I had an assignment for my Intermediate Fiction Writing Class to experiment with writing a lyrical plot structure. Below is my attempt. Let me know what y’all think:
I Didn’t Want To
I didn’t want it to happen. I found out at school in the middle of recess. I was playing tag and I tripped and fell in the gravel next to the big swing set. I stared at the pieces of rock that stuck to my skin and watched as little spots of blood pooled around them. I didn’t cry until Jack punched me in the arm and ran away yelling, “you’re it!” I think that was the last time I cried.
I didn’t want to go inside. Mrs. Lewis called my name from the back porch that overlooked the playground. She was wearing that sweater she always wears with the little kittens playing with a ball of string on it. I always liked that sweater. It reminded me of a coloring book Lucy used to have, but I don’t think she has it anymore. I picked myself up from the ground and brushed off the rest of the dirt. My knee stung so I let the dirt stay there. Mrs. Lewis called me over again. It was important, she said. In the third grade, everything was important. Math was important. Spelling was important. Crafts were important and you shouldn’t eat the glue. I took my time getting to her, it was my recess after all. She told me that my recess was over and took me inside.
I didn’t want to sit in that room. The walls were too blue and the pictures were too ugly. There was a small couch in front of the desk where the man sat. He told me that I could make myself comfortable but the couch was itchy and smelled like Funions. I don’t like Funions. He looked like one of the men you see on the news when they talk about the boring stuff. He wore a brown suit and a bright red tie. I had to look up at him when he talked because his chair was too tall. He looked down at me and told me that sometimes bad things happen. There was a fish in a bowl on his desk. It went round and round in circles like it wanted to get out but it couldn’t.
I didn’t want to go home. Before recess we had been watching a movie about sharks and I wanted to finish it. Did you know that sharks grow over 20,000 teeth in their lifetime? A woman I didn’t know took me to my classroom. It was empty because they gave the other kids more time at recess which wasn’t fair. The woman helped me pack up my Spiderman backpack. She was really nice and wore a blue dress with little flowers all over and didn’t smell like Funions. I asked her what about my homework and she said that I didn’t have to worry about that. She told me that everything was going to be okay and not to worry. How come everyone knows everything is going to be okay but you? I forgot to bring my lunch home with me. It was peanut butter jelly sandwich with the crusts cut off like always.
I didn’t want to wear the suit Grandma bought for me. That morning I stood in front of the mirror in the back room while she tugged and straightened and smoothed it out. She said I looked like a little man. I felt like my GI Joe when I tried to sneak him into school by shoving him inside my thermos. No matter how hard I pushed he wouldn’t fit. There were flowers everywhere but not the good kinds. They all looked the same and smelled like where you get your hair cut. The tall man in black talked a long time about love and life and God. We sung a song that I didn’t like. Afterward I had to stand next to Grandma while people kept coming up to me. The ladies hugged me and cried, the men put their hands on my shoulders and told me that I was the man of the house now.
I didn’t want to say goodbye. They put you in a shiny big box and I could see my reflection in the side. They say I look like you. I hope so. We walked outside in a line, like a parade, and we passed a lot of other people who had boxes just like yours. I wonder if any of them were Daddys, too. It was sunny and I watched a bird eating a worm in a tree next to where they put you in the ground. It hopped around with the worm in its mouth. He looked happy. They said that the grass would grow again and it would be green and I could bring flowers if I wanted. I hope it isn’t too dark for you down there. Grandma told me that you could hear me. I hope you can.
I just want you to come back.
I’m currently enrolled in a Fiction Writing class this semester. For the class we are required to produce two original short stories and workshop them in class. For my first story I got to use the idea I had blogged about in June (see “Return to Sender”). I have attached my story below:
I haven’t done the rewrite yet, so there are things I’d like to change and some small errors here and there. Let me know if anyone out there has any suggestions or comments to make it better.
Oh, and be nice, please.
So I have this idea for either an ad or a short story, I’m not sure which. The medium will probably depend on what presents itself first and what is more useful.
I want to write a love story about a women who receives secret admirer love letters in her P.O. box. Every week she walks down the street to the post office, opens her box, and reaches inside to discover yet another hand written letter. Turns out that her secret admirer is a young writer who works part time as a mail boy in the post office. Gathering her courage, the women decides to write back. Although she has no address or name she has a hunch that maybe, just maybe, he is on the other side. Finally, one day, she goes to the post office early, the same time that he is dropping his letter off in her box. And they meet each other, for the very first time, through the little mail box slot. Scene ends with the two of them smiling.
A bit cheesy, maybe. But I think if executed well, I can make this really something. Now I just have to work out the details.
Oh, and don’t steal my idea unless you plan on cutting me a share.
I don’t think that anyone has accurately explained or described the sensation of feeling a knot in your stomach. Mostly because, every time I have heard it recounted I imagine a giant knot of rope (the kind that 18th Century sailors used to tote around on their backs) taking root in one’s stomach. Currently, the knot in my stomach begs to differ and I beg to challenge this classic image myself. At this moment I have a particularly awful feeling nestled in the center of my stomach that most certainly does not feel like a knot of rope. More accurately, it feels like someone took a large amount of rancid meet and, stringing it out into one long strand, looped it around itself over and over, forming a knot that would make any Eagle Scout proud. This knot has several smaller knots protruding from it, almost resembling that of a medieval mace, almost. My knot doesn’t just sit in my stomach, merely as a pesky reminder of its presence, oh no. Instead, it is bubbling and seething and slowly decomposing like a fizzy bath ball from hell, making me constantly aware of its silent activities. It also pulsates, like the beat of a heart it digs deeper into the pit of my stomach, taking root and refusing to relinquish its hold until it has completely eroded and disappeared. Age-old “stomach knot”, I hope you stand corrected.
The blank page. A plane of endless possibilities, a boundless field of choices, taunting you to take on its challenge. A dare. A quest. A journey. Fertile soil awaiting you to plant the seed. Nurturing, fueling, growing. Curiosity sprouts into a web of ideas, reaching out into the abyss, grabbing hold of reason and moving beyond. It peaks, then stands in all its glory. No longer blank. No longer calling to be answered. No longer empty. The masterpiece is formed.
Writers’ block. It can be considered the common cold of the writer’s world – it can come upon you at any moment in any weather in any mood and can stay with you for what seems like an eternity, keeping your brain stuffed with a mental snot that clogs your creative arteries and keeps you continuously trying to force it out, only wasting paper in the process and making your brain raw. I feel like I may be catching writers’ block at this very moment. I can sense it coming, like the pre-illness aches that accompany almost every physical sickness only I can feel it deep within the pockets of my mind. Now, I know that in a previous post I described the benefits that illness can bring, but when it comes to the disabling nature of this common disorder, the benefits seem slim… actually, they appear to be non-existent. Alas, the only remedy I can pursue is feeding myself some mental chicken-noodle soup (filling my brain with nonsensical information, usually a soap opera or work of historical fiction) and giving my mind time to sleep it off (there’s no metaphor for this… I actually mean sleeping). Hopefully my sinuses will clear and I can breath again…