Friday, October 8, 2010

A Great Story

This little gem was inspired by a conversation with my boyfriend over Intelligentsia cappuccinos and smuggled doughnuts. (There's a great name for a cooking blog, betches!) I was telling him about one of the most embarrassing, in retrospect, moments of my life, when I told the genius novelist Naeem Murr that I wanted to "break the rules of writing" in my stories. CRRRRRRINGE! I am so over being "rebellious!" and "innovative!" and "postmodern!" (oh, the irony) in my writing now....I just want to tell a damn fine story. But Mr. Murr's response was great: "Well, you might want to consider following the rules firs--ah, whatever, when I was young, I wanted to do the same thing." You gotta love that kind of easy-going support. Anyway, here's what would have happened had I stuck to my 20-year-old ideals: THE LIGHT OF HEAVEN MANIFESTED IN PROSE.

The Teller Who Does Not Show

“Hello there,” I said, the tone of my voice heavily implying that I was not happy to see Adolphus.

“Darling,” said Adolphus, his hands clasped tightly before him, looking very nervous. He was undoubtedly worried about what I would say next, given that I had discovered the secret rendezvous that had taken place between him and Cassandra the night before. He was right to be afraid, for I was about to insult him.

“You cad,” I said. That was all I said. I did not say anything else. But I looked at Adolphus with blazing eyes that said, clear as day, “I hate you. I HATE YOU! How could you do this to me? With that hussy who runs around in her shift every morning—that HUSSY!”

Adolphus shuffled in place. He was evidently trying to think of an excuse. The excuse he finally came up with was brilliant in its stupidity. He said he was finalizing a purchase. When he told me that, I laughed.

"As IF!" I said, mocking him with a slightly upturned lip and a gesture that insinuated how likely it was that I believed him--meaning, of course, not likely at all.

"Please," he begged pleadingly. He adjusted his body weight distribution slightly, began to crouch, placed one knee on the floor, grunted with the effort, settled himself in the position, reached into his pocket, fumbled around, and produced a slightly battered velvet box. He opened it (with three fingers) and held it out to me.

Inside the box was a ring.

"Lucinda," he breathed, the force of his emotion showing raw through the simple use of my name, "Marry me, darling." His choice of words was so romantic that I caught my breath. I felt like I might faint. But then the ugly face of that hussy Cassandra appeared before me. He must have seen that I was thinking of Cassandra due to the irate expression on my face, and hurried to explain everything. He told me Cassandra was a ring maker. I laughed with relief and responded that I had trusted him all along, that I had only been testing him. We talked for a few more minutes and exchanged many vows of love. He told me my eyes were beautiful and the tone of his voice as he complimented me was like the murmur of the ocean.



  1. sometimes i feel like i don't get anything you write.

    which i HATE. because it makes me feel stupid, and emotionally shallow. am i, tori? is that what you really think of me?

    it's sort of the same way i feel about J.D Salinger. except i think that anyone that claims they FULLY understand is short stories, is just being stupid. so that doesn't make me feel as bad.

    so what you're saying is you think you are a lot like J.D Salinger?

  2. GOSSIP SUZE. stop calling yourself stupid. only one person is allowed to call one person stupid, and that is me and stephanie meyer. (fine, you can call her stupid too. we are also allowed to call people with the initials GP stupid (you know to whom i refer?))

    this is just a stupid post where i demonstrate how disastrous it would be to "break the rules of writing"--in this case, the rule "show, don't tell." does that make sense?

    if you want to know someone stupid, you should meet this girl tori who has never read "catcher in the rye." (or anything by jd salinger...I KNOW. I KNOW.)

  3. i didn't know writing had rules. i thought it was something you FELT.


    i haven't read catcher and the rhye. but i've read franney and zooey, and nine stories. good stuff.


You are truly great.