Tag Archive | college writing

The Trouble with Twins – Sour Milk 3

can-stock-photo_csp14570295To start this story from the beginning, click here.

Steve’s smile widens to a grin. “And that first night, we played all the songs with dirty words and the door was closed so we didn’t have to censor anything.”

“Oh yeah!” I exclaim. “What rebels we were! Somehow I just don’t get the same pleasure out being able to play nasty songs in my dorm room.” Steve laughs. “And then they made us keep one of the big overhead door open every time. The parental trust was overwhelming. They were paranoid and they didn’t even know that Jerry and I were supposedly going out.”

“God, you always did steal all my friends away from me, didn’t you?” he asks.

“Sure, but it wasn’t my fault they all thought I was cooler than you.” I punch him playfully. “Anyway that is what you get for having a twin sister.”

“I guess so. Besides, it went both ways.”

“Yeah, man, Stacy was my best friend until the time she came over and met you. She never bothered to hang out with me after that.”

Steve grins. “Yeah, I know, but it’s not my fault she thought I was cooler than you.”

“Whatever,” I reply.

~~~

Another installment of the last short story I wrote during my first semester freshman year of college. Early shit, yo.

Next installment: I’ve Got Pictures on My Mind

~EJ

Only Happy When It Rains – Sour Milk 2

boomboximagesTo start this story from the beginning, click here.

“What is?” Steve asks after a long pause. He is sitting on the chair next to me, which has taken far more abuse than the couch.

“I think I was happier when I was depressed.”

“Huh?”

“I know that sounds nuts, but if I think of the good times I had back when I was in that whole teenage angst stage, and then think about how I feel now that I’ve, grown up a bit shall we say, I think I’d pick the teenage angst deal over this.”

“But, Sara, you wanted to kill yourself every other day.”

“I know, but that was because everything that happened was the end of the world back then. Now, I have real problems and I know that suicide is no solution to anything. What a paradox! I don’t really mean I want to be depressed, though. I just miss all the fun we had, in here especially. Do you remember the first night we claimed the garage for us kids?”

“Yeah,” he says with a smile. He is starting to get that far-off look in his eyes, the same one I feel. “That was so cool. Dad had just finished building it, and they’d thrown the old couches and chairs back here, and then they put in the electricity. Was it you who thought of bringing a CD player?”

“I think so. And Sean, Jerry and Brad were with us.” Sean and Jerry both lived across the street and were still juniors in high school. Brad was the boy in the green house. We hadn’t seen him in awhile.

~~~

The second installment of an old short story.

Next installment: The Trouble with Twins

~EJ

The Old Garage – Sour Milk 1

pt1wjpu1apqfnlpn_580 “It’s weird,” I say. I look around me. I’m sitting on an old couch, long worn out and starting to tear, that my parents got before I was born. Across the back part of the large driveway that has seen countless games of rollerblade hockey and an abundance of chalk drawings, sits my bluish gray house. There are angles and lines everywhere, a window now and then. I used to think it looked unfriendly, kind of aloof, but then was when I had an imagination and houses had personalities.

