Welcome to a new segment (what else do I call a weekly section of my blog?) where I’ll be attempting to post something every Wednesday! The general idea of this is so I can share a bit of my writing, talk about what I’m currently working on and also as a place to express my opinions about certain topics relating to writing and looking for a career in the industry.
This week, I am working on a brand new short story that centres around feeling like you have dissociated from your sense of self. This is for a writing competition that I became aware of only yesterday and now I have 12 days to complete this piece, which should be interesting. If I am lucky enough to have my work selected then I will obviously talk about it on here and to anyone on the street who cares to listen but if it does not work out I might publish the story myself on here in the future.
Right now, I want to share the first page of my re-worked dissertation piece that I am working on turning into a novel. This will be the first large project I have ever undertaken as imagining an entire story arc was more than daunting at first but going to university and studying Creative Writing gave me the tools and courage to get past that. I don’t want to release too much of this on to the internet for obvious reasons and I won’t give away the plot or key elements of the story’s context but I hope you enjoy reading this little bit of twisty writing that was inspired by two disturbing dreams I had over a 5 year period that stuck with me. Enjoy!
I’m back in the square, standing in the centre of the crossing as thousands of pedestrians pass me by. They all wear clinically white surgical masks that cover almost all of their faces – except the eyes. They look through me. The throng of people is so thick that I can’t see the white stripes on the concrete. There seems to be no exit, no way to break through these people, who move in a chaotic fashion like ants but still manage to avoid collisions. I crouch closer to the concrete and drag my nails along it but the store doesn’t rip my nails from me as I expect it to, instead it crumbles beneath me and I start to dig. I keep digging until I fall into a cavity beneath the earth. The bright lights of the world above me leak through the hole and illuminate my surroundings.
It’s a room. A perfectly well-built, sparsely furnished room that’s panelled with cherry coloured wood. A table is standing opposite me with a single chair pushed flush against its edge. On the table is a shimmering white bowl, the shape of an oyster with the same pearly sheen emanating from the inside. I pull the chair away from the table and sit, positioning my face above the bowl so I can see my reflection but my eyes look different somehow. Whilst my whole face is lit up by the bowl, my eyes remain dark and dull like two stones dropped in fresh patter. I reach into my pocket and retrieve the object, the reason I am here. The egg.
The egg that I have been carrying with me since I arrived at the compound. I shake it like I did that first day but it doesn’t feel right. I can’t feel the central mass of the yolk swinging from one end to the other; it’s dense and heavy. I rest its plump middle on the lip of the bowl because now, after all this time, I need to know what’s inside. With a firm movement of my wrist the perfect facade of the shell is marred with cracks – they look so familiar to me like a web I have seen before. I plunge my thumbs into the epicentre I have created and separate the two halves so I have one in each hand as the eggs entrails fall into the blank space below. Black. All I see is black. A thick, viscous, foul-smelling liquid is seeping from the shell and over the nails on my thumbs. I drop the remains of the shell in to the bowl with the offensive liquid and propel myself away from the table, falling from the chair in the process. I need to escape but as I half-crawl to the hole that leads back to the surface, the masked faces appear. Peering down at me and blocking my escape. In turn, the pull down their masks to reveal a sickening froth pouring from their slackened mouths and it’s falling on to me, filling up the hole and suffocating me. I can see the pigment of my skin turning blue and yet I am not dead, instead I feel like I am choking for an eternity.