Fiction

Grandfather’s Clock by Eddie Vegas

“Come on, Jack. Where did you hide that horrible looking grandfather clock?”  Janice asks, staring at the spot where it had stood for nearly 30 years in our dusty old house. My grandfather had warned me to wind it every week, otherwise this might happen, but I kinda’ got distracted this week, what with the move and his funeral.

“I didn’t hide it! It just vanished!”  I reply confused, wondering if I left the key in the door of the damn glass cabinet before I followed her calls.

How the hell do you lose a grandfather clock?

“Very funny,” she laughs, “did you hide it while I was downstairs making the twins their supper?” she asks, inspecting the room adjacent to the empty space like we are playing hide and seek with the kids.

“Hide it…how the hell would I be able to move that monstrosity? Did you feel how heavy the thing was?” I sigh. “Besides, how do you think I could get it down the staircase on my own?” If I’m honest, I think I gave the key too many turns. I was rushing the procedure a bit, trying to do it so the kids didn’t see me. I heard the springs twang for sure.

“Well it was there a moment ago, Jack, and I haven’t been up here since the removal van pulled into the drive.” She peers out the window, moving aside the yellowing lace curtains to check whether the two guys are still sitting in their cab, “and they’re still outside.”  

She stops mid-sentence, turning to me with her smile.

“And where are the twins Jack, it’s all very quiet!”

“They’re okay darling, I left them playing hide and seek in the playroom while I came down to see what you were calling about. They’re probably just messing about.”

“Daniel? Victor?” Janice calls out, but she gets no response.

“Well, wherever it is, you need to move it so the men can take it away.”

 I am almost one hundred percent sure I took the key out of the lock before I had left the room, but doubt begins to creep into my thoughts. I don’t think they were watching me as I reset the pendulum swinging in the glass case. I know they get a bit nosey when I’m around the clock, but I did check they weren’t watching…I think.

“Jack, you know I wanted that old thing gone before we moved our furniture inside. Please stop playing games with me. It has to go, sweetheart.” She walks over to me and places a hand on my cheek, smiling softly.

“Look I know he left it to you in his will, but it doesn’t fit with the look of the place anymore. It’s creepy and makes me uncomfortable. I’m not saying it has to go, go. We can put it in storage for now.”

I don’t want to upset her, but I really have no idea where the clock has gone.

“Now go check on the twins for me so I can get them fed and changed for bed, and let’s get that old stuffy clock out of here. I’ll go show the removal men inside.” She blows me a kiss and walks down the stairs again.

The truth is I’m not even sure it is still inside the house anymore. It tends to wander when it’s not being looked after. My grandfather told me that the clock has a mind of its own if it’s neglected. And since his untimely passing last week, I have to be honest, I haven’t wound the time piece up once. That’s why I was giving the springs that extra couple of turns before I went and lost it.

It could be anywhere by now, in any time too.

The playroom door is ajar when I reach for the handle and peer inside, but I see no sign of the twins. They like to hide before suppertime.

“JACK!”  Janice is calling from downstairs.

“JACK!”

“I’m coming, what is it dear?”

I quickly descend the stairs to the large lobby and see the two large removal men entering the house, carrying the first piece of furniture between them, Janice holding her hands to her face in horror.

“NO…No No no…It has to go out …not in!” She is getting upset now, but the removal men are insistent it comes in.

“Alright Guv, where do you want this thing then?” the first man says, and I look on dumbfounded. “Upstairs?”

Carried between them, laying on its side, is the old Grandfather clock, back from another trip to who only knows where.

“Eh, yes, first floor please.” I reply staring at the familiar face of the man as he nods. Surely not?

“Okay, Vic. You heard the old man, first floor landing.” He says as he passes me with that all too familiar cheeky grin. “Usual spot?”

“Sure thing, Dan.” Replies the second identical man in the dungarees as Janice faints onto the floor.

“Smells nice. What’s for supper, Dad?”

Research for Fiction Writing  

One of the jokes about being a writer is trying to explain the search history on your computer. I know I’ve fallen victim to this stereotype, thanks to the genres I write. Whether it’s getting details about a location, the effects of certain medications, or the decomposition rate of the human body, writers use this information to add realism to their stories. Part of writing, after all, is research. (more…)

Pouring Believable Qualities into Characters

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Giving Your Characters Believable Qualities

One of the most known rules for creating fictional characters is making them realistic. Besides their appearance and actions, how can you achieve this? You need them to have personalities that are consistent, a story that’s interesting and easy to follow along, and one or two qualities that add to their character and make them stand apart from the others. (more…)

What the Heck is NaNoWriMo?

Nano

 

I remember the first time I saw “NaNoWriMo” mentioned in an online writer’s forum.  I immediately thought it must be some new, millennial slang term or text-cronym that I had yet to learn the meaning.  So when I Googled it, I was thrilled to discover it instead to be an incredible, month-long challenge presented to writers everywhere: 50,000 words in 30 days. (more…)

Casting and Creating Unforgettable Secondary Characters

drawing people

It may be the salty aired beach or a long-ago molten path on a dormant volcano that brings us into the story, and the main characters who introduce themselves and take the reader by the hand for the journey. However, without secondary characters, the story wouldn’t get far. Main characters can’t be everywhere at once, even though they are the main focus in stories. There’s no way for them to gain every tidbit of knowledge they need without the help of their comrades. That’s why writers should never forget the importance of creating and casting unforgettable secondary characters.

(more…)

Writing with Style

style writer

 

All writers have experienced the first draft blues. The idea for the story came to us in a flurry of inspiration; the characters sauntered through our door, greeting us with their riveting personalities. Yet, as we sat down to write the story, the sentences stumbled and clanked together in an oafish web of prose. Too many writers have sat and stared at these first drafts thinking themselves too unskilled to give justice to their stories and characters. Yet, with only six simple steps writers everywhere can begin writing with style today. (more…)

A character that bleeds…

pottery wheel

It is a common fallacy that stories are driven by plot. The truth is, the stories that last are the ones driven by character. They’re the ones where we’ve become so attached to the characters over the years, that we simply can’t let them go, rather we continue to re-imagine these characters over and over again. Huckleberry Finn, Holden Caulfield, Randle Patrick McMurphy-these characters are unforgettable, their traits carved into the memory of all readers who’ve met them, just as if they had walked through the door and shook the reader’s hand. These characters breathe and bleed upon the pages as the reader follows their stories in anticipation of what will become of them. How did their writers do it? What exactly is the perfect recipe for a character that bleeds? (more…)

When the First Draft Gets Rough

typewriter

“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

It didn’t take long for me to realize that my first draft sucked with a capital “S.” Halfway through chapter one, I wanted to take it out back and beat it with a hockey stick for wasting my time. I’d like to say this feeling dissipated as I got further along, that my confidence grew word by word, sentence by sentence. But I’d hate to lie to you. The truth is that I became more sure of the inevitable failure looming ahead of me, blocking my path to success. (more…)

Writing in Color

pallette

If you expect everyone to see colors the way you envision them while you’re writing, then you may be disappointed. I may refer to blood as crimson while you think of it more as a ruby red. You may think the sky a soft Carolina blue, while I would paint the sky with a tint of periwinkle. While this may not seem a huge issue, it can complicate how your reader perceives your work. (more…)