Scriptwriting—I Have a Looooong Way to Go

Well hello! I have been so busy with editing work and trying to finish my book that I’ve neglected my blog. I was doing a uni posting today for screenwriting and thought I’d kill two birds so to speak and post it here too. Our exercise was to write a short script about our local supermarket. I don’t think I’ve done great as a script-writing exercise because the set-out still confuses me (don’t laugh). I still thought it was a nice piece and I hope you do too.

 

Saturday afternoon. The sun, inching to the west over the large concrete building with the “Woolworths” sign stuck to its facade, gives off stifling summer heat. An old, stooped man, wearing brown trousers and white shirt, limps through the automatic glass doors, his cane tapping a slow rhythm with each arthritic step. The blast of air-conditioning cools the sweat on his face. A teenage boy, wearing board-shorts and no shirt or shoes, rushes past, crinkling up his nose at the old-man smell. The old man frowns, shakes his head. He reaches for a trolley.

Meandering to the dairy section, he is overtaken by brightly clad mothers and their half-dressed children, grabbing last-minute groceries on their way home from a day at the beach. Reaching the fridge with the milk, he grabs the silver handle, awkwardly pulling the door open. His hand trembles as he reaches for the 1 litre, full-fat milk; the one with the blue symbol on the front. Two shoppers have queued behind him. He glances around and tries to hurry. The carton slips from his fingers and explodes on the ground. He drops his head and his sad face hints at the frustration that has become an everyday part of his life. A young woman with a brown ponytail, one of those who are waiting, edges past him and grabs another carton of milk. She smiles at him and places it in his trolley. She pats his arm before picking up the milk she wants and walking away.

Flash Fiction – The Leaf

So, folks, here’s another piece of me. That’s how I feel lately, writing. Teeny, tiny pieces of me jumbled together on the page, or screen as the case may be, little black marks that signify stuff from my brain (in case you’re wondering, I don’t think that’s the technical explanation for what writing is, but anyway…).

The Leaf

She is empty. Her hand lays open on her lap and her eyes follow the creases and lines embedded therein: paths to nowhere. No, wait, they do lead somewhere. Closing her eyes, she follows the lines down to where it’s so dark she can’t see, but she can feel; the emptiness. She calls out and her voice echoes, like she is in an empty metal drum. Her own laughter taunts her: there is no one else to comment. It is lonely here. Does she long for the feel of his skin? Yes. Does she need their approval? Yes. Knowing them, him, anyone and everyone, she settles to the floor—blacker than black—like a leaf, a skeleton of a leaf, to wait. There is no breeze in this place and her threadbare form will never be borne up again. She hasn’t the strength to do it herself. Again, she will wait, until the waiting is over.

 

If you like this piece, it is highly likely you’ll enjoy my book of short stories, Dark Spaces. Visit Amazon or Smashwords and grab the e-book, it’s only $2.99. What a bargain ;).

Flash Fiction Autobiographical Piece (no I’m not flashing)

Uni is upon me again and I must write weekly snippets to post on the board. This week we have been asked to tell our ‘life story’ in 250 words. Mine has gone off the rails a tad. I know I understand what I mean but maybe other people won’t. I’ve posted it anyway because I love to share. Here’s hoping someone else enjoys my autobiographical flash fiction.

 

What is relevant in the story of my life? Is it that I was born in Sydney to immigrant parents, or is it that I’m married with two young children? Many of the events that shaped me are hazy memories, some even appear as dreams: me as a five year old, lying in a white room on a cold, stainless steel table, staring at bright lights while a white-coated person stands over me. As a teenager, when I told my mother about this memory-come-dream, she advised that when I’d had meningitis, they extracted spinal fluid from me with a more-than-impressive needle, without anesthetic. She, sitting frantic in an adjoining room, could hear my screams: screams she would never forget. My life shaping experience had become hers.

What is the story of someone’s life? As I stand before you as an author, mother, sister, sports-lover and wife, does my backstory matter? My experiences are gone as soon as they occur, and I am this moment in time. The retelling is a reshaping, not a reliving—we can never go back. The relevant story of my life, to me, is what is to come. Since I am not who I was when I was born, my life unfolds moment to moment: the story ever beginning and ending, each moment becomes my story until it has passed—then it belongs to another.

Flash Fiction – A Million Little Pieces

This flash fiction was inspired by 30 Seconds to Mars’ song Search and Destroy (A Million Little Pieces). I entered it in a flash fiction comp but alas, it didn’t catch the judges’ eye. Not to worry, that’s why I have a blog. Maybe one of you peeps will like reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

A Million Little Pieces

She stood on the creaking deck of an ancient ferry. A million little pieces. Her hands tightened about the railing. Debris from black clouds, invisible in the night sky, stung her face. Which were tears and which were rain; she no longer knew. Closing her eyes, she tilted her face to the infinite space above. A million little pieces.

