I feel really bad about not writing in such a long time, so until I get a chance to sit down and tell you all about my (super duper interesting) life in the past two months or so, I thought I would show you all two pieces from a short story of mine. I’m not sure why it’s in parts or where I was going with it at the time, but I’m pretty sure this inspired a novel I am working on now.
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve laid eyes on this, so excuse any grammatical errors or giant plot holes that may lie within this short story. I wrote this for a creative writing class my freshman year of university, so it’s been a while 🙂 I think it might have been an exercise, which is why it is in two parts, so if you are someone who doesn’t like completed things… maybe you should stop reading now, haha!
Much love, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by, and I promise there will be new material really soon! Oh, and I can update you on the thesis I’m writing. Duh duh DUHHHHH!
In the time it takes to span two breaths, two people have died somewhere in the world. My psychiatrist used to tell me that. “Be glad you are not one of those people,” she’d say, dipping her head forward and smiling as though that were some great feat. Although, I guess for me she thought it was. After all, I did almost die once. Though I don’t know why she felt the need to remind me.
She would say, “The only way to get over your past is to face it.” Maybe that’s true, but when your past is like mine, all that’s left to do is forget. Everything.
Now, watching the Prosecutor stand and even out the wrinkles in her finely-pressed pink power suit and smooth the flyaways out of her flawless bun, I know I can’t ignore it forever.
I wish I could.
Gathering her notepad with devastating accuracy, she steps forward, her Prada heels clicking against the marble courtroom floor.
“Can you please explain to the court the events of your summer up until August 17th, 2012?”
Breathe. Just breathe. It’s not a hard question. You can do it.
“Miss Meyers, can you please tell the court what happened to you this summer?”
“Yes.” The word comes out of my mouth but it feels like someone else’s. Strange. My tongue moves but the sound is disconnected.
“Start from the beginning. What happened on July 29th, 2012?”
What happened? Her words are simple. Too simple.
“Miss Meyers, can you answer the question, please?”
I nod my head. “Yes,” I say again. “July 29th, 2012. The day I was kidnapped.”
I can’t breathe. The soft cloth pressed up against my nose is making my head fuzzy, filling me with a cotton cloud I cannot seem to force away. My whole body is heavy and my arm is beginning to tingle. I can feel the sensation starting at my finger tips—the tiny needle pricks that are telling me it’s time to move. But, no, that cannot be right either. Not when it feels so good to be still.
There is a sound by my left ear, it is a voice. I can feel the moist air lick against my neck and I want to cringe away from it.
“Just relax,” it is saying. “You will be more comfortable soon.”
And the voice is right. In a matter of minutes I am placed on something soft; smooth fabric rubs up against my arms. It smells of carpet cleaner and mildew, and there’s a vibration like the slow hum of a yellow jacket that rattles the inside of my head. With sudden, rough jerk forward I can tell we are moving.
“Hang tight,” the voice says. “We’ll be there in no time.”
Where is there? Where is here?
Perhaps I should be worried, but the cloud in my head disagrees. Besides, what could possibly go wrong when you’re on a cloud? I suppose you could fall through, but this one is thick, heavy. I’m sure it will never drop me.
Shadows dance along the fabric wall beside me, telling me a story I know I should understand, but I can’t make myself follow. There are shapes—trees maybe, and buildings—all blurring together into a dark pool.
Then the light begins to fade until there is none left—only a dismal green glow that comes from the dark in front of me, and three numbers, 8:32. But they mean nothing to me. Or do they? I focus on the numbers in the blackness, trying to force the fog out of my head.
He is there too. I can see the back of his head. It bobs up and down to the sound of whiney strings and plucking melodies. I want it to stop; it is making my ears ring. I think my head will split open.
I try to say something but the sound is garbled and he makes a grunting sound of annoyance. Reaching behind him, his hand drags up my side, searching, until it finds my face. The warm, probing fingers make my stomach churn. And then the cloth is at my nose again and with it comes the cloud. It is nice, the cloud, and welcomes me back to blurred oblivion. I sink into its embrace without hesitation—it makes the pain in my head go away.
Light streams through boards along the wall: old, dust-coated planks of wood that sit in a structured line. I wince against the brightness of it, a splitting ache hammering against the inside of my skull.
