Welcome to Friday Fiction. Regular visitors will know that I share a fictional piece here every week and invite others to link up their own work. Thanks to all those who linked up last week. It’s great to see so many of you trying the exercises that I’ve been attempting too.
This week, I’ve tried my hand at an A to Z story. For this you create a 26-line story where each line begins with a different consecutive letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. I wanted to explore the character from my current WIP a little further, looking back at his earlier experiences. So I based this story around him. It wasn’t easy and I had to cheat/improvise for the letter ‘x’, as I couldn’t come up with anything that would work. I enjoyed writing it though and it has definitely helped me to focus on this character. I hope you enjoy it and it inspires you to have a go:
At the tender age of nine years, Jake Marshall’s life turned upside down. Bereaved by the death of his grandmother, Catherine, he claimed that he could still see and talk to her. Catherine and Jake were very close, so it was no surprise to his mother and father that he reacted this way. During those first few months after Catherine’s death, Jake withdrew from his mum and dad and spent more and more time with his grandfather. Eric was the only one who would believe him, as he knew that his wife had the ability to connect with the dead when she was alive. For Eric it was also comforting to know that his wife was doing fine and it helped him with his own grief.
Getting on with normal life wasn’t easy, but Jake and Eric muddled through and over time, things got easier and Catherine eventually stopped visiting. Had Eric not taken ill himself, things would have stayed the way they were. In an illness that lasted just six months, he was gone too, only two years after his wife. Jake felt even more lost without his grandfather, but when Catherine started to visit again, it helped. Keeping this to his self would have been wiser though, because as soon as Jake mentioned his grandmother, his parents began to worry about him once more.
‘Losing both grandparents has sent him over the edge,’ they agreed and decided they needed to do something about it this time.
Making an appointment with a psychiatrist was the first step and the expert agreed that Jake did indeed need help. Needing to make them believe him, Jake kept on repeating that he was telling the truth, but this only made things worse. On the doctor’s recommendation, Jake’s parents wanted to put him on medication, which of course he refused. Pills weren’t what he needed, but he couldn’t make them see that or understand. Quickly things began to escalate as Jake became more and more obsessed and his behaviour erratic. Reacting to their son’s obvious confusion with reality and his imagination, only served to make his parents more determined to help their son. ‘Sorry’ didn’t cut it for Jake. Time and again, he asked them, begged them, to believe him, but all they could offer was that one little, meaningless word.
Upset by how his family were treating him, he could no longer see that it was fruitless to keep trying to make them understand. Visitations from Catherine became less frequent and after a while, Jake began to question his own sanity, wondering whether his mind was playing tricks on him or if it was the drugs that the nurses injected him with against his own will. When Catherine stopped visiting altogether, Jake finally gave in, took the pills offered him and spent the next twelve months living in a trance- like state, trying to come to terms with the reality of his life.
‘Xtreme measures taken to stop me talking about gran: parents think I’m mad. You know, I will never forgive them for doing this to me,’ he wrote in a message to his best friend just before his admission to hospital.
‘Zip your mouth shut from now on and keep your head down,’ his friend wrote back and taking his advice, Jake attempted to get on with his life.
Like I said, a bit of cheating going on at the end there, but otherwise it went ok!
Here is the link to add your own work. I look forward to reading them. Don’t forget to grab the button and tell others about it too.
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