I haven’t been writing as much as I should be. This was a fiction freewrite I did this morning. It’s something! I’m writing. So, take it as it is, and read it or not, the encouragement is welcome. Thanks in advance, darling friends.
Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
Dressed all in black, black, black
She murdered her mother, mother, mother
Who wouldn’t talk back, back, back
Now she’s under a tree, tree, tree
And little Mary is free, free, free
Racing down a new track, track, track
The girl invented hand clap rhymes on the way to school every Monday. Throughout her day she would think up motions to go with the words, or various small changes to rhythm to match a special gesture. On her walk home each Monday, she’d imagine a list of friends she would teach her games to, and then imagine reasons why all of her friends were unavailable. For example, there was Susan Fletcher, who had just broken her ankle during gymnastics, and is probably at home with her leg elevated. And Tricia Warner, but her pet turtle ran away, and she’s got to go find him before he gets turned into roadkill.
It was about 1.8 miles to her school, if she stayed on the roads. She didn’t. The roads were good for going, but for being, the roads only led astray. Instead, the girl took great care planning expeditions of science for Tuesdays. On the Internet the girl had read about Tuesday being especially good for feats of strength and courage. Each passage was named and re-named, according to the color, season, and current residents. Caterpillar Cove became Butterfly Haven around November. She tracked her progress weekly in her field guide. Future explorers would appreciate her attention to detail and the pencil sharpener she carried to provide full-color illustrations. On Tuesdays, she would leave home an extra 75 minutes early, and arrive home before dark. Science sometimes calls for the mundane to be experienced at tedium, just to confirm reality. Her Tuesdays nights could run late, checking and re-checking the number of steps between trees and the way the water ran downhill.
Wednesdays allowed a reprieve of sorts, because she didn’t use words on Wednesdays. She’d started this ages ago, when she was a little kid. Probably 6 or 7. If she timed things correctly, no one noticed. She’d never had anyone approach and ask, “why the wordless Wednesdays?” No teacher seemed hard pressed midweek to force an answer from students. As long as she replied once before Wednesday, and once after, she kept full class participation points. Vanessa Mae accompanied her to school, and Prokofiev walked her home. In her room, after school, musicians sounded across the generations and through plastic earbuds into her head, restocking her vocabulary for the week. She listened at the volume she would have been speaking. She’d be yelling more than was appropriate. She wagered to think that many people might.
Sleep was usually starting to swallow her by Thursdays. She felt about sleep the way that her mother felt about sobriety: it was tolerable in short spells, because for god’s sake, one must maintain in the world. A half-week of school with three hours of sleep a night wears on her by Thursday. If she goes to school every day. On Thursday she counts. She counts how many fence posts are off center between home and school. She counts the number of times Mr. Allender said “ummm” as a filler between thoughts in math class. She counts how fast she can count individual letters on a page before the class finally leafs over in reading. Counting can never end. There’s always another number to reach, but the week is almost over.
By the time Friday arrives, she is planning her escape. Again. Her plan is usually to start with money. Everything takes money. Money is granted between people, usually adults, who have a deal of some sort. It’s also found in couches, laundromats, and pockets at the lost and found. Friday was about planning and starting to get money. The weekend usually continued in this theme until she was back to wishing she had an entirely different existence come Monday. An existence with friends. Even if they did break their arm chasing their pet dog or whatever.
And so the time went. Days passed into weeks, and she dug further and further into her own mind. Sure, she talked to people. She saw her grandma every day. Grandma told her things, and listened. Sometimes. And she talked to her mother. Sometimes. She responded to people at school, and you couldn’t get someone’s money for pulling weeds without talking to them first. She just didn’t tell people anything of value. She stated facts, observations, and had a winning grin. At a young age she been told she was lucky she was pretty. It meant people wouldn’t ask her too many questions. So far, that had been true. Wednesdays were an ongoing experiment on that hypothesis.
Little Molly Malone, she threw that stone.
It hit a cat. Imagine that!
Little Molly Malone, she broke the phone.
It won’t dial out, even if you shout!
Little Molly Malone, she kicked the crone.
The bones went snap, how Molly did clap!
Little Molly Malone, she died alone.
Evil as can be, since before she was three!
Little Molly Malone, saw her gravestone.
Saw it from below, she was warmer than you know!