Tag Archives: Heather McDonald

It was the only day she didn’t need to hear his voice…

Out of frame

Hi, a bunch of us are in a Literary Blog Relay.

Basically, one writer writes a 250 word post/story/fragment and then tags another writer, etc., etc. We can write whatever we want, so long as our posts begin with the last line of the previous post (in bold here) and are linked to a central theme; in this case, “A Stranger Comes to Town.”

The following is Jennifer Derilo’s post, using the last line (in bold) from Jackson Bliss’s contribution.

Alexander Chee is next.


It was the only day she didn’t need to hear his voice. It was the only day she shouldn’t have been alone. It was the one day she should not have been alone to hear his voice. To note the ironic euphony. Lymphoma. Leukemia. The tap tap of the tongue’s tip against front teeth. Long vowels slipping into her ears. Soft morphemes unclasping. Converting themselves into recognizable units. Blood. Cancer. Sick. Me. All these syllables stretching between her and him. The small exam room, expanding. He rolling himself away on a chair. She sitting sedentary on the patient’s booth. His gesture elongating her loneliness and their unfamiliarity with one another.

She shouldn’t have been alone. That day. To listen to that voice. To weigh the medicalized language sliding out of his mouth. Watch him dump it in her lap. Move away from her and stop. Head lowered. Eyes boring into the woman-girl slouching on the patient’s booth. For once, not fidgeting. Silence compresses her. Maybe holds her together. Lym. Phoma. Leu. Kemia. You look confused, he says across the divide. I’m not, she says. I’m trying not to fucking crumble, she doesn’t say. She thinks about canceling tomorrow’s trip. Worries about telling. Boyfriend. Mom. Sister. Dad. Friends. Self.

It was the one goddamn day she should not have been alone. Though he returns to her gingerly. Sweeping her hair away from left shoulder. Sinking needle into a mass. She humming upward. Remembering a chatty phlebotomist from last week. You’re a long way from home, aren’t you?


THE FULL LINE-UP, IN ORDER (Completed posts in bold)….

  1. Wah-Ming Chang: http://wmcisnowhere.wordpress.com
  2. Jamey Hatley http://jameyhatley.wordpress.com
  3. Stephanie Brown http://scififanatic.livejournal.com/
  4. Andrew Whitacre http://fungibleconvictions.com/
  5. Heather McDonald http://heathersalphabet.wordpress.com/
  6. Christine Lee Zilka https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  7. Jackson Bliss http://bluemosaicme.blogspot.com/
  8. Jennifer Derilo posted at https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  9. Alexander Chee http://koreanish.com/
  10. Nova Ren Suma http://novaren.wordpress.com/

THE RULES….

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12 Comments

Filed under Literary Blog Relay, Memes

She hated all the characters, but felt compelled to finish…

Soraksan

Hi, a bunch of us are in a Literary Blog Relay.

Basically, one writer writes a 250 word post/story/fragment and then tags another writer, etc., etc. We can write whatever we want, so long as our posts begin with the last line of the previous post (in bold here) and are linked to a central theme; in this case, “A Stranger Comes to Town.”

The following is my post, using the last line (in bold) from Heather McDonald’s contribution. I found the line challenging because of its specificity, but I hope I did it proud.

Jackson Bliss is next.


She hated all the characters, but felt compelled to finish; she hated them less than her current circumstances.

In the train station, the Chinese characters garnished the Korean hangul. She eyed the Chinese character for mountain, three tines that pointed upwards like a pitchfork, scattered like confetti throughout the route maps of the rugged terrain. In the station itself, the character for mouth, hanging over exits, haunted her; a square, an opening, a silent scream. It made her never want to leave a room.

That was it. Those were all the Chinese “hanja” characters she knew. She knew the entire Korean alphabet, but knew not what she read most of the time. Her vocabulary was that of a small child. She smiled, her eyes sad. Today, she was a child. Mom. Mommy. Mommy.

Lucy made her way to the ticket counter at Seoul station and bought a roundtrip to Gyeongju. To the funeral, and back.

On the train, Lucy held her hand up, failing to shield her face from the late afternoon summer sunlight that outside motored the chlorophyll in some billion leaves of rice, but in her coach, streamed through the window so that she felt a brilliant and uncomfortable heat. A cupcake in an easy bake oven had an easier time of it, she thought.

Still, she watched, through squinting eyes, the landscape, a bright green that never was in Southern California, all the more green because of the red soil. The contrast sharpened the grief.


THE FULL LINE-UP, IN ORDER (Completed posts in bold)….

  1. Wah-Ming Chang: http://wmcisnowhere.wordpress.com
  2. Jamey Hatley http://jameyhatley.wordpress.com
  3. Stephanie Brown http://scififanatic.livejournal.com/
  4. Andrew Whitacre http://fungibleconvictions.com/
  5. Heather McDonald http://heathersalphabet.wordpress.com/
  6. Christine Lee Zilka https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  7. Jackson Bliss http://bluemosaicme.blogspot.com/
  8. Jennifer Derilo posted at https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  9. Alexander Chee http://koreanish.com/
  10. Nova Ren Suma http://novaren.wordpress.com/

THE RULES….

Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Literary Blog Relay, Memes

Literary Blog Relay: “A Stranger Comes to Town”

Hi, a bunch of us are in a Literary Blog Relay.

Basically, one writer writes a 250 word post/story/fragment and then tags another writer, etc., etc. We can write whatever we want, so long as our posts begin with the last line of the previous post (in bold here) and are linked to a central theme; in this case, “A Stranger Comes to Town.”


THE FULL LINE-UP, IN ORDER (Completed posts in bold)….

  1. Wah-Ming Chang: http://wmcisnowhere.wordpress.com
  2. Jamey Hatley http://jameyhatley.wordpress.com
  3. Stephanie Brown http://scififanatic.livejournal.com/
  4. Andrew Whitacre http://fungibleconvictions.com/
  5. Heather McDonald http://heathersalphabet.wordpress.com/
  6. Christine Lee Zilka https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  7. Jackson Bliss http://bluemosaicme.blogspot.com/
  8. Jennifer Derilo posted at https://czilka.wordpress.com/
  9. Alexander Chee http://koreanish.com/
  10. Nova Ren Suma http://novaren.wordpress.com/

THE RULES….

Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Literary Blog Relay, Memes