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Monday, March 28, 2011

Amid the Lousy Smarch Weather

A lot has been going on that I will touch on in another blog, but for now here is my newest promptly contribution.

Write a story featuring an author, the ocean, and an antique weapon.

“This is poetic, isn’t it?” I thought to myself. The white peaks of the waves crashed with a quiet power. There wasn’t a seagull to be found, the wind and water filled my ears. I had placed myself on one of the outrageously large boulders that lined the shore. It was cold and hard, but somehow comfortable. A spider crawled across my moccasin, clearly in a hurry. I let him live.

In my satchel, which usually contained my laptop and notepads, was an antique crossbow. I bought it at a Renaissance fair a week before. I guess I was searching for an elegant way to die. Of all the muskets, samurai swords, and Native American daggers, the crossbow seemed to be the best way to go. Everything else was just laughable. The refinement of the crossbow was clear. It had the curves of a woman, the size and sexiness of a James Bond pistol, and the rust of something that had seen some action. I couldn’t think of a better way to die, so I forked over the two hundred dollars to the portly proprietor.

To hold a lethal weapon in your hand is a powerful feeling. You can either save a life, or destroy one. In my case, I was out to destroy one. It was almost like a game of Clue. I found the weapon. Next was the location. The beach was an obvious choice. There is nothing poetic about shooting a crossbow in a small and confined condo with posters of Batman and David Bowie on the walls. I’m not really sure why the ocean popped into my head so quick, but once it was in there it wouldn’t leave. I could see it all. It would take place at dusk, the setting sun sitting on the horizon. Not a soul in sight. Totally poetic.

I took another long look around. This was perfect. With a deep breath I raised the crossbow to my chest. It was a little more awkward than I anticipated. The length made it impossible to hold it like a gun. I held it with both hands, as though I were choking it. Not what I was expecting, but it somehow looked more tasteful to hold out the crossbow like an offering to God. This was it. I cocked the bow. It creaked like a ship on its final voyage. The click was loud and startling. I held my breath as I pulled the trigger. I exhaled.

There was no arrow. I just needed to see what it would be like. I’m a writer, about to start my third novel. Since I saw Stranger Than Fiction I’ve had an inexplicable need to experience the largest moments of my characters. I also need to know the ending before I begin. It really helps me get in their heads. In this case, it also gets the blood flowing. Who would have thought a crossbow suicide by the ocean would be such a great way to die? I sure didn’t, until I tried it.

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