Mortality

Based on this Flash Fiction Challenge.

“My mortality and I am closely acquainted.” Prompt by http://52lettersinthealphabet.wordpress.com/.

My mortality and I are closely related. We weren’t, of course. I was like a lot of young people – I was immortal. I had such energy, and everyone else around me was just so old. Nothing ever hurt me, really. I had never broken a bone, nor had any long-term medical treatment. I was a healthy, happy utter moron. I’d like to say that all that changed when I died, but the truth is that the ability to talk in the past tense about your own death, makes it kind of hard to take seriously.

Jamie and Carl really wanted to go to this club we’d heard about around fresher’s week. It was the “awesomest club that ever awesomed!” according to some tank-topped bint outside the Union. I hung back, smoked my cheap cigarette and feigned indifference while trying to work out whether she was wearing a bra or not. She wasn’t.

“She was so hot!” said Carl.

“Not bad, not bad.”

I stayed silent. I was an introvert even when I was alive. Well, you know. Alive-alive.

Anyway, long story short, we went. I wore a black shirt and the black jeans I thought made me look sexy, but actually just accentuated how fat didn’t really stick to my bones. Jamie and Carl dressed like the hipster twins – all vintage and bright colours and hair that was just vaguely ‘up’.

We got in easily enough. No ID checking during the first couple of weeks of term. You’ve gotta get the kiddies hooked. That’s the real fucking trick. Then they up the prices and squeezed the young ones. We climbed down these dark chipboard stairs and into the club proper.

Inside, the place looked like an aircraft hanger with too few lights and too much black paint. There was a stage in the dim distance with a hairy band fiddling with cables and instruments and shit. Between them and us was an army of hipsters, rockers and goth wannabes. Basically a load of kids like us – more money and less supervision than they’d ever had before. I went for a piss. One bearded fat kid was puking in a stall. There was an inch of water that kind of sold me on DMs as club wear. It was barely nine o’clock. I had an echoing thought in my head that I’d gone to the pussiest university in Britain.

The night went as these nights often do. Early on the hipster twins locked on to a pair of brand-wearing horny chicks who were a couple of drinks ahead of us. They weren’t bad looking, but they had the wide-eyed conviction that always preempted a certain amount of drama. When one of the chicks flashed her tattoo of ‘birds flying away to symbolise freedom’ on her shoulder blade, I was out. I’d be hearing one or the other of the guys bitching about this silly cow for months. I had no intention to listen to the prologue live. I’d wait for the whiney Cliff Notes.

I think I was on my third of fourth beer and sixth or seventh brightly-coloured shot that a cowgirl had been peddling around the damn place. The band had started up, and appeared to be a death metal band who exclusively covered Smash Mouth. The lead singer had something about him that told me he was a man who was nothing outside the fantasy he created for himself on stage. I figured he was doing some ball-achingly dull degree that his parents thought was a good idea. He also looked a bit desperate on his third rendition of ‘All Star’. I think another band cancelled.

Whatever, anyway, that was when she slinked up to me. ‘Slinked’ isn’t a word I’d ever used before, but it was the only one that seemed right for the way she moved. She was wearing jeans and a shiny red tank top. Nothing really spectacular about it except the woman who wore it. She moved like I imagine a mermaid would swim. She had black hair and light brown skin. She stared me straight in the eye and pinned me to the spot.

“Hello,” she said.
“Hey,” I said, straining for the indifference I’d flashed at Tank Top Girl that afternoon. I think my voice broke. It wasn’t my best performance.

“What are you looking at?”

“Um… you?”

She frowned at that as though she’d made a mistake.

“No, before me.”

I thought about it. Nothing really. Just people. I told her as much.

“And what do you see?”

“Kids. Student loans, sex and freedom.”

“I see.”

I wanted her to ask me what was so different about me. I didn’t know the answer, but I was desperate to have the chance to tell her. She licked her lips – a dark berry colour that made me think of sweet fruit or expensive ice cream.

“What’s your name?”

“Mason- I mean Jonathan. Joe.”

“Well, Mr. Mason. Is this your usual ‘scene’?” She said the word like it tasted bad in her mouth. I could empathise.

“Not really. It’s like a noisy safari park. All the animals are hunting each other to a third-rate soundtrack,” the band over-dramatically finished one song with an synthesized twang as though to punctuate my point. “Only it’s stupid. The prey want to be caught, and choose their predator with their outfits and fucking ‘come hither’ bullshit.”

She nodded, considering my words. I was quite proud of them at the time in the way that only an eighteen year old Humanities student could be. She licked her lips again. Should I have offered her a drink?

“Sorry, would you like something to drink?”

