Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Short Fiction Workshop I

Last saturday I attended (finally) the Geneva Writers Group meeting. I love short stories but I was never very attracted to the short fiction genre. Really, if you want to boil down a story to 800 words why write at all? It reminded me of the little magnets you get with a bunch of words on each that you can re-arrange to create poems or cryptic little stories.

Still, it was fun and I found that writing on demand in the workshop, with a deadline, actually helped jumpstart my writing of other things. I just wanted to document the short-short story I wrote there. So here goes:

Snow in the Dark

Even before he heard that hollow, sharp sound like the breaking of an eggshell--as his heavy boot crushed through the crust of ice to the unstable snow and the even more unstable ground below--he knew he was going to fall.

Which he did, silently arcing through the frigid air as his feet skidded away from solid ground. He landed in a crevasse about 40 feet below, sinking into a bed of snow under a thin sheet of ice. Alive! As he had fallen he had heard another sound, like a log being split...that and the accompanying pain told him that his left leg was broken. The echoes of the break faded away, growing softer and softer, the waves of sound bouncing from one mountain to another until again, silence!

"Well, what do I now?" he asked aloud, right before he fainted.

He gained consciousness in a haze, hearing the voices of his would-be rescuers as they called his name over and over again. His mind awakened sluggishly, the cold seeping into every pore.

"Thank you Cynthia," he shouted out, hearing their voices cease and then start up again, agitated and excited.

As the helicopter focused its single, bright beam on him, lighting him up like the principal actor in a tragic play, he raised both his arms above his head in benediction and surrender.

3 comments:

Dee said...

Awesome one but who is Cynthia?

Jawahara Saidullah said...

Aah, exactly...that is the question? Is he delirious? Does Cynthia exist? Does he assume (rightly or wrongly) that his girlfriend, Cynthia, alerted the authorities? Is Cynthia the name he's given his cell phone whose signal helped locate him? :-)

Who knows. I would like this short-short to be self-contained but if this situation interested me enough (which it doesn't) to expand on it, we might learn who Cynthia is. :-)

Good question, Dee

Dee said...

If this was some sort of a morbid comedy I would have loved him scream - STELLA instead of Cynthia.

And I kind of found myself thinking of that Fox Moulder movie where he falls into a icy crevice and lands up in an alien facility;)