Mirror, Mirror

I mentioned before that I was using writing prompts from Pintrest. There are so many great prompts out there. Here is the latest one I wrote. I liked it so much I added it to my story, Broken Cycle (Name subject to change).

Ooooo so creepy :3 well the least creepiest of all the others.
Ooooo so creepy :3 well the least creepy of all the others.

I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I thought it was the window until I heard it come from across the room, from the mirror. The sheet that covered it trembled like a frightened child during a storm. But it was no child beneath the sheet nor was it frightened. I lay back down but still it persisted.

Tap – tap – taptaptap.

It was growing aggravated but I won’t lift up the sheet. I repeat my resolution even as my bare feet touch the chilled floor. The boards creak as I step closer. The mirror quaked and rattled as if it wanted to jump off the wall. My fingers clutched the thin sheet. My mouth had gone dry. Just go back to bed. Let it be. Don’t look. Just don’t.

I was never good at following orders, even my own. I ripped the sheet off and it fluttered to the floor. I stared at my reflection. It occurred to me I forgot to turn on the lights but I saw the face as clear as day. She smiled. It was a wicked smile. Even with my face I knew she was wrong.

“Thanks,” she whispered. Her words dripped with sarcasm but the one word was poison. I could tell by the way her eyes shined by the light that should not be there. Her smile was fixed like a doll, perfect but humorless; no warmth. She was mad about the sheet. The lump in my throat grew as she leaned forward. Her breath fogged up the glass, and I got a hint of something bitter, like lemons gone bad.

“You’ve been a bad girl, Nerena.” She said my name with agonizing slowness, drawing out each syllable. “So bad,” she said. I wanted to throw the sheet back over the mirror, or better yet chuck the stupid thing out the window and be done with her.

“I—I,” I couldn’t speak.

She frowned, “I kept up my end of the deal.” Anger crept in her words. Her forehead pressed against the glass. Her nostrils flared. “Let me out.” I shook my head. No. My whole body was shaking. “I said,” her fist pounded against the glass. “LET ME OUT!” The mirror clattered to the floor, I screamed like a spider just fell down, escaping onto the dark floor. In a way, she was like a spider. A black widow looking for the next meal and I was it. “Nerena,” her voice teetered between sweetness and a growl. Her lips pressed against her gums. I kicked the sheet over but it didn’t cover her completely. “Don’t you dare—I helped you!”

“You killed her!” I yelled back. I plucked the sheet up but her hand catches mine. No! The sheet drops from my hand as she pulls me towards her. She’s grinning and her grin keeps growing, ear to ear, splitting her face (my face) in half.

“It’ my turn now.” My arm is up to my elbow in the mirror, it feels like it was submerged in ice water. Her ragged breath is on my arm and goosebumps ripple across my skin. My free arm gropes around for something. Anything.

“Please,” I choke on my tears. Her fingers are claws, drawing blood as they drag me in deeper.

“My. Turn.” She laughs.

My hand has found something. I grab it without a thought and smash it hard onto the mirror. She grunts in surprise, her grip loosened. I jerked my arm back, her claws scrapped against my arm, tearing it to ribbons. I brought down the object harder. The mirror cracked and her scream sent my mind reeling.

I woke up to the sun stinging my eyes. I was on the floor, and even with the light it was just as freezing as last night. My arm throbbing, and I saw with no real surprise, the long red lines from my elbow to wrist. The blood had congealed overnight but it was still tender. In my left hand was a high-heeled shoe. But I didn’t own high heels, only sneakers, cleats and a pair of winter boots. Then it hit me, mom bought me a pair for Aunt Petrenia’s wedding. The box had been left by the door since last week. As I stare at the shattered mirror, I was never so glad to have high-heels. I’d never complain about them again.

“Maybe I’ll buy another pair or three,” my chuckle dies quickly. If she was angry before, she was livid now. I shuddered at the thought. This was only temporary. She would find a way back. No amount of high-heels would save me then.

I cleaned my cuts with the first aid kit from the hall (I had to tiptoe passed Ken’s room, he and mom were always early risers). It stung like hell and who knew if antibacterial ointments and alcohol wipes were useful for…whatever she had. I swept the glass up with some colored cardboard paper. The neon pink and orange really made the whole ordeal seem surreal. I hung the empty frame back on the wall when Ken walked in (without knocking, that jerk).

“Get out.”

He whistled, “I knew you were ugly but damn! It’s not the mirror’s fault it can’t handle your level of—”

“Out!” I thrust my full weight on the door and soon it becomes a match. My feet slipped against the floor. Ken laughed like he isn’t even trying. My arm still hurt and the pain beat against my arm when I threw myself against the door.

