I am a semi-sporadic story writer. Lately, it’s been more sporadic, than actual; partly due to this blog, but mostly to some other undefined reason. It’s much easier to blame something like floorpie.net than look inward. At any rate, I have (and have had) several friends tell me that I should be a writer, or write scripts for The Simpsons, or whatnot. The thing is, I only have short stories in me, and they’re always dramatic or tragic. Not a bad thing, of course, but I don’t see Homer killing his best friend in an alcoholic fog, and then driving off a cliff to end the guilt (not an actual story, by the way, but maybe it should be).
At any rate, I felt guilty about not really writing that much, lately, and I forced myself to write a few beginnings. You’ll see what I mean about the dramatic thing:
I am not a story teller, never claimed to be. I just tell the events how they happened; or, at least how I want to remember them. I am old, and beyond the censure of conscience or vivid memory. There are only a few things I hold as incontrovertible truths about those days. One, James died. Two, Marcus lost what was left of his mind when James lost his will to live; and three, I am here, somehow, to relay the facts.
Not awful, right? You’re MAYBE wondering where it’s going… but it’s obviously going somewhere depressing
The bullets seemed almost playful, like an overly aggressive child unaware of his own strength. They whizzed by happily, at times caroming off a table top or the concrete floor to go ringing off into the darkness. At times burrowing deep furrows into this same concrete or taking fist-sized chunks out of the pillar Jack was crouching behind.
It was a game.
It was game that Jack would prefer to win.
“How did I get here?” Jack wondered aloud to himself, muttering aloud with humor in his voice. “How the fuck did I get here?”
Marginally passable imagery, enticing but played beginning. But a shoot-out? That’s so cliche… I don’t think I could turn that in to anything of substance
After she left, this time for the last time, he shut himself off. TO the outside world, he appeared normal. A little understandably sad, a little darker, but fine overall. The wit was still there, the alertness, but he was definitely off… the trick being that he was so good at it, he knew how to appear not to be.
And then he was gone. For real this time.
In second half of 1974, late enough to be cool, but too early to be cold, a son was born to a happy… more relieved… couple. The relief came from the accomplishment and the perseverance over an un-said fear. They had lost one, a girl, some years before… not in the routine tragedy of miscarriage, but in something far worse. They had returned from the hospital, that time, to silently pack away the blankets shaded pink, to quietly gather and give away the toys and mobiles and crib. They bottled their sorrow and pain as they packed. For a while, they turned away from one another; not in blame, but in personal despair. Eventually, though they clung to each other, regrouped, reassessed, tried again.
A son was born.
This would be the golden child for a time. He had to be, he was living for two. And, before he vanished, he was this impossible thing… somehow.
I’m thinking this one has the most promise…
The problem with all of these is that I never think ahead. I always work things out as I go along… which is probably OK for a short story, but not for something of any length. Actually, is that a problem? Any kind of creativity is good creativity, right?