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Monday, May 16, 2011

Scrap! Emotion practice...

This is a character exercise I wrote for my Advanced Creative Writing class. The point was to demonstrate anger, sadness, loneliness, and tiredness without actually saying that was the problem outright. The practice was good because it helped me to explore all the way our emotions effect us.

As for the format of this exercise, it was suggested by the textbook at the time. It's a little odd, but I had a good time with it.

At least three of the characters used here are directly from the Immortal World series, can you guess who is who?

What's The Time?

The sharp clicking of her boots hitting the sidewalk was the only sound that came from her. Her fingers curled into her palms, making white knuckled fists. The tension seemed to be building just between her shoulder blades. Heat like the blue of a fire built in her temples and then dropped behind her eyes.

“Excuse me, could you give me the time?”
Swinging on the person, she surveyed the stranger with a dangerous scowl.
The person took a few steps back, clearly reading the danger he was in.
She turned back to the sidewalk then and resumed her pace. Again her heels clicked against the concrete, reminding her of her destination…and why she had to be there. Damn him.

A vise seemed to have wrapped around his heart. It must have been the only thing still holding him together. Glancing up from the sidewalk, all he saw was gray; the sky, the buildings, the road. His muscles felt heavy as he trudged forward. In his pant pockets, his hands trembled. He searched the faces on the sidewalks for signs, but had to look down again when it simply intensified the pang.
“Sorry, sir, but do you have the time?”
The stranger appeared hopeful, even encouraging.
He shook his head, more at the sight before him than at the question. He started walking again, neither caring for his destination, nor knowing it.

Emptiness. It was a hole inside that no one asked about, no one even saw it. Gnawing like a dog at a bone, the hole never faded, only grew. She sighed, watching the mist rise and curl into the air like a dragon. It dissipated into nothing, vanquished by the Knight Aire. Her small smile was shared with no one. Her shoulders caved just a bit. Ahead on the sidewalk a pair spoke and laughed together. The ache suddenly increased. One of her hands stretched out toward them, but she could not convince her feet to move any faster.
“Miss, could you please tell me what time it is?”
She turned and found herself facing a handsome stranger. He seemed weary and frustrated. “I’m sorry, I don’t have a watch.”
He closed his eyes and sighed heavily, “Nevermind.” He turned and continued down the sidewalk in the opposite direction.
She watched him go, holding back the words that would call him back.

His breathing was labored as he stopped at the corner to rest. The sidewalk was crowded today. Cutting in between the other figures had left his legs aching. An unsightly yawn took him over suddenly. He covered his mouth and indulged in it, blinking a few times at the end. Even as his heartbeat relaxed, the desire to lie down upon the sidewalk and sleep until the next day was strong. No time for that though, he had to be getting to the meeting. After a few deep breaths he was ready to start through the crowd again.
“Hey, do you have the-“
The end of the stranger’s question was unheard as he took off into the crowd. Looking back, he noticed the man’s annoyed expression. Mentally he shrugged it off, he hadn’t ignored the man on purpose.

The stranger watched the man running through the crowd. He passed the girl without a watch and nearly knocked down the man who had just shaken his head. He couldn’t see the glaring woman anymore, but he hoped she tripped this other man when he got that far. What was with people in this city? Didn’t anyone know the time? And why were they all so rude? Well, accept that girl without a watch. Why didn’t she have a cell phone to check the time?
He found himself scowling into the crowd ahead, unwilling to risk the indignity of asking the time again. Enough was enough.
Lengthening his paces he shoved past the other people on the sidewalk. Now they looked upon him as he was the rude one. He merely sneered back.

My notes: I felt like sad and lonely were too alike. It’s difficult to distinguish, I think, because lonely people are often sad. I tried to avoid inner monologue in sad, that would have told why he was sad. Angry was fun, and tired was either really easy or I did it wrong. I wrote the end because I felt bad for the guy who never got to know the time.

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