“Ken,” I heard mom say, “leave your sister alone.” She didn’t bother to stop, and her steps receded downstairs.

“You heard her,” I said. I shifted so my back was flat against the door instead of my shoulder. I fell forward as Ken slipped in. His smug look dropped when he noticed my arm, “Rena?”

“It’s nothing!” I kicked him right above the knee and shoved him out. I slammed the door, panting, with my ear against the door. He knocked on it, just two soft knocks.

“Nerena,” he paused. “Did you do that to yourself?” And there’s the question. Well, it was my reflection, so technically, yes?

No, I couldn’t say that.

“It was an accident.” I said. “Please don’t tell mom.”

“Okay.” The floor boards creaked under his shifting weight but after a  few moments, his footsteps also receded. Ugh, I’m started to feel sick again. The calendar on my wall mocked me with carefree puppies rolling in fields of flowers. I marked the days that passed with Red X’s, well I did until a few days ago. It felt wrong to mark that day with an X, like a target eliminated.

Smells of burning bacon and pancakes drifted up to me, my stomach rumbled but the idea of eating sent me stumbling across the hall to the bathroom. I didn’t bother closing the door, I barely had time to bend over the toilet before I threw up.

“Nerena?” Dad knocked on the open door. “You feeling alright?”

I just chucked up my guts, does that seem alright?

The anger came suddenly. I took a breath, he’s just worried, no need to bite his head off. But the anger was still bubbling, like a kettle on a stove. I could almost hear the piercing whistle.

“Nerena?” he asked again. He kneeled beside me and felt my forehead. “You’re freezing.”

No crap, I slept on the floor.

“I’m okay dad, probably the chicken from last night.” I tried to smile but it felt wrong, like I hadn’t used those muscles in years, they felt heavy. He helped me up and back into bed.

“I’ll get some medicine,” and with that he left. He didn’t notice the empty frame or my bandaged arm, for that I was grateful. I felt my eyelids fluttering close as I fought sleep. Maybe these past few days were all a lie, some stupid dream. I would wake up, sprawled on the couch with Ken and popcorn all over the floor. The TV would be still on, replaying the opening theme of the movie we rented. Mom would yell at us for staying up and to clean up our mess. Dad would squeeze himself between us and restart the whole movie. Ken would laugh as I fall for the same jump scares over and over. It was a normal weekend. No Georgia, no Jesse, but best of all, there was no her and no more late night mirror talks. I fell asleep repeating the thought over and over.


It still needs work (a lot of work), but it’s a start.

If you are interested in checking out some prompts for yourself, I highly recommend using Pintrest. If you’re ever stuck with writer’s block, try a little prompt or even a photo. You will be surprised at what your brain will produce. Even if it isn’t the best writing, it feels good, it feels right, to have words on a page.

I have some prompts on my board, feel free to check them out.

https://www.pinterest.com/Zhaghzhagh/books-and-writing/

So grab your pens, quills, or keyboard and write away. While you’re at it, why not join NaNoWriMo?

http://nanowrimo.org/


NaNoWriMo Update

4 more days! That’s right folks (do people still use that word?), only four more days until the dreaded, yet anticipated, event begins! Even the exclamation points can’t express my jubilance.

But of course, right when I decide on the Perfect Idea to flesh out during November, my brain finds three more and those three find another three…and so forth. So many ideas, so little time.

Forecasting with a Trend

On February 3rd, I attended a poetry workshop by the poet Pedro Enrique. Supposedly, the poems of the people who attended would be published in an anthology magazine of sorts. Going through my notebook, I found the poem I had worked on. It was the first poem I produced in a while (we still hadn’t started the poetry section in my writing class). It was strange, really. When I first began writing, it was mostly poems or a short burst of thoughts. As I began writing longer and longer pieces, it felt more difficult to express myself poetically (if any of that made sense).

Well the exercise was simple enough, look at a picture and write a poem. The picture we received was a small card that was red on one half and blue on the other separated with a line black line. I tried to search for the image, what I got were a bunch of American themed snacks and pictures and Pokemon.

Here is what I wrote:


Fire and ice

melting, melding

soft waves rising

against the burning sky

Spirit of Water

lost amongst the

black lines of Solitude

under the harsh, red glow

lost, alone, abandoned

forever drifting away

sinking, deeper and deeper

Still

until the blue fades away

cold, distant

darkness enveloping

the Sky is red

So red

underneath the frozen Sea


So yea….apparently most of my poems are about abandonment (thanks dad).  Reading this again made me remember another poem I wrote in high school called the Lonely Island.