A hollow roof above me reveals hundreds of cobwebs and the abandoned hives of Mud Daubers that cling to the rafters as if the smallest breath might send them all tumbling to the dirt floor below. Iron hooks and metal chains line the walls and I can see the rust that’s beginning to grow along the numerous shovels and rakes. There is an aged blue tractor in one corner that looks as though it hasn’t been used for years, and three empty stalls sit abandoned to my left—their interior’s untouched; all but the intricate web of a spider in the corner of the third door.
I struggle to sit up, clawing at the dirt with numb hands, and flinch at the sound of rattling chains. I look down at my wrists to find them bound with tight metal clasps and a cord that wraps through a worn eyehook screwed into the wall behind me. Pulling myself into a seated position, I yank against the restraints but even the thick layer of rust does not weaken them enough to let me break free. Soon my wrists are screaming and I am forced to stop my efforts.
“Do you always make so much noise in the mornings?”
The voice makes me jump and I scramble backwards until my back is pressed firmly against wooden planking and I can easily see out into the barn. My heart pounds audibly and I’m sure he can hear it—whoever he is.
It takes me a moment to find him but then I see it, a mop of tousled hair the color of dampened wheat and two severely green eyes. They remind me of the color of a forest at dusk: hauntingly iridescent in the dim light. And they’re staring at me from over the ledge of the second stall door.
He yawns, wiping sleep from his eyes as he steps out into the main section of the barn. A simple white t-shirt is strapped to two broad shoulders, and he wears a pair of blue jeans that straddle his waste perfectly. He looks like he has just walked out of a catalog for Abercrombie. But there is something animalistic—stalking—in the way he moves forward that prevents him from being beautiful.
“Hello,” he murmurs, crouching so that his eyes are at the same level as mine. Up close I can see a silver fleck near the pupil of his right eye and it dances as his gaze passes over my face. “It’s good to see you’re not dead. You had me worried.”
It feels as if there’s a rock lodged in my throat and I try to swallow it away. There’s a sinking feeling too, in the pit of my stomach and I can feel bile rising in my throat. I suppress the urge to retch, never taking my eyes from his dazzling stare. It’s hypnotic and I want him to look away, to pay attention to anything that’s not me, but he doesn’t.
He lifts an eyebrow and smiles. “Do you like games?”
I am startled by his question and stare at him blankly, my tongue thick and grainy against the roof of my mouth. I suppose it must be a rhetorical question, though, because he doesn’t seem to mind that I do not respond.
“I’ve always loved them, ever since I was young. My father used to take me to the lake. He would ask me all kinds of questions. Questions about presidents, the ocean, astronomy—anything that pleased him that day.”
PART TWO–END SCENE
The Prosecutor’s heels click to a stop and I look up to find she is standing directly in front of the witness stand. Her voice is low, eyes earnest, as she asks, “Miss Meyers, do you know how the police found you?”
I shrug. “I assume someone heard or saw something strange, I don’t know.”
She dips her head to the side, gesturing no. “As I’m sure you are aware, you were in a barn set far off of the road. There was no one around to see anything. The police received a tip from someone named Austin Townsend. Do you know who that is?”
I shake my head.
“Are you sure?” she asks again. “Because he’s sitting in this room.”
This takes me by surprise and I sit up straighter, my hands flopping to my side. I don’t remember much from my ‘rescue’. That’s what they’re calling it in the newspapers. I heard sirens screaming in my dream and when I opened my eyes, there they were. I had simply figured that someone had finally taken notice of the strange in-and-outs of the boys. I should have known better, that they would never have held me somewhere where people could see. It was stupid to think any different.
“Who is he?” I ask her, but I already know the answer. I can see it in His expression, in the expression of his friends whose icy eyes are now filled with murderous rage as their glares press against him.
The Prosecutor gestures to the defense table where He is sitting, his hair dripping into his eyes like liquid wheat. His posture is stiff and his face stony. I cannot tell if he is satisfied or regretful. I cannot tell anything about him. Thinking back, I don’t guess I ever could.
Distant, dejected. And yet, he had given me the answers.
When I meet his stare there is nothing comforting in the hollow green I find there. I do not know why I thought there would be.