Friday, October 23, 2009


Author's Note: I found this the other day as I was cleaning out some old files on my computer. I had been meaning to post it, but sort of forgot. It's a true account of one morning in late May this past summer. I was a tiny bit sick & my mom had been doing some paint stripping in little house. The fumes were crazy strong, so I went outside, laid on the grass for about an hour, thought up this little diddy, & typed it up while still slightly high on paint thinner. So. Voila.

Also - I'm not sure why I wrote it in third person. Thoughts? Is it distracting? Would it be stronger in first person?

Lying there on the freshly shorn grass, gravity didn’t feel like such an enemy. It no longer seemed to pull her down, making the earth tilt and sway, no longer made her stumble dizzily. With the earth firmly at her back, gravity seemed rather like a friend, pulling her securely to the ground, stabilizing her heavy head, and holding her steadily. The summer breeze blew across her face, pure and fresh, untainted by the paint fumes that had driven her outdoors, away from the overpowering smell that only added to the swirl of her lurching stomach and already whirling mind.

The night before she had stayed up fussing with old essays, finding distraction in ads for cars she would never buy, and pretending that she wasn’t waiting for him to come online to say hello. She had stared at the screen for hours, only finally settling into bed when the house was completely still and she was too exhausted to think anymore. But that plan had its faults, for she was still capable of dreaming.

She lay very still, trying to dismiss the funny dizziness that had accompanied her all morning. One arm stretched across her face to shield her eyes from the brightness of the sun. If she peered through her fingers she could see the massive clouds trailing through the sky, some brightest white, others a dimly threatening grey. But for now, the sun held sway, lighting every blade of grass and slowing drying the lingering drops of morning dew.

The breeze played with the strands of hair that had escaped her loose ponytail, tugging gently upward, inviting her to forsake the pull of gravity and float away. The sun’s warm rays chased away the leftover chill of the night, the heat tightening the skin on her arms and bare shoulders. The light seemed to have a tangible weight, adding its pressure to gravity’s and wrapping her firmly in their grasp.

Small blades of grass pushed through the fingers of her outstretched hand. She pulled against them absently, feeling their frailty and remembering the strength of his fingers laced through hers. That steady strength seemed to be far out of reach, and the newly imposed silenced made the distance seem far greater than the miles. A blurred rush of memories pushed through her thoughts; some faded like a often-read letter while others were colored in the strange tones of dreams. She turned onto her side, trying to quell an ache that had nothing to do with paint fumes.

Overhead, the clouds continued their journey through the vast blue of the summer sky, now rolling themselves flat and drifting away like puffs of cotton on the wind, now building up into towering mountains of white and grey. Her skin began to cool, prickling a protest to the light chill in the breeze. She rolled to her back to gaze up at the largest of the grey clouds that had covered the sun. With her head tilted back, she waited for the first drops of rain to fall.


Melany said...

It's beautiful Kelsey. I love the third person. It makes it both personal to you and widely applicable to readers. Makes me want to come visit Grace.

martha said...

hey :) i remember this when you sent it to me that one night super late. i still love it.

Kristen said...

I really really really like it. And I Really like it in 3rd person.