Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Snippet of My Writing!

As some of you may know, I took creative writing this past semester and it was seriously so great. Not only did I learn a lot about writing and editing, but I was also able to experiment with a bunch of different genres and really push myself as a writer. Then, at the end of the semester, we all had the opportunity to revise a piece of our writing and submit it to be published in the college newsletter. So today I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of my writing with you! This piece is something I wrote and may or may not turn into a book some day. Enjoy :)

On my ninth birthday, Daddy was frozen.
It wasn’t his fault, Mom always says. He didn’t mean to defy the Rulers.
But he did.
I trace my pinky finger down my window, clearing a path through the dirt and grime. The glass is cold beneath my fingertips, the frigid air breathing frosty breaths onto the outside pane.
It’s cold when they freeze you. At least, that’s what I’ve heard people say. The blood in your veins turns to ice so you can’t escape, then cold water fills up around you until you can’t breathe. And then there’s nothing. Some say it’s quick and nearly painless. Others say it’s slow and agonizing.
I shiver slightly and pull my sweater around me tighter, hugging my arms to my chest just as my door panel slides open, and my FatherBot enters.
He looks just like my real Dad, only instead of warmth and love inside, there is nothing but a robotic skeleton beneath plastic skin.
“Good morning, Aneira,” it says, its voice monotone and emotionless. “Happy birthd-d-d-d-d-day.”
I groan to myself and roll my eyes as the FatherBot twitches and jerks, sliding off of my bed and skirting around it.
Stupid piece of junk is glitching yet again.
“Happy birthd-d-d-d-day, Aneira, happy birthd-d-d-d-day hap-hap-hap-hap-hap—.”
I groan loudly and tug the bottom drawer of my desk open, rooting through a messy array of screws, bolts, and various robotic parts. The FatherBot continues to twitch as its voice box skips and repeats.
“Hap-hap-hap-hap-hap—”
My fingers find my multi-tool just as my mother comes into my room, breakfast in hand.
“Oh,” she moans, watching as I hurry to pry open the panel on the FatherBot’s neck. “Just smack it a few times, dear, that usually works for me.”
Finally, the panel opens. I press the reset button and the FatherBot’s voice box quickly cuts off.
Once again, my finger lingers by the on/off switch, anger and desperation tempting me to turn it. For the sake of my mother, my sanity…
My dad.
I just want to turn the stupid thing off.
“Annie,” my mother warns.
I swallow hard and close the panel again. The FatherBot promptly turns and returns to its charging station in the hall to reboot.
“I bet nothing would even happen,” I grumble, crossing my arms and sitting down on my bed again. “We could just turn it off for an hour or two. I mean, how would they even know?”
Mom sighs, setting the plate of food on my dresser.
“You remind me of your father more every day,” she whispers sadly, sitting down next to me, and I wince.
My mother has aged tremendously over the last nine years. When I was younger, her hair was the same chestnut color as mine. Her deep brown eyes were young and bright, and the skin around them was fresh and flawless.
But then Dad was frozen. Then the FatherBot was required to be installed in our home.
Now my mother’s curls are gray, and her eyes have lost their gleam of happiness and hope. Her skin is wrinkled and sags in places, and when she moves it’s as though every inch of her throbs with pain.
Needless to say, my mother lost much more than her husband when Dad was frozen.
She forces a small smile at me, and for a moment I wonder if she realizes that I’m analyzing her.
But then she says, “Happy birthday, Annie.”
And immediately, I shake my head.
“We’ve talked about this. No birthdays. I don’t want special treatment, or food, or…anything.”
Mom frowns at me, and when she does it almost seems pained. “Sweetie—”
“Happy birthday, Aneira.”
Immediately mom and I jump at the FatherBot’s sudden and unexpected reappearance, staring at us both with robotic camera eyes on a face that’s supposed to look like my dad.
But my dad didn’t have robot eyes. His eyes were blue like the sky and warm like the sun. His skin was warm and soft, not artificial and cold.
“I’m turning it off,” I say again, watching the FatherBot clank back down the hall.
He,” my mother corrects. “And rules are rules, Annie. If we turn him off we’ll be—”
“Frozen?” I snap, but right away I wish to take the words back as I watch ten thousand emotions cross my mother’s face.
She swallows hard. “—in trouble with the Rulers.”
I close my eyes and nod slightly. “Right.”
Quiet fills the room again as I run my fingers over the tool in my hand. It’s just like the special tool my father used to use when he’d work in his workshop late at night.
Only this one he made special for me. This one he made for me after he was sentenced, during the long and agonizing wait for the day the Rulers decided would be his Freezing Day. And of course, that day just had to fall on my birthday.
I wince again, closing my eyes.
Gosh, I hate birthdays.
My emotion must show on my face, because suddenly my mother’s chilled hand wraps around mine. I look up to see a shaky and tired smile pulling at her lips. And since I know that these days it takes nearly every bit of her strength to smile, I finally let my walls come down.
I sigh and wrap her in a tight hug, her body so much thinner and frailer than it used to be.
“Thanks, Mama,” I whisper. “For breakfast, I mean. It looks great.”
At that, she lights up. “Oh, do you think? I…I know I’m not as great a cook as your father was, but I did try my best.”
I snort softly, taking a bite of toast.
“You’re better than the stupid robot, I can tell you that.”
Mom frowns again. “Aneira, you have to give him a chance. He’s been here for years, and you just…you won’t even try to like him!”
I roll my eyes. “Mom, it’s a robot. There’s nothing to like.”
“…Annie, he…it’s dad, honey—”
“No, it’s Dad’s memories implanted in a carbon-fiber robotic skeleton covered in synthetic skin and fake facial hair. It’s not Dad, it’s…it’s not Dad.”
Quiet fills the room again, and my mother’s hand suddenly squeezes mine.
“He would’ve been proud of you,” she whispers, something like hurt teeming in her voice. She kisses my head and slips out, closing the door behind her.
Outside, the snowflakes have begun to stick to the window. I step towards it again, rubbing my finger across the multi-tool still closed tightly in my hand.
“Make a change,” reads the tiny inscription he carved for me on the bottom. I snort softly, looking out at my world outside. The exact same world my father left the day he was frozen.
“Proud of me,” I mumble, shaking my head. He would never be proud of me.
Because the world is the same, despite what he taught me. Despite what I know. Despite the thousands of times my dad told me to change the world, I haven’t lifted a finger. I haven’t made the slightest bit of difference.
Because fear has a way of coiling itself around a person and choking the life out of them slowly. Fear of failure. Fear of the world.
Fear of sharing the same fate as my father.
And if the fear of being frozen has immobilized me for this long…
Then odds are there is nothing in this world that will change that.

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! That is amazing! Please turn it into a book! I would definitely read and buy it if it came out! I hope you do turn it into a book I love it! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! That really, really means a lot. I'm hoping to turn it into a book eventually, but all I've got so far is this snippet and a couple pins on a secret storyboard on Pinterest. :)

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