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Things That Didn't Happen

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Yoshimitsu, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    So it's kind of a writing challenge? Kind of? Basically, in uni, we were given the task of writing a piece of prose or narrative based around things that did not occur. These things could be things like "The sky wasn't clear", "it wasn't raining", "she didn't wear a yellow dress" and so on.

    I wrote one recently that's ending up not being used but I thought I'd share it and then open it up for a writing challenge thing? Write a narrative (doesn't have to be long) or a prose based around things that didn't happen.

    Obviously feedback and stuff would be appreciated, but this is more a way of getting all you budding young writers to think.

    Anyway, here's the piece I wrote:

    He wasn’t special. He wasn’t above average in any way, with no talents or skills to speak of. No one saw him, acknowledged him. It wasn’t even like he didn’t try. He didn’t do anything at less than a hundred per cent, but he still wasn’t noticed. Wasn’t cared about. When he woke up that morning, he didn’t have a clear head. He wasn’t thinking straight. There was no drama or theatrics, no fuss, nothing extravagant. He wouldn’t inconvenience anyone. He was never that sort of person. Now, he never would be that sort of person. He would never have the chance.

    Still, he wouldn’t leave people guessing. He was no fewer than twelve stories high. He didn’t have a direct cause that brought him here. There was no single element that brought him to this decision. He was never drawing attention, never outspoken or divisive, never causing any fuss or making any promises that couldn’t be kept. In all of his memory, he had never had the spotlight, never seen or actively thought about. Even now, he wasn’t thinking about himself as he spoke into his phone. He wouldn’t go into details. He wouldn’t mention how ignored he was, how he was never noticed. He wouldn’t elaborate on how he had never seen a healthy relationship. He didn’t comment on how the only normality he had ever seen was when his parents took the time out of their busy argument schedule to even look at him. He couldn’t say how the constant pushing to better himself did not help. He didn’t improve. He didn’t feel anything other than stress and anxiety.

    He was never in a real, loving relationship. No real experience of loving relationships as a child leads to an inability to build them. Even when someone was stupid enough to invest emotionally in him, he could do nothing but ruin it. And it’s never as simple as that, either. He couldn’t ignore the whispers from his friends, his work ‘colleague’ who started the rumours, the sly remarks about information he had trusted one person to keep. He couldn’t stand to be there anymore.

    So this was it. He didn’t even know why he was recording the message any more. For all his life, he hadn’t known anyone to care about whether he had thoughts or feelings, or whether he even existed. No one ever assumed anything other than that “he’d be fine”. People would know now that he wasn’t.

    He wasn’t scared as he stepped over the edge.
  2. This looks like fun. I'm afraid I didn't manage to take the idea of absence and run with it the way you did. It's rather context-free; I'm still working on these characters.

    She didn't give them the story.

    Mike couldn't understand it. He found out they even sent a camera, but there was nothing worth shooting other than a tight-lipped 'no comment'. Who wouldn't want to be famous, even for a little while, for doing something good?

    The girl from the TV station called him again. If he got them a double exclusive, they'd be willing to offer him a higher fee.

    “We're only getting half the story now.”

    “I'll talk to her.”

    So he did. To his surprise, she answered his call; she'd ignored calls from reporters.



    The sound of her voice was enough to unsettle him. She made him feel young and defensive. There was no reason why she should, but he'd seen her look unflinchingly over the barrel of a gun pointed at her head. You couldn't ignore a first impression like that.

    “Look, I.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Was just wondering.”

    “Go on.”

    She sounded amused.

    “It's about the TV interview. They're going to pay us it's-”

    “No. Forget it.”

    Her tone of voice booked no argument, but he argued anyway. “Why not?” he knew he sounded whiny and he hated it. “They're going to pay us, like, thousands. It's going to be fun.”

    “You seem to have that covered. I don't need money that badly.” He heard her sigh. “Look, these things have a way of getting away from you. I'm glad you're having a good time but please just be careful. Be careful what you say.”

    God, she was condescending. He wasn't some disgraced football star; he was a local hero. He had the headline to prove it.

    “Fine.” He let the 'be that way' remain unspoken. Without her his story was incomplete. He half expected her to hang up, but she didn't.

    He'd try flattery. “I thought you were really brave,” he spoke again. “Standing up to him like that. When I told them that I wouldn't have done anything if you hadn't stood up to him first, I meant it. I just want to know how you did it.”

    “I don't mind telling you, if you really want to know. There's not much to say. I just don't want to talk to the newspapers.”



    Mike's eyes lit up. He would get the other side of the story. Like a reporter himself, and then he could tell her story and she wouldn't have to. Make this exclusive really worthwhile.

    “Can we meet up then?”


    He was very pleased with himself.

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