Building off of my post from last Friday (May 27th) entitled “Consistency Builds Commitment???”, I wanted to keep the consistency going (see what I did there?!) and make Fridays the day of the week that I share excerpts of writing that I’ve done in the past through writing prompts, random stream of consciousness, parts of larger works, or as part of my 100-200 daily word exercises. The point being to attempt to examine what I’ve done for clarity sake and whether or not I can make sense of it….not only to those who read it but to myself as well.
The below portion has been pulled from a writing prompt that I completed last year. I no longer have the actual prompt (or remember it exactly) but I do slightly remember my idea when I was writing it. It was a short story, no more than three pages long, chronicling a mother and son and their nomadic lifestyle through a postmodern society that has been completed destroyed. The viewpoint of this world was through the son in first person perspective.
…With care to add a few more crinkled pieces of paper inside her lantern for it to burn brighter, I headed to the door at the end of the kitchen that led to the backyard. I took a deep breath and wrenched it open.
Immediately I was slammed with enough wind to knock me back flat on the ground. If not for the weight of my mom behind me, it would’ve happened. She was old, but she was sturdy. It was worse than I thought. The sky lit up in arcs of furious lightning and claps of thunder echoed through the sky. It was an effort to take those first few steps down from the patio to what was left of the yard. But the hand on my shoulder steadying me and the guide of my walking stick kept me straight through the sheets of rain pounding us.
In these times, our number one rule was to keep our head down on the path and never look back until we were safe. We kept to that and left out the torn wooden gate, toward the surrounding mountains. We ignored the chilling rain, the rocking of the loud thunder, and the explosive brightness of the lightning that seemed to get closer with each occurrence. All we focused on was putting one foot in front of the other.
I looked at my watch as we sat our bags down within a small alcove I had spotted while trudging through the stormy weather. It had been about twenty minutes away from the small mountainous hills neighboring the lone house we had found shelter in. It was quiet and dry and we had some time to catch our breath. We had walked for around five hours to keep ahead of what was coming.
“Look,” was all my mother said. She pointed outside the small jut in the rocks we currently crouched in, past the calm weather we had walked the last hour in, and back several miles in the direction of our house.
It was there.
In my mind I had this image of a boy slightly past teenage years and maybe early twenties, having to navigate one of the worst storms you could imagine. His age was important because in my head, the main character was just now approaching manhood. He would be impulsive, carrying youthful energy that wasn’t quite utilized due to having to approach responsibility at a young age. This due, in large part, to having to keep his mother safe and continuing forward.
Looking at this retrospectively, imagine the inverse of Joel and Ellie’s interactions from The Last of Us, although the story and world involved are waaaaay different. If you haven’t heard of that stellar video game, do yourself a favor and check it out now!
Overall I was a fan of what I had written but I do cringe slightly at the ‘wordy-ness’ of it. With a chunk of it being inner monologue I felt like I had no choice but to paint the scene that they were traversing through and hopefully explain why it was so dangerous to the reader. I know the unspoken law of fiction is usually ‘Show Not Tell’ but I’m far from perfect.
Hope to continue making these weekly posts a thing. My daily 100-200 world exercise is kicking my butt. As I write this (Friday morning at 12:17 a.m.) I have an open Word document with a blank spot for where yesterday’s words should be. I refuse to let these stack up and not be done and will set out to continue the goal I set for myself. Even if it does mean waking up exhausted for work.
Happy Friday folks!