“No thank you, Jonathan. I was thinking of leaving. Would you like to join me?” There was a glimmer in her half-lidded eyes. The kind of look I’d labelled ‘come hither bullshit’ seconds before. I didn’t care.

“Yes, please.”

She took me by the hand and led me through the crowd and into the street with her mermaid walk. She took me away from all the children. She took me away to die.

Commentary: It’s been a while since I’ve written every day, and this was a lot of fun. Almost cathartic, thinking back to those awful, sweaty nights in awful venues. I’d love to hear your comments, so please post below. ūüôā

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Daily Writing Challenge Introduction.

Hello, dear readers. So I’ve slipped out of the habit of regular writing due to work, study and social concerns along with other hobbies (particularly including¬†Once Upon a Time. If you haven’t seen it and you’re the kind of person who like my blog, you should definitely remedy that). Anyway, I decided to trawl the internet for a daily challenge thing I could do based specifically in writing. And I did. It’s listed below. I found it¬†here. I don’t know where this person got it from.

 

Day 1:Write a biography your life. Only use a seven word sentence.
Day 2:Create a character. Write a brief scene of them in a setting. Also use this paragraph to introduce the character to the reader by how they react to their setting.

Day 3: Think about the character you created for Day 2. Write their seven word biography.

Day 4: What world does your character exist in? Real or imagined? Scientific? Fantastical? Write a scene where your character is shown in their world.

Day 5: Your character is getting ready in the morning. Write a scene of their morning (or even mid day) routine.

Day 6:How was your characters childhood? Write a scene about them as a child. How was their home life? Their family? Their upbringing? Where did they grow up? What friends did they have?

Day 7: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!

Day 8:What about their earlier school days? Write a scene of your character in grade school or middle school.

Day 9:How was your characters first kiss? Who with? Where was it? How old were they? Write the scene.

Day 10: Your character has dreams, ambitions, and goals dont they? What are they? What are they doing to achieve them? Write a scene that shows these aims.

Day 11: What does your character do on a daily basis? What is their job? Do they have one? Write a scene from a normal day in your characters life.

Day 12: What does your character do when their day isnt a normal day? Write a scene where something goes amiss in your characters day to day life.

Day 13: Your character has a whole day off to do whatever they want. Write a scene of them enjoying this free day.

Day 14: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!

Day 15: Your character is upset. What about? How does it affect them? Does anyone come to comfort them? Write a scene where your character is distraught.

Day 16: Your character is going on a trip. Where to? Who with, if anyone? Why are they going on a trip? Write a scene of them either getting ready or departing on their journey.

Day 17: Your character has fallen in love. With who? Is it serious? Are they in a relationship with this person? How did they meet? Write a scene of your character either contemplating this significant other or directly interacting with them.

Day 18: Your character has a conversation with an influential person in their life. It can be a parent, a teacher, a mentor, anyone your character looks up to. Why are they having the conversation? Write the scene.

Day 19: Today is a day that will change your characters life forever. What course of events occurs? How does your character react? Write a scene from this day.

Day 20: Your character is in a new place. What brought them there? Why are they there? How are they reacting to this change of scenery? Write a scene of your character in this new place.

Day 21:FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!

Day 22:Today is the end of an era in your characters life. How do they feel about this? What is happening today? Write a scene of your character on this day.

Day 23: Write a scene between your character and another character of your choice (whether brought up previously in the other scenes or not) using only dialog. The setting and situation is up to you, but you cannot not use descriptive exposition, only dialog.

Day 24: Write, in second person, a dream your character is having. Whether it be a nightmare or something happier, describe the dream in its entirety.

Day 25: Today, your character is saying goodbye to someone. Who are they saying goodbye to? Why? Are they emotional? Are they going away or is the other person? Write the scene.

Optical Illusion ((all critique valued and appreciated))

There’s an optical illusion that many women take advantage of. Namely, the fact that if she wears good clothes – and by good I mean good quality as well as style – which frame, display or camouflage the correct body parts, she can hide the fact that she is not, lacking these accoutrements, physically attractive in any way.

A favourite technique is to display mounded breasts above scaffolding of the most torturous order. With enough money spent on the quality of this supportive structure, along with well-fitting jeans or, for those with a¬†truly vile physiognomy, a buttock-revealing skirt, a woman can acquire almost anything within certain boundaries. I once met one woman who permanently penetrated the upper-middle classes by utilizing that method. Of course, she was killed by¬†La Ripper Nuevo, but I’ll get onto that later.

