The Alphabet Story
I wrote earlier in the week that my little book on writing ‘A Writer’s Alphabet’ will be coming out soon. So, in alphabetic mood, and in honour of A-Z bloggers, I thought I’d put up this story. I’ve mentioned before that at my writing group, we take turns to bring an exercise which we do in the first fifteen minutes or so of our meeting. I’m constantly surprised and stimulated by the range of writing that emerges, and the energy that such on-the-spot writing generates.
Recently one of the group brought an exercise to write something where each new sentence began with a subsequent letter of the alphabet. So, the following is a bit of fun, and lest my little juggling friend becomes too upset at his relegation from my book’s front cover, I thought I’d let him have another outing:From Here to Eternity in Twenty-Six Moments
Adam pulled himself half clear of the swimming pool.
‘Barbara!’ he yelled, the water dragging at his legs.
Cries came from the house, but no one appeared in the doorway. Dots of red darted across his eyes, making him blink. Early morning mist, hovering over the grass, fogged his vision still further. Feeling the pain building in his chest, he managed to roll onto his side and pull his legs free. Gulps of air swelled his lungs, but every breath ripped his chest apart. He turned his head to the house, certain he saw a movement at the kitchen window.
‘I‘m going to die,’ he muttered, ‘and she doesn’t care.’
July, the promise of another hot day, an azure sky – not a day to die. Kath – he should have stayed with his first love. Love. Moments of joy.
Nietzche had it right – nihilism. Oh, no point to life. Prayer offered a moment’s comfort. Questions of God’s existence no longer mattered.
‘Reveal yourself, God,’ Adam whispered.
‘Talk to me, God. Under all that religious mumbo jumbo, there must be something.’
Verses of hymns rolled across his thoughts. Words of carols from school. Xavier’s High School for Boys. Years of torment.
Zoomed to a tiny white light.
Okay, I must admit to some minor tweaking – K was Kinder eggs in the original! – and some syntactical ambivalence, but I’m interested that it’s possible to get a character, a suggestion of plot, and a sense of narrative, given the bizarre method by which it was achieved!