Thursday, March 27, 2014

Opening the Envelope

Remember that feeling of receiving an envelope in the post? The wonder of what could be hiding inside?

Today I received an email and as I clicked open the attachment, I felt a sense of that wonder. Along with a few nerves as my internet connection waited to boot in. Scrolling through I couldn’t see it. I hurried to the computer to download the file and there it was…

High Distinction.

I let out a breath, I had been hoping these results would arrive before the weekend. I hadn’t asked anyone (apart from Hubby) to read my work for this assignment. One section of the assignment was to rewrite an earlier story.

I chose to rewrite a story I published on this blog back in 2012 - you can see the original story here. I had to use all that I had learnt in the tutorial to make the story better, rework the imagery, check the pace etc. After sitting at my daughters music lesson I had the original words scrawled all over with red pen, and in my book emerged a new spin on the tale, that finally felt was a little more MY style and voice - rather than the original stilted piece I wrote, but without losing the overall tone. I then had to write a half page report to explain what I’d changed and why.

I was a bit (okay a LOT) excited to receive a high result on this as I was rather proud of the fact I was able to go back and edit my work. I guess because it gives me faith that my story can be salvaged if only I spend the time working on the rewrite!

So what do you think?


Years ago it was a grand circus, bright colours flapping in the wind. Reds, yellows and whites now faded, having sat derelict and in disarray this past decade. Weeds snaked around the few remaining structures as brittle grass stood tall, gently waving. Warning strangers of the misery and imminent threat lurking within.

Fabric pieces remnants of a glorious circus tent; now flapped in the chilly breeze that swept across the desolate field. Tattered and torn strips of white and crimson like a bleeding ghost, added to the eerie and silent scene.

As they stumbled past the ruins, they were intent on their final destination. Clearing away years of undergrowth they parted bushes and vines until last, before them stood a derelict machine. Propelling them toward it like an oversized magnet.

Faded gold letters were peeling from its fa├žade, the letters F, O, T, N all that remained of the original lettering. Mirrored glass beneath the sign now peppered with a layer of dust and grime barely reflecting their weary faces. It was unnerving to see their sombre faces in cracked fragments, staring back from this machine that once foretold fortunes great and small.

Red paint, chipped away by the relentless sun, revealed sun-bleached timber beneath like a matured skeleton. Years of exposure to the elements emanated putrid fumes, as wet timber lay dormant in a stagnant puddle. Spores of green moss wrapped their spongy tendrils around the base of the unit. It was a far sight from the glory it used to behold, but still they walked forward. Mesmerized by that which they could not see and determined to seek the answers they longed for.

Holding hands, uncomfortable at the sudden but familiar touch, he leaned over to pull the lever. Hopeful it would reveal to them a new fortune. Simultaneously they thought the same words as they leaned forward; how did everything go so wrong?

The machine slowly ground to life, groaning, clanking, squealing as though in pain, as rusty bolts screeched against weathered belts. The internal lights flickered dully. One hand clenched upon the lever, the second gripped tighter to hers. An apparition in the mirrored glass motioned them, a mouth hung suspended in air, forming words of silent sound, unheard to the naked ear. Together they leaned, closer, futilely to hear a new fortune told a bony and pallid hand as white as the snow, reached through the glass and drew them in.

Together they tumbled, legs and arms entwined as they fell inside the depths of the dark wooden box. Terrified they managed a brief glanced at one another before the lights slowly dimmed, and they were suddenly plunged into darkness. The mirrored glass turned black, their vision of the outside world blocked forever.

A voice in stereo, echoed their fortune into the dark and claustrophobic space; “Together forever, as one.”

Screams can still be heard on a still night far across the edge of the abandoned field, warning off travellers who might stumble across the impending danger.


Sarah said...

Well done Car, your hard work paid off! I love this story, you painted a brilliant picture. I remember reading this the first time around and loving it then.I'll have to go back to see the changes but you have definitely remained true to the original. great work!

Anonymous said...

it's amazing what such subtle changes can do to a scene, well done lady

Anonymous said...

it's amazing what such subtle changes can do to a scene, well done lady

Anonymous said...

it's amazing what such subtle changes can do to a scene, well done lady