I don’t often do a ten minute write directly from my head to the computer, sometimes it doesn’t flow as well from my mind to my fingertips as well as it does to the paper. This is one of those rare occasions. I guess I should insert a reminder here, these are not polished stories, far from it, these are freewrites straight from my head to the computer. Sometimes they are transferred from a notebook but I don’t edit any of them. Not because I think I am some amazing writer who can get a perfect story in one shot, but because this is all part of the experience of writing. You start with an idea and you go back to it or you don’t. Granted, all writers are different, but this is how my mind works, ideas and bursts of stories and then a real lack of follow through. I think at this point I should start going back through some of these stories and actually work on one or two of them. If I worked on all of them I would actually have a collection of shorts stories. Since I have been neglecting this blog, I wanted to get something down, hence another ten minute freewrite, but I think it is time to start some workshopping.
The girl with the bright red hands had come walking up to me. She sang a song something out of tune, something like a blues tune, something deep and low. She kept her hands in her pocket but I knew that the were red I knew that they were the color of scarlet and was deathly afraid of her afraid that she might touch my skin.
Jeremy Lamb, who lived around the corner from had told my brother and I that the girl’s mother was a witch and that it was because of all of her sins that her daughter was born with those crazy hands.
What kind of sins? I had asked.
The whore kind. He had said
You mean that she had done it with lots of men? My brother asked.
Hundreds. Jeremy said. And she done it with the devil.
This made us cringe. In all the pictures or paintings that I had seen of the devil, were of a man thing with legs of horses and cloven feet like pigs and the long pointy black beard of a goat and the sharp long ears of a Doberman pincer and the black horns of a bull. Not something I would want to do it with, if I was going to do it with anyone. I was too young to do it, but I knew what it was, or at least I had some sort of an idea what it was, well, I knew you pressed your body next to someone’s body really hard and something was supposed to happen, what happened I wasn’t sure, my brother had a better idea, but he wasn’t telling me yet, he said when I was twelve he would tell. I had shivered at the idea of the girl’s mother doing it with the devil, with his pitch forked tail and his long claws and his red red skin, red like the fire engine that my dad rode in with all the other fire engines, and his skin as hot as fire. He must have forced her mother to do it because no one in their right mind would want to pressed up hard against fire. When I had thought about how her mom must have been forced and that the girl had been pushed into the world without any love I started to feel bad for her and for her mom. I knew I wasn’t supposed to but, somethin’ just made me feel awful about the whole thing. Jeremy and all the other kids would make fun of her call her devil hands or lobster claws or the nicer kids would just call her the girl with the red hands.
She was always humming something deep and bluesy. I knew it was blues because my dad loved the blues he would play his records every time he would come home, he’d put on some Blues album and then dance slowly up behind our mother and press against her and swing her into him and she would always push him away with a whispered, not now, the kids, and she’d giggle. I had liked when she would giggle. She doesn’t giggle much now and we never can play the blues now that dad is gone. She never talked to anyone, so that was why it was weird the day that she had come walking up to me after school, humming that song. I was in a different school from my brother, he had just gone into high school and I was still in grade school. I used to have a lot of friends but for some reason I wasn’t much into any of those kids anymore, I wasn’t sure why but I didn’t feel like hanging out with anyone after school, and since my brother wasn’t around I would just hang out by myself, before heading home. I wasn’t much into going home anymore either. Neither was my brother, the house was too dark now. Our mom, she hadn’t gotten out of bed for almost two years, and we just didn’t like being there in that coldness. I liked to walk through the old orchard by my house, it was filled with apples and peaches, in the summer when it would get warm the fruit would heat up and the air smelled like pies. I would get so hungry just walking through the column of trees. There would be fruit in the fall and in the summer and flowers in the spring and frozen stumps and crooked gnarled branches that looked like old fingers, but never in a scary way but like they wanted to hold you, although some looked like giant spiders jumping into the air. It was my favorite place to be. My brother had told me since the old farmer had died that the family sold the land at that they were going to tear it all out and make some apartments or something. If my dad was here he would have been so upset he would want to stop it but he probably wouldn’t be able too, you can’t stop progress my mom would say, now she doesn’t say anything, and he can’t. I guess it is better that he can’t see it taken away because it would probably break his heart.