Inside the garage, the one my dad and his friend built that one summer that I thought I discovered who I was, are so many scattered things a cyclone may as well have hit. My sister’s rollerblades and a pile of bike helmets in one corner, a table covered with pieces of different puzzles in another. The telescope that broke the first time I used it is against the back wall, in a jungle of bikes and scooters. The windows have collected dust, so much so that it’s hard to see through them to the green house with that cute boy my friend May was always chasing after. The walls are unpainted and a bit uneven. The two small lights on the ceiling, which is also unfinished, still work, and that is a good thing.

~~~

This is the first section of a story I wrote during my first semester away at college. It’s sort of autobiographical fiction and was probably the first thing I wrote that wasn’t sci-fi or other-worldly in some way.

Next Installment: Only Happy When it Rains

~EJ

A Somewhat Double Life – Dark As Roses 3

dar3imagesTo start this short story from the beginning, click here.

I take the box of this week’s letters and hold it close to me so that Kevin can’t hug me. With a quick wave I leave the office and head for my car across the parking lot. I throw the box in the trunk and close it tight. I get in the car and speed off to meet my two best friends for lunch. I like them because they’re never bursting with color, but dim like me.

When I arrive at the cafeteria on the ground level of our dorm building, Jade and Andrea are already waiting. “Hey, we were about to go inside without you,” Andrea says.

I catch up with them. “Sorry. Crowley let us out late again. Always seems to do that on Mondays. Then I had to run to the paper office to hand in my movie review.” They nod knowingly as we fill our plates with food.

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Moonchild: A Complete Short Story

Moon and Passing TimeHere’s a short story from about fourteen years ago, that is, as always, mortally embarrassing and totally freakin’ weird:

I stepped carefully over the broken branch on the fork in the road, and turned south. It was barely visible on the dimly lit path. Trees to my right swayed in the crimson autumn breeze, breathing ominous power all about. I felt chills race each other up my spine. The sky was the deepest blue, so deep that it almost looked black. It was sprinkled with the calculated mystery of tiny stars. The moon was high and brilliant. Its iridescence reminded me of hollow, glowing eyes, yet I worshiped its magic. The air was cool and restless around me as I stopped and stood in the darkest clearing these woods had seen. Again the trees shivered, and I saw their shadows dart across the grass.

I had always loved darkness, but during that month, it was a full-fledged obsession. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I wished to drink it, feel it trickling down my eager throat. It had been my only solace since he left, only an eternal month ago, in the middle of October. Here, and only here, could I wallow in my sweet agony.

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Psychedelic Strobe Lights – Dark As Roses 2

Finally, he gets to it and I slump down in my seat, trying to look disaffected. I concentrate on a chalky spot on the board until he’s done with his overview. Slowly, I look around the room and I see a lot of tan, which means boredom. Crowley has a horrible monotone. No one is hardly paying attention at all. Often because I can tell how everyone in a crowd is feeling, I forget that they can’t tell my emotions. Even if they could—after all in a class of five hundred students, it’s entirely possible that someone else has the weird, focused form of synesthesia—I give off a very dim light. Usually a little grey indifference is all I see when I look in the mirror.

Finally we’re dismissed and I’m relieved. I get up slowly and take my time placing my books and notebook in my bag and putting on my jacket. I like to have a little peace without the colors every now and then. I watch the mainly pink haze slowly filter out of the room. That’s when I can guess that they have more classes. Pink is the color for laziness and tiredness, sometimes resignation. I see a lot of pink on campus. In fact, it’s the only other color I see on myself in the mirror. That one can even be bright at times, despite my dim nature. I wish I could make a career of being lazy; it’s the only thing I know I could be really good at.

After lingering for a moment to revel in the relief of no colors, I gather my things and head out to tend to my job, being Dear Abby for the newly formed campus entertainment newspaper. Actually, it’s Dear Lynn they call me here. In high school I was Dear Amanda. Kevin O’Brien, chief editor for the Campus Star, wanted me to use my real name. “But Iris is such a unique name, it goes well with fortune telling and wisdom,” he said. I thanked him for the compliment but insisted on anonymity. I do it for the money and the money alone. I don’t want anyone knocking at my door. It’s bad enough I see their troubles just walking down the street.

I drive to the newspaper office to pick up this week’s load of letters. Kevin smiles when he sees me come in. I know that boy thinks he’s in love with me. Sometimes people can really inflate their own yellow. I never see that happen with any other color, but they inflate their yellow when they think they’re in love and sometimes they try to hide the tinge of green, the lust, by covering it with the yellow of love. I’m not sure why, because yellow love is one of the most dangerous things there is. Kevin has it coming out of his hair and ears as if the sun itself were burning inside his skull rather than neurons—with proper wiring, I’m sure—as he says today, “Iris, you’re the reason we can pay the rent.” He thinks he’s in love with me but I hope he’s wrong. The colors get all messed up when they’re in love, like psychedelic strobe lights.

