Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Carving, Part One

I started writing this piece in my math notebook back in May. I've been slowly adding to it ever since. I suppose you could say it's a practice in getting words on paper and moving forward. I had a little idea and I started to write and I never looked back. So here's what I wrote in school, exactly transcribed without any revisions. (All this has been posted on my other blog before, by the way, if it seems familiar). If there's something that I wasn't sure about, then I added a little note in the margin and continue. (That might account for why the characters' actions seem all over the place. ;P) Parts of the writing I knew immediately I did not like I put [square brackets] around. It's getting lengthy so I thought I would repost what I'd posted before and then post all the newer parts next week.
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Her favourite was a mouse with wings sprouting from its' back. He had given it to her one her seventh birthday. The mouse fit in the palm of her hand. Its wings were white with gold detailing. the Paint had begun to chip off ages ago, due to frequent handling. She took the mouse everywhere she went. When she first held it, she asked him what the wings were for. He answered, to escape, and said nothing more.

On her 17th birthday, he gave her a panther with silver accented wings. It was the size of an average dog. She kept it next to her desk, where it could keep watch over her door. She did not ask him any questions about this one.

He had always given her carvings. Not just on birthdays or other special occassions. When she first arrived home from her previous foster parents, at the tender age of two, he had given her a fat cherub. The cherub now sat on a high shelf with dozens of other fairies, pixies and brownies.

Her room was full of these treasured gifts. They lived on her desk, windowsill, shelves; under her bed and on the walls; behind the wastebasket and behind the door; wherever there was space, there was a carving. He built her shelves and hung carvings from the ceiling whenever she asked.

In the past month, her collection had grown by six. The latest addition was a grumpy looking gnome sitting on a purple toadstool with his arms crossed. The carving stood six inches high. She found the gnome tucked amongst her books and wondered when he had put it there. She thanked him immediately, as she always did. He ruffled her hair and said it was nothing, as he always did.

Once, when she was 14, he had hidden a carving along the path through the graveyard they always walked. She didn't notice it until she knelt to place flowers on a grave. It was at the base of the headstone, obscured by grass and leaves. It looked as though it had been lying there since the beginning of time. She had delicately brushed aside the dirt and grass to reveal a unicorn the height of her hand. she had laughed at the sight of it; it seemed so out of place. She spent the rest of their walk cleaning off the figure to reveal a coat of a silvery paint. On one side was a smear of scarlet; a wound. The unicorn was the only carving he ever hid for her.

He gave her fey until her seventh birthday. After that, he gave her a circus tent and every year after he gave her another piece for the collection. She now had 14 circus pieces. An elephant on hind legs balancing a ball on its trunk, a large bicycle without a clown, a cannon ready to fire balloons. The tent was striped, of course, orange and red. There were no people inside it.

Her collection consisted mainly of animals and fantastical creatures. The few people she did have had no faces. A boy and a girl holding hands - the girl looked like her (the carving wore a cherry red dress she had always worn as a child) and the boy looked like him, but he had specifically said that the girl was not her and the boy was not him.

On the very top shelf stood the powerful and majestic creatures. A centaur stood tall, gazing across her room as he clutched a spear. Mermaids, but frightening mermaids, with long claws and mouths wide open to reveal rows of teeth like a shark, sat on a real rock she had found at the beach. A dragon took up most of the space on the top shelf. It was her 19th birthday present. He was emerald green and his mouth was open as though he were about to breath fire. She liked to imagine the centaur and the dragon would protect her from the mermaids.

She never saw him working on these carvings. The door to his room was always shut. A flowery sign she had made for him kindergarten (the only thing she ever made for him) hung on his door; 'do not disturb', it read in pink letters. She had never been in his room and so she assumed this was where he worked. His room was like a fantasy land to her: it was where he worked magic. She believe his room to be the workshop and her room to be the [display case].

Above her bed hangs a blue moon. Tears [like giant raindrops >.<] fall down its cheeks. On the wall across from her bed hangs a laughing sun. They seemed to glow in her room at night but she knew that was impossible.

Today is the day after her 19th birthday. She had been eating a bowl of strawberries and cream when he placed a box on the table next to her. She placed her spoon in the bowl and dabbed her mouth with her cloth napkin.

"Why the wrapping?" she asked. [describy here]

"It's your birthday, silly," he punched her gently on the arm. She glanced at the spot where he hit her and then back to him.

"That's going to bruise. You never wrap things." She stared at him, [her eyes wide with expectancy.]

"Whatever," he replied calmly. He pulled out a chair and sat next to her. "Just open it." He pushed the box closer to her. She stared at it. Sunlight reflected off the wrapping and caughter he eyes, but she did not blink. Eventually she pulled the box off the box.

"What do I do with this now?"

"You wear it on your head," he said [solemnly]. She placed it on the table.

"It is not an article of clothing." She proceeded to delicately unwrap the present. She peeled off each piece of tape and folded the paper. The The box was for a radio their parents must have purchased [in the sixties]. The lid was not taped down. She lifted it up [and gasped at what she saw].

"Ryan, it's magnificent!" her eyes widened and a rare smile crept onto her face. She reached into the box and pulled out an [emerald green] dragon, the one that now sat upon her shelf with the centaur and mermaids. She had spent the rest of the day lying in the fields of their backyard, whispering secrets to the dragon.

Now it is the day after. She is outside on the grass again. This surprise her brother, but Ryan says nothing. She is without the dragon, it has now taken its place on the shelf. She is reading, lying next to the pond in what was once a white sundress. A straw hat lays crooked upon her head. He watches her from the porch steps. He is hidden in the shadows. He is concerned for her, for he does not know how much longer he can protect her. Finally he goes to her. he is silent until he drops to the ground next to her.

"Hey. Whatcha reading?" She doesn't look up.

"Ryan," she says flatly, "Don't startle me like that." It is the closest to humour he ever hears her come to. She is easily frightened, but never by him. He ignores her, snatching the hefty book from her hand. 1976 Encyclopedia Britannica, Em to Ez.

"Ryan!" Now she panics. He continues to ignore her. He casually flips through the book. [insert: she stands, he gives, she calms, she sits]. "Ryan, you know you are not allowed to take my things, give it back right now!" Her voice grows [more shrill] with every syllable. he returns her book. He finds it heartbreaking the only emotion he can evoke from her without the aid of his carvings is fear. She clutches the encyclopedia to her chest and kneels beside her brother.
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Part two

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