Earlier this month, I was invited to participate with three other writers in a 100 words a day challenge. Though we are free to write more than 100 words, I wanted to stay as close to the minimum as possible, since finding words has never been my problem, pruning judiciously is.
Here are the first week’s snippets, not including the first day, because I started later in the month.
Day 2 – Wednesday, August 05, 2015
It was a broken smile. Though the corners could still turn upwards, there was a shadow in each preventing the mouth from moving beyond simulated to heartfelt. One shadow was disappointment. The other was resignation. The lips themselves held a minute tremor, as if at any moment, they might give up trying to smile and collapse into a default position of ugly weeping. Above them, the eyes closed, imploring the brain for a distraction. But the brain was not listening; it had abandoned the present for the past. And underneath them all, the heart continued to pace madly in its cage, wanting nothing so much but to stop caring.
Day 3 – Thursday, August 06, 2015
She took his heart like the keys to a new house, exclaiming over its virtues; the vaulted ceilings, the spacious chambers. She went through every room, hanging new pictures and painting the walls in combinations of colours he had never seen before. She placed new furniture and pulled off the old drapes to let in expanses of sunlight. Through the open windows he saw parklands filled with laughing families; there was a breeze that smelled of Sunday pancake breakfasts. She worked with certainty, aligning memories to a gentle alphabet and when she was finished, his heart had become a home for them both.
Day 4 – Friday, August 07, 2015
Outside, I saw a dead rat. He looked alive: his small, round black eyes shiny, his brown-ticked fur clean and groomed. Was he dead?
There was no blood; no deformity that argued for death by car. What he could have died of; be dying of?
I brought my shovel and dug a hole. Had he died slowly? Killed by something I couldn’t see? If I left him, could he recover or might his body poison another animal? Was he dead?
I put him into the hole and watched him. After a while, I shoveled in the loose dirt, stamped it down and walked away. Was he dead or only soon to be dead? I wondered.
Day 5 – Saturday, August 8, 2015
“Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!” She pushed herself away from him and slid along the wall to the door of the classroom, where she stood, pounding a fist against the frame. “You have no idea how much I hate you at this minute. How much I wish I could just let myself go and kill you. It would be such a relief to stop trying to be reasonable, stop trying not to interfere. I want to interfere with you. I want to use a knife and interfere with you in a big way.” Her black eyes were stark in her white face. “I think killing you would give me an orgasm.”