As part of the 15 Habits Of Great Writers Challenge, I’ve been dared to practice in public–to post something here like nothing I’ve ever posted before. And while I have posted a few short creative pieces here in the past (Moonlight, The Hitchhiker, and one about my mother’s death), I’ve never shared any bits of fiction.
In my defense, I started this story last Christmas break, before the news was filled with zombies. It came out of reading Zechariah 14. So it’s a bible story. Sort of. That means that my mother-in-law will forgive me for using a bad word in it. And you will too. I hope.
Zach has been crawling around and eating my brains for a few months now, but for a million
reasons excuses, I haven’t actually been writing him recently. I committed last January to finish his story, I was challenged yesterday to start what scares me most, and today I was challenged to practice in public.
So..world, meet Zach. Zach, meet the world.
(and world, go easy on me…this is raw, unedited stuff–like the point of view changes right in the middle. I know this. I’m sorry. Grammar-police, please check your red pens at the door.)
* * * * *
Zach saw the Old One lying in the dust. She had wriggled her body into the partial shade of her overturned cart, trying to get comfortable while she waited. Zach knew her wait would be long. He knew she would probably try to move before it was time. It gets old waiting for everything to grow back so you can move again. He saw old ones in the village all the time. Usually they knew it was coming and so they’d go back to their shelters to wait it out in peace and privacy.
Many of the old ones became artists and storytellers. The ones who lost just legs….they were able to still do things with their hands. They could paint. They could draw. One had devoted his whole life to something he called “writing.” He said he remembered it from the Days When There Was Night. He said that after all the animals were bones, he began to think more clearly, and he remembered a way to make marks on things that represented words.
He spent all day every day making marks and then telling everyone what they said. Most of us think he’s full of shit.
He’s a storyteller, like the rest of them. But he’s not a very good one….so he’s got to have this little gimmick. An excuse for why his stories are so consistent. Why he tells the same ones over and over. Sure they change a little over time. They actually do get a little better….but he’s clearly not as creative as the others.
I like listening to their stories better.
Especially Arthur. There’s something different about his stories. Even though they suck, it’s like I have to listen to them. I don’t want to. I don’t like to.
But i do. And so do some of the others.