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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stewart's Assignmnet

"I see things in darkness that no one should see by light of day."

Stewart's Assignment: I offer up an assignment to the Chesterfield group, and of course to the rest of you should you care to participate: take the phrase above and incorporate it directly into either a work of poetry or a work of short fiction. I will put a word limit on it of 500 - 1500 words. Usually an assignment is geared toward some aspect of writing, this is no exception. I have been talking with some people about word choice.

After this has been written, pick a minimum of ten words from the text, then use a thesaurus to find ten rich words to take their places. Be sure the new words enrich rather than detract. When submitting your work to the group, be sure to identify which words were replaced and what they were replaced by.

Now, normally I don't do such things, seeing as I'm not a writer (in the sense of writing novels).. however... Stewart (who is an educator; for those who are unaware) posted this assignment. Generally, I do nothing but go back later and read some of the stories that others have written and then read Stewarts comments.

This time, when I read the sentence a thought jumped out at me, so I went ahead and wrote it down... and I am now offering it up for Stewart's Assignment.

Jesse sat unresponsive as his mother spoke with the doctor.

“I was wondering, doctor, is he in pain?”

“My presumption would be that he’s not,” the doctor responded. “He shows no signs of any pain, or of anything at all. The catatonic state he’s in won’t allow it.”

Jesse’s mother stood looking at him. Jesse didn’t move, didn’t blink. There was nothing at all to indicate how he felt.

“It would be nice to be able to shut down and not think,” she said. Her eyes widened as though she was surprised to have spoken out loud.

But Jesse’s mind wasn’t quite as shut down as everyone thought. He knew he was bound, firmly, in a straight jacket. He knew he couldn’t move his arms and hands. He knew he couldn’t protect himself. One thing for certain, if he fell asleep, they would find him and he would die.

The doctor and his mother watched him, waiting, hoping. And on the other side, there were others who waited, watching hoping---and all he had to do was go to sleep.

The unknown drugs that he had tried time and time again had showed him the way. In the beginning they were breathtaking and made him euphoric. He flew through the skies, higher than any bird could go. He could twist and twirl and tumble and dive, and all he had to do was to take that little pill. He loved the freedom, but only until the pill wore off.

He didn’t want to be bothered going to school and would argue with his mother until he learned that arguing was futile, instead he would just not go, she would never know. And so it was that he went to meet his friends so that he could laugh and be happy and fly.

Today he had sought to fly higher then ever before, he wanted it to go on forever. His friends helped him achieve his craving.

But this time was not like before, this time he was flying in a different place, among dark things. After a time he reasoned they were not very much fun, but when he tried to leave. the shadows swarmed around him.

Then something, he didn’t know what, seemed to pull him from the sky. The shadows followed. But scattered at the last moment, hiding behind their own door. Jesse watched, then did something he would regret …. he peeked behind the door.

Once he did, everything became dark; he tried to scream but no sounds came from his lips. He wanted to warn his friends, but could not see them standing by his side.

“I wonder what it’s like,” his mother whispered. He wanted to put her in his field of vision.

“What?” asked the doctor.

“To not be aware of anything.”

The doctor leaned over Jesse, smiling.

Jesse sat with a vacant look on his face. But his mind truly wasn’t quite empty; it was determined… not to fall asleep.

“If you only knew mother, but you don’t want to come here, trust me on this one, for I see things in darkness that no one should see by light of day.”

Word………………..replaced by:

1 Expressionless…….. unresponsive
2 guess………………..presumption
3 answered……………responded
4 tightly………………firmly
5 real………………….genuine
6 wonderful………… breathtaking
7 wanted…………… sought
8 wish…………………craving
9 sorry…………………regret
10 blank……………….vacant


Blogger SQT said...

I like that you put a good amount of dialogue in here. I think most of us (me included) spend more time on description than interplay between characters and you started right off with the doctor and the mom talking-- which I think is a great way to start.

10:28 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hi SQT... well, it wasn't "thought out".. it was a flash thought when I read the sentence.. for whatever that's worth LOL.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Wow! I'm impressed. I really enjoyed that. You should write more often, great story!

2:16 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

That's a lot of fun and so good to help expand the use of words...branching out for the normal.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

You are a writer.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Melli said...

THAT is quite an interesting little assignment - and YOU did very well with it!!! I am SO impressed! I used to be much more of a creative writer than I am now... I just don't seem to have a novel idea in my head anymore! Kudos to YOU!

8:39 PM  
Blogger DonkeyBlog said...

Great read, Desily. I like the chasm which develops between the characters - it's such an empty, hopeless space çause you know it will never be closed. Very disturbing.

I also liked the abstractedness of the doctor - so uncaring!

I think Mr Sternberg's plan to get us using the thesaurus worked well with your liece - your choices really enriched the language. Well done, and thanks.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

That's great! Very fun and creepy...fits in well with my present craving for the eerie! What a fun assignment. I love the image that you used for the 'cover' as well.

8:35 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Chris: hey, I write in my journal nearly everyday! LOL

Lee: truth be known I think I use the thesaurus alot! If not I find I get stuck using the same word alot.

jeff: ummmm.. nope but it's fun trying lol

Melli: you should just do it sometime !

hello donkeyblog: I'm far from a student (or pro) of writing, but thank you for bothering to read it. Even in my choices of reading material material, "dark" is not my thing so not sure where the thought for this even came from lol.

hiyas Carl: you have a "creepy side" huh? ..if ANYONE would have noticed that I tried to find an image for the "cover" it would be YOU! lol

9:00 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This was really great Pat...And very intriguiging, too....I thought you created a wonderful interesting circumstance that caught me right away...!

9:44 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

wow thanks Naomi! but no one need worry that I will do anything like this often LOL..

10:51 AM  
Blogger Kiyotoe said...

this sounds too much like homework.....


6:13 PM  
Blogger SQT said...

Kiyote, LOL

It is unless you're motivated to do it anyway.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Travis said...

I'm glad you followed your instinct and went with this "flash thought".

I like your replacement words. They definitely enriched the pace and rhythm of the story.

Well done.

12:11 AM  
Blogger HopScotch said...

Who says you aren't a writer!
Good stuff!

1:06 AM  
Blogger Stewart Sternberg said...

Kiyotoe, HEY, what's wrong with homework.

Deslily, this is really a large improvement from the first draft which I read. The question I would ask is: Did you enjoy the writing experience? If the answer is the affirmative, then why not continue flexing those muscles?

8:27 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Kiyotoe: well I guess SQT and Stewart told you! LOL

Travis: thank you for coming by. There are times Stewart is hard to ignore .. this was one of them.

Thanks hopscotch, especially considering my head doesn't really "do dark" lol

Stewart: I think I could do a post about old ladies "flexing muscles they don't have" LOL.. I may try more of your assignments but no commitments mainly because my life and time is not very much my own.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

A very good read. I loved the twin realities...the one inside her head and the one inside his. I often wonder how many of the old or the deaf or the "Jessies" can hear us perfectly well. Never say anything you wouldn't have them hear. I'm so glad you worked on this one.

2:50 PM  
Blogger gugon said...

You should stop saying you're not a writer. You're actually a pretty good writer. I liked this story - I like the dual points of view. This easily could have been longer because I wanted to know more about his experience - what was he afraid of? Who exactly would find him if he went to sleep.

I was engaged with the story - well done.

9:45 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Jon: thanks for coming by! not being a writer I can't say where it came from! heh

Gugon: Thank you too Gugon.. i believe it was the drug induced "black spirits" waiting to take him away for ever...? sound reasonable? lol

10:23 AM  

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