March is over, I’m back from vacation, my taxes are filed, and it’s National Poetry Month (not to mention another round of Camp Nano)–clearly, April is meant to be a good month for writing. I actually have several projects on the front burners (going to need a bigger mental stove…), but until I have news about those, I thought I’d share one of the fun writing exercises from this week’s writers’ group meeting.
I love words: big words, unusual words, musical words, things that ring with the sounds of the cultures they came from and things that flow trippingly off the tongue like an ee cummings poem. I do not ever, under any circumstances, endeavor to write like Hemingway.
Until this week’s challenge was “Write a scene using only words of one syllable.”
The universe clearly wanted to deny me my participles. This was so much harder than I expected! Hearing everyone’s results read aloud was great, though–some people actually wrote poems, others sounded poetic. I feel like an insistence on such short beats in my own writing makes even the most expressive reader sound like one of those robotic voiceovers, but judge for yourself!
“Is this the way to Fraggle Rock?”
It was dank and gross down here, with hints of sound that made Beth jump and Dan scrunch his nose and hitch his bag up his arms with nerves. I thought it was fun, but those two knew I was weird years back. They were friends with me still, so I guessed I was fine in the end. I hoped they would think my find was as cool as I did. I shone the light right at it and watched it suck it up like a black hole.
“It’s a hole,” Beth said with a sniff. “A hole in the wall. So what?”
Dan looked at it and walked a few steps more. His light was on it too.
“There should be dirt here,” he scuffed the floor in front of it. “Or mouse tracks or a bunch of bricks. It’s just black. Do you see roots out there? Or rocks?”
Beth hid all but her head in Dan’s shade. “No,” she said. “I can’t see much at all.”
“That’s ’cause it’s a worm hole to a strange world,” I grinned.
“Is not.” Beth scowled. “Must be a bear cave or some such thing.”
“No rocks, no dirt, no tracks.” Dan said once more.
“So….” I drawled. “Who’s with me?”
Beth shook her head. “I’ll hold your light, if you want. That’s it.”
Dan looked at the tool bench on the next wall. “I think you’ll want the rope,” he said. “So we can pull you back.”
Beth was five feet max and he was six, but I was the weight of them both at once. Dan was the smart one of us, for sure.
“Deal,” I shook his hand and grabbed the rope. When I passed him the end not tied at my waist he grasped me by the arm.
“Be–” he said, and I stopped him.
“I will,” I said. “See you on the flip side, man.”
“Dork,” he said. And pushed me through.
– – – –
I felt like I fell for a year, but I think it could have been ten. Or just a sec, but dark and the rush of air are not friends to time. When I hit the bed I sure yelped, though, like a poked bear. The girl yelped too – and then she hit me with a book, or maybe it was a lamp.
All I knew was, it hurt. And I had been right about the worm hole.
How about you? What do you say happens next to the intrepid narrator in words of only one syllable?