Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just a little exercise...

I think what I'm good at is ambiance, at writing scenes.  I haven't yet figured out how to flesh out a full story from my scenes, though. They pop into my head and flow out my fingers, but then it ends and I'm stuck with about a dozen good story beginnings...

Here's one I wrote recently.  Comments are welcome, in fact, if you can think of a unique story to go along with this scene, share it and we'll collaborate!  I think that's what I need.  I'm good at writing it out, but the "big picture" seems to escape me...  Enjoy! 

It wasn’t raining.  It wasn’t overcast.  It wasn’t even dark.  But it felt like it should be.  I glared up at the cheerful blue sky, scowled at the clouds in their fluffy white perfection and pressed my heels a little deeper into the flawless green grass.  I imagined it whimpering in submission.

“Whump!” the first shovelful of dirt seemed to echo off the coffin.  “Whump!” Again.  Not quite rhythmic, the repeated sound bounced around my head.  It was an ugly sound.  The sound of good-bye.  The sound of emptiness: hollow and howling. 

Cursing the fluttering breeze in the maple leaves over my head, I walked away.  “Whump!” The sound faded slightly as I moved to the other side of the ancient church.  The path I was walking meandered into a grove of trees, where a hill sloped down to a trickling stream.  It couldn’t have been more picturesque.  I hated it.  I hated that the world just moved on, birds flew, rabbits jumped, trees dropped leaves and acorns, completely unfeeling. Their callous indifference surrounded me, suffocating me.  I walked into the glade and cursed, loudly.  I cursed the Earth beneath me, the trees, the sky, I cursed it all, falling to my knees, tears pouring down my cheeks to drip onto my dress.  I cried until I was numb, then lay on the soft Wildgrass and closed my eyes. 

When I awoke, it was dark. Not the oppressive dark that lurked in my chest, but a bright, star-filled summer darkness with a cheerful moon peeking at me between the tree branches.  Grimacing, I stretched, standing.  It was time to leave.  I muttered an apology to the trees, the glade, the glittery heavens for the cursing earlier.  My chest ached, but otherwise I felt better. 

Home was a short walk from the churchyard, and I resisted kicking the cat as I stepped over him lying on the wooden steps.  My father was standing at the kitchen sink, staring out the back window at the darkness.

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