February 28, 2011

Deer on Hayling !?!
Image by Paranoid Black Jack on Flickr.

There was frost in the grass, the cold nibbling her fingers, making them blush and ache, as if pins were pricking them, shedding blood. A silver sliver escaped her parted lips, her breath a ghost disappearing into the unknown.

She was waiting.

Under a distant tree, far afield, lay blushing spheres, their rotting flesh spreading intoxicating fumes. Soft and sickly sweet, their whispers travelled silently, waving, luring, urging, for creatures to follow them to certain death.

Slowly fiddling with a thread spun from spider’s silk she was waiting for her prey. The sun rose, melted the frost and turned it to dew rising as misty clouds, wisping in the morning air. She was breathless; the slightest sound and her wait would be in vain.

Tentatively and with great reserve her prey emerged from the woods. Ears erect and with nostrils flared, scanning the world for predators thirsting for their blood. Each step was made as on glass, a foot set down, withdrawn, shiveringly replaced. They inched forward, lured by the succulence saturating the air.

Her heart was beating, the silk twirled round her fingers. Hands shivering with suspense, she watched the creatures draw ever nearer her irresistible trap.

The cider from the fermented fruit moistened their coat as they feasted on her bait. There was a premature twitch in the silk, and within a second they were all gone. Their silver breath faded slowly, tracing their path.

She twirled the silk hard round her fingers, turning them blue. All that wait for nothing. And it was all her fault.

Beware the man of one book
Image by pyth0ns.

I did not start to think of myself as an amateur writer until a few years ago — shall I be honest, it is not more than two years ago, perhaps three. A friend remarked on a short story I described a picture with, that it would make the perfect beginning of a book. That, in addition to my friend being a writer, inspired me to follow her advice and turn the few lines into a book.

It proved hard, to not say impossible. I worked on and off on the plot for almost two years until deciding it was a hopeless case and that I should leave it and pursue other projects. And so I did; my next story currently growing one chapter at a time whenever inspiration strikes.

Yesterday, however, I remember the story I had abandoned and all but forgotten. I was on the train, riding through the most wonderful beech forests and rolling hills, when I all of a sudden realised that was the very kind of world my very first story was supposed to have been set in.

And, no sooner than I had thought that though, the main character of my forgotten story waltzed into my consciousness with pleading eyes, wondering why she had not heard from me in such a long time.

At that moment, I wondered the very same thing.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realised I am not over her story; I simply do not know how to handle it. In order for her story to be written a fair amount of research is due, but due to the nature of the story itself, I am unsure whether the final product will be worth the effort I would be required to invest in it.

It is food for thought, indeed!

I do have to admit, that I am one of those dreadful people who likes to see results. I do not undertake a project unless I know some success can be derived from it. If I spend hours and hours without end contemplating a story, and months painfully typing it down, I would like to one day see it being enjoyed by others; justifying my hard work.

My forgotten story is however not the kind of story I think would have any chance of ever reaching the hands of others, which brings me to the dilemma which made me abandon my character the first time around; I love her and her story, and I want everything I intended to happen to her to come true, but I don’t believe in the story per se.

It’s painful, to say the least!

But, I am curious, if any of you who read this are writers, have you ever been in the same situation which I have found myself in? How did you solve it? Is there a point in completing a story for personal satisfaction alone? Anything else that comes to mind? Or, do you think some stories are best left short, allowed to speak for themselves?

The Story:

A heavy book lies on a table, its cover says it is several centuries old.
As it is opened, it screams, blinded by the light its pages have been hidden from for so long.
A cloud of dust rises from the ancient pages, the old parchment fragile and dry.

From one of the pages, a face looks out on the world.
It is the drawing of a young woman, who studies the world with interest.
When she was shut inside the book for the last time, the world was so different from what it is now.
She wants to be part of it, but can not as the parchment she is drawn on is the only border she never will be able to cross.

Growing a Story

February 21, 2010

Maple in Bloom

Once upon a time, the date since lost, a whisper crossed her path, so faint it was barely more than a tentative suggestion. It happened every once in a while–that an idea breathed into existence–but very few managed to plant their seeds and take root in her mind. This particular story, and a few before it, however thrived in her thoughts–what set them apart from all others impossible to say.

That seed which had been planted would be well-cared for, as its progress from insignificance to greenery was delightful. With both love and care it was encouraged to shoot into the air, and to grow greener as its first leaves sprouted. She watered it with imagination and talked to it about notions. It thrived from the attention.

But mind as matter sometimes tires of offering nourishing soil for memetic creatures to grow, and at times the little story was all but forgotten; looming in the murkiness, awaiting the time when the sun would part the clouds anew. It always did, was patience only a celebrated virtue.

She did as well as she could when it came to caring for the sprout that grew from the seed that coloured her mind, and it accompanied her everywhere, as if it was a creature she led around the world on a leash. It sat next to her on the train, and skittered by her feet when she walked. It perched on her shoulder, beneath the umbrella when rain was shed from silver skies, and it basked in the sun when it smiled, wrapped in her long hair.

Though she never understood it wholly–no matter how much she tried–the tale was her best friend and constant companion. Though she doubted its future more than she should, she never the less believed in it; hoping others one day would treasure its mature glory as much as she had enjoyed its inquisitive youth.

So she kept watering it with her thoughts, and nurturing it with her notions. One day (she knew it was so) the story would grow a bud–the first sign that it soon would be finished. With more care than ever before invested in it, it would thereafter grow the most delightful flower; each petal a page upon which its contents had been written.

It was the dream of seeing the flower, and to understand its nature, that encouraged her to continue wasting her love on the creature-tale. That, as well as seeing what seeds the resulting fruit would sow to start the process anew–in a far future. For, the sufferings of a writer are always a delight in hindsight.