I Really Should Try Harder

Because I’m lazy, have another piece of something I’m never going to finish:

Elaine Schattenfeld made a noise like a dying hyena, a sound he had never heard before but would now be able to describe with vivid accuracy. He had never met anyone with quite the amount of delight in the prospect of dying as his mother.

“Nathaniel,” she called, grasping feebly at the air. He did not catch her hand, and she went back to pawing at the bed curtains. “Nathaniel, my eyes grow dim.”

Her eyes grew dim at every quarter hour, and had been doing so religiously for the past several days. There were breaks for naps and eating, but her earnest sincerity had not diminished.

Nathaniel was her favorite, though he’d never figured out why. He had several siblings – two younger sisters and an older brother – and the least amount of patience among them.

“Your eyes are fine, mother.”

“My eyes lack constancy,” she snapped. He had no idea what that could mean, and did not want or need to know the answer. He didn’t ask. She remembered she was dying. “Oh Nathaniel, don’t leave me.”

I meant to write up another overly detailed story from my ceaselessly entertaining life (I’ve been into Classical music lately, which I’m sure fascinates everybody), but I find I don’t have it in me this week. Well, no actually, I’m sure I do have it in me but I’m not willing to dig down deep and find it. Instead, I’ve pulled another piece from “Random bits of this and that.” There’s actually many bits (of both this and that) in that particular Word document, but I’m only going to dole out these one or two. Most of the other bits have the potential to become something, and I’m only blogging the pieces that I can tell are never going to fit a larger puzzle.

For example, here is a bit of that which might someday graduate to a straight this:

Once upon a time, John Sorley obliterated his hometown and the eight hundred people living in it.

To his credit, he hadn’t done so on purpose. Unfortunately, that meant absolutely nothing to the uncaring dead, as the saying goes, nor to the King’s private army, who came to investigate.

The problem is that it has no backbone yet. A fun start, but nowhere for it to go. Most of the things I write already have innards to them before I even put them down on paper, but every now and again something like this will come crawling out of the woodwork when I ought to be working on one of my longer ideas. They’re basically my imagination’s version of a hangnail, only they don’t bleed when I remove them.

That’s a wrap, folks. Let’s see what inanity I can confess to next week.

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