Once again, for my university course I had to write another short. But this time, we had to write an experimental piece. It was difficult. But I also feel like its one of the better shorts that I’ve written. I experimented by taking all commas and semi-colons out. My sentences only include full stops. I also have included a tense change from past tense to present tense. Also, I’m not normally one to use dialogue in my shorts, but I decided to have a go.
So here, is my latest short, titled The Flow and Ebb of Tears
THE FLOW AND EBB OF TEARS
You were just a few years old. Five or six at the most. Outside a dramatic storm rolled across the sky. Dark clouds as black as coal. Lightning flashed. Thunder rumbled. You woke up startled as another clap of thunder echoed just above the house. You were terrified. Storms had always been your greatest fear. You stumbled out of bed. Seeking comfort from your parents.
You sat on the stairs and peered through the bars of the railing. Your parents were in the living room. They hadn’t been in their bedroom when you had been searching for them.Instead they had been standing apart from each other.Together but alone in the dark. You had wanted to go to them when you had found them. But you were scared. More scared than you were of the storm.
They were arguing. Your mother was standing in front of your father. Her arms were being thrown up in the air in frustration.Her spine was rod stiff. The corners of her mouth were being pulled down sharply. Your father was in a completely different stance to your mother. He stood with his legs spread apart at shoulder length. His arms crossed over his chest defensively. The only mar in his face was a crease between his eyebrows.
Your mother was mostly the one speaking. Yelling actually.Your father didn’t say much. Just a single word every now and then.
“What were you thinking?” She yelled. You were tempted to cover your ears. You hated hearing your parents like that. You were terrified your life would never be the same. She turned away. Put a hand up against her face. Her chest heaved with staggered breaths. He reached out. Placed a hand on her shoulder. She snapped. “Don’t!” Threw him off. Went to stand on the other side of the room. “I just don’t understand. Why would you do such a thing? Are you no longer happy? Is there something wrong with us?”
“What do you want from me?” He said.
“The truth!” She exclaimed. “The truth! That’s all I want!”
He stared at her a moment. At her back which was still turned against him. “I already have. I’ve already given you the truth. Now it is completely up to you. It is completely up to you whether you decide to believe it or not.”
Another crack of thunder raced across the sky. The giants above were getting just as angry as your mother.
“We both know that is not true Brian.” Finally she turned to face him once more. Tears were etching a path down her weary looking face. The ebb and flow of her tears were like salty waves. Crashing onto the shore and eroding more of her carefully guarded expression as it went out. It happened the more she tried to hold back her tears. “The real truth would be nice.”
You heard your father sigh. A big weary sigh. His hand came up to scrub at his face. “Debra…”
But your mother walks out of the room. And you run towards her. Your arms outstretched. You want to be able to stop the argument from becoming something of the present. You want it to only remain in the past. You continue to run towards her. Wondering where she could possibly be going. You reach for her hand. But just miss. Fingers grasp thin air. Now your tears are ebbing and flowing. But you’re not crying because your mother is leaving. You are crying because that is what your mum is doing. And as a child that is what you do best. Copy your parents. Copy what they do.