Thursday, September 13, 2007

Death and Writing Exercises

Nathan Bransford had a first lines contest on his blog this week (winners posted today - good luck everyone: )

Several people commented on how many entries involved death, so I thought it would be fun to do a writing exercise on death - yes, I do have a warped sense of humor. Here's the writing prompt:

Make death funny.

(Disclaimer - I know death isn't funny, but we're writers and we can imagine ways that death could be funny.)

Here's my exercise:

You know it’s going to be a bad day when the dead rise up out of their graves and start running around the cemetery like kindergartners on a sugar rush. They weren’t like the zombies on TV. No moaning and walking around slowly with their hands out in front of them. In fact, it looked like they were dancing - ballroom dancing. Each zombie was grabbing a partner and twirling around to music I couldn’t hear. When the dirt under my feet shifted, I started to run.

I almost made it out of the cemetery, but my ex-boyfriend Brett caught me by the gate, spun me around, and started to waltz back to the big death dance party.

Where did he learn to dance, in hell? And when? He wouldn’t ever dance with me – hated to dance because he didn’t know how. Maybe he learned to dance from Misty Fairstein, or Shana Patrick, or even Janicia McHenry. He was dating them the whole time we were dating, so who knows what else he was doing? I couldn’t see him taking ballroom dance lessons, but I never thought he’d cheat on me either.

None of the other girls visited his grave. We all found out about each other at the funeral and they washed their hands of him. I couldn’t help going to the cemetery, but then I had always been fascinated with death. I think I went there more to be around death than to visit Brett.
We were all dancing towards something I couldn’t see in the middle of the cemetery, right by the mausoleum. There were all types of corpses, fresh ones like Brett that looked almost alive, skeletons with clothing and random bits of flesh, and skeletons so old they looked like walking dust in the shape of a person. I needed to figure out how to get away from Brett one last time, before I became a permanent member of dance troupe death.