Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Last Class, First Short Story

I'm up early this morning (5:30 am) to work on the final lesson for the short story class I'm taking: write a 200 word short. I was having trouble getting my novella down to 15,000 words, not sure I can do just 200. One thing for sure, it's a great exercise in writing tight and deleting the nonessential. I understand all the talk about killing your little darlings now. Most of my favorite lines don't really add anything to the story. Deleting them is difficult. In fact, I was actually procrastinating by writing this instead of writing my first short story, but I finished it!


     The first time he watched her die she’d been little more than an animal. Cro-Magnon, maybe. Homo sapien, barely. He had held her and watched the spark fade from her eyes, howling as his soul plunged back into the abyss. Not like this time. This time they’d had seventy years together. This time he was prepared to lose her, again.
     “Tell me,” she wheezed, placing her wrinkled hand, trembling, over his rough, strong one. “Tell me the Secret.”
     Sitting in their bed, he hugged her against his chest holding her up to ease her struggle to breathe. Still she gasped for air.
     It was time.
     He whispered to her then of the Beginning, of eons past when they were all One, the Dark and the Light, before the Separation; how they entered matter and forgot what they were; how one Dark soul refused to forget, refused to play the game of Life; how he waited for his Light, life after life, to remember him.
     She never did.
     “Remember me,” he begged, yearning for a flicker of recognition as her Light separated, but it was too late. She had slipped away.
     He cradled her body one more time and wept, again.

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