For those of you who don’t know me, creative writing is one of my greatest passions. I was sifting through some old stuff the other day and stumbled across a story that I wrote under timed circumstances for one of my year 12 examinations last year.
If you’re in the mood to delve into a story, whether it be to escape something going on in your own life, or simply because you are bored out of your brains, I encourage you to read on. The exam question that I was given was;
“In a form of your choice, use the following sentence as a stimulus for a response:
True inspiration is impossible to fake”
I had only one hour allocated towards this question, including time for planning and an explanation of what it was that I wanted to achieve.
Below is what I wrote, which is the exposition of a story. Examiners understand that this is our first time writing the piece, and therefore take into account the fact that it is only a first draft when they are marking.
I received 100% for this story; something I was extremely proud of. I hope you enjoy!
And hey, if you have any suggestions as to what I can change – or even where you would like the story to go, leave a comment below and I may write another installment soon! Stay tuned.
Off With the Wind
She’s wearing her paisley dress. The black one with the printed flowers carefully placed on the fabric. Her moon shaped earrings dance down from her lobes and her blonde braids shimmer in the dusty sunset. They’ve just passed through Geraldton, licking the last crumbly bits of pie pastry from their fingers as they leave behind a chapter of their lives. Pearl is carefully poised in the backseat, her cheeks a chubby strawberry pink as she giggles. She’s two days away from her fourth birthday and you would barely believe it. Leon’s behind the wheel of their faded blue ford mustang and they travel on, listening to Savage Garden and alternative jazz, heading to absolutely nowhere at all.
They don’t have two dimes to rub together, but they have a box of fruit in the trunk and smiles on their lips. As the glow of the fire provides light, Leon sets up the tent. His arms are muscly but he feels tired and weak. He stops briefly, staring into the fire and remembering a life he left behind long ago. He doesn’t miss it. The mother’s name is Tori, and she lives like the wind. Once she was Jessica, but not anymore. She sits on a log and strums a small red guitar with her turquoise nails. The sound of the chords flows through her and tells a story of the past. She plays solemnly from memory, a skill she’d learned from her father at a very young age. Leon sits next to her, mesmerised at how she is inspired by the smallest of memories. He inspects her golden breasts, her beautiful aura and her glistening eyes. He cannot sing, but he sings with his heart and the gentle whisper of their love. Pearl is asleep in the tent, dreaming of starfish and coral in a faraway place, and it’s then that Leon realises, true inspiration is impossible to fake.
The morning comes, laying a blanket of dew over the Australian bush. They slink out into the sun and boil water on the billy. Tori changes into tie-dye pants and a white lace top, her green glass nose stud shimmering in the light. They’re after them; she knows. Ever since they left they’ve been after them. But she doesn’t care. Life is simple and happy. They peel juicy oranges and crunch on granny’s apples, toss sand on the fire and they’re off. To the beach, they decide. To play with seashells, and frolic with sand and salt and bliss. Pearl runs and stumbles, her toes tripping her wobbly body by digging into the cool sand. Tori lets the waves wash over her ankles; bits of salty froth sticking to her seahorse tattoo. She closes her eyes and breathes in the air. She’s a good mother, she tells herself. Letting Pearl be a part of this strange Earth and all of its wonders. Still, her fourth birthday screams school, and Tori can’t help but wonder if they should try and settle down. But as she glances back at Pearl, sitting covered in sand and building a castle of blobs, Leon scoops her up into an embrace so strong she forgets all her worries and laughs them into the breeze.
That’s what life is like for them now. Once there was sadness, once there was pain. Once they used to be prisoned by the problems and mistakes of those around them. But they learned how to escape. They learned how to smile and to kiss and to dance. They learned how to forget, how to light a fire without a match and how to butter bread without a knife. They learned how to run, how to play, how to be parents and how to simply just be. They learned how to be inspired by the land upon which they live, and how to follow the wind.
They pile into the mustang, brushing sand off their feet and salt from their hair. It’s about 2o’clock when they look at the sun, for they don’t have a clock or a watch. They’re in desperate need of some money for petrol and food, so they roll in to the next dusty town they come across, which doesn’t appear to have a name. The breeze has dropped, leaving a muggy lingering heat that radiates around them. Tori shades her eyes from the sun to soak in the surroundings before gently lifting her daughter from the back seat and into her arms. Something doesn’t feel right about this place. They stroll up to an old wooden diner and the bell tingles when they open the door. Rows of freshly baked cupcakes are lined on the counter and a slushie machine with only one side working churns at the end. Tori’s eyes scan the room for a place to sit, but instead they find something else. Her jaw drops open and the eye contact is menacing. She’d recognise that face anywhere, for it’s her mothers.