Beginning Creative Writing 16665
Beginning Creative Writing (16665)
Professor Brian Yansky
05 November 2014
The accident wasn’t her fault. That was a lie. She had fallen, but what was she doing up there in the first place? Lucy was walking along a steep ledge of the bridge to taunt death. The town bridge is called “Avenue Bridge.” The Bridge Piers are forty-five feet above ground, and it crosses over the whirling waters of Town Lake. Usually people don’t swim in this part of the Lake, and no one has ever jumped off it either. Like a blueberry in the middle of a Red State, people kept Austin weird, but a happy kind of weird. Not like Los Angeles, where the concept started off weird, went crazy, got seriously depressing, and then became The City of Lost Souls. Nope, Austin wasn’t like Los Angeles. Everyone tried to get out and enjoy the town’s beauty, never releasing negative feelings. Lucy didn’t agree. She was tired of wallowing in her own self-pity at home where she felt alone. She was also very angry at her life. She felt the town should pay. She left her home with a plan for revenge. If she jumped off the town bridge to take her own life, the whole town would know how dark the youth really is in Austin. However, eighteen-years-old is very early to end it all, so Lucy couldn’t jump the first time she went to the bridge. She was also too afraid to jump the second time when she’d gone down to the bridge the very next day after this. When her foot slipped and she started to fall, Lucy had been going to the bridge every day trying to get the courage to jump for nine months now. She’d withdrawn from all her classes from the community college because she never showed up. She earned an award in high school for graduating with the highest grade point average of all her class last year that offered her two semesters of college with waived tuition. She gave up one semester fixating on jumping off the bridge. She has the opportunity to go in the spring, but she’s hoping not to make it there.
Her foot slipped and she started to fall. Lucy hated the feeling of falling. She never thought she would die like this, not with this awfully terribly nauseous feeling piling up in her gut. She could do nothing except regret ever standing on the edge of that bridge in the first place. Standing over the rushing water like she was invincible. Lucy liked to think she wasn’t afraid of death, but walking on the edge of it with her major depression and being a teenager and all, she played out her funeral in her head a lot. Her real name was Lucille Dawn Parker. They would say eighteen-year-old Lucille Parker’s foot slipped and she started to fall off the town bridge. Why was she standing up there on such a dangerous ledge anyway? Oh, I don’t know, poor girl, she had so much potential.
She knew what she’d done as soon as the bridge disappeared. She had been falling for quite a long time now. She should’ve hit the water by now. She should’ve died upon impact by now. The story should be over by now. What was happening to young Lucile once she started to fall off the bridge?
The birds swoop low. Lucile’s brunette hair flies up against her heart-shaped face and rosy red checks in long, thick locks. She’s falling backwards as she stares into the grayness of a bleak midwinter’s day. Great, they’ll never know she had a problem.
Lucy felt happy to be one of those only the good die young kids. But she hadn’t really been the best person as a teen. She was just sly enough to know how to be selfish in a way that didn’t make her look like a total bitch. She had a heart and everything it was just in a lot of pain and consequently put others through a lot of pain too. Then Lucy fell right into about ten hundred million bird feathers. Landed right on top like a head on a pillow. Thank God she’d stopped falling, but where in the Hell was she? Bird feathers could mean Angels, but she’d learned about the all-knowingness of God in Bible School, so she was scared to be there.
She couldn’t see any other way out of this mess. That’s what she’d tell God. She’d figured if she was in Hell, the Devil wouldn’t ask. She kind of wanted it to be a place like Hell. Not because the risky characters and dangerous lands, but because of the tormenting aspect of Hell. Lucy liked to punish herself in self-loathing on Earth. She heard in a movie about suicide once good people kill themselves they go to Hell to live in a world where they punish themselves for eternity. Maybe Lucy landed in a place waiting for her in Hell. She’d always thought she’d fit right in. Or maybe her Bible School was wrong all a long and God thought Lucy had fallen off the bridge by no fault of her own like the rest of the town would now too?
The scent of lavender was overpowering. All she could think about was the blue walls with lavender sponge paint on them back in her room at home. All she could smell was lavender. All she could think about was home. She got up.
The sound of breaking glass stopped her. She’d stopped sitting halfway up on the pile of bird feathers. She looked to the left. She looked to the right. The bird feathers didn’t have an end. She looked up. There was still grayness. She looked down. A thick cushion of bird feathers was underneath her. She didn’t feel any glass. The feathers felt soft. She would’ve been able to feel it if there was glass broken anywhere. It should be safe to get all the way up. “BRRRRIIIINGG. BRRRIIIIIIIINGGG.” Her face darted up. She saw no phone. “BRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIINNNNGGG. BRRRIIIIIIIIINNNNGGGGGG.”
The ringing phone filled her with dread. “BRRRIIIIIIIIIINNG. BRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNG.” Her head spun from left to right. Scanning the horizon, her eyebrows furrowed, and her pupils darted back and forth. “BRRRIIIIIIIIIINNG. BRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIING.” Her head was moving so fast now that the bird feathers looked like one big, combined brown and white blur to her. “BRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIINNNNGGG. BRRRIIIIIIIIINNNNGGGGGG.”
The clock struck one. What clock? Lucy saw no clock before. Her head had stopped spinning. The ringing stopped. A white clock hung from a black string above Lucy. “TLICK-TLOCK. TLICK TLOCK.” It was moving from one o’clock. “TLICK-TLOCK. TLICK-TLOCK.” It was right above Lucy. “TLICK-TLOCK. TLICK-TLOCK.” Her eyes remained wide open never blinking. “TLICK-TLOCK. TLICK-TLOCK.” She’d stared at the clock for close to an entire hour.
The clock struck two. A small door appeared out of the grayness above the twelve o’clock hand. “Plink. Plink. Plink. Clunk.” A rusted spring reached a metal bird down inches away from Lucy’s forehead. “Jangle. Jangle. Creak. CUCKOO-CUCKOO. CUCKOO-CUCKOO.”
“Creak. Jangle. Jangle. Plink. Plink. Plink. Clunk.” It disappeared back into the grayness. “TLICK-TLOCK. TLICK-TLOCK” The white clock ticked above Lucy.
This wasn’t where she wanted to be.
The clock struck three. No cuckoo came. But the ringing phone again.
Lucy didn’t let on that she was scared. The ringing phone didn’t make her head spin this time, or at least not physically. She stared at the white clock hanging above her with her knees clasped tightly to her shoulders. Arms wrapped over her knees pushing them even tighter to her chest. The clock struck four. She was rocking slowly as the ringing phone started the fourth time.
The clock struck five. Again no cuckoo came. And finally no ringing phone came. Would she be staying the night in this place? Where or what was this place? She swore she left her house to go to the bridge, and she fell into the water. She couldn’t be dreaming.
The clock struck six. Again no cuckoo or ringing phone came. Lucy was still sitting on top of a pile of bird feathers and it was softer than her bed at home. She eases up a little now.
The clock struck seven. The grayness is still there. The white clock is still hanging there. No cuckoo came and no ringing phone came. She puts her back down and lies vertical with the bird feathers underneath her entire body. She stared into the emptiness above her. When the clock struck eight, Lucy had fallen asleep. Nevertheless, the cuckoo came this time and the ringing phone followed. But of course it went unanswered. She slept for twelve hours according to the white clock hanging above her.
It was never going to be an ordinary day. If there was a Sun to cycle around in whatever universe this could be. Lucy saw only grayness, no Sun the first day. Maybe that’s all they had here, just grayness above all the time. Lucy’s head popped up when the clock struck one.