Thursday, February 1, 2007

Of Past and Present

Well, it's a new month and I've got another variation assignment for you. God please you still remember the last one. For this one I'd like to delve into the past and present tense forms of writing. I've had a lot of problems with this in the past, somehow merging the two forms in a single sentence. I still have the problem, but now I know what to look for and and so I catch most of them before they fester there in the story.
Okay. For this variation I will write a couple paragraphs in the past tense, and the last two in the present tense. The first two will be the beginning of the story and the last two are the end of the story. Now, here's what I would like you to try. The middle of the story is missing, so I'd like you to come up with a middle. It can be in either past of present tense. OR you can do your own variation of the story; beginning, middle and end. The catch with this latter though is that you must begin the story with the present tense, switch to past for the middle and end it in the present form again. Does this seem hard? I tried to think of something fairly easy with this one, I hope you all can at least give it a try. Thanks.

Hands Under the Blankets

Past Tense Beginning:
Mary felt them as they groped and slid over the skin of her bare legs. Oh God, she thought, terrified. Oh God let them stop. Either God wasn't listening or He didn't care, because those rough hands under the blankets kept on groping and feeling. Tonight It felt like there were three of them down there, just feeling her up in silence. The problem was she couldn't move. She couldn't jump out of bed and run, because the thing under the bed would come out. And if that happened she might as well inject herself with Drain-O because surely that thing would rip her apart. The hands, although frightening and uncomfortable she could deal with. They'd be gone in an hour and then she'd go to sleep...or at least try.

If she hadn't bought this stupid bed, none of this would be happening in the first place. But it had been so beautiful sitting there in the woman's storage shed. So uniquely beautiful! The lady she bought it from said it used to be her great grandmother's, but the woman had only slept on it herself once before she stored it away in the shed. Now Mary knew why. She felt why. The reasons were cupping her calves and stroking her knees. They never went passed the knees, thank God and all his Glory. If they ever did that she just might go insane.

Present Tense Ending:
The tentacle wraps around her waist and begin dragging her back to the bed. She struggles, crying out in both pain and horror. The tentacle cinches tighter. Mary gasps and takes hold of the door jam.

"No." She pleads, crying. "No."

Tears spill down her cheeks as her fingers begin to slip on the jam. It will kill her, she knows. It'll kill her and those hands will pull her back under the blankets to continue their aimless groping. Mary begins to scream, licking her legs at the sickly thing around her waist. It's no use. And her fingers slip away from the jam.

There is a slobbery growl. Something chitters at her. The tentacle drags Mary across the floor of her bedroom, back to the bed, back to the monster under it. Her fingers dig into the carpet and her nails peel away and stick in the fabric. Mary lets out a shriek. It's going to eat her now. She knows it will. But then, as her feet are sucked under the bed, she spots something on the night stand by her bed. (The pair of scissors she used the other night to trim off a frayed thread on one of her blankets.). She grabs them, squirms and risks a glance back. Two very large green eyes peer at her from under the bed. Under the bed where her feet are. She feels something hot and wet run across their soles. Mary screams out and uses the scissors to cut the tentacle away from her waist. The creature yelps like a an injured puppy, and then begins to shriek. The tentacle slips back under the bed and Mary is free. She gets to her feet, and runs for her life.

Before she realizes it, she runs a full mile away from her house. There, along the three mile stretch of road leading to town, Mary collapses, barely able to breathe, let alone cry.

The End

I added and extra paragraph here just to make the ending more of an ending. I really hope you have fun with this.


Susan Miller said...

Oh good gosh, Lucas...I may try something for you, but I don't know how great it will be. We'll see...I should have some extra time this weekend and am planning on doing plenty of writing. How exciting!!!

Have a great weekend with your family.

Lucas Pederson said...

Susan, I think anything you can come up with will do just fine. You're work is always a treat and I'm sure this'll work out all right. I am really curious to see what folks can make of this little assignment. There are a lot of good writers out there and I think it'd be fun to see what happens. You never know until you try.
I wish you a great weekend as well, Susan. Enjoy.

Christina Rundle said...

Sounds interesting. I'd love to see what people come up with. If I had a little extra time I would love to have done this. Maybe this weekend will free up for me and I can write. Hope you are doing good.

Lucas Pederson said...

I'm doing just fine Christina, at least I hope so. I got a cold straight from the pits of hell, but hey, I'm good. I hope you can give this a try. It'll be fun, I promise.

Christina Rundle said...

I'm have a slow month too with visitors. I think it might be because everyone stuck going back to work or school after the holidays, or many everyone branched off into a secret society and our invites got lost in the mail.

I'll start looking for people after Adult Swim. EEEEK ADULT SWIM! Love those late night naughty cartoons. Crap, I missed a lot of them though.

Susan Miller said...

So far I have failed you, Lucas. Please accept my apologies. The only excuse that I can come up with is that the weekend disappeared way too fast for me. I've been trying to work on a project, and it's not coming as easily as I had hoped. Excuses, excuses!!!

Sorry, man. I hope you are feeling better. Have a great week!

Lucas Pederson said...

Thanks Christina and Susan. You two are great. I'm lucky to have both of you!As for visitors, Christina, well, I was kind of grouchy last night because of the cold I got, but I feel better today and I realize folks have better things to do than look at this old blog. I don't provide any pictures, I want the writing to speak for itself. It's all about the writing.
Susan, that's fine. There's no deadline for this, just when ever you feel the urge to give it a try. Besides, it was just a thought, I thought, might be fun to try. And I am feeling better today, thank God. At least my infernal nose stopped running. That's always a plus.
Thanks again both of you, for stopping by. :-)

James Burnett said...

Lucas, I've never read your blog before. But I saw a comment of yours on Stewart Sternberg's. I have to support my fellow writers. So good luck in your endeavors. I'll definitely be back to read more.

Lucas Pederson said...

Thanks James! It's always good to see a new face visit from time to time. I appricate your willingness to come back too. Thanks.

Christina Rundle said...

OMG! I'm sick now and I think I caught your cold!

Lucas Pederson said...

Damn cyber links! That's it, I'm motioning for a severe cyeronic cleaning! Too many folks are getting ill using the internet!
Sorry Christina...I blame technology... :-)