Since I am currently at a loss as to what I should write for my blog, I have decided to do away with any attempt to articulate reason or logic. I sit here trying to write a review, or make a connection between the books, or even just to analyze something, but I am at a loss for logical coherence. (Maybe this is the fact that reading week is so close that my brain has decided to shut down early, or I am just sick of being academic at the moment) So, I have decided to do a creative writing piece, one which I am basing on The Lesser Blessed. This is my brain’s interpretation of the beginning chapter after Larry has started the fire and he’s healing from his burns. I hope you like it, if not, that’s cool. Write a review and give me some tips on how to improve!
“I see a therapist who asks me to draw how I see myself. I hand in a picture of a forest. He looks closely, says there is no one. I say, ‘Look there. I am already buried.’ There is NO a hundred million times on every rock, tree, and leaf…” (Van Camp 1).
Breathe in…I close my eyes, bracing for the pain…breathe out. Crack, crack crack; like flames licking the forest, tasting my skin. I can feel myself crumbling, pieces scattering to the ground, ashes among the wind. Breathe in…Oh god. The pain…breathe out. You’ve tasted enough, take your fill. End it already.
I slowly raise myself up from my bed, and open the drawer to my bedside table. I reach in and feel around to the back, my fingers grasp hold of a small box. I take it out and trace my finger along the edges. I slide out a match and strike it against the side. A flash of fire – devouring, tasting the air, growing higher and higher, wood becomes black smoke. It senses me, and leans towards my face, all while it steadily eats down to my finger. I eye it carefully, feeling the heat grow hotter, my back twinges in response, but I wait. I wait until the last second, watching as the flame prepares to take its first bite. ‘You’re hungry,” I mutter, “but are you as desperate as me?” My breath catches it in its path, forcing it to waver.
I laugh. The flame dies in a wisp, my finger unharmed. The remaining smoke circles my hand, and then floats to the other side of my room. I picture it withering and cowering in the corner. “Useless,” I spit.
The images force themselves back in – my dad, my aunt. He did those bad things. I had to stop him – stop the images. This is the summer of my crucifixion. My sins are white hot, while my skin crumbles and cracks, and any chance at redemption just withered itself into a corner.
Breathe in…breathe out. The pain, the pain, the pain.
I remember my visit today with the therapist. He talked while I sat, each time I relaxed, my back would grate against the chair. He thought about the accident, all I could think about was this damn pain. But then he just stopped talking. “Draw yourself,” he said, “who do you see staring back from the mirror?”
I grab a piece of paper and my crayons from my bedside table. I’d tried to start earlier. My first thought was fire, all I see is fire. So I’d grabbed reds and yellows, readying to draw the flames which scathed themselves into my back. But the red looked too deep, the yellow too bright.
I look at my page again and remember the grey, curling smoke – steady and dying. I reach for greens and browns. I smother the page with green leaves, hiding any glimmer of blue sky. I concentrate on smoothing the dirt and grass, but leave a small uncovered mound in the ground – barely visible among all the branches and leaves. Forgotten and alone. “This is me.”
I think I’m done, but then the images come back. I see his face in every leaf and tree, smiling back. No! My hand is moving before I even have time to think. NO. NO. NO. NO. My words cover the page, crossing out every face that dares to look back at me.
“You can’t come with me.”
Thanks for reading!
Van Camp, Richard. The Lesser Blessed. Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre Ltd., 1996. Print.