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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Just Write #3

Ever since I started blogging again, I've been looking for a way to incorporate my writing hobby on my blog. Finally, I've figured out a way to do it. I've started a feature called Just Write, in which I share some of my writing/writing ideas. I'd love feedback, and it would be super cool if y'all wanted to share some of your writing/ideas with me! You can either do your own Just Write post and link it up in the comments, or you can put it right there in the comments. I'm super excited about this, so don't be shy when it comes to interacting. I want to hear anything you have to say!

This is an excerpt from a short story I wrote last semester called Ashes in the Ocean

My appetite has miraculously abated. And to think, the food was the only part I was looking forward to. 

What else is there to even do at a funeral—or, sorry, a celebration of life. We're going to be lighting lanterns and spreading her ashes later, but right now is reserved for mingling, and for whatever reason that just does not sound appealing to me.

I search for my dad, who is no longer slouching on the couch. My heart kicks into full gear. Dad has issues with his tongue and his temper and, though unspoken, my whole family knows it's my responsibility to look after him. I whirl around, all the somber faces melding together, and hardly breathe again until I spot Dad standing in a corner, clutching a picture frame.

Doing my best imitation of nonchalance, I sidle up beside him and lean into a side-hug. “What's that?” I expected him to be looking at a photo of my mother or our family. Instead, he's staring down at a newspaper clipping.

“Since when did she like to garden?”

He's reading her obituary.

I shrug because that's all I can really do when it comes to my mother.

A tremor runs through my dad and he hugs the frame to his chest. His voice is thick when he says,

“She was never interested in gardening when we were married.”

I'm the youngest in the family, but these past few days I feel like I've been constantly grappling for ways to comfort everyone, to be the soothing voice in the cacophony of devastation. But right now I don't know what to do. Dad is more than drunk and he's more than sad and I shouldn't have to know how to handle this.

I should be unraveling. I should be in need of comfort.

Daniel appears at my side. He nods at me, lips pulled tight, and says, “I got this,” as if he read my mind.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Lakyn grabs me by the elbow and leads me to a quiet pocket in the room.
Reese holds out a cup. "I made you a screwdriver."

"I'm good, but thanks."

"What, you don't like vodka?"

"My family doesn't exactly have the best track record with booze."

Lakyn snorts. "One drink won't kill you."

My Dad lost his job because he got drunk and cussed out his boss. My mother lost her children because she got drunk before the custody hearing. I'm sure I can find a different crutch to lean on.

"Yeah, but it won't help me either."

Nodding, Reese sets the drink on a nearby table. "Okay, well this is the most depressing 'celebration' I've ever attended. Do you guys wanna go somewhere?"

"Yes. Please," Lakyn says, pulling me by the elbow once again.

I jerk my arm away. "This is my mother's funeral. I cannot just leave."

"That lady at the food table didn't even know who you were," Lakyn says. "Nobody will notice if we sneak away for a little while."

"My family will. My dad is having a hard time and I need to help keep him out of trouble. Plus, we're supposed to go to the beach soon and light lanterns."

My phone goes off, interrupting whatever Lakyn was about to say. This time it really is Robert.

I think it would be better if we talked about this when you're back from Florida, it reads. And this way we'll both have time to think about what we really want.

Lakyn is hovering over my shoulder. "Is that your boyfriend?"

"For now," I say, quelling the bubble rising in my throat.

"What does he look like?" Lakyn asks. "Is he cute?"

"Where do you guys want to go?" I blurt.

Any questions, comments? I'd love to hear your thoughts or tell you more about the storyline. What do you think about this new feature? Also, I would definitely love to see some of your writing!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say and give your opinion on it. It really means a lot to me. And of course, I will do my best to return the favor. However, as easily distracted and scatter-brained as I am, please don't be offended if I forget to comment on your blog.