My style is to just write and only correct spelling once I've completed it. Even the names of characters are made up as I go. I write until I feel I've released enough.
Content: After reading through it, I realized I'm all the characters, all of them, without exception. The story includes domestic violence, child abuse, the death of a child, blood from an accidental cut on the hand, physical violence towards a male teenage child. No sexual abuse is discussed in this quick write. Spaces are added to distinguish one speaker from another. I used a phrase taken from congressional hearings but left out all other sarcasm or humor.
"Christopher, your father will be here any minute, please set the table. Get his tea cups, please." Christopher rolls his eyes and says, "He''ll be here just a minute?"
"Not now, just finish setting the table, please."
He sighed heavily but very carefully pulled down four small, black Japanese cups with a red flower he couldn't identify. He sat them beside four square black plates and utensils he just figured out how to use. He's frustrated.... no, offended. His father will be home soon so his parents can begin their ritual of pretending to be happy. In the blink of an eye the tide will change from a perfect brew to boiling lava spilling from his mouth burning his mother to the core. She lets him and she won't stick up for her son. Her whole world is a man who comes home angrier each night and stays only to start another war. He leaves the carnage on the floor and goes out for the night.
Christopher's mother begins to bring the meal out to the table but upon seeing the settings she gasps and drops the platter. "Why would you do that? Why are you so cruel to me?"
Christopher feels the weight of what he's done and turns his head away from her. "Do it right and quickly!" she demands, but he's firm in his resolve.
"No. The table is set. You wanted a family dinner and I've set the table for us all."
By the end of her teenage son's sentence she has become a quivering ball of tears. "Why? Why would you do this? I just wanted a nice night for once. Help me clean this mess. Help me get this off the floor before he gets here." Christopher's eyes begin to well with tears, his breath is heavier and his heart has moved to his throat, but he leans next to his mother whose tears now mix with the ruined dish. He cleans the broken glass from the floor. Mother is still crying, heartbroken that she won't get it right, again. She can't seem to do anything right. She's a failure, a disappointment, again. As she hears the same old argument of worthlessness, she notices that Christopher's hand is bleeding. He continued to pick up the pieces one by one, leaving drops behind as a witness to his loyalty, to his love and exasperation for the woman he calls mother.
His mother grabbed his hand and looked at him, "You're bleeding. Honey, you're bleeding. Don't you see?" He dropped his head and shook it in disbelief that she for once saw that he too bleeds. "Christopher, what are you doing, go wash your hands, you're hurt." Christopher pulls back and continues to pick up tiny shards of glass. He pauses and says, "You never make special tea for me."
"What? What are you talking about?" She's confused. I mean my goodness, her husband is going to walk in the house and they'll both be on the floor cleaning up her hundredth failure of the day. Her mind is cluttered, she tries to prioritize. Clean this up, get something else, get a reason for the delay and stay calm.
Christopher places the last of the glass on top of the pile of broken pieces. His hand drips a steady stream and shocks his mother back to the person standing right in front of her. She says nothing this time. Still crying she looks at him bewildered then holds his hand, wiping the blood away with her dress, the one she put on for her husband who will come through that door any minute. She wipes away the blood, but can't stop his steady stream of tears. "What's going on with you? What's all this about? Tell me." ...continue reading "Creative Writing – Tea for Christopher"