April 2, 2008

Rifling through Details and Edits.

Today I've made some more detail edits and added a bit to the story. Kathy's last post was about making edits and showing rather than telling. I think that's where I'm losing ground on my quest. So I'm going to continue working this through because I'm determined to get this.

I've been thinking about titles too. Remember the exercise was to come up with five titles. Thinking about the title has been a chore. On a side note, by the time I do the 5 times thing, I'm going to have 5 short stories to practice on or tie together into a novella, maybe?

Conda suggested the word "boundary." I like that word. I thought a bit and came up with these: Broken Boundaries, Out of Bounds, Betrayed Boundary in my comment back. How about Stretched Boundaries, Boundaries Broken, Breached Trust, Two Years Gone (Lost), Bleeding Boundaries?

This is supposed to be a short story. I don't want to have a heavy title. I want to keep it at two-three words. I'll edit more next week and see where I'm at then with title ideas.


"Two years!" A voice broke the dark silence. I threw my keys onto the sofa table, "Pam, you're awake?" I closed the door reaching for the lights. She gargled, "Don't turn them on!"

The room reeked of smoke. There was just enough moonlight peering in for me to see it hovering near her. I could taste it as if I were smoking myself. The dry, bitter remnants lingered in my mouth. I lifted the window and switched on the fan.

Moonlight streamed in. I glanced at the picture wall above her head. The pictures were cockeyed. I looked back at her. I could see her pale face, her green eyes were red, glowing, staring at me. She looked young for her 45 years. "You've been with her for two long years."

She took a long drag off her cigarette. The cherry lit up her face. She picked up an astray and smashed the butt in it. "You know..." She grabbed a cigarette pack from the side table and began slapping it against her palm. "I've known all along."

She unwrapped the cellophane, the crackle echoed through the room. Pam looked strait at me. One eyebrow shot up, "You thought the two of you were so smart--hiding the truck, meeting at bars, going to hotels--you must of thought I was stupid."

I waited to speak. A lump formed in my throat. I had to say something to sate her, to make things right, but what? She knows about Maura...

Maura is a bartender at my hangout. She's smart, petite, with a nice rack, and a bubbly personality. The complete package. She never complains. She's always happy to see me. She makes me feel good. I love her.

Pam is my wife. Pam is the mother of my children. Pam is my anchor. My obligations lie with her. I cannot believe she knows...

Pam lit another cigarette. I cleared my throat, "I--I just don't know what to say." I moved toward her. She put her hand up. I switched on the light.

She was huddled on the couch. Pictures of us lay smashed and torn on the floor before her. Blood pooled on the sofa beneath her feet. "Pam, you're hurt!"

I ran to the kitchen for a towel. The counters were cluttered with table scraps and dirty dishes. I searched the cabinets for a roll of paper towels. I grabbed the trash bin and returned to her.

I knelt down and wiped the blood from her feet. The shattered glass crunched underneath me. "Pam, why did you do this?" Her eyes met mine. She whispered, "I wanted to hurt you like you hurt me."

I threw the blood soaked towels in the trash. "I need to get some bandages for this." I walked down the hallway toward the closet. I paused before my oldest child's room. I could hear her crying.
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  1. I can really cut my teeth on this unfolding drama, well done. The better you write, the more I can see. Will it have a happy ending I wonder? A: Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!

    Take Care,

  2. Muse:

    This story is hitting way too close to home. I used to live with a woman who was just like this character - totally self indulgent and destructive. She was scary. Often when I'd come in, either from work, or classes, she'd be lying in bed drunk with a half-smoked cigarette in her mouth. She'd give me the riot act about how I didn't love her, then she'd begin breaking things - screaming at the top of her lungs, of course, so the neighbors could hear too. It was a nightmare. Then one night she crossed the line - she cut herself. It was a superficial cut inflicted solely for dramatic affect, but I took her to the emergency room anyway just to shut her up. The tough ER doctor first chewed her out for being so immature, and then reprimanded me for not keeping a closer eye on her. Unbelievable.

    Fortunately, she finally met some idiot who fell head over heels in love with her and she married him. They moved away and I never heard from her again. Thank God Almighty. But it still gives me the shivers when I think of those dark days. I hope your character isn't going to turn out like her.

    Love the story. When it's affecting people, you're definitely on to something.

    Happy trails.

  3. Hey you two! This is a work in progress for sure. I'm discovering more and more edits are necessary to really make it a short story.

    What I've got here has a similar tone to my original, but the cuts I've made have given it a new direction.

    I'm curious to see what happens too.

    Take care you two!


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