Drabbles

1 May

Drabbles are short fictional pieces of exactly 100 words. I wrote one a day (original fic!) throughout April. A few of them are connected, the same character, who I latched onto towards the end of the month.


—1
I am a monster. Not of this Earth. I don’t know what it’s like at home; no one will tell me. I imagine they walk freely in Natural Form, instead of running into the girls’ bathroom and hiding in a stall just so they can Change. I can’t breath, can’t stretch my limbs, but for one moment, I don’t feel the constriction of this shell. My mind swims with ideas and emotions no human could imagine. Afterwards, I sit on the toilet, sometimes well until dusk, tugging at loose threads on my uniform, wondering when our penance will be over.

—2
She’d been spending the night in the basement of one of those filthy abandoned places that smelled vaguely of urine and vomit. It was all right, though–or it would have been, if she hadn’t woken up to a corpse this morning. Some guy who hadn’t showered probably ever had crawled in there the night before and died. She’d sat staring at him for an hour, wondering what the hell she was doing here. The basement; the fucking city. Clarity came back soon enough. She was looking for her father. Her biological father. She knew nothing about him. Almost nothing.

—3
Her soothing voice buoyed me like a gentle river current carries a broken branch. Through years and faces so familiar, to things long forgotten and insignificant–the cake falling to the floor on my sixth birthday. I didn’t cry. It was oddly meaningless to me.

And beyond that, murkiness.

How could I have distant memories so easy to touch in one month of a single year of life and none in another?

“There’s nothing. Nothing.”

“Are you sure?” she asked.

A deep fear penetrated my chest. Go no further.

“Look beyond sight. What do you hear? Are there any scents?”

—4
Got the prompt for this one from ladystarlightsj lol 😉 😉

I discovered the Raven’s Head pub downtown pretty much by accident. Not much to recommend it on the outside, of course. I just saw a couple women enter together in the middle of the day, neither of them dressed particularly downtownish. So I followed them in.

That’s where I met her, sitting alone at the bar idly stirring a gin and tonic at 2 PM on a Tuesday. She looked like she just wanted to be somewhere that wasn’t utterly hostile. I found her squishy love tunnel in the hotel upstairs and that was that; it became a regular thing.

—5
This is my original fic drabble comm assignment, written over two days (X-posted):

I bought the ticket. I bought the fucking ticket and went home. Nine hours on a plane and in airports, and then a taxi ride down the Long Island Expressway. I was furious.

“You lied! I went to the city. I went to the county. I went to the fucking adoption agency. There was no father!”

Mother pouted at me from her perch on the paisley sofa. “I don’t know why this is so important to you.”

Dad was his usual timorous self. “It doesn’t matter, Harriet. The fact is, it’s important to her.”

“It’s like we’re not good enough for her!”

“Of course we’re good enough. That’s not what she’s saying.”

Suddenly, I wasn’t in the room anymore.

“You want to know what I’m saying? I’ll tell you what I’m saying!”

They both gaped at me as if I’d appeared out of nowhere.

“I’m thirty years old and I don’t know who I am!”

Mother turned away, crossing her arms. “Oh, honestly, what is that supposed to mean?”

Dad shifted uncomfortably in his armchair. “Well, I think she means….”

And then he looked at me uncertainly. “What do you mean, Theresa?”

Mom stood. “I’m going to lie down now.”

—6

When I first saw her she was dancing. Grooving, spinning, long brown hair flying. In her own world. Low-cut jeans, belly button–pierced. Piercings all everywhere–ears, nose, eyelids. And tattoos. A wild thing. A slave unto herself.

She danced like I felt: like a caged animal, thrashing against invisible bars.

I wouldn’t have been surprised to find faint cut marks on her pale, slim arms if I’d been close enough. But I didn’t get close. Every move she made said stay away, which was must’ve been a disappointment to the crowd she’d gathered.

It was a disappointment to me.

