Posts Tagged ‘short story’

sneaky!

The following post is preview of a short story that I’m working on. I am really excited to write it even tho I know it will take me a while. But I am trying something new with this. Instead of just writing it down, I am taking an active role as the character and recording what I say then writing it down so that it would sound more natural. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep doing it, but i like that method. This part was actually “written” that way. What do you think?

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sneak peek: Live a little

The following entries were recorded from the diary of the late Donovan Jameson.

Wednesday, May 20 2009

My name is Donovan jameson. I find myself having to remind me of who I am. I know that I wrote that I’ve been lost before, that I don’t know who I am, but this is different. This is way different. Is it possible that…you could lose yourself so much that it becomes a reality, that you start actually losing your identity? Some weird things have been going on lately and…I just need to make sure, I need to have it written down that…that I am me. My name is Donovan Jameson. The past two weeks…The past two weeks have been scary.

Beer Money

Some people would argue that your childhood shapes your future. I don’t know whether it is because of it or despite of it that I am the person I am today.
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My father was an alcoholic, there is no other way to put it. I never met my mother. My father never talked about her, In fact he always got mad when I asked about her.
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My father took me out of school when I was only eleven. The next year, we migrated around the entire country with his friends going from bars to strip clubs, and casinos while I spent my days watching TV in his friend’s RV. I started working in my uncles garage when I was thirteen. At fifteen, I was making enough money to take care of myself. I stayed home to take care of my dad, which meant buying groceries and paying most of the utility bills.
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My father had a small job cleaning the toilets of the bars where he spent his entire life, but he had no commitments, he didn’t have to. When responsibilities came knocking at his doors he used to tell me in between beer heavy breath ” I’m not cut out for this, I was never suppose to have kids, ya know”. But there was one thing that he committed to, and that was to give me “allowance” every two weeks since my sixteenth birthday.
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On my sixteenth birthday, his friends and him dubbed me a man and they give me a shot of Sam Adams. I threw up almost immediately. They all laughed and I remember one of them saying that I would soon get used to it because I was my father’s son. I never got used to it.
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The next day, he gave me my first “allowance” and told me that he would continue to do so every other week. He was serious, almost diplomatic, when he pulled me over and sat me down. He said ” In our family, we have a tradition”. He emphasized on the words family and tradition. ” As a man, he continued, you are now a part of this tradition”. He paused to mark the gravity of this moment. ” I don’t have much, he mumbled scratching his head, but this is your beer money…buy enough to last you two weeks though”. He got up to leave and then turned around to say ” Don’t worry, I’ll give you some tips along the way”. He scratched the back of his pants and walked trough the door.
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The next time, he cried grown man tears when I tried explaining to him that I didn’t want to take his money. And that’s how it all started!
Every other Friday evening, he would proudly hand me beer money along with some advice to increase my alcohol tolerance. Strange enough, it was then that I bonded the most with my father, not because I was interested in what he was saying, but because he truly enjoyed talking about it. Even when I left the house, he still continued the tradition despite my plea. I never spent the money he gave me because I always thought that one day when he is dire need, it would come in handy. On my twenty first birthday, I decided to open my own garage. After the inauguration, I saw less and less of him. At some point, I only saw him on the Fridays when he would willingly leave his friends behind to catch up and give me some money.
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My father passed away when I was twenty six, just when I was getting used to seeing him on those Friday evenings. It was just when I was looking forward to the old man’s regular visit because that was the only time where he was my dad, where he was just mine. The day after his funeral, I decided to take the beer money that was in my saving account and spent it all so it would not remind me of him. I took a chance and bet all on the only roulette wheel at our local casinos where he was a regular. I bet it all on the number ten, to represent the ten years that he had been giving me beer money. I bet it all and won.
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I wonder if he knew it all along. My father always knew that I didn’t want to live the life he did, maybe that’s why he never asked me what I really did with the money he gave me, maybe that’s why he never talked about my mother because he knew it could break my heart. My father was an alcoholic, there is no way around it, but I would trade my millions for his Fridays evenings.

The painting

The doctor’s office is a dark place and it’s not because of lighting issues. A warm smile is creepy, more so when it’s sincere. This is where I am, my prison of choice. It’s time like this when freedom doesn’t sound so rewarding. I start coughing. Ironically, I always get sick when I go to the doctors. It doesn’t help when others start coughing with me. I hold my breath until I can’t no longer, then I do it again, and again.

The room clears, and the creepy assistant lady tells me that I’ll be next. I freak out internally. She notices. She smiles and leaves. My blood pressure rises. I tell myself that it’ll be okay, that I’ll be okay. The tick tock of the clock frustrates me, it irritates me really. It isn’t safe to be alone….anywhere actually. I think of worst case scenarios, and think of best way to respond to them if they were to occur. Better safe than sorry, right?

I hear a distinct bang behind the doors where the scary doctors work. It sends a shiver crawling through my back. I rationalize it. A metal tool accidently fell on the ground. It happens. I breathe a little harder. I look up at the white wall to try and focus on something else. It’s then that I notice a painting.

