Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Flash Fiction

In an effort to shake off a bad case of writer's block (I hate giving in to that term, but I'm too tired to better define it), I've been freewriting some every day. The last session resulted in something I don't mind sharing. It's clearly the result of what I'm studying.

A Witch's Wedding Vow

I will take the journey each day, always in our bed at dawn, in the downy breaks of our white comforter and pastel sheets next to the sleeping you. I will pitch them away at the alarm, baring feet and sliding soles to cool floor. You will murmur and tug me back into the smother of pastels and comforter and I will be swallowed, layer by layer, in you, in the comforter, in the heat of our damp slick kisses.

And later I will begin again, this time carrying you upward with me. We will speak doves into being, forming them from the dust motes and making gifts of them to Father Sun with our rising chants.

Then I will take the car, with coffee in the cup holder, bacon rolled in toast in my hand, balancing on the steering wheel. Over the bridge, over the lake, past one boat with two fishermen poised over poles, the sun grey white on the slow motion, disappearing and reappearing rills, spiraling between bluffs. I will wish the fishermen good fishing and see their lines leap and glint as I fade toward work.

I arrive at an office, the grand machine of phones and meetings and computers, and the secretary who knows my job better than I do. She Evil Eyes me over her desk, spread thick with manila files, papers, schedules, pens and business cards. And her kids will have already made her mad so I am icing on top of it all. Late. I will be late always because I lingered too long over the bacon. And you.

I will take your call about mid-morning and you will ask me if my refrigerator is running and I will ask you to catch it and bring it to me if you see it. And the joke will be dumb, but it will be about us in an office that's about making decisions and planning events and data bases and filling in blanks, but nothing to do with me or us. And I will close my office door and invoke you into my arms with words that unmake time and space like a bed, like our bed. For those sweet minutes of hugging and whispering ,my day will be about us, but I will send you back before Evil Eye knocks because she resents closed doors because they mean I have power and she doesn't.

The afternoon will be long and, without you, it will be longer. And out of boredom and desperation, I will cheat with incantations to rush the day along, I will stoop to feeding the machine, speaking the boss into a good mood and ask for more money for my budget and he will give it to me, only too happy and not knowing why. Evil Eye will be beyond my reach behind her desk, shielded by papers. Bitterness is a stronger magic than any joy I can give her, so I can only pass her by from the copier to my desk with smiles that mean her job sucks and mine is fine.

At the end of the day I will peregrinate home to you, following your scent through updrafts, tipping mountains, counting sheep, sweeping up air and speaking it into roads, so as the crow flies, so will I. Home to you, to your arms. I will steep in your shadow drawing strength from your presence, just as you draw from mine, as we see the sun to rest and give thanks to Mother Moon in evening prayers and speak our spells of betterness and peace.

We will pledge to always finish the circle of the day together with the words of our friendship fresh and our promises renewed. And our hands open to each others changes, eternal together by moonlight and by sun.


Scotty said...

I will steep in your shadow... - Now, that, I like.


I hear what you're saying about writer's block, though; it's only Day 3 of NaPo and I seem to be having trouble concentrating already, sigh.

Only 27 more to go, lol.

Ray Veen said...

Wow, very very nice. And very convincing. If a person didn't know you better, they'd think you really were a pagan of some kind.

And that you work in an office.

Michael Ogden said...

Gosh, you're a "real" writer! No wonder it's so hard. I wish I had one tenth your talent.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Thanks Scotty.

Two years ago when I let myself get talked into NanoWrimo, I suddenly found myself trying to write amid the flu, an increased workload, and the holidays. Plus I was writing a story I cared about so I just couldn't bring myself to pad the word count with nonsense I was just going to have to edit out later. The story was rolling, but at some point I realized I was going to miss the word count. I bemoaned this fact to Sefton who imparted this bit of wisdom: Typing isn't writing. It reminded me that deadlines are less important than writing work that satisfies me. Hope that helps you too. By the way--I like what you've written so far. :)

Mike--Errm . . . Real? Dunno about that, but it matters to me that I do it well. Thank you.

Mike I've often wished I could write humorous pieces the way you do.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Ray--Thanks. I'm a pretty good mimic. As for the office--I worked in one for four years, until just last fall (youth program director) when I quit so I could finish homeschooling my kids without feeling like I was trying to be in two places at the same time. Speaking of magic . . . :)