Monday, 17 May 2010

Another Writing Task (Inspired by Michelle Zink)

So, last Thursday, Michelle Zink did another one of her writing missions (I try and do these. If not on the date then a few days after.) But this time, I was determine to do this task (write a short story in 300 words or less).

Why? Well, two reasons. I fancied a challenge and, second, she talked about in her blog (which I am very flattered with. [It was my birthday and I was called a "die-hard fan of my work, an online friend, and a supporter of my as-yet-unapproved tour of the UK." [come on, Atom Books. You know you want to...?]).

So, the plan was to write a short story about birthdays. Seemed the right thing to write. But stuff happened - Florence and the Machine gig and a weekend of mad - so I got down to it today. Only, I didn't write a birthday short. I wrote this instead.

Oh, the quotes from Florence and the Machine - They don;t count towards my word count. I just thought they were cool lyrics! ENJOY!


My boy builds coffins for better or worse
Some say it’s a blessing, some say it’s a curse
He fits them together in sunshine or rain
Each one is unique, no two are the same

My boy builds coffins and I think it's a shame
That when each ones been made, he can't see it again
He crafts every one with love and with care
Then it's thrown in the ground, it just isn't fair

My Boy Builds Coffins” by Florence and the Machine. (Taken from the album “Lungs”)

No more dreaming of the dead as if death itself was undone
Blinding” by Florence and the Machine (Taken from the album “Lungs”)

I awoke into a world of total darkness.
I blinked, and the blackness I saw with my eyes shut was the same as when I opened my eyes.
I took a silent breath as I lifted my head, and was surprised when my head made contact with something. Something solid. Something that made a wooden echo.
I lowered my head onto the pillow and, gingerly, raised my left hand and touched the cold surface. I felt a strange knot in the surface and realised that the surface was made of polished wood.
I moved my hand to above my head. Polished wood.
I moved my hand to my left. Polished wood.
I moved my hand to my right. Polished wood.
I didn’t wriggle down and made my feet check if there was wood. I knew there would be.
I knew. I just knew.
I was in a coffin. A simple coffin, but a coffin nevertheless.
Then everything came rushing back, almost knocking the breath out of me. I remembered the car accident. I remembered the hospital. I remembered the smell. I remembered the beeping machines. I remembered asking for a simple funeral if I did die. I remembered –
Was I dead?
My hands flew to my throat as I checked for a pulse. Yes. Yes, it was there. Thump. Thump. Thump.
I breathed a sigh. Then hesitated.
Was… was it my imagination, or did the wood feel warm? Unnaturally warm?
I froze as a small wave of horror ran through my veins. I was being cremated. Being burned alive.
I relaxed.
Shouldn’t I be panicking? Shouldn’t I be screamed?
But I wasn’t. I laid there, quite calm. I almost smiled to myself.
I yawned, closed my eyes and fell into a final sleep.

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