19 Responses to “Drabbles”

  1. ann1962 May 1, 2006 at 6:41 pm #

    All of these have a voice that commands attention both in character and writing style. I hope you continue to work on these, tying them together. I am glad you posted some for us to read. Thank you.

  2. m_phoenix May 1, 2006 at 7:05 pm #

    I like all of these, they’re all powerful in their own way, and have a distinct voice, connected by an odd and vivid sense of outsiderness — and yes I know that’s not a word, but alienation didn’t feel quite right. I especially enjoyed numbers 1, 3 and 6. Thanks for posting.

  3. neshaffer May 1, 2006 at 7:41 pm #

    Normally, I’m a word-whore. If someone asks me to write 5,000 words, I write 7,500. Trying to keep it down to 100 was an interesting challenge because it forced me to pick the words that were most important–i.e., not get lost in the details but figure out what I *really* wanted to say, and that was interesting.

  4. neshaffer May 1, 2006 at 7:42 pm #

    Thanks. That’s the theme I’m apparently homing in on–outsiderness and the search for connection. I’m glad that came through.

  5. neshaffer May 1, 2006 at 7:43 pm #

    Thanks. It’s amusing to me that in three responses so far, two people have chosen to use Faith icons. It’s no mistake that Faith is a favorite character of mine, and that she’s got second billing in The Destroyer. She’s an archetypal character type for me, a very good fit for the type of main characters I write in original fiction.

  6. ninerva May 1, 2006 at 7:55 pm #

    You’re right, 100 words is not enough. The last two are particularly intriguing, I do hope you are thinking of expanding on the ideas you’ve been playing with during this excercise.

  7. neshaffer May 1, 2006 at 8:01 pm #

    Oh, some days it was all I could do to get 100 words out. I went back and read them all this morning to pick which ones I’d post and it was almost as painful reading some of the early ones as it was writing them.
    I think I’ve got the start of something, but it’s real nebulous right now.

  8. neshaffer May 1, 2006 at 8:04 pm #

    I’m working with the drabbles from the last week or so of the month, they’re all about the same character. But. I am in *no* way writing anything. There is nothing here! This doesn’t mean anything. It’s not a larger story!
    How else can I put that so my writing is pressure-free? ; ) ; )
    If you want continuing drama from me, I have epic fan-fic elsewhere. ; )

  9. hebrokeaway May 1, 2006 at 8:04 pm #

    Squishy love tunnel?
    Niiiiice.

  10. neshaffer May 1, 2006 at 8:08 pm #

    Um…that was a three-word phrase first seen in ‘s journal. I don’t know where she found it, but I’m assuming she was reading some bad porn. The phrase was so tacky and so true, I had to gank it and plunk another 97 words around it.
    ; )

  11. neshaffer May 1, 2006 at 9:21 pm #

    That’s a girl.
    ; )
    How ’bout them Mets?

  12. cornerofmadness May 1, 2006 at 10:03 pm #

    thanks for sharing. I especially found myself drawn to the first two and this last one.

  13. neshaffer May 1, 2006 at 10:08 pm #

    Thanks. I wish I knew what any of them were about. ; )

  14. cornerofmadness May 2, 2006 at 4:07 am #

    she’ll tell you eventually what she wants done with them

  15. neshaffer May 2, 2006 at 4:15 am #

    Isn’t that the way it always works?
    ; )

  16. midnightsjane May 2, 2006 at 5:27 am #

    All of these are really intriguing, and feel connected in a kind of dream like way. I think this woman has some hidden depths and a lot of pain, but she feels like a strong person. I want to know more about her.
    Thanks for sharing these with us!
    And yes, I’m using a Faith icon. It feels like the right thing to do, lol.

  17. neshaffer May 2, 2006 at 10:36 am #

    Good icon, too. Thanks, Jane!

  18. cornerofmadness May 2, 2006 at 2:49 pm #

    yes indeed

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2006 fic round-up meme « Infinite Doorways - May 21, 2012

    […] – In April, I did my so-called “NaDraWriMo,” thirty original fic drabbles in thirty days. The best of that was posted here. […]

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