Sunday, April 27, 2014

Scene Exercise

A friend and I are currently working on a joint project based on a childhood memory. Of course it wasn't as sick and twisted in real life as we plan on making the story, but we're horror writers not memoir writers.
This was just a scene exercise I did today, trying to get a feel for my main character and his relationship to the evil Alphabet People that torment him. Enjoy. Or don't, either way I'm having a beer, so it's all good here.

Josh sat alone in the warmth of the sand behind the swing set, toward the edge of the kindergarten playground, plowing through the sea of white grains with a toy bulldozer. He loved the solitude, the time to himself, where his own imagination was the only obstacle to his creativity.

As the dozer sliced neatly through an adjoining road to make a sandy intersection, a glimmer caught his eye. The dozer’s plastic blade had uncovered a treasure buried in the sand. Josh inspected his newfound relic. An old glass marble. At least he thought it was old. Perhaps long lost by some kid many years before his time here. He rolled it between his soft fingers, feeling the jagged rough edge where a slice of it was missing, cleaved off in perhaps a fierce skittles battle in the sand.

The edge of the broken marble was sharp as a razor. He looked across the playground and into the dusty window of the classroom, where Mr. G glared back at him in all of his inflatable madness. The marble threatened to slice into his palm as he clutched it, staring intensely  at the horrible little person, or letter, whatever Mr. G was. Was it sneering at him with its big white rubber teeth?

“I could cut you,” he said quietly to Mr. G. “I wonder if you’ll bleed if I slice you up with this.”

Mr. G, and all the rest of the Alphabet People, A through F, sitting upon their shelf, were watching him now. They were always watching. Always listening. Mr. G spoke in his gravelly voice, “No, I won’t bleed, Josh. But she will.”

Josh looked over to see Lisa sitting on the monkey bars playing with a doll. “She thinks you’re ugly and dumb. I bet you’d like to see her bleed,” Mr. G said through his overly huge smile.

“Who, Lisa?” Josh asked. “No, she’s real nice. She’d never say that about anyone.”

Josh stood and brushed the sand from his pants. He’d show him. He marched over to where Lisa sat, careful not to disturb his road system in the sand, and pulled up a bar next to her. “Look what I found, Lisa,” he said, opening his hand so that the sun made the marble a mini sunburst upon his palm.

He held it out to her so she could inspect it on her own. She reached for it, feeling it’s warmth and smooth roundness, probing the jagged edge of the sheared off portion.

“It’s really pretty,” she said.


The recess bell startled them both. Josh jerked his hand back and the razor sharp edge of the marble raced its way across Lisa’s soft fingers, slicing into them savagely. Lisa cried out in surprise and pain, clutching at her bleeding fingers. She looked at Josh, hurt and horror painted on her face. The tears began and she ran off in search of Miss Bettes.

“See, she bleeds real nice, Josh, real nice. Just like I said she would.”

Josh bent down to retrieve his now bloodied marble from the sand where it had fallen, his own tears peeking from the corners of his eyes now. He locked eyes with Mr. G, fury burning through his veins. Mr. G and A through F were laughing. Laughing hysterically at him and what he had done. He hated them. He hated them all so much. And he swore to himself, someday he would cut them too. But, he’d cut them all the way through and they would laugh no more.

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