He watched as if from afar as his fingers stab and stab away at the keyboard. Surely they couldn’t be his. Neatly trimmed, they look vicious and and unmerciful but yet so graceful in their ministrations.
The sigh that ripples out his chest sucks him back into his body. Surely he must be in purgatory. This knowing he’s not working hard enough, accomplishing less than he possibly could in a workday. But no matter, no matter how hard and long he abused the keyboard he get distracted and plays truant. Ruled by his own impulses. He disgusted himself.
At the end of the long day of doing mostly nothing, the tiredness that swamps him is partly shame and part anger. Tomorrow, he knows, with be identical to today, as the day before that was.
And the day before that.
Bloody hell and damnation. He snatches his hands from the device as if the thing grew teeth. Ah, the small respite from sluggish ruminations hit him like a slap, and he’s grateful. Here, hope dares to bloom and his mind whirs to life as if it had been off the whole time.
I can move forward. I can do this. Plan. I need a plan. The thoughts came in fast now. His mind is clear but it wont last for long. He had learned to move quick to climb up a new rung of the ladder. When his head would become heavy again, he’d be stuck on a new level.
I ran like the horses, swift and wild, because I am my father’s child. My breath fogs the air in fluffy puffs, feet barely touching the ground. I feel the ocean to my left, beating a deep bass pulse like my own heartbeat. ‘Mr. Brunner’ said I’d feel better now that we know where I belonged at camp, more like in the hierarchy of things. The pain will stop, he said. And it has, I suppose. But it never really does, does it?
Thrusted into the limelight, I stick out like a barnacle on a ship. Now, I just let the dawn air pierce my lungs; my legs starting to burn a little, getting too hot. That’s okay, though. With a thought, I willed a slight chill over my skin and the clouds of my breath grew denser. I could do this because I am my mother’s daughter.
While studying, Charles Trenet’s La Mer came on the radio. I had to drop my pen, sit back and close my eyes. I knew the English translation and I also know it meant more than what it says. A bittersweet melody. Behind my eyelids, in my mind’s eye memories fall like feathers. Monochrome movies, a tavern by the seaside and wind blowing in from the windows, and the scent of soap. I remember rainy days and reading about Harry, Ron and Hermione when I’d read all over the house to be at peace with my thoughts. A simple song can be a key to memories so precious that I’d tuck them away for safe keeping, tucked away so well that I’d nearly forgot.
This was an exercise I participated in one of my tutor group’s discussions. the topic was simplicity, saying more with less. The best thing is pulling work from memory, like I did here. We had to comment, or “self reflect” on our pieces, which was refreshing because though I’d usually make comments at the back of my mind while writing and editing (ohmygods I now realize I’ve been doing a crap job at that) I never actually pay attention. Hope you liked it.
On a side note, La Mer literally translate from French to The Sea but some of you might be familiar with the English version, Somewhere beyond the sea(listen to the Bobby Darrin, Robbie Williams and Kevin Spacey versions!), while still charming loses some meaning from the original, according from comments on YT.
Hi everyone, I’ve yet a again disappeared! I’m now taking an online course at Goldsmiths in Cert HE in English and man is it a challenge. I’ve decided to take Creative Writing and Introductions to English Language this year. I’m freaking out because:
1) I’m new to independent study and timing myself is a tricky and is altogether intimidating.
2) Ohmygods, the reading, the analysis, the note-taking! My head is going to explode and to top it off my textbooks haven’t arrived and it’s like 3 weeks in. Do you see my problem?
Deep breaths. I’m scared but I must try, I keep telling myself. Creative Writing encourages a regularity in writing, practice they say is essential. So I practiced on one of Ermilia Blog‘s PI&W entries (I haven’t written one in ages). Here it is.
Photo via Ermilia Blog. Click to see original post.
The sconces high on the walls sent shards of light bouncing around the large room, by the time it reached the bottom it had evened out so that the old man, surrounded with books and parchment, could manage to read. He sat slightly bent over a scroll, eyes quickly scanning its length until they stopped abruptly on a spot almost at the end. He gasped, a little thing, and started off in a hacking cough disturbing the dust motes in a flurry.
As soon as he was settled, long nimble fingers quickly sought and sorted through flat sheets of vellum to his left. Mumbling under his breath, “Oh my … yes … yes … Interesting.” Pages shudder in the quiet, causing little echoes to ebb out the high windows and into the night.
