Writing Exercise

I’m not sure if it’s been the pet-sitting (and getting out of the habit), the revisions, or the lack of keen interest in my current projects (or a combination of it all), but my writing has been unenthused lately. To help break my slump, I did a writing exercise tonight that’s a little silly and a little weird, so I figured I’d share it with you, if you feel so inclined.

Murdered, She Be?

There had been many theories about how she had been murdered.

They were all, unfortunately, wrong.

Meyers Ling was right that her day had started at the dog park. But it wasn’t the one by her house, where she normally went. No, that one always became a mess after it rained, and they’d had a downpour that night, so she’d gone to the one across town.

Elliot Finkle wanted to know why she would have gone to the dog park when she didn’t have a dog.

“The answer is obviously,” Ling said. “She liked to visit with other people’s dogs.”

He was right about that as well.

The last thing he was right about was that she met her murderer at the dog park. He was wrong that the murderer followed her home.

“Nonsense,” said Finkle. “This was obviously a crime of passion. I suspect it was an ex”lover.” He eyed Robert Anderson and Julie Bowler.

“That’s ridiculous!” Anderson said, possibly because he’d been the one to find the body. “If it was me, I wouldn’t have called you all here! I would have covered it up!”

“Unless you knew that one of us knew that you were going to come over to her house today,” Ling pointed out.

“Which none of you did, as I just decided to do it five minutes before ariving.”

“Oh?” Finkle inquired. “And why was that?”

“Because she loaned me a twenty for dinner last week and I knew if I didn’t come over immediately I’d keep forgetting to pay her back.”

“That sounds like a likely excuse!” Finkle accused.

“Well, it does seem too stupid an excuse for him to have made it up for just this purpose,” Ling admitted.

“Um,” Bowler said, but got no further.

“Care to admit to the crime?” Finkle shouted, and everyone’s attention turned toward her.

“Uh, no. I was just thinking maybe we should call the police.”

Finkle, Ling, and Anderson were reluctant, but eventually conceded it might be best to involve the authorities.

In the end, the police questioned each person thoroughly and determined that based on the scene and the information that she had walked her neighbor’s dog down to the dog park for him–as he was getting up in years–and back home, she’d been slicing some chicken for the big bruiser when something had startled her and the dog, and in a fumbling of limbs, she’d fallen on the knife.

She had rolled over–possibly with the help of the dog–but the wound was too grievous and she was unable to call for help. She bled out. When Richard arrived, he opened the door to the sounds of a frantic dog–which ran out and away as soon as he opened the door, and he found the body and called their three friends to figure it out.

“Why didn’t you call the police immediately?” the officer asked.

“Well, she was already dead,” Anderson said. “What good would that have done?”

The end

Writing Exercise: 1/18/14

My other stories have been slow in coming. I need to reorganize some things in my life inside my head.

I got practically nothing written this week, but this morning I woke up with a vignette in my head begging to be written. It’s not going to develop into anything more, but it was a nice writing exercise. Of course, one day I’m going to go back and look at all these short pieces and roll my eyes at them and want to fix them up. Also, I need to do more exercises that push my skills, but that’s another story.

This one is just about heartbreak….I guess.

Oh, college life.

I crouched by my bag in front of my dorm room door and searched the pouch where I remembered leaving my key before going to class. Nothing. The sounds of Soul Caliber drifted through the crappy door, and then my roommate, Harry. “So how do you put up with fucking him?”
Will snorted. “What does that mean?”
“I’m just saying. What’s it like?”
“Why, you want to fuck my boyfriend?”
“Um, no.” Even through the door, I could hear the curl of disgust. “Just wondering. He’s so lanky and boney.”
“Well, yeah.” A pause, followed by the curses of one player getting several combo attacks on another. A soft chuckled. “It is kind of like fucking Jack Skellington.”
I stood on shaking legs and stared at the door. But the voices still came.
“He’s aptly name then, huh?”
Will laughed and the curl of unease froze in my gut. “Shit, how did I never think of that before?”
“Obviously because you were so in love.” The eye roll was clear through wood and cement.
“Obviously.” Another snort of laughter from Will.
I shoved my hands in my pocket and curled my fingers around the keys there. Oh, hey, found my keys.
The clatter of controllers hitting the hard floors barely registered. The sound of tussling was not that abnormal, so I slid the key in the lock, thinking I’d call them on talking shit about me behind my back.
Then a groan. Not a ‘that hurt’ groan. Not a ‘don’t hit me there’ groan. But a ‘oh yes, again please’ groan.
I turned the lock and twisted the knob. Pushed open the door.
And yes, my roommate was lying on top of my boyfriend, one hand between them at their crotches, my boyfriend’s legs wrapped around his waist. Harry did something and Will did that groan again, his hips arching up into the touch.
I swallowed down the bile of betrayal, grabbed the doorknob, and slammed the door shut. It was only a moment more to reclaim the key, put my school bag in order, and walk–quickly–down the hall.
Looked like I needed a new boyfriend.
And a new roommate.


