This came to me apiece, with eyes closed and head back, complete as it stands. It was only for me to sit and slowly type it out and then, to slowly wonder where it was to go.
I enjoy writing on assignment. I have embarked recently on the writing of screenplays and spent a portion of my last li’l ol’ movie playing script doctor. I had such fun with it I decided to stop playing with it and start actually doing it. Although, frankly, it still feels like play. That is a great thing.
And great and fervent play it has been, too. Twice a week, and often far later into the night than I might have believed it was or i would normally work, I have sat with Melissa and her script. In my blue room with coffee, milk and moonshine, space-heater humming next to my books. At Van Gogh’s Café when I should be paying attention to acting class, concurrent and even cospatial. Writing has lately been time-bending. Writing screenplays has been space-warping as well and I work in a dimension within a dimension. Talk about fun!
And so I discover the joys of helping another person’s idea come to life. But, below, is my idea. Or at least an idea delivered to me. But where to bring it next?
And so I am looking to you to judge. You tell me. What should happen next? Should anything happen at all? Should I hit the delete key or have her find treasure in her spacious back yard? What is to be done with this unexpected gift?
And maybe it’ll end up an assignment.
She woke in the early April dawn to do as she did nearly every morning during the growing seasons; to walk outside, into the air and look out over the acres, to walk lovingly, maternally, through the field to see what was sprouting, what was blooming, what was today becoming ripe.
She was a caretaker to this land, this small farm. Outside of Gainesville, a community garden, barely a farm, really, at five acres. She took care of the comings and going of the volunteers, the implements, the irrigation, and kept watch always. In return she lived here, with a few others, in this small house, took what she needed from the land, a bit extra to sell at the Saturday farmers’ market, and had her utilities and rent afforded by the monthly fee paid by those with plots to garden. And each morning, overall and each row, she surveyed the land.
And like every other morning, she pulled off her covers, pulled on her dungarees, her socks and silently padded out of the bedroom to the open front door where she put on her workboots and opened the screen door to walk out onto the porch, careful about closing it behind her by hand so it would not slam.
Standing for a moment on the porch she looked out ahead and to either side at the trees bordering the greened furrows. Three steps down from the wide porch placed her nearly at the foot of the field, to plant her outspread feet on the soil, stretching her arms wide, raising her palms, face and chest to meet the rising sun, open wide to the world.
She was surprised, as she nearly always was, by the warm moistness of the barely dawn air. Recognition of such air, at this time of year, was not in her genes. Back home, in the mountains of North Georgia, she would walk outside, just as she did here, to feel the cool air shrink and pull tight her skin at the same time the sun would slowly warm her, the air, the ground. All things. It was a curious but common juxtaposition of opposites she had grown not only accustomed to but comforted by; the quick contraction and slow expansion of her own skin, her body and the world.
It was on just such a morning I met her.
February 6, 2007 at 4:32 PM
Beautifully written….needs to be reads aloud so every word can be digested, felt. I could hear the interrupted creak of the gate and feel the slight sting of the sun. Do her boots leave behind small prints in the soil? Does she close her eyes to better see this world of hers? Does she close her eyes to live in a single breath a lifetime of memories?MORE….write us more.
February 7, 2007 at 1:38 AM
I feel that next section needs to show us about the narrator, how he (or she) came to be who s/he is, to be in this time, in this place, how s/he both differs from and mirrors the woman who watches over this land. I am looking forward to reading more!
February 7, 2007 at 2:20 AM
Adam,Perhaps an aphid colony developed overnight, and required an emergency influx of ladybugs. The narrator could be the delivery person for the mail-order ladybugs.Or maybe the narrator is a new neighbor who was awakened by her screams as she discovers the aphid infestation.Perhaps a stranger in town stops by the farm to ask directions. Maybe the narrator is a backpacker who decided that her field looked like a good place to spend the night, and is awakened by her shout of suprise upon discovering him.Maybe they meet because the narrator wants to apologize for trampling her field. Maybe the narrator is a dog who has come onto the farm in pursuit of squirrels.Perhaps cows and chickens got loose and they meet while trying to get all the animals back in their proper places. I think it is fun to try to figure out what comes next in your story!
February 7, 2007 at 4:23 AM
So strange. Probably because I watch too many shows like CSI or NCIS, I half expect the narrator to witness something sudden, terrible, and deeply shocking happen to her, something the narrator can’t stop, can only react to. Or maybe the narrator is the threat? I just figure the idyll must be shattered somehow.
Adam Byrn "Adamus" Tritt
February 7, 2007 at 1:55 PM
I am just amazed, aghast at the number of people who want me to have a murder scene! I thought I was the one a bit too preoccupied with dark-stuff. I’m thinking lawyer. They end up suing the lumber treatment plant down the road for creating a Superfund site. She discoveres this when they apply to make the community gardens certified organic and are told it cannot be due to the high levels of aresenic in the ground water/proximity to the superfund. But, NO. Put a lovely young woman out in the field, in the post-dawn light, secure and serene, at one with nature, so at peace and comfortabble she doesn’t even feel he need to cover herself from the world and they want to KILL HER!fergoodnessakes…..Kinda funny, really. I thought I was the one who ideated death, dark and drear. Maybe that I get it out in the open is best. Maybe it’s a lack of fear of death that leads me to not have to see it and play with it all the time in my writing. I am perfectly content to have the characters encounter conflicts that don’t involve death or mutilation or other bogey-people.Well, my hero-lady is not certified organic so she can’t die in the field. It would taint the crops.
Adam Byrn "Adamus" Tritt
February 7, 2007 at 2:38 PM
>The tone of the narrator is so serene, that it would be really creepy to describe the death scene in that same tone.So you want the next line to read: Perhaps I will kill her slowly. Perhaps saving the skin for use later.” ARG, I can’t do that.
February 7, 2007 at 10:53 PM
OK, my vote is not to have her murdered!!!!!! My fuzzy little mind can think of much more pleasant things to take place in the serene organic fields.
February 18, 2007 at 1:10 PM
I had left my SUV parked near the end of the driveway, and approached quietly out of respect for the morning. I had rifled the contents of the truck. Being my mother’s son, I had filled the truck with tools and gadgets. I did not bother to unpack any of the packages from between the seats. I knew those would contain frying pans, the inflatable kayak, the tent, and the fishing tackle. None of these would be of any particular help this morning, unless I wanted set up camp here on the side of the road. I figured I had all the stuff I needed to avert any crisis of reasonable scale. My mother had probably invented the concept of Eagle Scout in a past life, she was always prepared. I strove to fulfill the image, but this situation would be like so many others in my past, and I was lacking the one crucial ingredient to make the only possible plan effective. Still, I consider myself a capable man, and all I needed was a little assistance, here. I walked up the drive looking at my old, beat-up cowboy boots, and thinking of what I might say to whomever would answer the door when I knocked. Something polite would be a good start, “Good morning, I was wondering if you could help me?” Or, “Hi, I’m broke down at the end of your driveway….” Interesting how nothing really seems to fit when you’re running stuff through your head. The smell of freshly tilled soil broke my thoughts and I looked up toward the house. There she stood, just off the porch steps, head tilted back and arms outstretched, as if she were a goddess greeting the morning sun. Was I really going to ask this beauty if I could borrow a jack?