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  1. #1
    Dawn Prince

    A Little More Story

    Hello Everybody:

    Here is a little more of the story. Please know that I appreciate your time and effort in reading and giving me feedback.

    A COLOR RUNS THROUGH IT (it is part of Chapter One)

    Equal parts of pain, memories and secrets covered with the whitewash, she rubs the roller around in her new life and smoothes it evenly on the wall with expert precision, and it screams beautiful Sienna that reminds you of Tuscany. The paint is creamy with promises of a beautiful life like in pictures of those vacation villas. Like the kohl rimming her eyes, she is careful to get the paint into the corners so that there is no hint of that old life bleeding or peaking through, intruding on her manufactured reality. The deep soulful color fills all the creases as she seals up yet another man behind the plaster and paint. I'd seen her seal her dead relationships behind painted walls like dead men in hollow colored boxes.

    Back in the bedroom, I am trying to pluck her from her encasement within the walls and bring her back to life. She comes off in pieces because she is made out of paint and paper—-fragile and falling apart at the seams. She is in pieces on the floor-—clumped and held together by glue. Through the keyhole, I’d seen her crumpled like that many times in the corner-—hugging herself as if she was trying to keep it together, or to keep herself from falling apart. The layers of wallpaper and paint are like the rings on a tree—-the keeper of years and memories. I remember the period each layer of wallpaper or paint represents. I remember what she is constantly trying to forget. Some of the paper falls away easier than others do, and I catch glimpses of my mother in black and white fanned by color, and I see my father’s face in between the rose petals of the cornflower blue period.

    He is buried in the walls of row houses everywhere. I think it is the sound of his fists pounding on the walls that echoes in her mind and sends her fleeing from relationship to relationship. He is under her skin though he died a long time ago taking her with him. It was just before the popcorn yellow period when he died of a broken heart —- at least that is what I managed to get between the deliberate whispers and bursts of loud talking that always ended with my mother crumpled in a heap on the floor—-sometimes she looked as if she were kneeling and confessing her sins —-long after my father had burst his way out of the front door like he had to get away from her. One day in between the whispers and shouting, the house was silent, and my mother never left her corner even when night flooded the keyhole, and I couldn’t see her shrinking figure anymore.

    Soon, this back bedroom was covered with pinkish girl-child wallpaper and grew pinker with her growing belly. My father came back long enough to press his face against her belly. Even when her belly was deflated, he would press his face against her, and my mother would hold his head against her as he cried, and she would rock him as if he were the child that never got to breathe. It was right after that, she became a designer of her many lives. Soon, my father and the baby that never came were sealed up behind a quart of glaze and a base coat of popcorn yellow.

    Almost comatose after my father left, she spent most of her days in bed with the shades drawn tightly and the covers pulled right up to her chin no matter the temperature outside. She never mentioned my father again and offered no explanation for the baby that was never born. And you didn’t bring up the subject because of her delicate condition as my grandmother always referred to it. My mother became the sickly child that didn’t go out to play and my role was to look in on the sick child and make her as comfortable as possible in her delicate condition that led to bouts of hospitalization for depression and manic behavior like leaning out windows in the middle of winter until her face was almost frozen in its usual blankness.

    It was then that my mother as I'd always known her in my twelve short years cease to exist. She became the stranger who wandered from room to room day and night, but my mother before the baby she claims I imagined as a child and my father leaving never came back. She lived outside of her mind and body, and even her physical appearance changed as she became fat with her unknowness. I think my mother became fat on purpose so she could see herself sideways in the mirror because everyday she slipped further away from this world and herself.


  2. #2
    Dawn Prince

    Re: A Little More Story

    She became the stranger who wandered from room to room day and night, but my mother before the baby she claims I imagined as a child and my father leaving never came back.

    I know this sentence is screaming to be re-written for a smoother flow, but I just can't get it. Might have to lose it all together. I know what I want to say but it maybe too much of a mouthful in one sentence.Any suggestions?

    even with this change, the sentence is still choppy:

    She became the stranger who wandered from room to room day and night, but the mother I knew, before the baby she claims I imagined as a child and my father leaving, never came back.

    Doesn't quite flow there. I might have to lose the sentence all together. Still learning to kill it if it doesn't work. smile. Dawn

  3. #3
    C Bets

    Re: A Little More Story

    Here's my attempt - like this?

    She became a stranger who wandered from room to room, day and night; no longer the mother I once knew, before the baby that she claims I imagined, before my father left, never to return.

  4. #4
    L Bea

    Re: A Little More Story

    She became the stranger who wandered from room to room day and night. The mother I once knew never came back – the one before the baby she claims I imagined – the one before my father left.


    WOW! This is so wonderful to read, Dawn. I gulped it down like a big glass of cold milk after a plate of rich chocolate cake.

    Couple of minor picks:

    Crumpled - used in paragraphs 2 and 3 - I'd switch out one of them to provide even more imagery.

    Belly - something more than belly three times would make that important paragraph richer.

    "...and even her physical appearance changed as she became fat with her unknowness." I'm not sure what fat with her unknowness means. unknowness is lacking - falls short of the rest of your piece.

    Beautiful writing, Dawn.

    ~ Bea!

  5. #5
    Dawn Prince

    Re: A Little More Story

    It's funny, I have been trying to explain that word (unknowness) for a long time. I tend to use it in a lot of things I write...what i mean is that she is foreign to herself. I suppose I should just say so. Thanks for that.

    Yes, I like the way you improved that line about the baby and the father. Cutting and pasting it right now. I have been fighting with that for days.

    The belly thing. I notice I tend to repeat things. I am so working on that as an editor for a piece I submited to Moondance.org wants to publish another one of my pieces, but in this particular piece I repeat myself with little things which bogs down the imagery. I have been reading on the elements of good writing and I am slowly beginning to understand those little things. I notice them now when I go over things and try to tighten the piece. Thanks again. Dawn

    Reads better than mine. Thanks. Dawn

  6. #6
    Queen V

    Re: A Little More Story

    Quite lovely. I adore the image of layers of paint and wallpaper being like rings on a tree to tell a history. Bravo!

    Follow the others' advice and bring us more!

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