As most of you know, this last semester I am taking a creative writing course. I first chose to take this class because I am interested in perusing a novel. During this class we will have 5 submissions based on a certain topic. Over a 3 week period different students will read their writing out loud to the class and we will critique their writing by telling them what we loved and what we think they can work on. Every student has to read aloud their submission in one of the three weeks.
For submission A, we got to pick our own genre. Because it could be a piece of writing of our choice I chose to read the first few pages of my novel. I was ecstatic with the teacher’s, and classmate’s encouraging words about it. Besides adding paragraphing, I didn’t receive any negative feedback on my story, and I had many fellow classmates come up to me after class asking me how my story ends.
I thought I would share all of my submissions for you all to read as well!
Submission A: Genre of choice.
Can anyone honestly say they are completely, one-hundred percent happy in their marriage? In the beginning it’s all roses, kisses, and complements. They don’t call it the “honey-moon stage” for no reason. You put on an act for each other in fear that if you let a piece of the real you slip out they’ll pack their bags and run for the hills. You act like that perfect housewife that cooks and cleans because you love to please your husband, and in the beginning you don’t mind because you love seeing the toothy grin on his perfectly chiseled face when he walks through the door. He wraps you in his arms and asks how he got so lucky to find a woman as perfect and as beautiful as you. It’s true through; he believes he’s found the perfect wife to compliment his perfect 9 to 5 job. The best part of marriage you ask? Well that would have to be the inside jokes, those moments when you are out at a fancy dinner and all it takes is one image, or one word, and the two of you glance at each other and start laughing that deep belly laugh that makes your stomach hurt, but in a good way. I know all about it because I have been married to my husband Ben for three years. It’s been three whole years of commitment, and three years of sacrifice. We’re told that in movies and books that once you find the perfect man you get married, have a family, and live happily ever after. What they don’t explain to you is how hard marriage is. They don’t tell you how much sacrifice and how many forced smiles go into being the perfect wife. That’s why I’m here, to tell you what marriage is, and what kind of person it can turn you into.
January 3, 2016
“I barely even know the woman! How would I know where she is?” I never thought in a million years I would be sitting in an interrogation room. Surprisingly, it looked exactly like those rooms you see on Criminal Minds. It was musky and dark with grey walls, one long white table, and an extremely bright, ever so annoying, yellow florescent light. I feel like they would get people to talk more if they decorated. Hell, even a fake plant might help. If it wasn’t bad enough that two uniformed officers showed up at my home at six this morning demanding to talk to me, now I’m sitting in this freezing cold dungeon being asked the same questions over and over. “Ben has already told us your history with Miranda, Shyla.” The older lady with the tight brown bun that went with her uptight personality smirked. I knew Miranda was missing, and frankly I didn’t care. I’ve never liked Miranda, but I also catch spiders in my house and take them back outside to roam free. That doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of vicious serial killer in my opinion. “Look, she was obsessed with my husband. They used to work together and went out one night for drinks with the whole company; afterwards she wouldn’t leave him alone. Maybe she finally got the hint and left town to go pursue someone else’s husband.” I sneered. “Or maybe you wanted to get rid of her because she was a threat to your marriage.” This woman was taking things way too far. I squinted at her nametag. “Rebecca is it? First off, she wasn’t a threat to my marriage, and second, I’m not answering any more of your questions without a lawyer present” I replied. The man looked a bit more relaxed as he spoke. “Shyla, we aren’t accusing you of anything. We just want to know the last time you saw her and if you know anything about the relationship between her and Ben when they worked together.” My chest tightened as they stared at me waiting for some kind of explanation. My focus reverted back to the plain grey wall behind them. Through the corner of my eye I noticed this little wooden clock sitting in an old torn up brown box and a memory from four years ago hit me like a big yellow school bus.
August 20th, 2012
“Hurry up Shyla!” Addie whined. In the whole 17 years that I’ve known Addie, patience has never been her specialty. We met each other when we were 7. I was the shy and quiet kid playing off by myself, and she was the hyper kid who befriended everyone. Eventually everyone wanted to be Addie as we got older. My dirty blonde hair and grey eyes were dull compared to her bright blue eyes and golden locks. She was tall with the perfect body, and my body was somewhere in between try harder and why bother. Tonight was my 24th birthday and Addie had insisted we go downtown and drink until we fall over. I’m not one that likes going out, but once Addie gets excited about something there’s no stopping her. Living in Dillon, Montana, where the population is only roughly 4,000, going downtown in the middle of June was about the only thing we could do.
“I’m coming down the stairs, I’ll be out in a couple minutes” I said into the receiver. I tried my best to look good tonight. I must admit my makeup looked perfect and the sky blue halter top that Addie bought me complemented my figure. “You look amazing!” Addie squealed as I approached her white jeep. “Are you ready for a night that’s going to go down in history?” she asked. I put on my best smile and may have stretched the truth as I rambled on about how much fun we were going to have. We sang and danced to the music on the radio until Addie pulled into the parking spot directly in front of a neon sign that read, “Moose Bar”. It was a Friday night so there were quite a bit of people already crowding by the entrance. I haven’t even taken a sip of alcohol and I already feel like I’m going to be sick. I have no problem with bars, but they are not a safe haven for introverts. If MTV gave out an award for most socially awkward, the award would surely go to me. Addie must have sensed my nervousness because she put her hand on my shoulder. “Relax Shyla. It’s going to be fun.” We pushed past a large group of people smoking cigarettes trying not to bump into anyone causing them to spill their drink. We reached the bar stools and as always, Addie was her calm and social self. I’ll take whiskey and coke and give my friend here something extra strong. Tonight’s her birthday!” “Did I hear it was someone’s birthday?” I abruptly turned around at the sound of the unfamiliar voice and came face to face with the most handsome man I had ever seen. He was tall and fair with deep set eyes that were as blue as the ocean. “I’m Ben” he smiled and reached out to take my hand. In an instant I put my hand in his. That was the night I made a deal with the devil.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Submission B: Short “sudden” Fiction!