The lonely island

Left in a sea of despair

Among the archipelago of desire

Cast aside amid the waves

The salt of the sea spat on her face

The bitterness and misery of the lost

The endless days

Endless nights

Not even the stars

Would care to say goodnight

Alas who does she have?

The Sun?

The scorching companion

Send his rippling heat across her body

Her skin dry and grainy

Her lips parched

No

She could not count on the Sun

The Moon?

In all its silent glory

Ignoring her existence

Calmly enthused with her own reflection.

No

she could not count on

The Narcissus of the night sky

So far

Out in the sea

No birds greet her

Neither does she have shade

Of even the smallest degree

To shield her from the Sun’s furious glare

Barren and desolate

She cries to herself

Who would make one such as me?

The waves eat away

At her fragile body

Scorning at her pain

Whiteness comes into her view

A cloud has stopped by

Giving her shelter

Comfort

Yet no one wants to see

Her happiness fulfilled

The Wind

blows away her last refuge

She quakes in sadness

In anger

Anger at life

Anger at everyone

Who treats her like nothing

The melancholic weight

Crushing

Her sandy heart

Pitying

One as low as she

A lonely island

Far from everyone

Yet near so much

What purpose can I fill?

No one answered

No one ever does

The Clouds waved lazily

As they passed by

Never staying long

The island sank deeper

Into her loneliness


Are you sensing the trend here? I have so many poems for my teenage years that make me cringe, but I can’t throw them away. The words were apart of me, a me from the past, and even though I didn’t like that past me (way too depressing, I traded depressing for sarcastic -_-), it is nice to know that she was there and she did something (even if it sucked).

Anyways! There are only 6 days until NaNoWriMo! So excited, this is gonna be my year (hopefully). I’m still not at the 1667 word per day benchmark (I’m more around 400 words per day ugh), but here’s to hoping I shape out this week.

Good luck to the rest of the Wrimos!

P.S.

If you’re wondering about the title, its a section from my Operations and Supply Chain Management Class. It seemed straight forward enough, and I still got it wrong. Guess it reminds me of poetry, or maybe just writing in general; I think I’m doing everything right, but turns out I’m on the brink of crashing and burning (so much for optimism).

Stay on Target

On September 30, I proposed to my friend that we should use the month of October as a practice round before Nanowrimo. Now, we’re at the halfway mark and nowhere near where we should be. I counted my words last night, lo and behold I was under 4000 words. Almost half of those words came from last night.

I discovered that Pintrest has writing prompts and they are so fun to write! But that doesn’t help my novels >_>

I have about two weeks to write 46k words, and doubt is sitting heavily in me. On my wall, above my desk I pinned a paper with my word counts on it. Maybe this will keep me on target.

The realization of my love of writing hit me hard last night. Exhaustion had my head reeling back and forth but still I wanted to write; I needed to write. From a two word prompt, a whole new world was fleshed out before me and I needed to get it onto paper.

I’m sure others have felt this way, but this is the first time that I was enraptured so deeply.

Also, I discovered that I write more when I write first on paper (with my beloved fountain pen) and then type it up. When typing, the words flow easier, I find myself correcting sentences without a thought. Since it is already written, I just have to backtrack, kind of like Hansel and Gretel finding their way home following the little pebbles. My other analogy was going to be about yarn (it’s either yarn or books with me -_-) but I’ll leave it at that.

On the other hand, I began to reread the Gunslinger and I’m falling in love with the book all over again. My friend, after this past semester, gave me a copy. I’m so thrilled! Now I have in my collection, the first, last and 4.5 books (now that was an awesome find).

Turns out I have more boxes of books and notebooks than clothes, and of course, my books aren’t the little thin ones but huge, bulky monsters (my babies). My dad always threatens to throw them out because he hates moving them (I can barely left the boxes myself, thus require his assistance ^-^;).

But back to Pintrest, there are some amazing quotes from writers. One that kind of sucker-punched me in the face was one by Erica Jong, “All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.” (Can you feel the power?) This quote changed my perspective on things, it might sound cliché, but it really did. That was just last night. Most of my fears (if not all my fears) gravitate towards the idea of someone reading my writing and either hating it or me. You can’t let those fears get to you, what you need to do is arm yourself with a shotgun and blast those fears away.

The main reason I don’t write my stories is because they are all written in my head. I can replay scenes, rewrite them, replace them all with a thought. That was all I needed, I had my stories and it was alright if no one ever knew them, but writing….writing is so beautiful, and it amazes me once I stop writing and give my aching hand a rest how much I had written. I did that.

If you think about it, every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. So many years reading could only lead to one outcome, what you take in must come out.

So whenever you doubt yourself, just remember: you are you and no one can write the way you do.