A sudden exclamation, “Impossible!” Even faster now, with a quill in a hand stained with dry ink, the scholar scribbled away on a new sheet, tiny and precise but managed to be near intelligible, perhaps even on purpose. Given his somewhat unkempt appearance one would say he’d been here for a good many hours.
Then, “Yet again it could be! The Chinese, too, had made quite detailed observations … it could be possible …”
This isn’t right, he thought for the hundredth time. Mathew stood well within the reach of the shadows in the corner of the room. The old women, oh these women, their wills were thousandfold the force of their heavy wrinkled and gnarled hands. They had gotten it in their heads that Petr must live. Why, he’s far too young for this fate.
Fools. Who are they to decide against nature? Petr, the rambunctious lad he loved and knew, the boy who wanted to fly. Pretended to do so as he ran down the hills at breakneck speed just to feel the wind. If he’d been allowed to die in proper peace would have turned in his grave at the very though of such imposed suffering his soul must endure. It pained Mathew to see his friend binded to this lingering existence.
Here’s my bit for this week’s entry. It’s an Avengers fanfic 🙂 Here’s the thing, it turned out to be longer than I anticipated which is normal but I wanted to keep on point that it’s a prompt piece. I will definitely post the other part as sequel since I already finished writing it. Fact: this is my first writing of this sort for this fandom. I actually like it.
I couldn’t sleep, I finally decided as I fell on the floor face first after much tossing and turning. I’d come out of a panic attack only an hour ago (it’s one in the morning) after learning that my scrambled mother sent all of my freaking socks to GoodWill, except the pair that I have on. I just can’t even, anymore. I have yet to meet another soul who truly knows the importance of socks, the spiritual aspect of the things.
But something strange happened between that time and now.
Now, I was … I haven’t the foggiest idea where I am. It was by a dock, that much I could say. It was almost quiet, the ringing in my ears is almost audible.
Not far off I could see the city skylight taking definition in the horizon. It was one of those shipping yards where those hella huge container ships dock. I’m perched atop a stack of them, five stories tall. It was cold, environmentally sure, but the pealing metal was approximately 6°C, with no vibrations except from the tiny ones coming from the ground conducted by the four containers below. A night bird called, a nervous shiver raced through me like an internal minor earthquake.
I can’t explain it, but I just know this stuff. Live feed on the energy signatures around me and this is just the one dimensional stuff. I noticed it three years ago. I wish I could talk about it but it’s the kind of thing that gets you in a sealed room and on a dissection table courtesy of some vague and menacing government agency. No thanks, not that I have friends anyway.
There wasn’t much traffic here, however, I’m pretty sure I’m still in New York. That made me kinda edgy being here out late. Then again weird shit happens at any given time. Last year there was an alien invasion at high noon. Our saviours had disappeared as quickly as they had appeared but I do feel safer knowing that they exist at all. Ask any one. You can take a peek at my room. The faces of the Avengers dominated my walls. First class ass kickers, that bunch.
Back to the now. I don’t know how I got here. One moment I was about to nod off. The next I was standing in front of this normal sized corrugated metal box, a nondescript thing really. I shouldn’t have noticed its dull blue-grey paint, but I did. I knew it was trouble the five seconds after. Trouble had energy emissions too, not that the average human could discern.
Impulsively I’d reached out and touched it, fingers grazing the cold dead thing. With a strangled gasp I wrenched my hand away. It wasn’t dead like it should be. My hand been glowing teal and silver-white along the bones and nerve tissues, making it abundantly clear this was going to be one crazy night.
The beautiful lightening ran from that arm to the rest of me like … like fresh blood, I guess. Energized. Alive like I’d never been. The world was sharper, the scents were stronger and separate. Basically all of my senses leveled up by a lot than what I was used to. There had to be something alien about it. Hell, it practically was alien tech for all I knew.
Then I hear voices approaching, gravel crunching under brisk footsteps.
There wasn’t a lack of hiding spots and just for the heck of it, I tried a thing and tested these heightened abilities. I took a few steps back, bent my knees and sprang up with all the force I could muster. And dear Lord almighty, did I jump. I needed to work on the landing aspect.
After much toil, the paperback is officially available for purchase on Amazon! Thank you so much to the contributors and others who donated time and work for this publication. It is truly an honor to work with you to support The Girl Effect, a movement “leveraging the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries and the world.”
Reminder for Contributors
The paperback has a Table of Contents so you can flip right to your contribution! Note that the eBook does not, so when previewing please keep that in mind. Not sure which version they will use for the inside preview.
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