Thursday, March 13, 2008

Like Topsy, It Growed

Today tastes of blueberries and pomegranates, sweet and astringent and musky.

I've been writing a fifty-five word story each day for the past few months. Since January 1, 2008, as a matter of fact. I did this for November 2006 through January 2007 and dropped the project. I don't recall why exactly--something about being tired and muddled and afraid to go on, to push through the dip and see what was on the other side.

The excuse grew into a reason, and I let it take over and keep me from growing. Now all I have is the book that came out of those three months--when I could have had four books. It turns out that three months is roughly 90 days, which makes a nice slim volume to hold in your hand.

Hence, with the turn of the year, I picked up the pen again and got going.

55 words is fragmentary--you get very little room for introductions or denouement, never mind conflict. And sometimes you wind up with a little more than a sketch that makes you wonder how these people got where they are, why they're doing what they do, and what comes next.

So. A story and some exploration.

Nothing is what it used to be, she thought as they walked down the street, her
in heels, him in tails. Instead of gaslamps and swanks with canes and
umbrellas, there were garbage cans set ablaze for the small warmth and light and
men with ragged lions' manes.

"Not exactly the Ritz, is it, sweet?" The remaining cobblestones were uneven so she wobbled sometimes on her pointed stilts. He steadied her with his arm around her waist. A tripartate display, she thought. That he could afford to keep a woman in furs, that he could protect what he kept, and that he had no fear of needing to draw the blade by his side. That he could walk where he wished, when he wished, and no one would challenge him.

A silver chain around her neck, a coat of wolf's pelts on her back, and the black coach that dogged their footsteps as they walked down the dark street.

Hmmm . . . I think this is actually a middle somewhere, now that I get a better look. I can half-see the world this belongs in, and there's a bunch of stuff that comes first. Tucking this between the pages of a Bible to flatten it. Perhaps I'll come back later.

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