Stuff I've Written/I'm Trying Out

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Stuff I've Written/I'm Trying Out Empty Stuff I've Written/I'm Trying Out

Post  Admin on Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:32 am

Starting with this pastiche (a poor job of a pastiche perhaps, but I enjoyed the story that came out) since it was suggested. Since I have a start I'll probably put up more things of mine. Comments are appreciated on anything I might drop here.

Identify your own original Impossible Narrator:
Define this narrator’s motivation (a quality that does not change in the reincarnation) and conflict (the predicament of the reincarnation).

Rewrite Butler’s title to fit your intention: “ ____ _____ Returns in Form of _____”

*motivation: Desire to be close to someone again
*conflict: Unwanted by the child who reminds her of her brother, loses everyone again

Lonely Orphan Returns in Form of Hamster

It was not so long ago when I slept in a bed with sheets instead of a bed of sawdust. Since carrots were a snack, not a treat. Since I was a girl instead of a hamster.

I don’t regret the change so much. Things were going downhill anyway. My parents and my brother were gone, gone away forever, and I was alone. Old enough to handle being alone, but alone still, and mourning the loss of a family which I hadn’t been so close to anymore.

Now I was in this warm and stuffy clear crate, full of soft clippings and other little balls of fur and so much plastic, tubes and wheels and balls and everything so colorful and exciting. I wasn’t sure why they were so compelling, but I could run through the little tubes and around the wheel going nowhere all day. The only thing more compelling was people.

I’m brave as far as rodents go. Whenever anybody puts their hand in to grab one of us I never run. I just curl up into a soft little ball. I try not to squirm, even when they squeeze too hard, though sometimes I can’t take it and I have to bite to say “Loosen up!” Usually they do. Just too much. They drop me. Plop, onto the floor. It knocks the wind out of me and scares me to fall so far onto the cold floor. Sometimes I see stars. But I can breathe again. They never ask to take me home when I bite.

Today, though, is different. I see a little boy come in. Soft brown hair, freckled cheeks, hazel eyes. He smiles so sweet. For a moment I forget, my brother is dead. I see this boy and I want to go home with him. To be with him again. He stops and looks at me and I put my nose against the glass. I wag my little tail. He grins and reaches over the glass to scratch my head, and then moves on. I’m devastated. I chase him across my cage. He keeps walking. I run to the top of our plastic tower to look as he walks away. After a quick cycle through the shop he exits with a woman, his mother, not my mother.

They get in a car. I squeal. I can remember the crash that my family was in, that killed them. I roll down through the tubes and burrow deep under the sawdust. I curl up and hide. I don’t want to think. This boy might meet the same fate, making me relive the loss of that bond again. He had left me, but at least I could pretend otherwise he might come back again.
Suddenly a hand is grasping, groping in the box. It’s too big to be the boy’s. But I don’t move. I can’t move. And then I’m pulled, pulled high up by a surprisingly gentle hand given how rough it is. I unfold myself as it extends and look up. “It’s your lucky day.” Says the man holding me, with a smile. “Jimmy will be pleased. He thought we were leaving here with nothing.”

I am put in a dark box. Small. I wonder who Jimmy is. The dark box is moved and I feel myself thrown against the wall. It gives, opening up to familiar sawdust and wood filings. I see colorful plastic. It’s just like my old home, but it seems I am alone. Confused, lonely, I crawl to the plastic. There’s food. I gather as much as I can in my cheeks and burrow into the shavings again, mourning the loss of the boy with the freckles. My body tenses and I feel myself drifting into sleep.

When I wake up, it is dark again. I can’t find the walls. It’s loud. Screams and shrieks and laughter. It was somehow familiar, but altogether painful and I buried myself deeper to try to dim the sound. I couldn’t sleep anymore. I just waited, curled, confused.

I don’t know how much later, but at one point, suddenly, the noise stopped. And then it became concentrated. It was sweet, melodic. I recognized the tune. “Happy Birthday.” I remembered the man who took me. “Jimmy.” He had said. It was Jimmy’s birthday. Suddenly everything was bright. I thought I had discovered something important for a moment, and then I realized my box was a present box. I was a birthday present for Jimmy.

I looked up into the brightness. Jimmy was the boy from the pet shop. The boy with soft hair and freckles and bright hazel eyes. I wagged my tail for him. He smiled at me softly, then turned and said “Thanks Dad!” I thanked dad too, with a brief chorus of squeaks.
Then Jimmy turned away and opened the next present. I was hurt, but I consoled myself. He’s being polite. He liked me. I could tell he liked me. I’ll be his best friend. Like my brother and I used to be best friends before I moved away. Before the crash. I sleep, secure in this notion.

I wake to noises some time later. I’m in a new place. There’s a bed. I think it’s Jimmy’s room. There are sounds like guns and engines and I see a screen full of bright moving things. I can’t stand to look at it. Jimmy is entranced, though. A moment later the woman comes in. “Jimmy! You’ve been playing that game all day!”

Jimmy doesn’t look at her. He just grins. “It’s my favorite birthday gift!” I’m crushed. I’m not his favorite. Ousted by a glaring bright and loud image series from a cold disk. I feel liquid in my eyes and remember what tears are like. Bitterness fills my heart. How can he not love a living thing more? I’m sure I can gain his love, though.

I run the wheel. He glances when it whirs as it spins, but he doesn’t watch for long. He’s busy with his game. I run through the plastic tubes, my nails clicking. Again, he glances, but doesn’t care. Days I spend like this, running and climbing and rolling. Sometimes I get him to smile and those moments are the best moments of my life. He never takes me out to play, though. He doesn’t love me like he loves other things. It breaks my little hamster heart, beating twice a second for him.

I wake one morning to something different, though. I feel stifled, and not just because of the sawdust pushing against me on all sides, or because I’m so lonely and rejected. The air seems different. It’s harder to breathe. It smells bad. I realize the scent after too long of breathing it. Smoke. Just like the day I died, leaving my food to cook and burn when I answered the call from the funeral home. I didn’t expect it to take long, but I forgot about my dinner and by the time I remembered it was too late. The kitchen was burning and the door out was on the other side. I remember cowering, hoping the firemen would be there before the flames could reach me, but I don’t remember flames at all. It was the smoke that killed me, breathing too much. Just like then I curled up in a corner and squealed. As a person a screamed but now I just squeaked as loud as I could. Jimmy didn’t hear.
Jimmy. I put my paws up against the wall and looked over to him. He was sleeping still, if restless now, coughing from the foul air. The smoke was heavier. My vision was going dark and I panicked. I buried under my woodchips. The air was cooler there, cleaner, filtered by the shavings. I hadn’t realized how warm the air was until I sunk down into my nest. It was normally warm here, and instead it was pleasantly chill. I continued to squeak. Jimmy wouldn’t hear me, but I needed him to still. If I could save his life I would win his love. And I wouldn’t die in a fire again. Neither would the boy I loved like my brother. My brother who also died in flames when the car careened off the road and the engine sparked an explosion.

The air became heavy again. Not even my chips were lessening the smoke now. I heard Jimmy rustle in bed, hacking and coughing. He let out a whimper, and then a scream. I could tell he was cowering in the corner, too. I felt my head float up, and Jimmy’s voice faded as his coughs took over. Eventually, everything was quiet and dark. Silent again. Heat licked through the room in bright flame, but I didn’t see it. I didn’t feel it. I don’t think Jimmy did either. We were both going back. We were going to sleep once more.


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