Claire was a social climber of the absolute worst order. She would flirt with, pout at or fuck anyone she needed to to get exactly what she wanted. She was an valueless opportunist, who was, at one point, shagging every man in my social circle. It was a kind of open secret that she was the Club’s bicycle, but if anyone ever mentioned an observed meeting, the accused would of course have to play the ‘outraged and wronged’ part in that well-worn dramatic¬†production.

I chose not to partake of that particular hobby, as I felt unenamoured with the idea of having myself covered in the excited excretions of other men. I can only imagine the disease and filth of which she became a fetid conveyance before the end.

The Ripper began small, unimportant and slow. He killed the unwanted and anonymous. It was a study in economic sociology. Only with Claire McClaren did he begin to hit the headlines of the wretched red-tops. The more serious papers would catch on before the week was out.

She had been fellating a happily-married real estate magnate. I think, after two years of untargeted promiscuity, she was searching for the role she felt she was born to play: that of a pampered second wife. Suitably serviced, my esteemed mustachioed friend left her alone to reconstruct her facade. That was the last bloodless encounter anyone ever had with her.

The thing I remember the most was her mother’s eyes when she visited the Club months later. The police were pursuing Mr. N. Ripper’s later victims and were not pursuing the specifics of Ms. McClaren’s¬†case to the extent the senior Ms. McClaren¬†would expect. So, she arrived at the club in ill-fitting, discount store clothes with a dog-eared picture of a young, unrecognisably innocent Claire. She asked stupid, repetitive questions and ultimately left disappointed. Her eyes, though; they seemed to be repeating the Guardian‘s now-famous account of the loss of her daughter.

She blinked: “Claire was slit from throat to genitalia.”

She wiped away a tear: “Her head was displayed on the mantlepiece of the almost deserted ______ Club.” (I choose not to name the club, as it has gained enough notoriety from this lascivious case as it is.)

She enacted what I think she imagined were puppy-dog eyes at a colleague in the hopes of more information, and they seemed to shout: “Almost all of the young woman’s organs were taken, save her reproductive organs, which were arranged in a nearby leather armchair.”¬†It was an awful thing, too: that chair was terribly comfortable. With the police now, I suppose.

 *****

I understand that the Ripper plans to take a vacation. His senior partners seem to think he deserves a break, and I tend to agree. There had been an ‘action’, as he called them, every Sunday night for the past six weeks. He felt loath to break that record, though he longed for Vienna in the Spring.

Being the gentleman that I am, I felt the need to take over his responsibilities. That said, I have to admit that the chippy little thing who lives in an apartment opposite my own did prompt the decision. She comes home near-nightly with a bare arse, a stink of booze and a strange man or two. I have been spending my evenings in the club, post-golf, considering what I might do to cleanse her behaviour before the final chop…

My Writing So Far

I started this blog because my other writer friends seem to find these a superior platform for the medium. I haven’t been convinced into it, but since I seem to use my main Tumblr blog entirely for following fandoms, I thought it would be nice to have a place completely distinct to post writing and writing discussions.

Anyway, I thought I’d start out talking about where I’m at with my writing at the moment. I started out with a plan to write 500 words per day on anything. That included articles on Tumblr, short stories and my novel. I managed to keep that up for a while, but found work, my relationship and other excuses getting in the way. Anyway, I’ve found that when I do write, my focus has been more and more on my novel. Around a quarter of the way into the novel, I found myself floundering. Rather than give up, which I was sorely tempted to do, I decided to give the Snowflake Method a try (I recommend it).

Writers

Okay, so below is a list of things I’ve achieved with my writing this year:

  • 5.2 thousand words of ordered plans for the novel.
  • 22.3 thousand words of unplanned manuscript (which is now being edited into my final manuscript as per my plan).
  • 11 thousands words of the final manuscript.
  • COMPLETED a short story, which is¬†receiving¬†decent reviews on a writer’s website (http://youwriteon.com/).
  • One comic book review linked on the official Facebook pages of the comic’s publishers.
  • A number of notes, incomplete stories and ideas which I can utilise in the future when my focus is not so totally on my novel.
  • A number of non-fiction blogs HERE which I used to hone my writing and practice my reviewing skills.

Things I would like to do by the end of the year:

  • Finish the first draft of my novel1.
  • Edit the short story2 and begin to send it to publishers/agents.
  • Finish at least one other short story from start to finish.
  • Begin serious work on editing my novel and exchanging proof-reading services for sexual favours or Mexican souvenirs.

That’s where I am with my writing. I really want to take this seriously, and a lot of my self-esteem is wrapped up in my writing, so I really hope that I can turn it into something real.

As always comments, advice and affirmations are more than welcome.

1I keep calling it my novel because the working title is simply the name of the main character: “Laura”.
2“Margaret”. I’m not good at names.