Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Openings - Letting go of Fairytales


So I've always really struggled with the opening to a story.I can picture exactly where I want it to go and how I want it to feel but putting that first sentence onto the page is something I've always found intimidating. Anyway I thought I would share with you the opening to one of my latest stories 'Letting Go of Fairytales.' Let me know what you think.

Dad told me it would be different this time,that we would turn this new place into the perfect home and we wouldn't be sad anymore. He had pinned our hopes on a run down old cottage in the middle of nowhere. I remember the way the trees lining the road bowed to me as we arrived, welcoming me like a princess to her new palace. Mum said it was just the wind but I knew it was so much more; it was a promise from them, a promise that things really had changed. I must have wished on a hundred stars for that to happen and as I watched mum's chipped red nails tap against the window I wished one last time. I wished so hard that it made my head scream and my bones ache but I didn't stop until the car let out a tired cough and fell asleep on the driveway of our new home. I shook with anticipation as I followed Dad up the driveway, watching his messy hair bob and dance in front of me. Doubts began to cut away at my hopes when I glanced back to see Mum perched uncomfortably on the bonnet of the car, sucking aggressively on a cigarette but the creaking of the old front door quickly stole my attention.

“Everything has changed this time Sarah.” Dad’s words echoed comfortingly in my mind as I wandered around our empty shell of a home. “Now we're here it'll be easier, for me, for your mum, for all of us to. . . restart our lives.”

For two weeks we laughed. We painted the walls vivid colours and collected cheap furniture to fill the house. Mum even started talking about what I wanted to do for my sixteenth birthday and taught me how to tie my unruly brown hair into a milkmaid braid. Dad bought me a big book of fairy tales like the one I had when I was little and even though I tried to pretend I was too grown up for these things I would read from it every night. We’d go for long country walks in the rain and try to find new hiding places. For a moment I thought that maybe all my wishes hadn't been wasted. That we'd finally be happy again, but then that moment ended.

With the shell of a home finally filled Mum was left with empty days. It didn't take long for her to give in to the enticement of old habits and begin drowning those empty days with drink and cigarettes. The sounds of drunken sobs and screams surrounded us and it was a blessing we lived miles away from the nearest town, strangers didn't need to know what happened behind closed doors
“Why did you bring us here? How could you be so stupid as to think this pathetic place would fix everything?”


Dad shrunk away, hid in his room all day and that was the end of our rainy woodland walks. I didn't wish for things to get better this time, I had given up on wishing on stars. Maybe two weeks of laughter was all I could ever have, maybe that was enough.

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