Tag Archives: failed writing

Interlude 3: another tiny excerpt.

4 Sep

Here’s another excerpt from my once-a-day writing, where I spend five minutes letting my mind wander through my fingertips. If you compare it to the earlier writing, you’ll see a vast increase in quality. This is disturbing and barbaric, by the by, so if you are easily offended, please read on. I think I’ve inserted this little piece into a novel manuscript somewhere, but I can’t be sure . . .


His ancestors had worshiped Attys, in rituals involving cornstalks and beheadings and the sun. An innocent was selected, valued to the gods precisely because of his or her virtue, and then tied to a tree. The priests would tie cornstalks to the arms and legs, and then leave the child attached to the tree for days. After a few days, the priest would mutilate the genitals with a sacred knife, catching the blood in a stone bowl and then pouring it, accompanied by ancient whispered prayers, over the earth. The youth was then beheaded, and the head was wrapped in a thin muslin cloth and buried at the center of a barren field. He didn’t know any of this, not beyond sense memory. But some days, when the sun was sharp and unfiltered by clouds and the cold settled in on his chest and shoulders, he felt a dissonant guilt over past, unknown crimes.


And here’s a second excerpt, sort of the beginning of a short story or something:

At 15, he had a dream he died in a car crash. Nothing complicated or fancy, just the shearing of metal and the breaking of glass and his body, broken in fragile places. The dream meant something to him, but he didn’t know what. It seemed portentous; if he could survive the year, he would be destined for great things. This is the way his mind worked. He turned normal things into foreshadows of excellence. He was, almost uniformly, always wrong.