Revision of the exercise based on Country Husband by John Cheever
This one is a bit overdue, as I’ve already written this weeks ago for the last Writers Studio class back in May. Like the revision of the “Chicken Rice” piece, this is a piece I would like to work out into a longer story. I know in broad lines already what the story will be about. However, I am still jumping back and forth about who the main character will be in terms of personality and background. Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Frank never believed in extra-terrestrial life, but there it was during that chilly late October night as he was taking his dog Spotty for his nightly walk along that dark forest path, when he suddenly found himself enveloped in bright white light. It only lasted for a few seconds before the world went dark. When the lights came back on again a few minutes later, he found himself staring straight into a pair of huge eyes, which reminded him very much of a creepy bug. The alien – or at least Frank assumed that’s what he, she or it was – nodded approvingly before walking away from him, leaving the room through a sliding door, which emitted a pleasant humming sound as it slid open and shut.
Revision of the exercise based on John Jin by Rose Tremain
Even though I missed two previous sessions, I decided to do a revision of the Tremaine piece instead of bringing one of the exercises I skipped, because it is definitely a piece I want to develop into a real short story. I’m not too unhappy with how the piece is developing; I think this version is already stronger than the previous one, and I’m starting to get a real sense of direction on where I am heading with the story. I do believe the final draft will deviate from the original exercise, but that’s ok. The exercise has given me the structure to develop the initial ideas, but now I just have to work out the story according to my own vision.
Although there are some autobiographical elements in the story (as people close to me will undoubtedly notice), I would like to emphasize that more than 95% of the story is fiction, and thus have little bearing with the situations and characters in real life!
I often held my auntie’s hand whenever we walked together to the hawker center, a few blocks away from where we lived in Singapore. Once we arrived however, I would always yank my hand free and run off. My auntie always struggled to keep up, shouting at me not to run, while I was zigzagging between the many tables and stools and evading the hordes of hungry people, while I explored the stalls that went round and round the entire hawker center. There were hundreds of them, thousands, millions, as far as the eye could see, and every single one of them held the delightful promise of a delicious treat. I want the Mee Goreng! Or maybe the Hokkien Mee? Or do I want Otah? No, no, wait! I see Roti Paratha! I want Roti Paratha!