Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Toothpaste drippings

I don't really know if this will lead to anything, but I wrote it over the last couple of days. The narrator's name might be William or Jasper or something. I'm trying to use a voice that's different from what I've tried before, but I'm worried that this particular voice is too pedantic.

  
You know, it’s hard to say how quickly it actually happened. By the time I rolled out of bed the sky was almost gone. All I saw were these edges on the horizon, a thin colored band of orange that disappeared as my eyes were still trying to adjust. Then it was gone. All of it. But it was so early I didn’t really understand what was happening—I didn’t know what we had lost.

I remember scratching my head while Agnes went about her business. Then, we went inside, I took a shower, and I was getting dressed for work before my brain said, “Wait a minute.” So, I looked out the window again, and all I saw was the white curtain stretching over the entire place. I made a cup of coffee, hooked Agnes back up, and we went and sat on the porch. I thought about everything. I thought about my grandmother. I thought about going to church. I thought about my life and how everything I ever went through led me to where I was at that moment. It was sort of a peaceful feeling, like a quiet inside my soul. That was maybe the quietest moment in my whole entire life.

Marvash screamed. It was blood curdling. I looked up and saw her head sticking out of the window. She dropped something from her mouth—I think it was a toothbrush, but I don’t remember. I saw the thing fall down against the white backdrop. I heard her husband ask what the hell was going on, and then Marvash’s high-pitched voice started to describe it all quickly. I couldn’t really make out what she was saying, but she used a lot of words, and I remember wondering how she could take so many words to describe a white sky.


So, there you go.

What's Peanut eating? Seed pods, I think.

19 comments:

  1. This is interesting. I don't think it's pedantic at all. It's matter-of-fact but I think that's useful when you're describing bizarre events like the sky turning white. The less hysterical the narrator, the more hysterical the plot can become because the narrator sounds like a credible witness. It's a trick, but it works.

    Agnes is a dog?

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  2. Thanks, Mr. B. Yes, Agnes is a dog. For you, she's a dog.

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    1. I continue to be the Most Powerful Man on the Internet.

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    2. You're like the Chuck Norris of the literary world.

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  3. "I didn't know what we had lost." I like that line a lot! Is this for a short story or a novel? Or do you even know?

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. If this continues, it's for a novel. My next novel! If this continues.

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  4. I want to write something with a vicious dog in it. Not "Cujo" but certainly a dog who'll bite people. Probably a rural setting, and a guy with a shotgun. Or my grandmother with a shotgun and a mean dog. I'm sure Agnes is a nice dog.

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    1. Agnes is a sweet dog, but she'd stand up to your bully dog, Mr. Bailey. Be sure of that. Grrrr.

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  5. Okay, I know it's not part of the story, but I love this: "The narrator's name might be William or Jasper or something."

    :)

    And then this:

    "I couldn’t really make out what she was saying, but she used a lot of words, and I remember wondering how she could take so many words to describe a white sky."

    Gorgeous.

    I also like the idea of you working on the next novel. Which reminds me of the first one. Did you rearrange chapters? If so, can I politely ask why you haven't sent it to me??????

    (Do those ???? detract from my polite demeanor?)

    Also, when/where are we having our short fiction smackdown? And are Scott and Michelle in?

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  6. As per the ????: Yes. Shamefully, I have done nothing with Cyberlama. It is patiently waiting for me to revise it. I had paid for a critique of the first 40 pages, and the reviewer compared it to a vampire novel, which I thought was oddly insightful, although I'm not quite sure what to do with my new insight yet.

    As per the smackdown: Wow, not it's a smackdown???? I like it. Your blog or mine, Zobair? I'm thinking your blog has more than 5 readers. And by 5, I mean 4. Scott doesn't Tweet, so much of this conversation will be confusing to him. That's how you hook him. He'll be hooked.

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    1. Cyberlama?? I am still back on The Pagani Project?????

      (Read into those ??????? what you will.)

      I am happy to have it on my blog, especially because I haven't posted in awhile. Which means that I may, in fact, have 5 readers. And by 5 I mean 4. But? A lot of people have been coming by from searching something about Mudbound. And by something, oddly enough, more than once that has meant sex. Mudbound sex. Seriously.

      That should really confuse Scott, if he hasn't read the novel.

      Oh my God, does this comment have a point?

      The smackdown. I am open to anything. Should we ask that smackdown participants read the stories? Should it be a discussion that presupposes familiarity with the contenders? Or all we all just going to talk past each other and rant spoilers?

      Will there be pie????





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    2. Short fiction smackdown?????

      I might be hooked. Especially if there's pie.

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  7. I want to do some smacking. Except when we have the pie. I promise not to smack then.

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  8. Jennifer, I sometimes refer to The Pagani Project as Cyberlama. It's like how I sometimes refer to you as Zozeebun. I am refraining from commenting on the Mudbound sex. My official stance is neutral on that. I say the smackdown is a freeform platform where people can offer up one and only one "best" story with no further requirements. The winner will be picked based on non-scientific methods by you and me and others who will remain undefined. You're a lawyer, so you can just add some "herewiths" and "whereases" to make it all sound legit.

    Wendy, I'm sad for you that you've never tried piesmacking. You must come and visit me on Piesmacking Day sometime.

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    1. Davin, I am cracking up because I have not been called Zozeebun since my roller derby days in the late 80s.

      The first rule of Short Fiction Smackdown is that there are no rules. Except for "one and only one" and pie. Which is two. Which will probably be the number of readers I have after we finish. Not counting the Mudbound sex readers.

      Schedule? Post Thanksgiving? Pre-Christmas?







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    2. Davin, consider me there on Piesmacking Day. I'll bring the lobster bibs.

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  9. You guys made me laugh while I was in the middle of a very crowded bus in rush hour on Friday after just finding out that my weekend plans had been canceled. Thank you!!

    I'm up for the smackdown between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There's nothing like a holiday season smackdown.

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    1. Holiday smackdowns are all the rage.

      Okay, let's get through Thanksgiving and then schedule something. Because Thanksgiving is something to get through, you know.

      (FYI, I am now on my FOURTH attempt at the captcha.)

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    2. I had no idea the word verification setting was even on. Thanks for alerting me, Zozeebun! I have attempted to turn it off, so if you're still facing them, do let me know. I don't want to keep robots like you from commenting.

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