My wife works second shift. Until Tuesday when she started working first shift. What happens when your day now starts when you usually go to bed? Well, this girl has a South Park binge-a-thon and plays Banished for 8 hours straight, crying whenever the townspeople all get killed off by a tornado. I have also eaten KFC biscuits for breakfast three days in a row because figuring out how to use a toaster and open a jar of jelly is way harder than stuffing my face with buttermilky goodness at 6am. The point of all this is that I can barely put my pants on (seriously, yesterday they were backwards for at least two hours before I realized) and so there’s no way I can drum up enough brain power to write anything that even worth posting. I mean, if you want to read the jumble of words that I wrote last night I’ll post it, but I’m pretty sure it’s just the F word over and over again. I’ll get back to you all soon. Maybe once my eyes get adjusted to morning light.
This comes from another original idea. Actually one that I started writing as a one-act way back in high school and I decided to revisit it today and turn it into prose. I definitely think I’ll continue this one. I have so much more in my head!
“In the middle of this tragedy we realize–” A young girl stood on a stage in front of a crowd of black clothing. She stuttered as she spoke almost unable to get through a sentence without pausing to wipe away a tear. “We realize how important it is to cherish the people we love because–” Another tear was dabbed away by a wadded tissue. Quiet sobs radiated through the crowd. “Because we don’t know how long those people will be around. Some of you only knew Nik as a passing acquaintance. But we will all remember her as the amazing person she…was. Thank you.” A soft hum of applause sputtered from the crowd as Alice Strickland stepped away from the podium. She shuffled down the stairs into the arms of a modest middle aged couple and was quietly herded through the crowd slowly collected at the gymnasium doors. In a few moments the large room was empty, save for a thin brunette in a bright blue dress.
Hours later in the next room over punch bowls had been drained and only wilted garnish was left of store-bought deli platters. A tired woman stood by the door, barely supported by her two shaking legs. The girl in the blue dress wrapped her arms around the failing figure carefully, as if not to shake the already stirred body.
“Oh, Sophie,” the woman whispered, “I don’t know how I would have made it tonight without you by my side. Nik loved you so much.”
“I loved her, too, Francine. I always will. I can stay over again tonight if you want. I know it’s hard to be…alone.”
“You’re too precious, Soph. Speak to your mom and call me when you get the chance.” Francine kissed the top of her head and pulled away. Sophie watched as she passed through the hall, stopping to shake hands and join embraces every few steps.
Poor Francine, Sophie thought as she slumped against the wall. She’ll always be known as the mother of that girl who killed herself. And I’ll always be known as that girl’s best friend. Tears welled in her eyes as she thought of Nik. She had no one now, at least no one that mattered. She wished Nik could see what she did: so many people, most of them strangers, wiping fake tears and telling made up stories about how much they loved her. It would’ve really made her laugh. Sophie turned to to leave, wiping her nose on the sleeve of her dress as dignified as she could. It was a long walk home, but she yearned for the silence.
“Hey, Sophie, wait up!” Alice jogged across the tiled floor, her heels clicking against the linoleum. She stopped Sophie mid step, ruining her chance at a quick getaway.
“Oh, Alice…what’s up?” Sophie stared into her green eyes skeptically. She could count the time Alice spoke to her on one hand.
“Well, I got you these flowers.” She thrust a brightly colored bouquet into Sophie’s unsuspecting hands. “And this.” She held before her a small bronze plaque engraved with Nik’s name and In memory of. “We were going to put it in the garden in front of school, but we voted and student council thought you should make the dedication. It’s tomorrow at nine. I just thought you might like to see this first.”
For a moment, Sophie stared at Alice vacantly. Then she stormed off, dropping the flowers behind her as she went.
Prompt #10: Pick five adjectives at random and use them all in a story.
I’m not good at picking random words for myself. I get too picky and try to plan out my story while choosing. So I found a random words generator and had a computer do the work for me. The five adjectives it came up with were: dark, arrogant, smoky, juvenile, and flamboyant. Fun.
