the year i truly starting writing was 8th grade, when i realized it was all i wanted to do. in class i sat with binders open and binder paper blank, writing. i wrote all day and until night, when sleep demanded me. i wrote not poetry but short stories, novels. i loved creating characters and their surroundings and their lives. it was a wonderful way to lose myself.
in high school i stopped writing as much. i wrote a few stories, a few poems. but nothing as consistent as when i was younger. then, in college, i quite randomly chose creative writing as my english emphasis. i majored in story-writing. i wrote poems, screen plays, short stories, the beginnings of novels, memoirs. mainly, i wrote short stories. i discovered a vein i loved the most, and drained it.
however, post-college, i wrote very little. i was too busy giving up my creativity for things like mental and physical illness. that was fun! kind of like surrendering your body to a pool of vicious flesh eating fish the size of cats. SO. MUCH. FUN.
luckily, that period of my life gradually faded and, as it did, the words came back, came out. stories didn’t seem to, though. last year i met a poet and subsequently re-met poetry. i fell quite in love with the way poetry satisfied my inability to focus for long periods of time. i wrote, and wrote quickly — short bursts of descriptive words that left me full, and happy. stories? no, i was immersed in poetry.
sometimes though stories come back to me. or i come back to stories. somewhere like in the car, with the windows down, as i watch the colors of the setting sun eat away the blue of a day time sky. or they come as i pass hoards of people in the street, chattering. they come randomly and when they do, i embrace them. because no matter how much i stray, i will always be a story writer.
do you know where this is going? i’ll just tell you now: last night i wrote the beginning of a story. i don’t know where it came from, but i heard a name, then saw a setting, and felt my fingers twitching to record.
so, instead of poetry today, i bring you the un-edited first few paragraphs of a story i hope to complete eventually. it’s got no titled, no outline. i just sat down and this is what came out.
enjoy, if you can!
evereth watched the dust rise and swirl in the wind kicked up by the quiet slam of his car door. the sky heaved a slight breeze, picked it up and carried it away. he wished the wind would float him away too, take him far away, take him anywhere.
baking beneath an early afternoon sun wetted his shirt collar. his back ran with sweat. the middle of his palms pulsed. yet he still did not move.
the house in front of him looked the same as when he left it ten years previous. without neighbors, peeling paint, visible holes in the front porch, mildewed rocking chairs and tinkling wind chimes. the crack in the window from front yard baseball games gone awry stared out at him. ten years did nothing to age the house that seemed ancient as long as he’d known it. the wood paneling just looked sadder, lonelier. it missed the bodies who loved it once.
“jesus christ,” evereth muttered as his hands rose instinctively to his waist. he just stood there, blankly. floating. he felt empty and dead, hollow and scraped clean. in his mind evereth pictured the wind kissing the house to the ground. at least then he wouldn’t have to deal with it.
“what am i going to do with you?” he spoke aloud to the house and to the sky and to the wind and to the mountains far off behind. “what am i going to do?” the wind blew, the chimes chimed. the house groaned.
evereth peered up at the sun for a moment, quietly, before dropping his gaze to the dirt and moving to the front steps. they creaked under his boots, sighed at being touched once again. how long had it been? he wondered. how long had the door waited to be opened, how long had she lain there, face decomposing in the carpet fibers?
inside smelled like pine-sol and bleach. death cover ups. the scent burned the rims of his eyes, stung the back of his throat. he ached to leave, all over he ached. but the stillness of the house compelled him to step deeper.
do you find yourself stuck in genres, too?