6.11 Self Portrait writing

I’m always cracking my back and neck lately. The area aches. Constantly. It never stops. About 5 years ago I awoke from a hangover that never went away and ever since, I’ve been dizzy and life has hurt. Reality, that is – the real world can grow distant. Blurred. It’s never quite as close as it was, but sometimes it draws near. So near. And I can open my eyes and see the world in focus, before it slips away again. And so I sit here, cracking my neck and skipping the stretches, wondering if the pain will stop, or at least, when I’ll next see the world in focus.

W5T1 5.8 : Challenging expectations [rough]

“Eggs, Pasta, Pancetta… What else?” thought Rick, noticing the sideways glances of other shoppers in his periphery. Unsure if their attention was the result of recognition, or because he’d been murmuring his thoughts out loud again, he slunk into the next aisle, away from their attention, and conveniently, towards the dairy fridges where the cream and Parmesan hid. The whole trip had been running smoothly up until he felt a gentle pat on his shoulder followed by a gentle, high pitched voice;  “Excuse me, are you Rick Wrecker?”. Rick clenched his teeth and narrowed his eyes gently, before composing a smile and turning around. Small, brunette. Young and weaselly. She was one of the new adopters due to recent trends shifting his music back into fashion, Rick presumed. Though she had come prepared with a marker pen and a glossy photograph. He still had the black hair and the boots, though the aggressive, brooding expression and young face were now placcid, kind. His previously wirey figure now softer. He’d been through the Rock machine now, those years of excess forging premature wrinkles that outlined his expressions and loosening his eyelids so that they lowered themselves gently over his grey eyes. Rick signed the photo, said his thankyou’s and paying for his groceries, left the store.

The short walk home brought with it the memories that interactions with his younger audience always had. So impressionable. The knowledge of how he would have reacted just a decade ago embarassed him. Over-burdened and slack jawed, The flash of a camera caught Rick off guard, capturing an image that would have disgusted him ten or fifteen years ago. Back in the days he’d earnt a reputation through stories told in backstage black and whites. Lurid and obscene legends documented by the lenses of friends. Clasping the bulging plastic bags that flanked his sides he continued his journey home, smiling for the cameras, wondering if the fan back in the store had seen those photographs. Wondering if his wife had ever seen any of those photographs, and hoping his children never would.

W3T2 – 3.11 Generate Something New

We weren’t quite sure what to do with her when she first arrived, you see –  it’s not often that little girls, or boys for that matter, end up here. At first, we assumed it was simply a mistake and that someone from head office would pop down to rectify the problem, put her to use somewhere her presence might be a better fit, but the day never came. Around eight years old, I would guess. Bright blue eyes and brown hair kept at chin height. I don’t know her name, or where she works, but there’s a nasty rumour going around that the boss has her separated from the rest of us somewhere. Shut away. And that if any of us under perform, that we might be sent there too. I thought it was a joke until yesterday, when I saw Bart dressed up in fancy dress like a Teddy Bear with his head held low over by the baking ovens. I asked him what he was playing at and he just grunted and pressed a piece of paper into my chest and stormed off. Bloody thing nearly fell into one of the ovens, and would have had I not reacted as quick as I did. But I wish I hadn’t. “You are cordially invited” it read “To Emma’s animal tea party”. Lucy, our boss, had even gone as far as to sign it. The thought of it makes my horns ache.  I’m going to have to pull my finger out during rack duty tonight, none of us were counting on Lucy inventing a new means of making us suffer.

W3T1 – Editing Practice

Hilary squinted at the dark clouds, pulling her coat in close to shield herself from the storm, and her pistol from the rush hour’s prying eyes.

W2T3. 500 Words Short [first draft]

Rick stood, overlooking the amusement park. Alone. He’d been here once before, when his parents took him when he was young. Too small to go on any of the rides, he’d watched his parents climb to the top of the biggest slide in the park and go down together and he’d paid the lady at the booth for a photo with money they’d given him before he’d walked to the area at the slides base to be reuinited. It was a fond memory, Their smiling faces, hands held, staring into each others eyes. Frozen for a moment in the camera’s flash before they continued to slide smoothly downward. Rick’s life had changed forever after that day. Not necessarily for the worst. Though it had changed all the same. This was not an uncomfortable thought for Rick, as he’d known the change was coming. The transition, if you could even call it that. Rick himself had never been able to elaborate on how his life had changed. He knew that the day to day workings of his life were the same. He still attended school, driven their by his father after his mother had helped brush his hair over the dark mark of a scar Rick had collected during one of many experiments with his bicycle and the steep hill his house had been on. Rick was reminded of this change every time he saw the photograph, the quiet frustration of it just seemed to accompany the pleasant memories of his childhood.

