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Monday, September 3, 2012

Snowy Cabin Exercise (pre-critiqued)


For my creative writing class, we were given prompts we had to write from. I chose this prompt:
Directive 6- Your character certainly has memories and can recall past experiences, people, interactions, conversations, etc. HOWEVER- the focus is on your character in this setting right now. While memories are allowed in the piece, you are not allowed to say "here I am in this cold cabin thinking about..." and then go into the memory for your entire story. Note that I said not to write the story in terms of memories, but I also said the character has them and has thoughts. You are definitely going to use them. I just insist you keep the character in the snowy landscape I've created as much as possible while having these thoughts. The story, in other words, can't all be "recalled." It's got to deal with the present location of the character, the isolation or solitude within that setting, the physical nature of whatever that house/cabin setting is, and the reasons the character is there. Memories and thoughts all relate to these things and should be worked in and out of the current time-frame/setting.

So what do you think, do you think I follow it?



Eddies of navy, pink and a hint of yellow swirled in the dawn of the sky. It was another sleepless night; Holly couldn't discern day from twilight or twilight from night or night from dawn--it was the same for her; tiresome, frightful and anxious.

Has our conscience shown, has the sweet wind blown, the cassette, a mix from the best year of Holly's life: 1995, dances in the black boombox sitting on top of the

grungy wooden table. It hadn't been cleaned for a few days and Holly didn't care.  Her grandparents had left her their tiny cottage, once pristine and full of food,

but now it had gone to pieces. The beautiful furniture is now run down and dilapidated from wear from parties Holly had thrown in the year she has been here. It has

been four days since Holly last saw someone, and yet again, Holly didn't care - she was tired of people.


The swirl circle with the arrow hanging on the bottom, Collective Soul's logo, pulsated from white to a light blue to a purple and danced on the white ceiling that was

masked in black of the casino. This was the only section Holly and Ken were allowed in . Only 17, Holly was a big fan of Collective Soul and was so happy to be seeing

them with her best friend. The only thing that could potentially ruin this great night were the kids that were there (for some odd reason, in Holly's mind they should

have been in bed sleeping), but they were calm and none of them cried (thank God, Holly thought).

"So I walk up on high and I step to the edge to see my world below," Ed Roland sang as his grungy bleached blonde hair outlined - almost covering - his sweaty face.

Although Roland was kissing his mic, you could still hear his voice sing the lyrics carefully and clearly. Roland's brother's, Dean, who had long brown hair and was also

covering his sweaty face with the same features of his brother, guitar riffs exemplified Ed's voice. The drum's thunderous roar added "umph" to the song.

"This is great," Holly yelled over what seemed to be at the threshold of pain level of guitars, bass and drums to Ken. Ken wasn't a big fan of Collective Soul, but he

didn't want to ruin the mood of the evening and replied with "yeah."

"I'm hungry," her inner voice screams, "I guess it's time for me to go hunting." "But, I really don't want to." Holly counters what's in her head. The snow gently falls

and cover the windowsill. Watching from her window the feet of snow that covered the half dead grass, she thinks "although, it is no better in here." Holly was broke,

she was laid off of her job in an art store where she matted and framed pictures, and couldn't pay the bills.
"But, you must, if you want to survive," she rationally tells herself.
"I don't really care if I live or die, really."
"Hunt!"


"You're so selfish," Ken yelled at Holly as he drove his black Volkswagen Beatle to Holly's house.
"What," she said asasperated and then angry, "what do you mean?"
"I drive you everywhere," Ken snarled, "and you never thank or pay me."
"You never ask and I do invite you to go to these places and you say you want to go," Holly's voice began to raise.
"Oh my God, you don't get it."
"You're damn right," Holly began to chew her words; she was shocked she said that to her best friend.
"Get out of my car," Ken said excidedly, "you can walk the rest of the way," Ken was livid.
"Screw you," Holly screamed; she was nervous and scared about walking to her house from an unfamiliar place to her house, "I hope you die!" Holly unbuckled her seat

belt, opened the door and slammed it behind her.


She carefully laces up the black leather boots as she sits upon that filthy white couch. As she freezes and her tears turn to what feels like icicles, Holly notices the

cobwebs that decorate the corner of the ceiling. "I really should clean," she says aloud. Even her grandmother's Hummels sit dusty on top of the cherry stained

credenza. Holly always loved those Hummels.

She gets up the couch and walks on the squeaky wooden floor to the pantry where one of her grandfather's winter jackets hang. That pantry leads to the basement

and as a little girl it scared her. The blackness was always mysterious and you never knew if there were monsters that resided there. She outgrew that phase when

she was eight, but now with no electricicty that fear is back again.


"And I laugh to myself as the tears roll down 'cause it's the world I know," Holly sang along with her favorite song. She unwrapped her towel and lifted her black

Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt over her damp head. Her dyed red hair soaked the collar of her shirt.

"Holly come here," she noticed a tinge of fear in her mother's voice.
"Just a minute mom," Holly slipped on her jeans.
"Get out here now!" now her mother's voice sounded scared. Holly quickly zipped up her jeans and ran to the living room. Her mother sat glued to the TV; it was a

commercial at that point in time.
"Appleton family slaughtered," the news reporter said in an objective, cold voice as Ken's face appeared on the screen followed by Mrs. and Mr. Johnstone.
"No, this is a horrible jokem: Holly tried to hold back the tears.
"Listen to the rest," her mom snapped.
"It has been reported," that reporter's voice echoed in the room, "the daughter was found outside stating 'I killed mother, father, brother.' before she was taken

into custody."
Jennifer always had been troubled and Ken said his family learned of the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, but Jennifer didn't want to take her medicine.
"I could kill her," Jennifer screamed at the TV as she stood numb on the Afghan rug and noticed the teddy bears that laid on a shelf above a bookshelf.
"I'm sorry honey," her mother restrained her and then hugged her.


Deer tracks litter the snowy landscape near Holly's grandparents' cottage. Further and further down the path, the cottage becomes a distance memory; all that is

left is the smoke billowing from the chimney. Crouch behind the douglass fur tree, Holly spots the deer grazing or trying to graze on some grass. She is proving

unsuccessful, but she continues to lick the snow. Holly lifts her grandfather's Smith and Wesson SXS. "Granddaddy always said this was his best friend. Hopefully

he proves right," Holly whispers. Holly is careful not to make any noise to scare away the deer.


"Prosecutors alleged the fatal attack involved a “very significant struggle” and a chase throughout the house," the paper read. Holly loved watching crime shows; she

imagined the blood that stained the carpets and walls. Jennifer had used a scythe. Purchased from where? The authorities were unsure. However, they were sure that

right now she couldn't stand trial and was placed in a mental hospital.  Holly shook.
"I'm going to kill her," she angrily thought, "I'm going to go to that mental hospital with a gun and I'm going to shoot her."


The deer's blood stained the perfectly white snow.


"I keep thinking of how many wonderful things happened to me after I turned 18 and how you deserved to have all those life experiences and so much more," one friend

said as she spoke about Ken. The ceremony had been open casket, the mortician did a great job hiding the wounds. Holly was told that their throats had been cut; suits

covered Ken and Mr. Johnstone's necks, Mrs. Johnstone had a collared dress on with a necklace. Holly was sick to her stomach; the anger rose and then was replaced

by guilt. The last time she saw Ken alive was when she told him to die. She didn't mean it.
"I'm sorry," she whispers to the body.



"I truly am." She lifts the deer's carcass and walks back to the cottage.


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