Magical Boy Lawrence (part 1)

Date: 12th March, 2019
Edited: 16th March, 2019

Written at the Writers Cafe meetup
Prompt: <His massive jowls shook like jelly.>

Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-

60 eyes were peeled on the clock- the only one in this massive lecture hall. Its rather standard dinner plate size seemed inadequately small when put upon the towering wall behind the stage. The 60 eyes didn’t need the clock to be massive though. Not when they can follow the long black minute hand just fine.

-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-

The relentless racing rhythm of the second hand boomed over the professor’s monotone drawling. His portly round stature and massive jelly-wobbling jowls heaved and shook as he went on and on and on about some literary theory or something along those lines. His rather poor impression of an oversized sad bulldog did not distract the 60 eyes from their vigilant watch on the clock.

-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-TICK!

The moment the minute hand struck 12, completing its 60 minute circuit, the lecture hall exploded in a flurry of frantic activity. A chorus of 10 sets of arms rustled around to collect stray pens and notebooks. 15 almost simultaneous SNAP-SNAP-SNAPs of closing laptops accompanied that like percussion. 4 voices spoke in some form of chaotic acapella, badgering the professor at the front who looked like a poorly prepared (and dressed) celebrity facing rather rabid tabloid reporters.

And then, there was him. The young man, barely looking a day over 18, was perfectly camouflaged within the chaos of departing freshmen carrying empty Starbucks cups out of the hall. No one seemed to mind that he was still sitting, easily stepping over and around him like a river parting into two because of an errant rock.

And he waited. And waited. Waited until the last of the badgering students have satisfied their hunger on exclusive pointers for the upcoming midterms and promptly exited as well. All there remained was the professor, huffing and puffing as if he’d just run a marathon and back. But nevertheless, he climbed up the stairs like a champ.

But then he stopped at where the young man was still sitting. His stare lingered on him for a moment. And then, longer than what is appropriate for a quick glance, turning the look into an all out stare. The professor’s jiggly jowls shook as he shuddered and broke eye contact. And then, he too left the lecture hall, switching off the lights and plunging the large room into darkness.

“You’d think he had the hots for you, eh Lawrence dawg?”

The young man, Lawrence, signed and his loose relaxed posture crumpled into a cringe, his head sinking into his open palm.

“It’s so fucking creepy to hear you talk like that, old man,” Lawrence groaned through his facepalm.

“Talk like what, homie?” The bust of the Founder of the University of Cauldwell, situated near the entrance of the lecture hall, grinned a shit-eating grin, bronze-cast teeth showing as the scuffed and aged metal softened and gave way for the expression.

“Like that,” Lawrence groaned even louder and curled further into his seat as if the cringing feeling physically stabbed him again.

“Just ‘cuz I’m like a century old don’t mean I can’t speak how I want. Talk about rude,” the bust scoffed haughtily, “Typical millennials.” It seemed to be eating up Lawrence’s pained reactions, the grin mellowing deceptively into a metallic smirk.

“That’s it! I’m definitely not spending another night here,” Lawrence snapped defiantly, finally standing up from the cushy seat. He then turned around and walked through the rows of seats, his solid form clipping through equally solid chairs. It was like watching a bad character bod glitch out in video game from the early 2000s.

“Ya still under house arrest, my dude,” the Founder watched him as he climbed up the incline towards the double door entrance of the lecture hall, his bronze neck stretching as far as the stand allowed without toppling over. “You’ll get into trouble with the Boss Lady.”

“Not if you shut it and don’t snitch on me,”

And with that, Lawrence glitched past the double doors and had definitely left the building.

“I ain’t no snitch,” the Founder scoffed, relaxing back into his default position, his glazed over cast-bronze eyes focusing on the seat Lawrence had been occupying just a minute ago. The dried up red-brown stain on the cloth surface was still there.

6th March, 2016
Writer’s Notes

Last week I was pouring angry, fury and hurt into my writing so this week, I resolved to do the complete opposite and fill my sentences with humor and fun. I was still rather tender and emotionally hurt at the time when I wrote this but actively trying to pull myself out of the hole of depression and despair DID indeed help. Just trying helped. And I have to thank the rest of my friends (online and IRL) and my fellow writers at the Writers’ Cafe for being a force of life and positivity for me. And things kinda still worked out in the end too in my personal life so lesson learned! I think.

Anyways, about this piece. It’s part of a 3/4 part mini series! It’s my first time working on a somewhat longer short story so this is a learning experience for me. I continued to focus on building a 3-D atmosphere with sound but I think I’ll try and incorporate and experiment with other senses as well to see what works. I also applied what I learned with writing fun dialogue (from other writers at the meetups) and I think it shined in this piece.

