The story that I’ve been writing for grad school is getting nowhere. As I look back at what I’ve written, I realize that there isn’t a good balance between showing and telling, and there’s too much of a focus on dialogue. The type of story I’m trying to write needs more than 25 pages. It moves way too quick there’s nothing I can do to slow it down. Maybe one day, I’ll work on it and make it the length it needs to be, but I’ve come to the realization that it won’t work as a short story. I can’t even think of a title for the story. I’m just not emotionally invested in it enough, I guess.
This post is just another section from the story that I thought I’d be using. Hope you guys enjoy.
“Don’t you have work? What are you doing still sleeping?”
The Director, startled, wakes up, unaware of who’s yelling or what time it is.
“What? What’s going on? What time is it?”
“Get up!” yells his father.
“Dad, what’s going on?”
“Why aren’t you at work?”
“I’m off today.”
His father leaves the room and goes back downstairs. The Director tries to go back to sleep, but the sun had already hit his open eyes. Once he’s up, he’s up. No matter how hard he tries, he can never fall back asleep. It might have something to do with the anxiety his father causes him, but he’s not sure. He doesn’t really think about it. There’s too much to think about that’s more important than why he can never fall back asleep, like—why, or how, his friends are able to sleep until two in the afternoon. The director looks at the clock, thinking it’s around nine and reads seven.
He shuts his eyes and is about to fall asleep when his father comes back in the room. Naturally, this is the one time he might actually fall asleep for at least another hour. He could sense it. He was out late the night before, celebrating the fact that he finally has a day off from his internship. There wasn’t too much drinking, but The Director always feels like death the morning after staying out late. He hates the way he looks, he can’t stand being around other people, and he wakes up with a pounding headache. They aren’t just normal headaches; they feel like if he rests his head on the pillow the wrong way, his skull might split in half.
“Get out of bed,” says his father, while opening the blinds.
“What do you need?”
“I need you out of bed. Get dressed and go to the kitchen.”
He leaves the room, again, but before he leaves, he looks at his son, obviously in some kind of pain, and smiles, while turning on the overhead light.
“How are you feeling, son?”
“Good. I need your help with something. You’re not busy, are you?”
“Good,” he says, while staring blankly into his cup of coffee.
“What do you need?”
“Oh, I need you to…”
“Forget it, I can’t remember. I’m sorry, son,” says the father, visibly upset, smacking his forehead and mumbling about how he can’t remember anything. “Go make yourself something to eat. I’ll call you when I remember.”
“Okay, dad, don’t worry about it. Can’t be that important if you forgot.”
The Director decides to make a homemade egg sandwich. He asks his father if he wants one, and he does, so he asks him to turn the stove on for him while he grabs everything he needs. He goes into the fridge and finds the bacon and eggs and cheese. On top of the fridge, he grabs two slices of seeded rye bread, puts the cheese on the bread, and throws it in the toaster. It’s a trick his father taught him that guarantees the cheese is melted when you take that first bite.
“Cigarettes!” yells The Director’s father. “And a lighter! Son, can you go to the gas station on the corner and grab them for me?”
“Yeah, I got you, dad. I’ll be right back. You need anything else?”
His father thanks him for being patient and apologizes for waking him up. He tells his son he’s going to the bathroom and that he’ll finish breakfast.
The Director comes back from the gas station and sees an unfamiliar car across the street, in his spot. He hates that. He goes around the block and tries to find a place to park, which is often impossible in the morning.
His father, cleans himself up, washes his hands, takes his medicine, and goes back downstairs and smells rotten eggs.
“Shit! The eggs! How could he leave when he’s fucking cooking.”
He goes downstairs and sees the uncooked scrambled eggs on the counter.
“That’s odd,” he says to himself as he watches his son pass the house from his chair on the porch. He looks across the street and sees the unfamiliar car parked in his son’s spot, and sees the man trying to light a cigarette. He sees the flame from the lighter and realizes the house is filled with gas from the stove, so he rushes inside and opens all the windows and calls the fire department.
The Director, from down the block, sees the car is still in front and watches it suddenly burst into flames. They continue to grow higher and higher and The Director’s father sees this. He then decides to shut the windows in order to prevent any gas from reaching the flames.
The Director calls the police, saying there’s a car fire across the street, but before he hangs up, an explosion louder than anything he’s ever heard creates a shockwave knocking him off his feet and causes him to temporarily black out. After what seems like forever, but in reality, five or six minutes, he wakes up thinking he’s concussed because of the incessant ringing in his ears, but he immediately forgets about that when he sees the pile of burning wooden beams that used to be his house.