She imagined she felt his hands about her waist, grounding her as gusting tentacles attempted to carry her off. Where she once felt his warmth, an aching imprint of lost passion burned through her pores. She willed the rain to scour her skin, rip the veneer of lust away. Her emotions possessed a deep rich bouquet, each drop extracted, consumed, and refilled on his whim. What was left fermented in a glass vial where no one could see.

He didn’t want what little was left. He had gripped the neck of the vial, had smashed it with a confident yet negligent thrust of his arm. Her vessel had shattered into a million little pieces, and her essence trickled into the cracks between the timbers, washing from railing to railing with the roll of the sea. She wished to be free but knew she was weak. But so was he.

“Faith.”

“Let me go.” Even as she spoke she sank into his arms.

He smiled and shook his head.

As he possessed her once again, each shard stabbed a little deeper, and she wept for the love that was anchored in his intense, dark waters. She escaped the only way she knew how: into the depths of him.

Undertow – Flash Fiction

She clutched his jacket. Fingers curled possessively around the fabric, pulling then pushing into his chest. Her earthquake shook him, but he was unmoved. The sympathy in his eyes only teased the ravenous anger until it consumed all rationality.

“You can’t leave me. I love you. Please tell me you love me?” As she tried to breathe, he was reminded of the final breath of the dog he had unintentionally run over. “This can’t be happening. Sam. Please, please, don’t leave me.”

Waterlogged eyes reached out to him. If he didn’t save her she would drown. The slightest shake of his head was all it took to condemn her to death. He was no hero, just a guy who wasn’t in love anymore.

“Beth, I’m sorry.” He grabbed her wrists. Unlatched them from his jacket. His head hung low as he walked out the door.

“I can’t live without you,” she whispered. As salty tears leached into her mouth, she made her way to the kitchen. “I love you, Sam.” Her raspy words were in harmony with the sound of the knife sliding from its block. The grey steel of the blade was cold, hard and comforting. It was time to stop crying. She would be the hero.

Beth departed in Sam’s wake. She would save them both.

Drifting – flash fiction

This piece is one of the weekly exercises for uni.  I like posting them here because I kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak – and yes I know that’s a cliche but I can use one if I want.

He sits in the doorway, huddled in a dirty blanket.  It is 5 am, but he is awake; the cold that makes smoke of his breath has no respect for his circumstances.  He lifts shaking hands to his mouth – one holds the cigarette, the other flicks the lighter.  He inhales, then coughs until a hard ball of brown mucous flies out from his mouth.  Staring at the black pavement he wonders how he got here.  He lived with his mother until she died two years ago.  Their housing commission flat was given to someone else, and what little money he had, ran out after a month in an inner-city, boarding house.  He lifted the bottle to his lips, cheap wine that he could no longer taste.  A tear drop of red touched his tongue. He shook his head and spoke to no one, “Fucking government.  I can’t even have me wine.”  He let the bottle fall to the ground, the paper bag he bought it in, muffling the sound.  He took another drag on his cigarette, coughed, spat, repeat.  His days were like that.  He stood, gathered his blanket and patted his pocket to check for his smokes.  Shoulders drooping forward as he walked, he drifted through time until the bottle-o opened, and he wondered why.

Timmy’s Escape

Ok, following is a story I’ve written for a flash fiction competition.  The rules are that it has to have some sort of faery activity and it has to be less than 350 words. So here’s my effort.

Tim hid under the wharf.  His parents stood above, he could see the soles of their shoes through the small spaces between the timbers.  He had escaped to this shadowy space, when his parents had started shouting at each other again.  He drew squiggles in the sand with a stick, water lapping at his feet.

Venomous words reached him, their hate wringing tears from the young boy.  He dropped his stick and pushed his palms over his ears.  Staring at the water, but seeing nothing, he chanted quietly, “Please take me away, please take me away.”  Almost unnoticeable at first, he heard a flute.  The notes enticed him and he dropped his hands.  He focused then, and felt the notes brushing against his skin; a warm caress, and then he saw her.

A faery emerged from the water, her skin shimmering silver, her eyes dark pebbles that have lain on a riverbed for millennia.  She smiled at him and her voice slipped in between the flute melody.

“Timmy swim with me,

To a life of serenity

Under the sea.

Timmy hold my hand,

I will show you peace

Where your smile will be free

Donna looked at Frank, cursing him under her breath, I hope you have a heart attack and die, right now.  Frank shook his head, another out of control fight, another pylon taken out of their relationship; they were about to collapse and he knew he would be the one to lose the most.  He would lose Tim.

Frank blinked, “Where’s Tim?”  In a moment neither one would ever forget, they realised he was not there.  Frank found Timmy’s sneakers under the wharf.  When he tipped them upside down, silver glitter floated to the ground.

Flute music haunts their sleep and Tim’s parents dream of a woman, black eyes deep and mocking.  She holds their son, his blue face reflected in her silver skin, his hair floats this way and that, with the underwater currents, and his mouth smiles at something only his dead eyes can see.

You can see the other entries here