Saturday, March 12, 2016

Short Story - I Wish I Could Remember the Other Day

I Wish I Could Remember the Other Day
words: 1087

This story was inspired by the song Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto.

Kary pushes one of the glass doors open, keeping her emotions bottled up until she’s out of sight. Every spare minute for the past two weeks was spent in the studio for her final design review. She had skipped sleep, meals, and even hygiene. She was relieved when she could finally put down pen and pencil and cardboard. She knew the professors would be tough, but she didn’t expect this. They had figuratively shredded her work. They might as well have ripped the drawings from the wall, crumpled it into ragged ball and thrown it to the floor. Kary felt like that ragged ball. She wanted to crumple to the floor and cry or scream. She wasn’t sure which, maybe both. She barrelled down the side work, avoiding eye contact and hoping no one would greet her.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep or the amount of time invested, but she just couldn’t deal with it.
As she had stood there, her pride in her work faded to embarrassment as words and insults sailed through the air, now a few hundred feet away and growing, Kary rounded the sidewalk and cut through the parking lot to her dorm. She acknowledged there was room for improvement, there always is, but she was still proud of the work. Her door was within sight. She fumbled for the keys in her bag. Even if they didn’t like it she did. Maybe there was someone else out there that could like it. Her hand shook as she stabbed at the lock. She slammed the door shut without looking back.

Kelly’s giggling subsided as a solemn thought reached her brain. She would see less of her best friends. She hoped they wouldn’t drift apart, but part of her knew they would. The distance would be too great.
“We’ll definitely stay in touch.” Megan said. “Just because we’re at different colleges doesn’t mean we can’t call each other.”
Gina nodded, wishing she hadn’t changed the mood of the conversation, desperate to correct the course. “Of course. There’s so much to do on campus. You can check out movies from the library at no cost, they have everything.”
Megan nodded, “And spring break. My sister always talked about how great the road trips were.”
“No parents.” Kelly added. “Are you nervous about leaving home?”
Gina’s head bobbed side to side. “I’d be lying if  I said no, but it’s not going to stop me.”
“I just hate that I can’t bring all my stuff. I’ve wanted to move out since I was twelve, but actually talking about it’ weird.”
“Yeah, but you’ll come back. This is like incubation before you really move out.” Gina said.
“We’re adults now.” Kelly said.
Megan looked at her side eyed. “I’ve been an adult.” All three laughed.
When Kelly returned home, she saw the packet as soon as she stepped through the sliding door. This was it, the red shield and school name in the corner confirmed it. Kelly took a deep breath and tore the flap open. She scanned each line, tears welled in her eyes. Happiness, sadness, fear and anticipation on the brink of escaping.

He slowed and directed the ATV around an erosion formed trench, gunning the engine once clear.  Roaring into a clearing, he darted toward a knoll, the ATV’s tires leaving the ground as Darrin sailed through the air. Grass uprooted wafted in the air as Darrin circled for another pass, depressing the accelerator even further and reaching even closer to the heavens.
He circled wider for a longer runway. At the peak of the loop, the ATV lurched throwing him forward. He hit the ground hard, rolling onto his back. Darrin tried to intake a breath, unable to make a sound. His vision was filled with blue sky and white puffy clouds. He blinked once, then twice, trying to process what just happened. Tears leaked from his eyes. When he could breathe again, a wail escaped his mouth, surprising even himself. It was hoarse and ragged. Darrin pulled his eyelids closed, fractured bone having torn flesh.

Walter waited as the phone rang.
“Hey, what’s up man?” Ethan asked.
Walter cleared his throat. “You changed everything. You sent that part of the script out and didn’t even let me review it.”
“We’re on a tight schedule. I wanted to hit the right mood….” Ethan started.
“Then write your own script. Don’t hack up mine.” Walter responded.
“I should have sent the revisions to you. We just don’t have a lot of time.”
“I wrote it two weeks ago. That’s plenty of time.” Walter said.
“You didn’t like the joke about  ebay? Come on, that was pretty good.” Ethan said.
“Have all the jokes you want. It’s your script now. I don’t want it. Take my name off.” Walter said.
“It’s still ours.” Ethan said. “We can change it back.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Walter pulled the phone from his ear, jabbing the button, and putting the phone on the counter. He was still fuming, teeth gritted. He swatted at the empty cup in his reach, sending it clattering to the floor.

Nick frames his subject in the camera viewfinder. The sheepish grin accompanies a crisp new backpack that’s black with a screen printed green skeletal ribcage. The shutter clicks in rapid succession. Brandon asks his dad if that’s enough.
“It’s your first day of school.” Nick replies. “I want to remember this.”
Brandon’s fears of where to go and who he’ll see are dwarfed by Nick’s fears of him growing up too fast and all of the potential dangers.

The prick of the needle still sent a shock along my nerves despite preparing for it. Ink began to fill my flesh, directed by the gloved hand holding the needle. I had debated whether to get a tattoo, but I had to. He was gone and I wanted something tangible. A photo wasn’t enough. What if the wind blew it away? What if the well worn creases finally ripped? A memory wasn’t enough. iI couldn’t hold it,  and I couldn’t touch it.
I took the next step, developing this idea of permanent ink. I had taken a sharpie and google provided the font. I scribbled on my arm and it cemented the decision, but his name on my arm was something that would sting every time i saw it. The mental sting was no different than the dull ache of the needle puncturing my arm. something thats eternally linked and inked.
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