A fortnight ago, Rick had visited them for the first time in almost a year. His booted feet clunking on their shiney metallic flooring providing a rhythm to his embarassed apology. “Don’t worry” they’d said, scanning their son’s face for emotion, “I think we’ll around for quite some time yet!” They’d joked. Rick smiled on the outside, but inside his anxiety ran with every heartbeat. The blood in the sink every morning had been very real, as had the loosening of his teeth and the thinning of his flesh and balding of his head. When he’d told them he wanted to re-visit the Park, they’d nodded silently. His mother had held him close and touched her finger against his old scar and told him he should visit them again soon.

Atop the slide, Rick gave some thought to how much this place had changed. The slide, once the places crowning feature was now flanked on all sides by attractions that dwarfed it. Rick watched the rollercoaster go through several loops, it’s occupants screaming with excitement before falling silent. He watched the high-riser lift its riders far into the sky and he listened to them scream as it let go and they plummeted towards the earth. Rick breathed in. The little camera view of the bottom of the slide must have been there to show an operator when it was safe for the next slider, though no one had bothered any more. The safety light was at a constant green. And so at his leisure, Rick pushed himself off the top. A flash freezing him like this forever. For now.

W2T2. Familiar words in unfamiliar places

Try describing something familiar with one or two ordinary words that you wouldn’t normally use in that context. 

My last memory was of a fading light.
The darkness smothering where my body lay
listening to the sound of life sweeping itself away.

W2T1. Imaging Writing Spaces

“Imagine two different venues for writing – one that seems most suited to you, and one that you would find bizarre or too difficult. Write a paragraph describing two writers at work, one in each of the venues.”

The vessel heaved upon the water again. Robert had by now, mostly tuned out the rolling waves in his periphery but has having a hard time ignoring the water which would, in small amounts seep over the sides and wash out the ink on the sheets of paper he had carefully organised around the raft. He was beginning to become distracted by the wailings and thrashing of bodies in the water around him. Their screams weren’t good for his concentration. Robert, however, was not to be defeated and saw these trials as challenges to be met with stoic dedication to the task at hand –  his masterpiece. And so he bit his lip, fortified his concentration and, much to the annoyances of the other children fighting for control of the floats at Merton swimming pool’s wave machine hour, continued his work.

Leaning back from my console, I tuned my hearing onto the gentle patter of rain in the near distance. The steady white noise providing its soundtrack as a blank screen rests in front of me. It’s soft glow flickering imperceptibly fast yet somehow feeling like a gentle, soothing pulsation that beckons my hands onto the keyboard. Manipulating a set of buttons on the console in front of me, I simultaneously turn off the ships acoustic ambience player and sever myself from communications with the rest of the universe. As I begin to write, the window that rests just beyond the gentle rectangle of white light begins to open it’s shutter, revealing the planet earth. I look up at the pale blue sphere, smiling to myself as I pick out a single story from it’s surface, and I begin to write.

W1T2. 200 Word Character Sketch

Upon our introduction, I was struck that anyone still living could present such a graven image. The man shaking my hand was a towering giant,  chiselled from stone as though he himself was a place of mourning. Two shallow graves for eyes that ended in narrow slits punctuated with grey dots for pupils. as the hand that nearly completely entombed my own squeezed gently I heard him inhale deeply, the instrument of this sound itself a great neolith that ran down to a smile comprised of neatly aligned tombstones. “Mr. Fox! I’m so pleased to finally meet you!” he bellowed, his voice deep and smooth. I stammered, almost overwhelmed, until I gained my composure, “The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Lamb. I have been so very touched and flattered with your letters”, my own voice a squeak in my ears, though this did not seem to phase Mr Lamb, who upon hearing these words came a great change to his image. A light red appeared upon his cheeks like blooms upon a hill crest which seemed to spread colour across his whole face, his eyes softened and opened and his smile widened from the sharp slit of stones to a wide grin which aroused a swelling within myself  that burst from my face in the form of a wide smile accompanied by a short laugh. By the time I had finished shaking his hand, I knew I had made a friend for life.

W1T1. Three Facts, One Fiction (and Reverse)

3 facts, 1 fiction
Living on the high street has it’s perks. Disturbed by the noise, I used to often find myself laying awake gazing idly at the glints of headlights upon the flickering canvas of my ceiling. These days, I stay up to watch, waiting for city’s next message.

1 fact, 3 fictions
My right hand is playing up again, shooting pains and clicking loudly. The doctors and their representatives I’ve seen have all assured me there isn’t anything to be worried about, and to their credit – the seam between my arm and the hand itself is nearly invisible. However, as I keep telling them, the problem isn’t with how the hand looks, it’s that the hand has started to act in defiance of my command.