Thursday, February 11, 2010

Still working

Yesterday, I sat down and outlined the changes I want to make to the current manuscript. At least for the first couple of chapters. I'm starting to feel really excited, with a new direction and new ideas popping into my head. I don't want to go much further than the chapters I've outlined right now because I want to keep myself open to something unexpected.

In the meantime, I jotted down the first scene of a new idea. I don't have any idea where it's going to go, but I wanted to put it out there. So here it is. Happy reading!


I’ve lost track of the days. They all blur together. I sit here on this bed, with the stiff, white linen sheets, and stare at the small, barred window in the wall of this little room. I used to make marks on the wall, but they found the knife I slipped into my pocket in the dining room. They said I could hurt myself with it and they took it away. Now, I only see when the sun rises and sets, so I know that days are happening somewhere, even if they aren’t happening for me.

Once, I asked one of the staff members what day it was. Before he could answer, I started to think, “You obnoxious little waste. You don’t need to figure that out.” And I knew I was right. As soon as I thought it, I didn’t need to know any more. I told the man that and he seemed relieved. I felt relieved too. Glad that I hadn’t upset him by asking awkward questions. Of course, after he left, I wanted to know again. That always happens. They leave and I’m back to myself. I never realize what happened until they are gone.

I remember the day they brought me here. I couldn’t stop crying. Mom sat next to me on the back seat of the car while Dad drove. She stroked my hair and tried to hide the tears that poured down her own cheeks by burying my face in her shoulder. I kept hearing the words running through my mind, “Please let them help her. Please figure this out.” And I felt immensely sad, discouraged almost to the point of hopelessness.

They walked with me to the front door where Mr. Carmichael waited. The building seemed so oppressive, all gray like the wall of clouds that hovered in the sky. Everything looked gray and the tears washed over my face. I didn’t think it would ever stop. Mr. Carmichael took my hand gently and said, “We’ll take good care of you. Don’t worry. Everything will be all right.” Before I could even think about it, the tears dried up and I felt calm again. Mom and Dad walked quickly away without looking back at me, as if the sight might bring them pain. Their shoulders hunched over and they clung to each other like two puzzle pieces, fingers intertwined and steps matching rhythm. “You’ll never see them again,” I thought and knew it was true, just as I knew everything I thought was true, at least for that moment. I still hope I will see them again, but I can’t live on hope.

1 comment:

Elana Johnson said...

First, I just realized you live in Cedar City! I graduated from SUU many years ago. Fun!

Great snippet. :)