I have written 1000 words of the beginning of a story which I am going to make public, here, now. I’ve said previously that when I show people unfinished work, I never then go on to finish it. The aim here is not necessarily to write a whole finished story but to write SOMETHING and let the fear go of people seeing it and judging it. Also, a thousand words seems like a reasonable way to start, I need to practice and it is an achievable goal when I’ve got three kids running around and a house to look after. So here goes, one thousand words…
UNTITLED WRITING PROJECT #1
She sat alone in the canteen, looking out of the window on her lunch break. She wished she could see green hills, trees, water, the sky even but instead it was a vast, dark, brown industrial landscape. The factory that she worked at made weapons for The War. She’d worked there for three years, feeling that she made a difference in the war effort. Both of her parents had actually been on the frontline and died, so soon after that, she came to the factory as she felt that was the way she could help. She was too scared to fight and was not too scared to admit it. She was frightened of so much, she was scared of life, of people, of things in the shadows, but most of all, scared of the voices in her head.
Not voices like doubts but voices of people screaming, in her language and in ones she didn’t know. Some of it sounded like the little Don’darian that she knew. The Don’darian’s were the enemy, the ones that killed her parents. She wrestled with the fact that she didn’t hate them. She should, they destroyed her little family. They took away her world, the only people who ever got her. Now they were gone but instead of feeling hate, she only felt sad. Immense, uncontrollable and unrelenting sadness. People could feel it being emitted from her like a radio signal and they stayed away. This is why she was sitting alone. Who wanted to hang out with the happiness black-hole? She was happy, as happy as a depressed loner could be, to eat alone.
A tray clattered onto her table, some of the peas rolling until they hit her tray. She looked up.
“What the…” she exclaimed in complete and utter shock. If anyone ever asked her to describe what she saw that day, she wouldn’t be able to. The man was glowing, sparkling, luminescent, illuminated. Words failed her. Her thoughts failed her.
“Is this seat taken?” he asked innocently ignoring the fact that she had just freaked out about his appearance. She looked around to see if anyone else was seeing what she saw. But it seemed they were all staring at her, probably wondering why someone was talking to her. He asked the question again. She nodded or rather twitched. He sat down.
“It’s a lovely day today, isn’t it?” His voice was odd. His accent had a strange European twang; he spoke slowly and measured as if he was trying to think of every single word before he said it. She looked at him wide-eyed. What was she supposed to say? It’s a lovely day today, the sky is its usual shade of miserable except for the sunshine like glow emanating from your face! She couldn’t actually find any words that would escape her lips.
“You’re probably wondering why I’m glowing and why it seems like no one else has noticed?” he said knowingly, almost smugly.
“That would be a good place to start!” she spluttered.
“Sierra, my name is Sarexit Sar Tan, I am a Don’darian First Line…” He didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence as under the table she stuck a knife into his leg, just deep enough to hurt but not deep enough to bleed.
She tried to use her most menacing tone. “I will scream or I will stab you if you do not explain in 100 hundred words or less why I shouldn’t. This room is full of people who would kill you without a second thought.”
“But you’re not one of them, are you, Sierra?” His voice remained smug.
At this point she needed to think clearly. But it was in moments like this the voices crept in. “Trust him.” She was not expecting that at all.
“Ten words down, ninety to go, Bug Man.” The insult resonated with him, he shuddered. The Don’darians looked the way you would imagine the offspring of a bodybuilder on steroids and a cockroach might. They had some human features; they had two arms, two legs and two eyes but an overall insect like appearance. Now she looked at him again, trying to ignore the extraordinary golden glow he emitted. As she looked closer she realised his eyes were slightly further apart than expected and his ears a little lower than most humans. His fingers where long and thin and his body language was all very twitchy.
“Okay. A word limit, I got this! Hmm, how to explain this in a way you would understand.” He was being condescending, which was a strange angle to play considering he had a knife pointed into his leg. “The Don’darian’s are not your enemy. Humans are not your kin. We did not kill the ones you refer to as your parents. And that knife will not do a thing to me. While I glow, your pathetic human weapons will not cause me any harm. And I think, if I’ve calculated correctly, I have about twenty words left, give or take.” He smiled. She wanted to smack that smug face but someone else beat her to it as the butt of a gun came into view, flying past her face and hitting Sarexit square in the nose. He’d said that nothing would hurt him but that looked like it hurt, a lot. Thick green blood spurted out of his face. The glow disappeared immediately and his true alien form was revealed. He looked as gross as she thought one of them would look close up and then the smell came, the musty, damp smell they were known for.
The soldier that hit him grabbed her arm, pulling her violently out of her chair. “Are you ok?” She was immediately struck by his eyes. They were an otherworldly blue. She hoped he wasn’t an alien too because he was the most handsome man who had ever spoken to her. The voices spoke up again.
“You should definitely not trust this guy.”
So that was it, not so scary. I’m being realistic here, I don’t expect hundred of bits of feedback but if anyone out there in the universe feels like leaving a comment, then I will appreciate critiques either way. If you want to silently judge, that’s cool too but it’s out there for the first time in the universe and I actually feel good. I think I might do this again. I’m not saying it’s great, I’ve not overly edited or thought it through but I’m quite proud of myself and I definitely still love writing!
xx woeful writes xx
Comments welcome below.
Adapted from a post that originally appeared on Woeful To FroFull on 28.11.16.