The Only Creative Writing I (try to) Do

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“Fuck the wallpaper,” he said. “I told her fuck the wallpaper.”

His head hung low, but he raised it there. His eyes glittered, but his voice was somber. His shoulders slumped, but he took the hand of the woman who was sitting in front of him and cautiously looked in her eyes.

“I did it.

I finally left her.”

__________________________________________________

Have any of you heard of the literary genreFlash Fiction“? It’s a genre of writing wherein you are supposed to be able to write a story in fewer than 1000 words (750, preferred), and I love it. I absolutely love it. It combines everything I think is wonderful about writing and compresses it, makes it easy for someone who’s busy but hungry for something vivid and imaginative to read a story start to finish on their cell phones while finishing their sandwich.

It puts a price on each word and forces you to cut out anything erroneous–words are truly gems in the flash fiction world.

I was going to try to write a 500-word story with the prompt “Fuck the wallpaper,” but when it came out it was 62 words and it was done, in my opinion.

At the same time, I kind of want to play with it more. So read on if you’re curious, but if it has dropped drastically in quality just think of it like a relationship: when you try to continue it after it ends itself,

…it’s pretty much gonna suck.

____________________________________________________

“Fuck the wallpaper,” he said. “I told her fuck the wallpaper.”

His head hung low, but he raised it there. His eyes glittered, but his voice was somber. His shoulders slumped, but he took the hand of the woman who was sitting in front of him and cautiously looked in her eyes.

“I did it.

I finally left her.”

She wasn’t sure how to react.

She’d never meant to break up a home. She pictured his (soon-to-be-ex) wife sitting in the home she knew all-too-well, flipping through swatches for the den redecorating project. She pictured his wife marking her favorites with tabs, writing down their product codes, calculating their price-per-yard.

Poor woman, his wife.

She couldn’t give him a baby, but she could build them a home and fill it with vibrant colors and large furniture and loud pets so that there was never a pause in the home to take in its emptiness.

Poor woman.

She couldn’t have children, and now another woman had her husband.

____________________________________________________

And see, the beauty of it, is here’s another place I think the story could end. But I’m still kind of not really finished playing with it, so if you want to read more:

____________________________________________________

He told her over and over that his wife never listened. He told her he began to dread coming home because their home felt like a funhouse-mirror version of a happy life: grotesque and exaggerated.

She was always decorating.

Decorating and redecorating,

bringing something in, moving something around.

Never moving it out though, only ever always filling. Filling corners with tables, filling tables with magazines and whatchamacallits and vases, filling vases with stupid-looking rocks and pointless floating candles and plastic flowers that never wilted so she never had to throw them away.

He couldn’t have any space in that house; he couldn’t get any peace.

Even in the bathroom, he couldn’t take a shit without looking at towels filled with lace draped over the towel rack to the point where he had nowhere to put his actual towel, the one thing in the bathroom that was actually fucking useful and there was no place to put it so he had to choose between draping it over the stupid shower curtain cover that was drawn back like a window drapery, or sitting it on the toilet, making it either damp or a thing that had just touched a toilet when he put it to his freshly cleaned body.

He would try to tell her, but she was always filling their silence with chatter or whistling or songs, songs that were supposed to mimic happiness but were closer to the warble of a bird warning his peers about danger.

They’d tried for two years to have a baby, only to learn that HPV had turned into Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which had been quietly destroying his wife’s reproductive organs the whole time they’d been dating.

Not an itch between them, and he had married a woman who would be the end of his legacy.

She had never meant to break up another woman’s home; she’d only meant to provide a listening ear to someone who she saw needed a friend.

“I finally left her,” he told his mistress. “Aren’t you happy?”

____________________________________________________

…and that would be why I don’t do creative writing very often. Because the stuff that comes out of my mind when I’m making stuff up disturbs me.

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7 responses to “The Only Creative Writing I (try to) Do

  1. lol. Flash fiction, cool. I like the first one best. I like the use of somber. Good job

  2. thanks lady! me too…i like the end too though but i think the first one pretty much says the same thing in fewer words

  3. Love it. The extended version is still very good, but the initial portion stands on its own in an amazing way. I love flash fiction!

  4. I think the ending explains it better. At first I thought it was just a man going through a mid life crisis. But as I continued reading It became more engrossing. Case in point “and he had married a woman who would be the end of his legacy.” That was an explanation that I would never have guessed at from the first section.

  5. Thank you both! Yeah, I kinda wanted to do something that wasn’t quite as easy to point out who was right and wrong because, you know, those situations are usually messy but no one starts out like yeah! i’m just gonna really really hurt some people today! But thank you for reading and commenting as always =)

  6. The first one evoked sadness and the ending was great. I think it might be nice if you reorganized these into it particularly the first:
    “He would try to tell her, but she was always filling their silence with chatter or whistling or songs, songs that were supposed to mimic happiness but were closer to the warble of a bird warning his peers about danger.”

    “They’d tried for two years to have a baby, only to learn that HPV had turned into Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which had been quietly destroying his wife’s reproductive organs the whole time they’d been dating.”

    🙂

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