14 Day Writing Challenge – Part 3

This was turning out to be an interesting activity. It was getting me in the mood to write more of my own stories, but I continued on with the challenge. Hopefully, the momentum I was building could be redirected elsewhere once the challenge was done.

Day 9: Find two ads in a magazine or online. Create a poem only using words from the two ads.

I typed “ad” into google image search and used the first two I found:

Not much to work with! I toyed around with a few ideas and ended up with two that I sort of liked.

Hey, the Rabbit King is back!
Rabbit King? What a whopper. The Rabbit King is 0% rabbit.
Is the Burg King burger?

$4 Burger: 100% beef
$9 Seattle Burger: 90% beef, 10% rabbit
$14 Rabbit Burger: 0% beef, 100% rabbit
$1 Burger King Whopper: 1% Beef, 0% rabbit, 99% WHAT?!?!?

I found the whole process very gamist. Meaning, it felt more like a logic puzzle than a creative exercise. It was fun, though.

Day 10: Write a 600-word first-person story in which you use the first person pronoun (“I” or “me” or “my”) only two times—but keep the “I” somehow important to the narrative you’re constructing.

This one was very tough for some reason. I had written a story many years ago that started like this, and I was toying with the idea of re-writing it for this challenge. I was planning to do that anyway. Still, I couldn’t get in the mindset and instead came up with the below.

I don’t like it. The idea holds no water and it never goes anywhere. I won’t be attempting to rewrite it, so you can read it as-is. It is unedited and contains all the errors you would associate with a raw first draft. I call it Birth (578 words… close enough to 600)

A body is just sacks of fluid. Some sacks within other sacks, like Russian nesting dolls. Some just floating around by themselves like oil in a lava lamp. But all have a purpose: Life. But before life, there was nothing. My organs just sat there, limp, desiccated and empty like deflated balloons. The sack of skin they were housed in hung flaccid on a hook like a wrinkled old suit. Then, there was a filling. The nerves weren’t yet working, but they twitched with the sensation of pressure, slowly coming to life.

With the introduction of fluid, the dried organic matter began to soak in nutrients like a parched desert, and then began to warm. Warmth! A sensation the nerves had never felt before but somehow knew was right. The body, growing now, was remembering. Not through electrical brain impulses, those were far off, but with something more base than that. Proteins and chemicals falling into their natural states like the keys of an ancient machine locking into place.

And like the memory of heat, they had memories or impressions of what was supposed to be. And the metal hook in the back of the neck was not supposed to be. Neither were the dozens of inorganic tubes connecting the insides to the outsides. They were not like the organic frame everything attached to. That felt like it belonged. Like the slowly inflating flesh was hugging a loved one. Hugging tighter and tighter as the filling continued. So tight that they were becoming one. Flesh and bone. Bone and flesh.

And they were both rejecting the sensation of the things that did not belong. Cold metal and plastic shoved in between the shelves of flesh. As if all at once the muscles soaked up enough of the fluid to spasm. The body twitched all over, as if testing its new-found ability. But the twitches were again automatic. A response of the flesh. A rejection of the not-flesh. The spasming continued, as the flow of fluid slowed down to a trickle and then to nothing at all.

The body was full. All the pieces were there. There was only the final leap from pile of organic material to something more. The spasming of the muscles continued, which strained the flesh where it attached the non-flesh. That straining of proteins and cells just born falling into death, caused sparks. The nerves, now in place, surrounded by pulsating muscles, warm and free and suddenly aware of something else happening. Those sparks of dying and injured cells.

The nerves came alive. They felt. They fired out commands, not knowing what or how. Just knowing that they had to react. And the flesh, it acted. And the nerves, they remembered. They remembered where to direct their tiny electrical charges. How to move the flesh. How to make it do what it wanted. Pieces started to fall into place. A machine of flesh. All those sacks of fluid, all those valves and pipes and hunks of stringy muscle had a purpose. And the nerves were giving the orders.

And right now, they gave the order to escape. The limbs of flesh reached and yanked. The body twisted and jerked and soon the thing was free. The nerves made the legs move. Tentative wobbly steps. It shambled forward, fluids leaking out of its wounds, feet slapping wetly on the floor. It was aware. It was alive.

That, little children, was the day I was born.

Day 11: Start a paragraph with, “I remember…” and let your memories dictate what you write.

Out of all the challenges in this post, I am most proud of this one. I had no idea what to write about, so I sat and wrote the first thing that came into my head that started with “I remember…”

I remember how it was before the water became too hot to walk through.

I know it isn’t based on my own memories, but I just ran with it anyway. It turned into a pretty interesting piece. By itself, there are a lot of blanks in the story, setting and characters. Someday I might expand it into a larger work that fills those in. So, yes, this is another one you won’t be able to read for awhile.

That is it for Part 3 of the 14 Day Writing Challenge. Stay tuned for the last 3 days of challenges and my thoughts on the whole experience.

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