Updated: Jul 16, 2020
On what would have been the final week of my first year of university, it felt right to reminisce on the work that I produced during the last 6 or so months. I've put up a lot of my creative writing pieces for university modules on here but I didn't ever feel comfortable enough to show what was intended to be my final project for my second semester. I'm super proud of these two short pieces and hope everyone else enjoys them.
The first is the original draft I made and the second is a rewriting attempt I made to fit the theme of the assignment better!
They were walking to work. Unusually warm for an April morning, but they thought it felt so cold. To be exact it felt absolutely freezing. Yet, off came the coat, the jumper, the scarf until all that was left was shirt and trousers containing a shell.
The other humans plodded towards the hive, otherwise known as the train station. They looked across each face. Every single one appeared bashed by continuous winds of change. Eyes squinted, hair matted, mouths sewn tight, bodies lifeless. They supposed that’s what happened when a whole country awakens to darkness and a high-flying indifference.
The journey continues. Chug, chug, chug (remember that old rhythm from happier times?) They see miles and miles of barren trees, one after another, then another and another.… Beautiful, they think, twisting and turning, each branch running into each other an interconnectedness almost like two people. Hugging….
Brought back to earth with a silent, cold hard stare from human number 1648593.
They remember. No beauty, not anymore. The train halts. Off they get. On they stride. All the way to misery.
They’ve got distracted, there is a café across the street. Its grey with big bounding windows. Full. There’s a strange vigour emanating from it. An energy. The sky opens but instead of rain I feel scores of songs and chatter pulsing down.
The pavement below me is cracked, like lightning has had the audacity to split yet another facet of life. Ants are ambushing the cracks; scattered but together.
I feel different.
I walk, hands outstretched, a bright ray hits my head. The café doors swing open. I sit.
‘Hi and welcome, what can I get you today?’
I’ve found my nest.
I woke up this morning, in near darkness. Every morning I went on my daily walk, usually around 9am when the sky became lighter, more alive. But today the darkness seemed more suitable.
The front door opened and all I could see for miles was the greyness of concrete pavement. I felt alone, free almost.
I was sad, you see, but happy. I’m not sure how to explain it I was surrounded but I felt utterly utterly bereft at the loneliness, the unkindness of the world. These walks were the only way to clear my head, to feel rooted.
As my branded foot hit the ground, I heard a squawk above me. A blackbird. I had a strange sensation. I thought to myself, we are so different, I am with her, but we are two separate creatures, together in our aloneness.
I continued walking, feeling the cold air, hit my face. I cast my mind back to the news last night, the austerity, the fighting, people dying, cruelty. It just felt hopeless, like the world had forgotten that community existed.
The blackbird continued singing, flying above me as the light came up and I carried on walking. Her song became more urgent and eventually it seemed to swell in noise, until at last I looked up. There were around 20 birds, all sitting in the once bare trees. Robins, starlings, more blackbirds and even pigeons.
As the day drew on and I followed these birds with my feet it began to rain, I thought to myself- I should have bought a hat, but deep down I didn’t care. I was drenched. Alone but together. Alone but together.
Suddenly, my feet picked up. I’m running, I screamed. The sun set, I’d been out all day and as I finally came home, I saw the birds flutter away in the distance and perch, singing the dark night away on the barest of bare trees.
I closed my door. I sobbed, happy tears. Life isn’t too bad.