story so well reminds me of his empathic abilities as well as of his need to be wanted and loved – perhaps even the fact that he keeps falling short of what others expect of him. And goodness, there’s much more to uncover, isn’t it? The flight into the sunlight, so similar to that of a Phoenix… incidentally, I hope this isn’t a link to Jean Grey in the X-men fandom because from what I recall, her fate wasn’t the happiest.

Re-reading your story now, I’m actually seeing a lot more layers to this than I first thought. I like the biblical or mythical feel of it as well. An entire odyssey seems to be going on in those lines, with exile, exodus and rebirth congregating to form the Greek chorus to Peter’s journey… and yet, despite that, the story itself doesn’t feel removed from the ending of the last episode.

And lastly, I’d like to say your Confession made for a fantastic read, after I went through your story a couple of times. It added that touch of context so necessary when you finish analysing plot and characterization and, like for a magic trick, you start looking to see how it was done.
Meli Parker: Shitmeli_64 on December 20th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
That was a really good meaningful piece mate. I like the coma fics (I'm actually writting one now). It can be as trippy or meaningful as you want. I like the meaningful trippy, which is what you wrote. Brilliant.
MF Luder: Heroes faithmf_luder_xf on December 20th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
A TS Eliot title and this line: He reaches out a hand, but there are none to hold.? You know how to hit a girl hard.

Lovely and haunting.