It was a dark and stormy night… Brad crumpled up his latest attempt at a great novel and threw the wad into the pile of other cliches that almost made it into the trash can. He slumped back in the lavish chair he nicked from his dad’s office two weeks ago and sighed. The road to authorship was a long one for Brad Marshall. It had been two weeks and he still hadn’t written a best selling novel.
Brad was an arrogant young man. He had big dreams but little ambition to achieve any of them, used to getting everything handed to him. His peers called him cool, confident, outrageous. His parents called him juvenile.
God, what’s wrong with me? Brad thought, lighting a cigarette in the already smoky room. He wasn’t used to failure and now, with them piling up on white lined paper at the bottom of his desk, he was getting angry. He looked behind him at the flamboyant wall clock which hung above his bed. Thirty minutes had passed since his work began. Time for a break.
Downstairs, the rest of the Marshall family was preparing for Christmas dinner. Brad had hoped to announce the release of his first book on New Year’s Eve but continuing to write would mean missing the festivities, and he would never miss Granny Bea’s cooking. Not even for fame.
Prompt 15: Put your iTunes (or any music player) on shuffle. Incorporate the first song that comes up into any aspect of your story.
The song that came up for me was “Stay (Wasting Time)” by Dave Matthews Band. Instead of listening to the song (because I already know it by heart) I decided to just use the title as inspiration. It’s not my best and I’m not super proud of it, but maybe some day I’ll come back to it.
“Just stay.” Those were the last words he said to me. I know why I couldn’t, but I wanted to. I wanted to run back inside and throw myself into his arms and pretend like all the fights we had in the past two years were just in our heads. But I knew I couldn’t. If he had taught me anything, it was how to be selfish.
My phone rang as I wandered aimlessly around the block. The flashing screen told me it was Evie–the only person I could stand hearing me in such a state.
“Eve…” My eyes spewed bitter hate and broken hearts and there was nothing decoding the garbled nonsense that fell from my mouth.
“Liv? Liv! Just tell me where you are. Liv!” Evie’s voice shouted through the phone. She was so far away.
The street signs above me were blurry through the sea in my eyes but I walked this block enough it pure darkness to know where I was. “Fifth and Lexington,” I coughed out through back breaking sobs.
“Just stay there, Liv. I’m coming.”
I crouched on the stoop of a vacant house and pulled my knees into my chest. I knew I did the right thing, and that was the hardest part. Ryan and I were soulmates. That’s what I told myself every time we fought. That’s just what love is.
But that morning when Ryan left a white hot mark of hate across my face I knew it couldn’t be love. He begged me to stay with him. Told me he’d never do it again. Told me he loved me. But I always knew when he was lying.
So…I spent too much time with my friend “Worst Influence Ever” last night. Everything was going fine until we all got watermelon martinis and went to the quarry to have a bonfire. Then we played about fifteen games of “would you rather” and “fuck, murder, marry” and tried to decide who would survive in Nazi Germany. We got home around 1:30 am and promptly fell on our faces and went to bed. But my wife’s back to her game today and I’ve got plenty of time to get some stuff done. Stick with me folks!
Sometimes you get an idea and you just think about it for a while and then you never really do anything. Sometimes you get an idea and you share it with a fabulous person and BOOM. Something happens. That’s what happened today.
I’ve got this great friend named Emily who has a great blog about just being herself and together we’ve decided to team up and create an EPIC BLOG. Read about our lives, loves, and liberties in letter form over at our new site! We’re just getting started but I can already tell this is going to be an amazing journey. Check it out when you get the chance!
It’s time to slow down.
Take a breath and live your life.
It’s only us now.
When the wind creeps up
and the thunderstorm blows in
don’t be scared of rain.
Think. What is normal?
Is it doing what you’re told?
Or making mistakes?
When does the sun set?
Is it when the night begins?
Or when the day ends?
I exist only
in the memory of you.
Please, don’t forget me.
I know your secret.
It’s buried here in my chest.
The most sacred place.