Exercise: 12.17.13

Just an exercise, so no editing/re-reading has been done. 
Trey plopped down on the long tote packed full of books, the sturdy plastic and sheer mass of paper holding his weight. Not soft, not comfortable, but sturdy.
And his bed. At least for now. He had plans. Good plans. Great plans, really, if they’d just follow through like he wanted. But for now he was happy with a job, a place to crash–as long as the boss didn’t find him–and enough money for a meal now and then. Once he got his first paycheck. For now, a bed was enough.
The sheet over the totes almost made it look like a bed, even if it was just there to cut down on dust. And it was warm enough he didn’t even need to pull his blanket out, although he should put it down for an extra cushion to sleep on. Once he had the energy to get move again.
He’d just stripped off his shirt to use as a pillow when the unmistakable ku-chink echoed across the large storage unit, practically a warehouse. Shit.
He jumped to his feet and yanked his shirt, trying to find the bottom to pull over his head as the door ground open. Creeeeeeeeak.
Shit. Shit. Shit. He’d gotten his head through the arm hole, somehow. He nearly ripped an ear off pulling the shirt from his head.
He winced. Andy’s smooth voice echoed in the room, despite the books lining the walls. He fisted his hands in the shirt and stared at it. “Hey.”
The door clanged behind Andy, although he didn’t move in any farther. “What are you doing here?”
His fingers clamped harder. The words he’d prepared, the jokes he’d wanted to make for just this occasion, fled him. Instead, he blurted, “Please don’t tell James.” He winced.
The flat soles of Chucks scuffed across the floor. “But why are you here?”
He risked looking up. Andy stood on the other side of the totes, dark brown eyes flickering from the sheets to Trey, then around and back to Trey. He swallowed and dropped his gaze back to his shirt. “I just needed a place to crash.”
“Crash? Crash? You’re sleeping here?”
He shrugged. “I just needed a place for a bit. I wasn’t hurting anything!”
“I didn’t think you were, T. But why are you sleeping here?”
Trey peeked. Andy looked seriously confused and concerned. Jeezy Creezy. Why else would he be sleeping here? “I’m kinda between places.”
“Yeah. So if you could not tell James, I’d–”
“But why?”
Trey jerked back, the words a knife in his chest. What the fuck was Andy’s problem? Did he not understand anything more subtle than I’m a homeless motherfucker right now?
Andy must have seen something on his face, because he quickly added, “I mean, why didn’t you say something! I thought we were friends!”
It was Andy’s turn to look hurt. “Yeah. But I guess not.”
“No… It’s just… Jeez. Hey, by the way, I’m homeless isn’t exactly third day of work conversation, you know?”
“Yeah…I guess not.” Andy’s smile looked sad, which just wasn’t right on the guy. “Sorry. But we have been working together for three months.” He paused, his brow wrinkling. “Have you been sleeping here the whole time?”
He looked back down at his shirt.
“Dammit!” Andy stepped over the book totes and grabbed Trey’s shoulder, hauling him in for a rib-crunching hug. “Way to make me feel like shit, man.”
Trey was suddenly very aware that he was shirtless and the summer heat made their bodies stick, cling, the ripe scent of young man clinging between them. Thankfully he’d gotten a shower the other night at the gym with the shit security, so it was only a heady scent and not a changed-my-mind-about-the-hug stench. Andy’s hand rubbed up and down his back, his breath a humid sigh against his shoulder. “I wish you woulda told me.”
“Not something I go bragging about, you know?”
“Yeah.” Andy squeezed, then slowly let his arms slip away. “Get your things.”
Andy stepped back, shoulders hunched defensively as he shoved his hands in his pockets. “Get your things, you can stay with me. I’ve got a roommate and no couch, but we can share a bed, it’s cool.”
He swallowed. The warehouse environmental control must have kicked in, because it suddenly felt warmer in there. That didn’t make sense at all though. He swallowed. “What?”
“I mean, I know it ain’t ideal, but it’s a big bed, and it’s gotta be better than these, right?” He toed the tote.
“Yeah, but I don’t want to put you out or anything.”
Andy sighed. “Jeez, you’re a dumb ass. Get your things, you’re not putting me out.” He paused and chuckled. “Heh. Putting out.”
Trey’s face flamed and he yanked his shirt on over his head, actually getting it through the neck hole this time. “You don’t gotta do this.”
“I know.” Andy waited until Trey looked up. “But I’m doing it anyway. Now get your shit and let’s go.”
So Trey grabbed his shit–one bag of clothes, a book, his wallet, and some stupid-ass keychain he’d found that now carried the warehouse key so he could open up in the mornings. “What were you coming in here this late for anyways?”
Andy smiled, his eyes distant. “I’d forgotten something.”
“Yeah? What?”

The smile stretched. “It doesn’t matter, I have it now. Let’s go.”

Or maybe it’s summer

I’m freshly in from a horse event, my skin feels crisp despite a lack of sunburn (yet) and my mouth is dry. Oh sure, I could drink some water. But I’m craving ice cream.

But as I think about the half gallon of ice cream I ate last week, I ponder if it’s the ice cream I really want. Yesterday while out walking, an older woman sitting in the passenger side of the car was eating an ice cream cone. She looked so happy! She had a big grin on her face right before she turned her head sideways and liiiicked.

I’m sure part of the craving is my body saying sugar and fat would be AWESOME right now. But I think some parts of it are tied to wanting ice cream because of the happy memories tied to that food. The special occasions when I had the treat. I want to capture those delightful moments, but alas it’s harder to do when you’re all alone. I find some memories are just better when shared.

Not every morsel of food needs to be cherished, as often it is just nourishment and fuel. But think about those foods you normally eat with friends and loved ones. Do they taste the same–do they hit the spot the same–when eaten alone? Perhaps I should be asking if they satisfy the same way. I’m not saying they aren’t still delicious and great, but I think sometimes we crave something because we crave the emotions that our body remembers from the last time we ate that food.

Or maybe it’s summer and I want a cheeseburger and ice cream.