Tag Archives: creative writing

Maybe We All Just Want to be Ghosts, in the End

Well, hey now, looks who’s back on the Indie Ink Writing Challenge!

I took some time off mainly out of pure writing exhaustion, with my reporter job kinda taking all the creative juices out of my head. Writers block sucks. But the last month or so I found myself really wanting to write some fiction again. So here I am.

My first challenge out of exile comes from Karla. The prompt:

You are given the opportunity to be invisible for one day. What do you do? How is the world different without your presence?

In retrospect, I just now realized that I forgot about the ‘one day’ part. Oops. Other than that this turned out to be really easy for me to write. I sat down at the computer with no direction, the first sentence came to my head as I was going for a walk today, as it was drizzling. Other than that I just wrote as it came to my head.

It feels good to be back. Enjoy!

You can read my prompt to Heather O. hopefully soon. Look forward to that, because I gave her a doozy:

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There, over there, in the rain you can see something. Just barely. Something vaguely humanlike, an outline. In that rain. The outline of someone or, god forbid something that should be there but isn’t. Nothing more than a ghost. A trick of the eye.

Chances are you wont even see it anyways. Will pass over it, not noticing, not looking Close Enough. Distracted by the kids, or the bills or your fears or what have you. Life. Failing to see what is right in front of your face the whole damn time. Not that it matters anyways.

Being a ghost isn’t really about being dead or the after-life or that bullshit cliché I-Need-to-Be-at-Peace-Before-I-Can-Finally-Rest crap. No, being a ghost is a hell of a lot more simple than that. A good word for it might be something along the lines of primal. Maybe. It’s really hard to define properly, is all.

Actually it’s not. Being a ghost is about one thing, and one thing only. Voyeurism. Something that we all wish for at least once in our lives. Probably a lot more than that, much more. Probably at least once a day, for most people. That desire to See but not Be Seen. To watch without being watched.

That ghost, standing in the rain, is a person. Just your regular 9-5 person. Cookie-cutter. Oh, and they’re not dead. It’s a temporary thing.

But see the thing is, anyone can become a ghost. Anyone at all. You just need to want it hard enough. To have the desire to be invisible. Not because you want to hide (you can’t become a ghost if all you want to do is hide, that’s too easy, and a little lame) but because you want to see, unrestricted. Have no fear of being caught.

We all act differently, depending on who we’re with and who we’re talking to. That’s just a basic fact of life, anybody could tell you that. It’s simple social conditioning; you simply do not act the same way with your college drinking buddies as you do with your, say, mother-in-law and they don’t act the same as they do with you in other situation.

The ghost is obsessed with this fact. To them it becomes an obsession. Being a ghost isn’t about becoming disconnected with people, it’s about connecting with them. In a way that you could never connect in a fleshy, physical and visible body.

Become a ghost and trail your lover. Don’t say anything (you can still be heard as a ghost) just Listen. Listen and Watch. See how they act, talk and behave in any and every situation. Every day. Only when you follow a person, unrestricted, will you ever be able to truly know a person. Who do you really know?

That outline in the rain, the one that you probably don’t see, even though it is starting you right in the face. That ghost has been trailing you for days. Weeks even. You don’t know it, and you can’t know it but that phantom is someone you know. Are you creeped out? Don’t be.

See, the thing is, being a ghost is about voyeurism. To see someone when they can’t see you. But it’s not about stalking. No. No stalkers can become ghosts. It doesn’t work that way. See, the ghost follows you out of love. Like, capital L, Love. They are not out to get their rocks off, there is nothing perverted in what they do. They just want to know you; to understand you, in all possible ways.

It’s a beautiful thing, to be trailed by a ghost. Because that ghost can only be a ghost to one person. You’re only given that gift when you want to Love. When you want to Love a person as completely and utterly as possible. It’s beautiful when you become a ghost to a person too. That means you are Loved by them as well.

There is this weird psychic aura between two people, or something. You can only become a ghost when you want to Love a person, but are only allowed to become one when that person wants to be Loved by you. It’s not uncommon for both to become ghosts to each other.

Soul Mates, it’s something like that.

So that shadow in the rain. Do not be afraid. Be happy, be welcoming. But most importantly. You need to Be Yourself. Completely.

Turn around, we are everywhere.

Look at that shadow, but don’t look. There is just one thing to know.

You Love and you are Loved.


On the Edge of Something or Another

Here we go with another Indie Ink Writing Challenge. My challenge this week comes from My Plaid Pants:

Falling off the edge of the world

This challenge has the honor of being a sort of sequel to the very first piece I wrote specifically for this blog, called To Walk Through the Valley of Something or Another. Overall these two works tell the story of a very hard life. In my opinion they are some of the most brutal pieces I have ever written.