I wonder how I could have ever missed those gold frames. The painting itself was quite simple. It was that of little girl in a field, a golden crop field that seemingly blended with the frames. The girl stood there in her white pajamas, the wind singing through her hair. She had vibrant dark hair. It had life on its own. The crops bent back, resisting the wind. The sky, in contrast, was lazy blue, like those days that take forever to start. There weren’t too many clouds but if you squint hard enough, you can barely see a flock of birds heading home. The girl stood there, centered on the left of the painting, her arms raised mimicking a scarecrow. She seems to be having the time of her life, a large smile plastered on her face.

My mind goes there. For once, I forget how creepy I thought this place was. And when the assistant comes back, I return her smile. She tells me that the doctor is ready to see me. I follow her, glancing back at the painting. The doctor’s office is prettier than I expected it. He gets up and closes the door behind me. He locks it. From behind his back, he pulls out a giant jagged edge sword with blood and hair still on it. He smiles and says “you’re next!”

How I create my paintings.

You want to know how I create them?…what inspires me?  Isn’t it obvious through my paintings? Rhetorical question, he thought as he lowered his head listening to the lady’s reply.  No, I’m inspired by concepts, by life and, of course, by Death itself, he enumerated interrupting the disappointed reporter. He hurried to the next one by calling his name aloud and searching for a “John”-like face in the crowd. “John” he repeated as the gentleman stood up and introduced himself.

He hated press conferences. It was becoming a routine; different façade of the same questions. The critics were the same. “Yet another masterpiece!” He read it so many times in their boring headlines. The word masterpiece should be banished as too much cliché, he thought as the magazines vanished timidly in his cozy fireplace.

“Let me first say that I’m a fan of your work, said a humbled John, and I’ve notice that you use a wide variety of texture materials in your painting; can you elaborate on that for us?”

“Do you also want me to explain every stroke, every emotion and meaning that goes into my work? Is that what you want john? He stormed

“No, I…”

“Well I’ll show you, I don’t mind, I’ll show you!”

It’s been a couple of weeks since the incident. The media called it “a meltdown”, “a stroke of age”, “ looney old phooey”, and the prints went one. He had never been more discussed in his career. The gallery was packed that day, the journalists and their likes having settled in the very front for an exclusive take on the mastermind behind the painter’s work.

The gallery was freshly renovated to celebrate his own creations and that of many famous artists. The whole room was lit up by long rectangular acrylic lights that emitted a bright yet smooth bluish white glow. The walls were beige with regular size chinese letters written all over. Amazing, considering the fact that it was the entire novel of the late Lao Bei Fong. This alone set a calm, soothing atmosphere.

The painter walked in carrying his tools. He was rather serious and unimpressed by the commotion that started once he got in the room. He stood in front of a gold painting frame with a faded dark canvas, just as he had asked for. The frame was already attached to the wall where it will remain.

He stood quietly starring at the empty frame. A nervous young man provided him with a small stool. He didn’t bother to thank him; he waited until he left and got on. He started from the top, on the dark background. The room choked on its own silence. Occasionally, an uncomfortable noise would escape, but for the most part all was quiet. The painter was focused; he could do this in his sleep. He wasn’t quiet because he was concentrating; he was quiet because he was mad. Angry that he should break his “masterpiece” into step by step instructions so that people could fully understand him. He was upset that he was the puppet of his own show, like an entertainer on stage. And mostly offended that people don’t take the time to dissect his art and appreciate its meaning before tumbling at his door for an interpretation.

He used different materials to create a popping out effects. He was drawing a night shot of a busy wide street viewed from above. Part of a tall glass building was visible on the left corner to create the allusion of height.

The faces in the room were either amazed at time, tired, or indifferent. The painter looked at his work, looked at his dirty hands and considered the energy he had just wasted. He turned back and looked at the crowd.

Everyone got up from their seats and the room roared witch excitement and cheers.

“Be quiet!” he urged. I’m not done! He said leaning forward with a dumb expression on his face.”This is only the background!” Faced with this blatant ignorance he thought of leaving. “This painting has no meaning, he said pointing to what he had just done; it means nothing! Not to me at least! What does this mean to you? The room remained quiet.

He hurried over to his audience, found a boy around five year old and grabbed him by the neck. Everyone held their breath in shock. He lifted him off the ground, his hands and legs dangling about. A few people thinking he had lost his mind, tried to come close enough to help the boy. “Stand back” he yelled. He approached his painting, the poor boy now red trying helplessly to free himself. The Painter now directly in front of the canvas leaned slightly back and using the momentum and his body strength slammed the boy into the painting. The boy was captured perfectly in the painting, his horrified face, his eyes embedded with fear, his hands and legs reaching. The painting had now become a terrified boy falling from the top of a building onto a busy wide street. It was madly realistic!

The room stood petrified. The painter took his tools and disappeared as the door closed behind him.