(Disclaimer: Oddball is not ready for beta-readers. I wrote something else.)
Emily @ Emily Etc. and I are doing this really cool writing prompt link up! We call it Starting Sparks. It helps generate creative sparks to light the writing flame.
That sounded better in my head. . .
So here's my bit for the prompt. It made me think of the weird idea (among other things). So here's a random scene from a yet-to-be WIP. It's very, uh-- I don't even know.
If you're curious, your narrator's name is Rayne.
Our lines glide down the cables. The metallic zipping sound echoes into the darkness of Underground headquarters. The hollow clunk of our feet on the walkway follows it. I can feel the steel grating beneath my shoes and yet I don’t feel anything stable beneath me.
Everyone seems suspended in this bubble. No one speaks and I absorb the numbness of the group as my own. I wrap myself in the protection of denial.
Savannah breaks away first. Her terse footsteps on the walkway take her to the tech room. One by one, everyone follows.
She wants to be alone. I know it. The thought hangs like fading mist in the back of my mind. But I turn and follow mechanically. I can’t be left here alone with the memory of an hour ago.
I stand in the doorway. I see everything and nothing at the same time. The only thing I notice is that Mikel for once doesn’t make any jokes and Savannah for once does not pull away when he embraces her.
Terrence is not here. I know where he’s gone. Should I leave him alone? Or find him? He’s like a brother to me. The thought of him alone and brooding makes me ache. But I know he treasures his solitude to think and cope.
I, for one, do not want to think. I don’t want the flashbacks to tackle me to the ground. I don’t want to cope. I don’t want to have to cope. This should never have happened. The plan was perfect. Fool-proof. Who knew a wise man would stumble in it?
Stop that. I grimace. I force my thoughts away from an hour ago and back onto Terrence. I look to Sid for advice. He’s taken up residence in some dark corner opposite me. He always hides, I know he does. And yet I always spot him so easily when others do not.
His gaze is already fixed on me. Something I would normal find unnerving. He nods ever so slightly to me.
I leave. My abrupt movement feels muffled in this fog. I can see the whole Underground fill up with drifting mist if I try to imagine it.
No, don’t. Keep a clear head.
A lump forms in my throat when I entire the arsenal. I move in and out of the shelves as if I were not here. Touching anything feels like a degradation. The whole place seems as a room of relics, of ghosts, and of old memories lying in wait to prey on my mind.
I climb the rungs of the ladder on the far wall. I focus on how rusty it is. How pieces of it peel off when my hands release the rough metal. How long has this ladder been here? Who put it here? What was the original purpose of this room?
I grapple the ceiling beams and swing onto the skeleton of a loft. Terrence sits on a far beam where a crack in the ceiling casts a sliver of light onto his fingers. Has he ever realized how symbolic it is that he always comes here to this crack of light when he needs the world to make sense? Is it something he does subconsciously or has he known about that shining light since the first time he sat here?
Silently, I sit beside him. His hand with the light cast on it between us. He doesn’t acknowledge my presence. I don’t expect him to. I wouldn’t have if I were in his place.
I want to say something. I’m usually good with words. I lace my fingers together. No. Actually, I’m better at edging words with a bite than I am at saying nice things.
Yeah, nice things is not my specialty.
I don’t know what to do. I have no right to ask him not to break. I could understand that too well. At the same time though, Terrence is family in a way that I could never let him slip through the cracks without a fight.
His face is turned completely away from me. I have no idea what he’s thinking.
“Terrence.” I barely hear my own voice.
His hand darts around me and his head presses against my shoulder. His movements have always been sudden like my own. Perhaps that’s why we understand each other so much. I’m not much of a hugger, but it is natural to hug Terrence. Despite being almost a whole head shorter than myself, he really is my big brother.
The light glimmers on his black hair. He heaves a breath and I can feel him shut his eyes tighter. My shirt is damp and something wet slips down my own face and onto his hair.
We stay like that until the numbness fades.
* * * *
I wrote a short story. It fits the prompt perfectly and I was going to use it instead of the weird idea scene. Then I thought, "Or I could actually do something with it!"
Do Something: to publish in a magazine, electronic or otherwise, or to submit into a writing contest
I have no idea what I'm going to do with it exactly. Where to submit it, etc. I'll do some searching. At the same time though, I had the strong urge to post it here because I wanted you all to read it.
It's a short story (which I never do) and it's actually not fantasy (*gasps* I must be sick or something). It's just over 500 words and it's about grief. Yeah. . . So if you want to read it, just send me an email. On the right hand sidebar, there's a lovely envelope icon you can click to do so. If you want to give any feedback that would be awesome! Let me know if you don't mind answering a few follow up questions. If not, and you just want to read, that's cool too. ;)
Okay, okay. I'm done. I really am.