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The Boy, now grown to The Man, is standing at the top of a 32 story building and in precisely 3.4 minutes is going to leap off the edge. Suicide. Nothing left of The Man except a stain and some bones shattered so fine they might as well be sand. It is night, as he doesn’t want to be seen. He doesn’t want a crowd looking up to him, telling him he has so much to live for while one asshole tells him what is he waiting for jump. This isn’t a cry for attention. This is it, the final moments. The ‘real deal,’ as it were.

The Man is 25, but on the inside he felt that he had lived for over a thousand lifetimes. He was tired. And sick. It’s not that The Man was ill; there was no painful, incurable disease. No, it is more like there’s a darkness eating away at his soul. Like there’s a parasite feasting on his will to get up the next morning and start everything over again and again and again and again and again. He wanted to go to sleep and stay that way.

Staying asleep and death are not the same thing, obviously. For The Man, it wasn’t that he ‘wanted to die’ so much as he ‘wanted to not live.’ And there is a difference between the two, make no mistake. The Man was scared of death. Everyone is. But it’s a cost-benefit analysis: is overcoming that natural anxiety to death stronger than the desire to wake up the next morning? For The Man, the scale had finally tipped.

As The Boy he ran away from home shortly after The Father had died while shoveling the snow, now over 15 years ago. He stayed hidden as long as he could, living in the forest at first, using some of his Boy Scout training in order to survive, picking berries and attempting to trap animals. But he couldn’t stay in the forest long. The Boy was caught trying to steal food from the supermarket and brought back to The Mother. Not long after he placed an anonymous phone call to a social worker, The Mother was abusive to The Boy for everything he had done; for running away and for the day The Father died… He was taken by the social worker a week later.

He has not seen The Mother since.

The Boy was 10 when he was placed into foster care. The Boy was too old for adoption, most families choose to pick a young child, no older than two or three. They want to be able to raise the child from scratch, as if it was actually their own. He was in foster care until he was 18.

The darkness hit The Man shortly after leaving the foster home. He just stopped wanting to do anything. There would be days in which The Man would wake up and just lay there, motionless, just waiting for the next time he could shut himself from the world. He started drinking to numb the pain of living. And it was a pain, or it felt like one. Or maybe it was a lack of pain, when looking inward on himself The Man saw nothing. He felt Nothing. There wasn’t depression or anxiety or anger towards his family, the pain he felt was the pain of nothingness. It was the pain of knowing, for a fact, that he had nothing to truly live for. The pain of pointlessness and obsolescence.

It is cold, on top of the 32nd floor. It is always windy on the tops of tall buildings like that. Wind from the city below hits a high rise and shoots straight up. It is now 30 seconds before The Man is going to jump. He thinks back to his life and wonders what was the point, if any, to his existence. All he can remember in his final moment is pain, sadness and loneliness. Or at least that is what he thinks he should feel. Heaven and Hell also creep up in The Man’s thoughts. He supposes that he is now guaranteed to go to Hell, if it does exist. Oh well, it’s no matter, eternal peace and bliss probably gets boring after the first thousand or two years. At least Hell manages to stay interesting. The Man leaps from the building.

Before the jump, The Man pictured himself majestically swan diving off of the building. He thought it would be beautiful. He hoped that something about himself would be. Beautiful. The reality is not so. The Man is tumbling, tumbling and he can see the sky, ground, sky, ground, sky, ground, sky and The Man knows that noth


Breaking News

Week six of my participation in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. My challenge this week comes from Tobie, the challenge:

How did you get invited to the Royal Wedding (William & Kate)?

I am going to be bluntly honest, I couldn’t give less of a fuck about the Royal Wedding. My work this week basically reflects that fact, as kind of a rant.  Though I will say that I took a lighthearted approach to it, and writing it ended up being a lot of fun.

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So you want to get invited to the Wedding Extravaganza Event of the Century™, but you are neither rich nor famous? It’s really not all that hard to do, and I shall tell you how. It’s really about two simple words: media exploitation. Study those words, learn them, love them, live them, for they are the key to getting into the Royal Wedding™.

Here’s the thing, for whatever reason people seem to really care that two people they have never met are having a ceremony that will have no effect on them at all. Ever. That means that every single media outlet out there is going to be covering the bajeezus out of this Event. As a matter of fact, CNN is sending twice as many journalists and photographers to the Royal Wedding™ than they have sent to Libya or Japan. And you are going to take advantage of this fact.

