Monday, April 4, 2011

Writing Exercise # 30

This has a chance of being either really silly or really w i c k e d. As usual, it's up to you.


1. Think back when you were small. Between 5 and 8. Write down as many of the things you wished for back then as you can remember. If you can't remember, imagine it.

2. List three things you were afraid of as a child.

3. List three things that scare you now.

4. List three things that bring you joy, to this day, from way back when.

- - -

Fans of The Twilight Zone know the story of little Anthony from the episode "It's A Good Life." I know it scared the piss outta me when I first saw it. Still does. A boy who is not really the freckle-faced boy before you, but some sort of monstrous being who can destroy you by thinking it. Even his good intentions backfire. A cure for a woman's headache leaves her headless. (This is not in the episode - it's alluded to in the original sci-fi short story, by Jerome Bixby.)

So let's imagine you got what you wished for when you were young. Let's imagine you became the master of all that scared you. Let's pretend your joys were forced upon everyone. Let's imagine you are now the narrator, and the poem is your voice-over, and you are witnessing your young self go about your daily life. Or better, let's imagine your young self's first kiss. Or prom. Whatever you like. But make sure it's kept in third person. And make sure you know better than your young self. I mean, you're from the future, right? Your now is at least a decade or two later than your small self's now. Bring up the thoughts of the people around you. The normal fears (#3) they have, or once had or wished they had, that are now overshadowed by the aftermath of your young self.

There goes little Judy, who is not so little. She is one million-feet tall / she is known to crush houses / and kick over fire hydrants when she is mad / She is whistling the birds out of their nests / and smashing anything that won't shut up. / She doesn't know it yet, but Judy is about to meet the boy of her dreams. / A boy she would shrink herself down for. / Too bad her friend, The Dark, will not approve. / Too bad The Dark has belonged to Judy for so long / she doesn't know how to let go of it.