*it's just a 2 post kinda day, I guess...*
Short stories are tough. Very, very tough in my opinion. You might think that writing something short would be easier than writing a full length novel, but in someways it is not-at least for me. For school I have been reading/analyzing/reviewing a whole lot of short stories; reading them is great, but writing them is a trick. And soon decent one under 2,000 words is going to be required of me, so I am trying to get in some practice. Hopefully in this way short stories and I can strengthen our unstable relationship.
The hardest part for me in writing a short story is that it is a SHORT story. My favorite aspects of fiction writing include plot and character developement, but in a short story those things are condensed a lot a lot. Trying to fit what I feel like is an adequate story into 2,000 words is a humongous challenge! Often characters don't even get names, setting isn't all that important, and you can't unfold a complex, multi-leveled plot over that spans over several hundred pages. For me that is downright aggravating...
But versitiliy in writing is KEY, and as I hope to get my writing career off the ground with a bit of freelancing, the short story is just something I am going the have to conquer.
That being said, here is attempt #1. I'm not even entirely sure why I wrote this particular story; I just did. I don't know what to think of it, so you might as well tell me what you think...
THE DAY THE SKY FELL DOWN
You know the story, the one about the chicken who thinks the sky fell down on his head? I’ve heard that story. And it’s nothing like the real thing. I was there the day that the sky fell down. I’m telling you, it was nothing like the story.
The day before was a typical day in the summer of 19--; a light breeze blew and the sun tickled your cheeks; a perfect day for a boy of my size to start making his fortune, so me and Frankie from the house next store started up a lemonade stand. By noon we had made one dollar off of our product- which sold at twenty cents a cup. By dinner we had made a whole dollar and twenty cents. That night the two of us went home, Frankie with 40 cents in his pocket and the rest in mine, being as they were my lemons that we squeezed the juice out of. The next day we were gunna do it again; we figured by the end of the summer we could buy a boat to take sailing out on the lake. We had it all planned out; our futures were upon us and we were ready.
But we didn’t account for what would happen next. What happened next changed everything.
The day after I walked out onto my front lawn to set up our stand once more but the lawn wasn’t there.
Well… I s’pose it was, only it was covered in this flakey blue mess that looked like someone has thrown sheets paper all over the ground. The road looked the same. I looked up at the clouds to check and see what the weather was looking like…only there were no clouds. There was no weather.
There was…nothing. The sky was...gone.
Now, it’s hard to explain what “nothing” looks like, but I tell you for sure there was nothing there. Where the blue expanse that was dotted with clouds had the day before, was now nothing but emptiness. There was only….well; it’s hard to say what it was. More of a sound than a sight. This low hum. It was like there was a wild wind, but with no movement, no feeling. It was like the sun’s glow, only without the light and warmth.
I looked up. I looked down.
The sky was scattered on my front lawn.
I leapt backwards onto the safety of my doorstep when I realized the true horror of the situation. The sky was on my front lawn. In its place was nothing.
I screamed for my mother, like I usually did when I was having a nightmare. But the sound hissed out of my mouth and filled the emptiness around me, my voice blended with the hum. No one heard.
I looked for my neighbors. The houses were all there. The trees. The cars. The whole deal! Only everyone had pieces of the heavens strewn across their grass!
No one was coming to save me. My mother wasn’t coming to wake me from the nightmare. What else was a boy to do? Carefully I snapped a branch off of the little piney shrub next to our doorstep. I poked the ground, or the sky rather, with the branch. Nothing happened. No sound. No feeling. No explosions. I edged one toe off the step and gingerly stood on it. I stood on the sky. Again, nothing. Emboldened, I bent and picked up a piece of it; it was flimsy like a sheet of the Sunday’s newspaper, but soft like the flannel pajamas with big red clown-like buttons that my grandma had given me at Christmas one year. I shook it, it didn’t crinkle, it didn’t rip. I threw it- HIGH. It didn’t suspend itself back where it belonged, instead it floated noiselessly back onto the lawn, covering up the patch of green that I had exposed.
I ran inside and slammed the door. After counting to ten I opened it back up again and sure as anything the sky was still there, right where it didn’t belong.
I bounded up the stairs screaming my dad’s name. He was a smart guy, maybe he could fix it. But what does mailman know about unusual weather circumstances? But still, dads know a lot. At least I thought mine did.
“DAD! The sky! It fell. The sky is on the front lawn, Dad. I tried to put it back but….”
“What?” my father asked, as he rolled over gently, trying not to wake my mother.
“The sky. It’s on the lawn. It’s all blue and it feels my P.J.’s from grandma!”
He rolled the other way to look out the window, but the faded floral curtains were drawn shut. “Prob’ly just fog, son. It’ll pass. Go on downstairs and turn on the coffee pot. I’ll be down in a bit.”
I kicked the side of his bed with my slippered foot. “THE SKY FELL DOWN DAD! COFFEE ISN’T GUNNA FIX IT!”
“Yes, yes,” said my father as he tied his robe on
I stomped down the stairs and peeked out the window. Sure enough, just as I had said, there was no sky in the sky. I opened up the front door and jumped on the sky. I jumped and stomped and danced around in a fiery fit.
I hear my dad’s footsteps on the stairs; I flung open the door and cried “LOOK!”
He did. He blinked a couple times. He ran left hand through his hair, like he did after having a bit of a fight with mother. He chewed on his lip a bit and said nothing.
“That’s the sky, Dad! All over our grass, just like I told you. That’s a whole bunch of sky!” My voice sounded hollowed, like I was in a cave, only with no echo.
My dad said nothing. He just stood there blinking his eyes, chewing his lip and rubbing his gray streaked hair.
Couple minutes later my mother came down the stairs, robe on, hair in a disheveled braid, looking down at her slippers, “Boys, shut that door! The …” She stopped and made a little sucking noise as she drew air quickly into her lungs. Her mouth quivering, she walked out onto the step and stood next to my father.
Slowly he put his arm around her shoulders. Her eyes just kept getting wider or maybe her face was just getting smaller.
“It’s…the sky…” I tried to explain. But neither said anything. “WHY IS IT ON THE GRASS? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?” I yelled at my mute parents, aggravated and a bit scared that I was the only one feeling the need to take some sort of action on this problem. Things like that weren’t supposed to happen. SOMEONE had to fix it!
My dad just shook his head and stared blankly. “Sometimes things are just out of our control, son…”