~~~

I haven’t done any more current fiction in awhile, so today I’m posting the continuation of my short story “Dark As Roses.” The beginning is here. This is a story about a girl who sees colored auras around people and is somewhat at odds with her psychic ability. At the end of the first section, Iris was sitting in a college psych class afraid that when her professor mentioned her condition (or what she thinks her condition might be), she might do something to accidentally give herself away.

Don’t forget, you can always check out the Samples section, including Older Works and Published.

~Emilia J

Next Excerpt: A Somewhat Double Life – DaR 3

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

LeadUsimagesI poked my brother sitting beside me. “Pssst, we only have fifteen more minutes,” I whispered. He pretended not to notice but I could see the smile on his face and knew he was glad that Junior Sunday School was almost over. I played with my pigtails, pretending to scratch my ear. Then I poked Davey again. “I guess Anne’s the favorite today,” I whispered. He still wouldn’t look at me but he stuck out his lower lip.

“Elizabeth, that’s enough! Stop disrupting your brother and start paying attention right this very minute!” Mrs. Ross’ voice was high and shrill, and she had a snarl on her face. I gave her a nasty look back. “And quit it with the pouting or you’re in big trouble, missy.”

She shifted Anne from one knee to the other and went back to reading us her Bible story. I growled under my breath. Anne lived next door to us. We walked to our first grade class together every day and she yelled at me because I played with flowers in the fields and chased the neighbor’s dog. “Lizzy, we’re going to be late,” she’d say like the whole world was going to end if we were late by even one little second.

I always said, “Then go ahead alone and be a goody-two-shoes,” but she never did. She stayed and waited while I climbed trees and picked dandelions and rubbed them on her arm and made up songs about the clouds. We were never late ever, I always looked at my Little Mermaid watch and made sure we had enough time to make it just before the bell. I liked to give Anne a scare.

~~~

This is an excerpt of a fiction story called “Lead Us Not Into Temptation” about kids who test the scary stories their Sunday School teacher tells them. I’m never sure exactly hwo to classify this one. The main characters are really young, so it could be thought of as a children’s story but I never really think of it that way.

~Emilia J

The Colors – Dark As Roses 1

I look around the classroom and try not to see anyone. I should pay attention to the psychology book on my desk—after all, the midterm is on Friday and it’s now Monday—but the words blur and swim on the page. At the board, Dr. Crowley goes on, reviewing the abnormal cases. Pretty soon he’ll bring up synesthesia and I’ll melt into a puddle of mush on the floor and die. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll stare at the wall. I can’t look at my classmates, I’ll only see the colors. Won’t even be able to see the faces for all the haze brought on by midterm worry. I’m going mad, I know.

Dark Rose

I’ve always seen the colors around the people, even as a very small child. Most of the shrinks my mom dragged me to back then chalked it up to synesthesia, said there was some odd wiring in my brain that confused my senses and that’s why I saw colors. They always did remark though, that it’s a very focused case. Usually people with synesthesia hear sound when they see motion or associate colors with certain letters and numbers, whereas I only saw the colors on the people. My classmates used to tease me about being the crazy girl in town, after I made the grave mistake of talking about it. Frustrated teachers tried to educate them about my affliction, as they called it, about the wiring gone wrong in my brain. That only made them laugh until they were sick with giggles. They called me “Metalbrain.”

Now it’s my second year away at college and no one knows about my problem. I don’t want Dr. Crowley talking about my affliction in the class. I might concentrate too hard on the professor, or the floor, or this wall I’m staring at. I might nervously twirl my hair or fidget and then everyone will know my secret.

~~~

Today I decided to go with some fiction. “Dark As Roses” is a short story I wrote about a girl who struggles with psychic ability she’s not sure she wants to possess. These are the first few paragraphs.

You can check out other Friday Samples here. And don’t forget you can always check out Published and Older Works for more samples.

~Emilia J

Next Excerpt: Psychedelic Strobe Lights – Dark As Roses 2