Sunday, October 5, 2008

Word Shot # 1

Word Shot is a weekly exercise from Every Monday a random photo is posted, and you can write a sentence or a paragraph or a story describing the photo and enter it as a comment; you can also (constructively) criticize the comments of others, if that's your thing. It's a wicked fun way of getting your creativity moving, and I had lots of fun doing this first one. Oh yeah; the site's owner, Steve Osborne, will pick one winner at the end of the week. This week's prize is free copies of his e-manuals on writing. Man, I wanna win. XD

Steve kindly allowed me to post the photo and my story-comment here; here it is, for your enjoyment. :D

Sand. Sand everywhere. It covered the quarry beside the town in tall gray mounds and snaking rivulets, as if some god-child had been playing in his own cosmic sandbox with real buildings and a factory whose tall smoke stack spewed real, putrid smoke. Above dark clouds hovered sluggishly; the only sunlight that could filter through them was wan and gloomy, making the quarry look like a gray wasteland. If I hadn’t known better, I’d have thought that I was in the set of some apocalyptic movie instead of on the weedy hill at the outskirts of San Mateo, the town I grew up in.

My sister Lena stood mutely beside me. Her hand was clenched around my small fingers in an uncommonly tight grip; I could barely feel the softness of her palm. She was staring at a little brown box beyond a wall-like mound of sand. When I squinted at it I could dimly recognize the squat outline of Ma’s apartment building. Lena had hurried me out of bed and through the door while Ma was snoring loudly on the table, her half-empty glass of bourbon sitting quietly beside her head. I wanted to call out to her and say goodbye, but in my heart of hearts I knew better than to wake her up after she’d been drinking. Her screams and blows echoed in my mind as we stood in silence for several minutes on the hill facing the quarry. At that time I wanted to scream too, but no sound would form inside my throat.

When Lena said, “It’s time to go,” I nodded and followed her over the other side of the hill. Neither of us looked back as we made our way down the barren path.