Friday, 11 September 2015

Writing Snippets: Free Writing

This is a bit of free writing that I did the other day. As a disclaimer, I have no clue what this means, or if it even means anything or whose perspective I'm writing from. It just kind of happened. Enjoy! *releases jabberwockies*

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I remember when I first saw him, with his dark hair cascading over his eyes. I wanted to brush his hair away, to uncover what those eyes were telling me. There was no such thing as time, there was only us, there was only the roaring of a thousand drums in my ears, the rushing of a single wave at my feet as it devoured the warm sand. I wanted to ask him what his name was, to see if it tasted like a drop of sunlight on my tongue.

Instead, he handed me my usual hot chocolate, a little too hot with a thick sludge coating the bottom.

My knees were in danger of collapsing like an old and rotten building, left alone far into the back woods. The supports had been nibbled away at by the termites that lived in my ears, and before long they had no choice but to crumble and land in a cloud of ash and dust. I remember I coughed, the smoke smothering my senses like a good coating of fake identity.

I wonder if he remembered my name. It was on the cup, after all.

When the breeze lifts my hair and plays with it a little, an eight year old girl discovering the joys of hairdressing, I gaze up at the stars and try not to sigh. If I did, then surely the ocean inside of me would come pouring out and wipe out all life in my quiet city street.

The stars don't move an inch, but to me they look like they are dancing. Their swirling dresses swish around my ankles, too quick and light for me to catch them. Without them, I am lost. I have no way of getting home. I could wander here, for hours and days and weeks and months and years until my termite knees dissolve into powder and I slump to the ground. My skeleton legs would grind into the powder that we used to use in chemistry for experiments. Maybe some children will find my gaping jaw, xylophone ribs and always-staring eye sockets and drag me back for their afternoon biology lesson.

I do not want the stars to leave me. If I jump high enough, I think I can grab them and pull myself up to their level. Surely then, I would laugh with them at the foolish mortals who think they can roll their own dice. Maybe I could escape the roots that clutch at my ankles and watch from above instead. Reality is too harsh. It is a knife slipped between the ribs that just miss your heart, leave it beating but frantically so, spilling the sweet iron and thick sins onto the sizzling black concrete.

Up with the stars there is another ocean to explore, far away from the boy and the termites and the knives and the hot chocolate and the bones. I pull up an anchor and set sail on the other ocean, and the waves feel like a lost kiss goodnight. That one lost kiss.

Overhead there is no stars because I live among them, because I am one. I think the waves are the stars instead, I think I sail away to the edge on the sparkling diamonds that once watched me from above.

We used to catch sea turtles in the evenings, with the tide caressing our ankles and the quick splash of a more innocent time. They would squirm in our grubby, eager hands, wiggle and beg to be released back into their swaying home of dark dreams and twisted fairytales. I let them go back, too, because I wanted to follow them to their home beyond the shores, underneath the sun to where even the foggiest of dreams morphed into reality, more crisp and clear, a rock solid grape that bursts in your mouth, than anything behind us.

He didn't want us to, though. He wanted us to bring them back in jars, to dump them in tanks of stale water that's lost its salt. We can look at them all the time, he said. We don't have to keep coming back down here to catch them.

He takes one back with him, even though I beg him not to. I know what the house was like, I know they wouldn't like it there. They wouldn't like the curtains, so heavy with secrets and dust that if they fell on your head they would smother you like Death's kiss. The footsteps like to roam the hallways, too, move the ladders, knock on the walls as if wanting an invitation to join the living. When the books in the library come crashing down, I always run for cover because I know that their empty pages want to trap you in them, to keep you there forever between the clutches of their musty mouse chewed covers. You get lost in that house, and when you get lost you lose the doors first, then the windows. Then hope.

I beg him to leave the turtle here with me, I promise I'll come back with him if only he'll let the turtle go. When he leaves with the turtle, her eyes like shiny M&Ms through the glass jar, I dive into the ocean and try to forget the lines and textures of his face.

The first thing I notice is a hand reaching out for mine. I take it, and it feels warm and solid and real, unlike the beach which was hidden behind a layer of melting, slipping plastic. But then the fingernails are digging into mine, and I wonder if he was right all along, if the house was better than forgetting how to breathe.

But no, she's only here to help, to pull me under faster so I can catch my breath before I'm yanked back up into the sunlight. It isn't fair to her, to I know. I don't belong here, but the weight of the crushing ocean feels so good, feels like a warm hug, that I don't know if I can object.

Before long I can breath in this underwater world, in this sparkling city. When the sun sinks in the world above, our world comes alive. We stand on the edge of the drop off and watch as the lights blink on, one by one at first then faster and faster until the whole city is a bubbling glass of exhilarating afternoons running barefoot through the forest as the trees attempt to snatch our hair with their boney fingers. I want to reach out and smother the lights, to see if they'll obey me, but then I'm scared that they won't turn back on again so I don't.

The lights from the underwater city swirl and mix, a thousand colours dripping into a single can of paint, and I wonder why I've never come here before, why I've never wanted to watch the lights flick on and off.

When the colours are mixed, molten glass drooping into an unrecognizable shape, I blink and the colours fade to black.

2 comments:

  1. Hmmm, this is really interesting, and beautifully written. I wonder--is this character possibly schizophrenic? I mean, this piece is very stream-of-consciousness, so it seems like maybe we're getting a glimpse into a fractured psyche that can't fully piece out what's real and what's imagined. Either way, it's a very gripping piece. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you :) I think she could be, but I don't think she really is. She's remembering the guy at the coffee shop while she's going for a walk, then she's imagining joining the stars, then... ok, yeah, she's possibly schizophrenic. Yeah, her conscious is very fractured, but I'm rather fond of the piece. Thanks for reading!

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