Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Entry #5

"The Highest Point"
by Melly

Drew howled. With his head outside the window, he howled.

It made Lydia laugh. "Gosh, I'm gonna… pee… my pants."

Lydia opened the window and leaned over. She felt the cold night air gushing towards her along with Drew's howls. She answered. Not in howls, but in barks. Small high-pitched barks, like those of a pincher's.

The electricity poles whizzed by as the car drove past them. "Hey, did you notice the sound each pole makes?" Lydia asked.

No one replied. No one heard her. It didn't matter. She continued barking. Drew continued howling.

A new sound. Lydia stopped barking for a moment, listening. It was a hoot. Hoot hoot. Strong. Right near her. She sat back down looking for the source of the hoot.

It was almost as windy inside the car and her hair was flying all over, like Medusa's snakes. Howls and hoots and coughs came forward in her mind again, pushing aside Medusa's image. Lydia searched for the sounds. Tom, near her, driving, hooting, Drew in the backseat still howling and Kathryn, behind her, coughing.

Lydia twisted to look at Kathryn; she was coughing with her hands around her neck and some foam coming out of her mouth. Lydia laughed. She reached a hand out to Kathryn while something in the back of her head was trying to tell her something.

Lydia squinted, concentrating, trying to. Kathryn stopped coughing. She stopped moving too. Lydia shrugged. She turned and with her head outside the window resumed barking.

[Melly lives in Toronto, Canada and does many things for a living, among them write. She blogs about writing and some other interests, mostly science, in All Kinds of Writing.]


Flood said...

What a trip.

I liked this a lot, Melly.

bekbek said...

This is quite amazing. And I'm not just saying that because you live in Toronto.

I felt very still at the end, feeling the impact. Wow!

emeraldcite said...

Nice. Strange, but good. I liked it.

Scott said...

I like the writing. I'm trying to figure out what's going on. Did Kathryn die from a drug overdose?

Melly said...

Flood, thanks.

BekBek, Toronto, eh?
Glad to hear there was an impact.

Emeraldcite, strange is my middle name...

Scott, yes, that was the intention, but it's alright, my husband thought Lydia is a dog?!
I sometimes write from deep within the character (maybe too deep if the charcter is under the inluence :), so if Lydia didn't undestand what was going on, then the reader might not understand either.
It's a style I occasionally use, although not always, and this is what came out this time...

Jaye Wells said...

I expected more silliness, which made the end a real shocker. Very impactful.

cesarcarlos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cesarcarlos said...

This is just the sort of stuff that makes me shiver. Really well written. You capture the moment so well. I still can picture poor Kathryn... Congrats, Melly.

INKcogKNEEdough said...

I am guilty of going down the 'thinking it was a dog' path the first time i read it as well. While reading it the 2nd time,i saw

"Lydia opened the window and leaned over"

Kash(my real LIFE dog) came over at about that time and i swear looked at me as if to say "yessss i can lick myself, but hellloooo moron i have paws and cant open windows!"lol

Nice work melly even though it took me two readings to 'get it',,,,(the fault of my brain not the writing)


Melly said...

Jaye, I'm really glad the impact was felt.

Cesarcarlos, made me blush. Thanks :)

INKcogKNEEdough, I tend to belive that if more than one person feels that, then perhaps it is a writing issue ;)
But thanks :)

INKcogKNEEdough said...

No i dont think it is a writing issue at all. I think my brain simply read the first line locked onto it(thinking dog) and spent the next few minutes trying to fit the rest into "that image" instead of seeing what was right in front of me all along.Like i said , readers error, not writer's.

Scott said...

A good short story stretches the imagination to understand what is going on. I'm happy that I was right. One of the first thoughts I had was that the car was filled with werewolves, but when Kathryn stopped moving with the foaming mouth, I was reminded of a Six Feet Under episode where a girl dies from a lethal overdose. Your description brought me there.

Cavan said...

I had to read this one twice to get it, but now that I do, I must say it's a job well done.

Anthony J. Rapino said...


I love these strange pieces. I actually got the drug overdose idea after the second read, though I wasn't positive till your comments confirmed it.

Great stuff.

Amra Pajalic said...

I had to read it twice to to get it too. I have to agree that I got the dog image in my head and kept thinking it was a dog observing what was going on. But that could be due to my rapid reading.

Melly said...

INKcogKNEEdoug, with so many having to read this twice, I still maintain it's a writing issue.

Scott, I don't watch Six Feet Under, now I wish I had. Thanks :)

Cavan, thanks. Hope it was worth reading twice :)

Anthony, strange seems to be something I can't avoid. Thank you.

Amra, no, it's never the reading.

JLB said...

I really enjoyed this piece - there are so many different images and sounds, it's a lot to take in within such a small space. Well done!

jason evans said...

Melly, very good storytelling and pacing. I liked the depth of characterization in such a short piece. Not an easy achievement! A high scorer.