In the middle of (another) rewrite, and that brings some fun character (re)design, too!
I had too much fun with this technique! I will definitely be trying it again:)
I was looking through different writing prompts and other such contests on the interwebs, and a particular post on Writer’s Digest was prompting writers to create the opening sentence of a story containing the words fresh, tangled, and hair. Sometimes, breaking into something with just the opening sentence is all you need. So, naturally, I began writing, and was also prompted by it to draw and illustrate, and came up with this:
(Some excerpts of the writing portion:)
The winter winds
again, grow green.
The air was startlingly fresh; the branches twisted and tangled towards the sky like the dead ends of her chopped hair.
Echoes from another time and place retraced her thoughts. She had thought the woman crazy.
“Have you ever thought of someone, someone you hadn’t seen for awhile, then just ran into them, out of nowhere?” the boy had asked the woman, thumbing through his own personal history, questions on his mind.
“Yes,” the woman had answered. “Why do you ask? Did that happen to you, is that why you ask? You know why that happened, don’t you? It’s because you willed it to happen. It’s universal law, you know. If you meditate on something long and hard enough, you can make it happen.”
Laws of the universe. Kye scoffed to herself. The chilled breeze cut into her breath. She had thought the woman crazy, and yet; yet, she was there, sitting on the half rotted log at the end of the forest path, a crowd of reaching, whistling trees gathered round her. Their branches were crookedly stretching, etching rickety black lines against the cool gray sky. She was playing with a silver charm between her fingers, the chain dangling atop her lap.
She was waiting.
What it is to wait for something that was already gone, she could not say. To know that someone believed in universal law, and willing something to happen, tugged at the base of her stomach in the most bittersweet of ways, as if it were a message for her, and her specifically. If you wanted something to happen, you had to work for it. You had to grab the matter with your own working hands and make a tangible effort. That is what she thought; that is what she would tell people. There were no destinies beyond the ones that were created and made into what they were, and signs and signals from the universe were not going to fall from the sky.
A curling, dying leaf fell at Kye’s feet, a final straggler. Leaves – those fell from the sky; not signs. People created signs and signals in their mind, to help them believe in what they already wanted to believe, but had no other reason to in the first place.
Even still, Kye wanted to believe.
Maybe she was lazy, but even she had seen what indeed was possible in this world.
As the cool air shifted the limbs of the stiff plant-life, those which were deadening themselves for the cold weather, she waited, and pressed a mental play button on the words in her head. It was the same inner monologue she always had, for what would she say? If she could will the near impossible meeting to happen, what would she say?
Of course, she would be surprised, for it was so very unlikely. She would be wide eyed, and her hair would seem a wild knot stirring around, framing her face. Her lips would slightly part and freeze, stuck in a moment of shock and trying to speak. Her heart would race; it almost did just thinking about the moment being a reality.
Hi, she would say, breathless, sitting alone in the middle of the woods. She would look down at the charm sliding around her fingers, then quickly back up to be sure that it were not just in her mind. It occurred to her that she would look as though she had gone mad, and tugged at her unruly hair as she thought of it.
What are you doing here? she would ask. I come here, still. All the time.
And, then what? What could she possibly say?
As Kye sat, she pretended not to be thinking up these conversations, because it was just crazy. She could not possibly sigh so at the thought of events so long passed that they weren’t even real anymore.
They weren’t real.
But, the charmed necklace was real. It was real and it had once been traced and smoothed and held by another’s fingers, had once hung from another’s slender neck.
That was a fact.
She sighed wearily at her own secret thoughts. They tugged at her chest, and made her look twice at any branches or creatures shifting in the scenery around her, as if to make absolutely sure that it was, indeed, impossible. But, this meant that she was holding onto a bit of hope, somewhere in her thoughts. Because these woods were a part of her, now. Or, she a part of them; it didn’t matter, she supposed.
That was not a fact.
Oh, the wind was certainly less than welcoming, and she shuddered.