Friday, April 20, 2007

Workers, white space, "Without Rose"

Those of you who have been reading for a while may recall this post, in which I detailed my first day of my recent bout of Dayworking. One of the many puzzling scenarios in which I found myself involved cake, and a strange cake immunity I noticed among some of the Workers.

Today I went in to pick up a check, and while I was there, the intercom once again sang its siren song of free cake to be found in the breakroom. This time, I was free to go in and get a slice.

So there's balance in some things, at least.


I spent a lot of time today looking at a page upon which is written only the words "Chapter Fifteen." My hope is that later tonight or tomorrow morning I will fill it with something more.


Below is my entry to the Clarity of Night "Endless Hours" contest. It's very short, but I hope it tells a story even in its brevity. People have been very nice to it so far over there, which is a bit of a relief, even though I wouldn't have expected attacks or anything. I'm still not sure how I feel about it myself.

Many of the comments I've received so far concern the "twist" at the end, which I found surprising. I guess I didn't think of it like that. It certainly isn't of the "I sold my pocket watch to buy you this comb" type.

Posting this technically violates one of my rules that I have set for my blog: I am not really permitted to edit anything that is posted here. My rule is basically that the writings here be extemporaneous, and when I post fiction it is always the first draft. I guess my story for the contest never technically went through a second draft, but since I submitted it somewhere as "final," it's still technically breaking the rules.

Rules are nice sometimes, but they certainly aren't everything.


"Without Rose"
by maht wells

The front door let out a creak and Tim nearly bolted, letting the exhilaration of coming close be enough. This was his dare, though, and he intended to prove himself. He felt his brother’s eyes on his back as he crossed the threshold.

They’d lain in the bushes and watched the old man push through the crooked screen door and pick his way to the truck. Tim had never heard the old man speak, had only seen him moving from house to truck and back again, and once in a great while sitting out front in an ancient metal deck chair.

He shut the door behind him and stood still as his eyes adjusted to the darkness inside. As the green wash faded, he was able to make out a pile of magazines stacked next to an easy chair, and an enormous, overflowing ashtray on the coffee table.

It was when he reached the kitchen that he thought about Rose, once the old man’s wife. Even Tim could feel her absence as he stared at the piling sink, the fallen curtain, the decay. This was his first real image of death, the effects of it and what life could become to those left behind. He would carry this kitchen with him.

“Tim!” His brother’s voice, from outside, probably halfway home already. The old man had returned.

Tim stood still for another moment, weighing his options before he turned on the water, squeezing soap from the bottle onto the dishes.


basest said...

maht...a starting point for chapter 15:
"The night air was sultry."

feel free to use that.

ps. good story.

Unknown said...

I am not really permitted to edit anything that is posted here.


The Moon Topples said...

Basest: I'll...uh...I'll keep that in mind.

Veriturkey: When I first started blogging, I used to go back into posts all the time and tweak things, but I decided that I wasn't improving the posts so much as wasting time. So some of my posts have typos and missing letters and words, but so long as the point goes through, I tend to leave it alone.

Reading the Signs said...

I must say I don't experience the ending as a twist. It is a strong ending, it holds the weight of this short piece beautifully and we are at a different place at the end from where we where at the beginning. But maybe I'm being a bit crude about the word "twist".

Unknown said...

I have to say, that the end elicited a smile and a nod. Was it a twist? Whatever you call it, it showed some clever writing. I love stories that take you along an expected path and then dump you somewhere else. Thank you, Maht.

The Moon Topples said...

RTS: You've out it well: I was being crude about the word. I can tell from the other things said that it was meant as a compliment in most cases. And thanks so much for your kind words.

Minx: I'm touched that you liked it. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Right well I tried the idea of not editing and it was gobbledygook. Anyway I wrote my entry, sent it off and all and in an attempt to a)not kill the planet through copious printing and b)not being unfair, I have read all the entries AND MADE NOTES. Really liked your story and the ending was really strong. I'm a bit jealous really that it's so good.

The Moon Topples said...

Ver: Good for you reading the entries. Weirdly, I have decided to take a page from your old book and read them all once they are posted.

Oh, and thanks very much for the other comment. Flattery is always appreciated here at the Moon Topples.

Or at least until I sell it...

Shell said...

i left a longer comment on this at the competition site - is that ok? seems to be but can duplicate it here if that's better ... just occurred to me that you probably can't respond to anything i said over there *doh*... anyway, a very touching piece of writing! SUCH a lot going on there! *grin

Anonymous said...

Ahh.. so it's TRUE.

I guess I must have simply must have forgotten from my youth...

BIOGRAPHY: a written account of another person's life

AUTOBIGRAPHY: a written account of one's own life

FICTION CONTEST ENTRY: a story about death

Very nice, by the way.