Creative Writing: Imprints

I thought I’d use this blog as an outlet for my fiction writing, on top of reviews of films and games and general geeky top tens. Below I’ve featured a story opening, that was well received on the ABC Tales website (which is great for aspiring writers if you’re looking for tips and critique on your work), called Imprints: 

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The Understations had been built in the 1920s, when everyone complained that the smell from the sky had become too much to bear. Eventually we stopped building higher and higher and instead went lower and lower underground, creating artificial lights, oxygen relief points and shots of endorphins prescribed by registered Sawbones to keep the townsfolk happy.

The lines for the Understations ran alongside our new underground homes, each time a packed cart would pass by a cramped living space the place would shake as though in a strong earthquake. People had to tie or stick their belongings down or onto something when not in use. Houses were a mess of rope and sticking tape and heavy books piled onto tables to hold them down.

Of course with this new way of living people began to evolve. Our pupils are now always enlarged and our lungs don’t need so much air, the oxygen relief stations were taken away as the younger generations used them to simply get high.

I’ve always lived down here, I was born in Knay’s Downtown Hospital, my Mum was a single parent and we lived one of those cramped flats, a tiny rabbit hole within a vast maze of a warren.

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We were one of the lucky ones with a skylight though and an exceptionally high ceiling. You’d feel huge, bumping around and into all your belongings but then look up and feel incredibly small. I’m not sure how my Mum managed to get a flat like ours. Only the streets leading between the housing areas and centre of town seemed to have skylights that brought in a small amount of natural light – I’d never seen them in another living space.

We were still miles underground though, so those glimmers of the world above always seemed so far away. They weren’t initially installed when the town was being built, but the suicide rate ran so high after the first year that the government put in the layer upon layer of reinforced, windows of glass around town. My Mum would sit and stare up with her grey eyes into ours, at the tiny snapshot of ever changing blue above her, longing to be back above ground. Each time a cart on the Understation line passed by she’d close her eyes and grab the arms of her chair with her small hands, she was always a little lost and a little afraid down here.

She killed herself when I was eighteen and I was left alone in that tiny flat, surrounded by her imprints on things. A small handprint on the dining room table, her still pearly figure perched on her favourite chair looking up at that tiny skylight.

I’ve always been able to see imprints, people say that it’s one of our genetic advancements from living underground, along with our large pupils and tiny lungs. When I was at school everyone swore that Johnny Isle could move a pencil with his mind. I never saw it but I would tell people he was lying and that he was just breathing heavily through his nose. There has never been any proof of telekinesis.

I married Johnny ten years later and he confessed that it was just a trick. I told him that I knew because I always thought he had exceptionally large nostrils. He had laughed, then grabbed me close and squeezed me tight to his chest. He had one of those infectious laughs that you couldn’t help wanting to join in with and his hands were always warm and soft. When Mum died he brought me Forget-Me-Nots and told me that he would take care of me. I looked at him, searching for imprints but I couldn’t see any.

The florist had however left an imprint of her slender hand on the wrapping on the flowers though and I tried to ignore it as I took them from him. People leave imprints when they feel strongly about something or have an emotional attachment, Johnny must have made quite an impression on her.

I’ve added a little more to it since that I will post at a later date, but for now what do you think?

Jade

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