Day 130 Risk: Publicly Share My Short Story

Hello everyone. I’m D and I’m a writer.

Duh. You knew that. You’re reading this aren’t you?

Well what I actually want to write, for realsies, not for funsies, is fiction. As hard as it is to believe, everything you’ve read here so far is real. Real as can be. Yes my life is sometimes that interesting and most times that boring.

I worked on a short story today and there are parts of it that I’m really proud of, so I’m going to share some of it here. The below is a section of a longer piece I’m working on to possibly submit to some grants.

I’m inspired by my good friend who was in a staged reading/radio play/musical tonight and sang onstage, something she did not feel comfortable doing and was super scared about. She inspired me to do something that I find really scary. I figure you could boycott this blog after reading the below, determining that I suck and questioning why you followed me in the first place. You could also think it’s great and I could just be the asshole who undercuts herself. Either way it scares the piss out of me to share this.

Enjoy.

 

“So, yeah. Good weather, eh? Been warming up quickly…”

“What are you doing here?” he interrupted, clearly uncomfortable.

“Just, I don’t know, walking.”

He laughed. His smile was more charming than I could have imagined. “No, what are you doing up here? The season doesn’t start for another month and a half.”

“Oh. I’ve been up here for a few months already. I’m… I can’t explain it.” I looked down, determined not to allow my eyes to reveal the true pain that bubbled under the surface. I hadn’t cried yet, not even when my husband stood in the doorway of our bedroom as I packed a bag, calling me a terrible mother for leaving Susie behind and screaming obscenities at me as I slammed our ornate mahogany door. Tears had lived deep in the well of my eyes and I believed were dried up from lack of use. But there, in his presence, I could feel the pit of failure crawling up my stomach and into my chest, grasping with it’s cold dead fingers for any handhold it could get. First it punched me in the ribs, then the center of my chest and finally scratched at my throat, fighting to be released.

“It will work out,” Jake said softly.

I sighed deeply, forcing the demon down a little, and barely whispered, “You don’t…how…”

“I just do,” he interrupted again.

I looked down again, focusing on the winter worn leaves dotting the forest floor. A carpenter ant crawled across one and onto my boot. I watched it’s progress carefully, determined to ignore this feeling, burying it once again. His boots came into my picture frame, one foot carefully placed in between my two. I breathed in and was greeted with the smell of detergent and Dove soap. So simple. I realized that I couldn’t hear any of the normal forest sounds: no birds chirped, no leaves rustled, no bugs buzzed. His breath had overtaken my head, pushing out all other life.

He slowly put his arms around me and I exploded, sobbing into his chest. I released all the layered emotions that had built up: the guilt of leaving my child, the failure of a marriage fallen apart, the fear of my future. I cried until there was nothing left in me, leaving my faults intertwined with the red threads of his shirt. At some point, I’m not sure when, my hands made their way to my eyes and began to press against them until stars popped into my field of vision. They were still there when I realized that he was gone. As my sobs calmed to simple tears, I noticed the breeze again, replacing the warmth his broad shoulders had provided. I lifted my eyes and looked around but he had disappeared into the nearby oaks.

For a moment I searched around, worried that I had imagined the entire thing. As I stumbled about, dazed with the emptiness I felt, I happened upon the mass he was crouched over when I found him.

B-A-R-B-A-R-A, written in stones.

 

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