A Story, a Poem, a Recommendation
Marianna slams the glove compartment shut. Loose change rattles in the various caverns that collect such things as pennies, wrappers, single Barbie dolls shoes. She buckles herself into the driver’s seat and strangles the steering wheel. Rain slides from the darkness. Her breath condenses. She can’t see much, and she doesn’t dare turn on the car. Waiting like this is natural. She breathes in through her nose and out through her mouth. Tears flip onto her tongue, and she is surprised. This never happens. A hand slams onto the passenger side window. Kate rips open the door and drops into the seat. Marianna gapes at her twin. “Where is it?” Marianna stares straight into her sister’s eyes. Eyes like a mirror’s. “Mar? I need to know where it is.” “This was not, this was not – this wasn’t --” “You saw what happened.” “I did.” “Drive, Mar. Away. We need to split.” To split. To cleave or to move. Marianna leaves the keys dangling in the ignition and she slips out of the car, under the rain. The gun rests in the glove compartment. Kate thinks her sister kept the thing on her person, like every other time. But every other time, they didn’t use it. Kate rushes from the passenger seat and scans the night. Marianna is gone, probably in the trees already, protected but alone. Kate sees street lights and puddles and tries not to splash into any as she moves around the car. This time, for the first time, they’re severed. Kate crawls into the driver’s seat. She twists the car into life and drives as noiselessly from her parents’ home as she can.
“Cleave” starts with these 278 words. The next 278-word installment comes next week.
What Is Working & Recommendation
The Gotham Writers Workshop class I’m taking is ending tomorrow. I enjoyed it — it was entirely asynchronous, which did leave me feeling distant from everyone, but I adjusted and felt more comfortable as time passed. The flexibility turned out to be helpful given that a whole bunch of life (and a death) happened and continues to happen, as life does, in these 10 weeks. I liked the instructor, R. Dean Johnson, a lot and I look forward to reading his books. What was best for me was to have this class give me an excuse/reason to spend time writing, and I’ve done that, almost every day this year.
I’ll be starting another writing class this week, this one at The Loft here in Minneapolis, taught by Allison Wyss. I definitely look forward to that. This will be another asynchronous class experience but I swear, one day I will be in a room at the same time as other people, doing the same thing. Just not for a while yet. Probably.
A recommendation: You might like the podcast Start With This. It’s no longer active, but it’s great nonetheless. It's by the writers and creators of Welcome to Nightvale. All about writing, collaborating, creating, etc.
Remember, you’re invited to join Short Story Club. Just reply to this e-mail to let me know you want in. We meet online. Titles this month are these:
Oh, and guess what. I have a poem published in The Bluebird Word called Strategies for Defeat.
Thank you for reading. Good luck out there.