Archive for June 12th, 2007

“I see things in darkness that no one should see by light of day.”

Stewart’s Assignment:  I offer up an assignment to the Chesterfield group, and of course to the rest of you should you care to participate: take the phrase above and incorporate it directly into either a work of poetry or a work of short fiction. I will put a word limit on it of 500 – 1500 words. Usually an assignment is geared toward some aspect of writing, this is no exception. I have been talking with some people about word choice.

After this has been written, pick a minimum of ten words from the text, then use a thesaurus to find ten rich words to take their places. Be sure the new words enrich rather than detract. When submitting your work to the group, be sure to identify which words were replaced and what they were replaced by.

Now, normally I don’t do such things, seeing as I’m not a writer (in the sense of writing novels).. however… Stewart (who is an educator; for those who are unaware)  posted this assignment.  Generally, I do nothing but go back later and read some of the stories that others have written and then read Stewarts comments.

This time, when I read the sentence a thought jumped out at me, so I went ahead and wrote it down… and I am now offering it up for Stewart’s Assignment.


Jesse sat unresponsive as his mother spoke with the doctor.
“I was wondering, doctor, is he in pain?”

“My presumption would be that he’s not,” the doctor responded. “He shows no signs of any pain, or of anything at all.  The catatonic state he’s in won’t allow it.”

Jesse’s mother stood looking at him.  Jesse didn’t move, didn’t blink.  There was nothing at all to indicate how he felt.

“It would be nice to be able to shut down and not think,” she said. Her eyes widened as though she was surprised to have spoken out loud.

But Jesse’s mind wasn’t quite as shut down as everyone thought.  He knew he was bound, firmly, in a straight jacket.  He knew he couldn’t move his arms and hands.  He knew he couldn’t protect himself. One thing for certain, if he fell asleep, they would find him and he would die.

The doctor and his mother watched him, waiting, hoping. And on the other side, there were others who waited, watching hoping—and all he had to do was go to sleep.

The unknown drugs that he had tried time and time again had showed him the way.  In the beginning they were breathtaking and made him euphoric.  He flew through the skies, higher than any bird could go.  He could twist and twirl and tumble and dive, and all he had to do was to take that little pill.  He loved the freedom, but only until the pill wore off.

He didn’t want to be bothered going to school and would argue with his mother until he learned that arguing was futile, instead he would just not go, she would never know.  And so it was that he went to meet his friends so that he could laugh and be happy and fly.
Today he had sought to fly higher then ever before, he wanted it to go on forever. His friends helped him achieve his craving. 

But this time was not like before, this time he was flying in a different place, among dark things.  After a time he reasoned they were not very much fun, but when he tried to leave. the shadows swarmed around him. 

Then something, he didn’t know what, seemed to pull him from the sky.  The shadows followed. But scattered at the last moment, hiding behind their own door. Jesse watched, then did something he would regret ….  he peeked behind the door.
Once he did, everything became dark; he tried to scream but no sounds came from his lips.  He wanted to warn his friends, but could not see them standing by his side. 

“I wonder what it’s like,” his mother whispered. He wanted to put her in his field of vision.

“What?” asked the doctor.

“To not be aware of anything.”

The doctor leaned over Jesse, smiling.
Jesse sat with a vacant look on his face.  But his mind truly wasn’t quite empty; it was determined… not to fall asleep.
“If you only knew mother, but you don’t want to come here, trust me on this one, for I see things in darkness that no one should see by light of day.”

Word………………..replaced by:
1 Expressionless…….. unresponsive
2 guess………………..presumption
3 answered……………responded
4 tightly………………firmly
5 real………………….genuine
6 wonderful…………  breathtaking
7 wanted……………   sought
8 wish…………………craving
9 sorry…………………regret
10 blank……………….vacant

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All I want to do is relax on my bed and read………

Yeah.. right…… *sigh*

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