I hope you guys enjoyed the piece and I’ll see you again next week! (If I recover from this chest infection I’ve been fighting for the past 3 or so days)

Until next time,
The Writing Borb

Steel, Cinnamon and Petrichor

Date: 5th March, 2019
Edited: 6th March, 2019

Written at the Writers Cafe meetup
Prompt: N/A <Did not use the prompt>

Drip. Drip. Drip.

The icy sound of water echoed throughout the space. Beneath the metronomic rhythm of the drip-drip-dripping, were two sets of breaths-

One, I knew by heart, regulated by the medulla, in and out, loud yet pathetic, through the mouth and not the nose, in and out, the hot air straining to move past diseased narrowed windpipes.

And the other- quite, slow, methodical, controlled. Deceptively so. The calm and careful excision of emotion speaking greater volumes for him.

In this murky darkness, I could still see.

Past the water, past the surface of clouded glass jar he kept himself in, I could see anger.

And I feared it.

Not because it was directed at me. Because it was directed at himself.

It was anger stemming from helplessness. From being able to do nothing. By having no control of his own life, by being unable to escape the glass prison so unfairly built around him by forces out of his control, he hated himself. He hated his very existence. It was like fire, but not hot, not burning, but cold, exuding no light, and quietly, painfully, privately, consuming him from the inside out.

The logical thing to do was to put the fire out. As human beings, we are masters of fire and nature. It should have been easy.

In this seemingly unending darkness, from outside the glass jar prison, I regaled to him the tale of an overcast gray sky, the blessed rain gently drizzling down to the earth and blessing all living things with respite from the harsh glare of the sun and leaving behind gifts of petrichor and muddy puddles. It is his favorite story, imbued with the soft minty taste of nostalgia and the almost effervescent scent of baking apple pies wafting about in between each and every raindrop.

CRACK!

The man behind the glass had slammed a fist against the prison wall. He hissed at me.

I was taken aback. Shocked.

The fire was then directed at me, a weapon with the purpose to hurt me.

He leapt and grabbed the words streaming from my mouth, his long fingernails ripping the story of the sky and rain into shreds. And then, he threw them at me. The shredded remains of words turned into tiny yet razor sharp shards of steel, giving me a million paper cuts upon contact with my fragile skin. The open wounds silently oozed with pain. The stinging sensation was shallow compared to the silence that followed.

And suddenly, it was just me in that space.

Me, the dripping of water and the heady metallic scent of steel.

But there was something else under that, the now overwhelmingly putrid smell of cinnamon and petrichor.

The cocktail of assaulting odors permeated past my nostrils, past mortal flesh and settled like a wound up poisonous serpent at the pit of my belly. One wrong move, one wrong thought, one wrong word, and that damned creature will strike at my insides. And then, my heart would stop, stilled by the venom created from that man.

And finally, I would be dead.

I looked around. And I looked harder, squinting my eyes into the darkness. Nothing. Nothing past the water. Nothing more. And then, listened. I listened hard, straining my ears into the silence. Just dripping water. My breathing. Nothing more.

I reached out into the gloom, a move of desperation, of wanting to confirm that this was my reality now. And my palm rested on something icy cold. The cloudy surface shone, absolutely brand new.

A glass jar prison just for me.

And that’s that.

It’s just me now.

Just me,

Steel, petrichor and cinnamon flavored tears drip-drip-dripping,

And the mess of what remains of us.

6th March, 2016
Writer’s Notes

It’s been a hard week. It’s been a hard week keeping myself together and trying to be positive and normal. In short, I am a right mess and am not okay. I understand the world doesn’t revolve around me. And I understand people will see this as something…edgy. A cry for attention maybe. Something worse maybe. And I understand that this isn’t a good piece of writing. Far from it really. I’m not happy with it at all.

But, it’s something. I’m trying. And that’s something. I’m not going to go into details about my sob story but part of my low patch in life is due to me feeling absolutely worthless, helpless and useless. It’s hard to fight against the voices that put you down in your head. I understand all of us struggle with that. But it’s so much more difficult when people you care about confirm that. And so, so difficult to know whatever you do, isn’t helping anyone.

So I write. It’s something I can do at least. Something that the voices in my head, as hard as they try, can’t take away from me fully.

I’m sorry about this piece. And I’m sorry for being weak and breaking down. Hopefully, this horrible darkness will pass soon and blue skies might be on the horizon.

Until next time,
The Writing Borb

PS: A lot of this was inspired by a friend telling me about Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar and stuff I’ve written before (but I don’t think I’ll be putting here because that’s still processing and being edited).