Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Elephant in the Room

Work in progress:

I've been working on a story for the Birth Rites exhibition. It's a story from the point of view of a new father - in three parts. Conception, pregnancy, birth. (In this story the sex is the starter, rather than the main course - it's been an interesting exercise.)

Otherwise, I've been making a lot of false starts. I wonder how many unfinished stories lie around gathering dust in writers' drawers.

I should rephrase that.

In any case, I currently have about half a dozen beginnings and no middles or ends.

Meanwhile, here's a fascinating article about writing by Monica Ali.

And a short excerpt from 'The Elephant in the Room', first draft:

"Hot flesh at her throat. The smell of her like bubblegum and brandy. He held her face in his hands and felt the jaw, the fine, breakable bones. The radio sighed along with them, playing one of a thousand cheap love songs complete with harmonies and heart-aching melody. The word love is just background noise, he thought, as his fingers slid down the dip of her back to where heat collected in a hollow.
Her perfume stung him like the vapour that rises off the pages of a new magazine. Something might have roused his suspicions in the silk and the smiles and the perfume, only it was what he expected, somewhere in the region of his balls and his animal glands, and instead he smiled - a fruit machine coming up suddenly with a full row of cherries.
They sank against the couch. Time got wet and elastic. He put her down onto the leather, felt his body align and his cock straighten out. The needle of the compass swung round this direction again and again. Hormones met hormones, buzzed so loud they drowned out reason. He drank in her mouth. All the flesh of his mind was swollen and the pressure thumped like a bass drum.
Legs scissored. Spread open. He was pulled then, with some sweet and dark force as natural as breathing, closer. Zips and clothes and elbows got pushed aside, these two sweating flowers crushed up against each other, naked together, skin on skin, seeking out the darkest, hottest, wettest spots. His toes scrabbled on the carpet, struggling for purchase, angling him forward so that he was held right at the lip of her.

Driving home, spilling upwards.

- There, she said, and
– please.

So he did please her. Fucked her with no such thing as a conscience, only a rising orchestra of blood and breath and electrical impulse. He was thinking nothing beyond friction, knowing nothing in those frantic few minutes other than his body, the point of it, and hers, the hungry raging suck of it. The bullseye, the hidden target that he could hit with his eyes shut. A sweet siren calling to him with a voice he didn’t hear, only smelt somehow with his fingertips."

Copyright me, 2007.


Isabel Kerr said...

WOW. Stunning.

Nikki Magennis said...

Oh, thanks Isabel! I think it's morphed a bit since I posted this morning. Probably changed tense and back again!

Isabel Kerr said...

love it in any state