Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dermont's Writing Challenge

DERMONT'S WRITING CHALLENGE: Write the beginning of a story from the point of view of a first person narrator who refuses to do what he/she is told to do. What will your character do instead? What lengths will your character go to in order to avoid completing a direct order? Why/How does your character make things hard on his/herself?

Begin with one of the following phrases:

I was supposed to. . . .
My father insisted I . . . .
Don’t tell me what to do. . . .
Everyone always wants something from me. . . . .


(via soulpancake)

I decided to try this out... here's what happened:

My father insisted that I leave the light alone. “But it’s blown out!” I yelled down back down the stairs, determined to help remedy the situation. His response was meant to be final: “Just leave it!”

But I couldn’t just leave it. I was only going to be home for two days; it was the least I could do to help out. I reached up to unscrew the light bulb. The next thing I knew I was holding the entire fixture in my hand. The only thing keeping it attached to the ceiling was a thin blue wire.

“Uh oh,” I said, used to talking to myself as I accomplished household tasks, both an inherited trait and also a subliminal coping mechanism for living alone. But I wasn’t alone this time.

“What did you do?” My father had apparently heard the reaction meant only for my ears. I quickly tried to call down that everything was fine, but it was too late. I could hear his heavy steps already making their way up the stairs.

And for some reason, I started to laugh. Here I was, holding an entire light fixture above my head, with my soon to be frustrated father on his way to the scene, and I couldn’t stop giggling.

He arrived at the top of the stairs, squinting through his bifocals at the mini disaster. He took the light out of my hands. “I told you to leave it!” he grumbled. “I was trying to help!” I honestly felt that his attitude was a little extreme; after all, maybe the fixture he installed shouldn’t have been so easily removed from the ceiling. All I did was twist it…

“Just go downstairs.”

And just like that, I was banished from helping fix my mess. Deemed useless. I fled to the living room, where my brother and mom sat on the couch, watching my shameful retreat. They did not try to stifle their smiles.

“What did you do?” Mom was inquisitive.

“I accidentally pulled out the light fixture.”

This seemed to be hilarious to my brother, who burst into laughter. I slid onto the couch, curling up next to my mom, transforming into her baby girl. I was safe here.

She sighed and ran her hand through my hair.

“What are we going to do with you?”

Honestly, I didn’t know myself.


Rusty said...