What you need to do is simple: London is going to be a chaotic shitstorm of activity this week, and I guarantee that you are going to run into some reporter or photographer at some point. And they will most likely be stressed and frazzled with minute by minute scoops about the Royal Wedding™. Maybe they got a scoop on the guest list, or maybe they found out who is making the cake. You know, serious stuff. Anyways the point is that they will be seriously seriously distracted by important breaking news. All you need to do is steal their press pass.

Honestly, that’s it. More than likely it will only say “Press Pass – Sky News” or something, though I can already hear you asking, “but what if they have a picture?” Easy, you just need a wallet sized photo and a laminating machine. And this goes without saying, but make sure you steal the pass of someone insignificant, if names are on the pass then you sure as hell can’t steal Katie Courics or whatever (I assume she is going to be there, it IS the biggest story of the year, after all).

On the day of the Royal Wedding™ make sure to arrive early, but not too early. Don’t be the first ‘journalist’ to arrive, but you sure as hell can’t be the last. Both could cause suspicion. Also, remember to bring either a professional camera or if you’re too cheap for that (which let’s face it, you are) just bring a writing pad and a utensil to write with. I would highly suggest you wear a fedora to put your press pass on, because you ARE a ‘journalist’ after all. At least for the purposes for this Event, and you gotta play they role seriously.

Oh, and on second thought, the camera would probably be a fantastic investment. Funny story, and this is true, you know those trashy celebrity gossip magazines? Well they are paying upwards of $100,000 for candid photos of What’s-Her-Face. The Bride, or whatever. Hide in the bushes and get a few photos of her in her bridal underwear and you could make some serious bank.

And once the wedding has completed you can leave that night knowing that you managed to con your way into the Biggest Most Awesome Media Event Blitzkrieg Ever™. Did it amount to anything? Did you experience something special? Is your life changed forever? Will you be able to join the rest of us proletariat down here in the real world again, because I mean, you were at the Wedding. You were at the center of the world for a day, though if you ask me, the center seems more like the eye of a storm. Empty, with everything else happening in the periphery.

By, the way, I do charge for giving out this valuable advice. I accept cash, checks (made out to ‘Cash’), all major credit cards and Pay-Pal. And if you do manage to get that Bridal Panty shot, I am also entitled to a 15% service fee.


Shattered Glass

Another week, another challenge for the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. I believe this is my fifth week. I’m working on other stuff, I swear. My challenge this week comes from Leah, who wanted me to:

Pick a moment in your childhood that you think you could’ve parented better

 and rewrite the moment as if you were the parent.

This was an incredibly difficult challenge for me to do, for both personal and logistical reasons. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to rewrite the moment exactly as it happened, but from the parent’s point of view, or if I was supposed to write the moment as I thought it should have happened. In the end I sorta compromised between the two. As for the story itself, I found myself less interested in the moment itself and more with the thought process that led to the decisions that led to the moment. In that spirit, I ended up writing it as a stream-of-consciousness piece, and a short one at that.

I hope you enjoy!

(You can read the response to my challenge by Wendryn here.)

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Five years sober. Five years sober and now she pulls this shit again, drunk dialing me half a bottle into some shitty vodka. Where did she get it anyway? I mean I drink, sure, but never hard liquor. She actually took the time out to get the damn vodka. God dammit, and the last time she pulled this crap off she tried to drive off with the car. Yeah, that’s the last thing I need right now, I’ve still got four more cars to paint and they’re all expecting pick-up tomorrow but something needs to be done about her, a grown woman who needs babysitting. What about M—-? Yeah, I’m gonna let my fourteen year old daughter babysit her drunk mother besides I think she’s at some friends house anyways. A—–? Jesus, when’s the last time we’ve even heard from him, I suppose I could try calling him . . . Just what I figured, he didn’t even bother answering that’s just great. Oh wait what about T—– he could do it he’s probably home right now and hey it’ll get him out of his damn room for once it’s sad his mother is hitting the bottle again just twenty feet away and he has no idea, he should be the one to watch her. Oh, but that’s right, the last time something like this happened he ended up cleaning her blood up from around the house as I took her to the hospital christ that was a great moment as a father, how old was he then, maybe eleven at the most and it’s not like I told him to do that I thought he was asleep but he must’ve heard her fall into the glass the fact he cleaned it up on his own makes it so much worse for some reason. I really hate to have to do this to him again, but hey he’s an adult now he should be able to handle it besides there is no one else who could help her and she needs help. I suppose I could leave early but I have a responsibility here too and I know I’ll never hear the end of it if a bunch of cars that need to be done aren’t but this should count as what do you call it extenuating circumstances probably and it’s not like I even want to leave hell I’d much rather not have to deal with this bullshit but I don’t want to subject my son to it either, but he should be fine he won’t like it that’s for sure but who would? I don’t know I just don’t know.