Once upon a time I showed you guys the photo above, gave you a first line, and asked that you come up with a story for this girl.
…and then I got swamped and never posted the story. Let’s still be friends, okay? So, proving the power of a single image to get our creative brainwaves going, here’s the beginnings of the story we created.
Anyone looking for that creative spark, feel free to run with this. Take pieces to create your own story or use the image for inspiration. I feel like this should be a bumper sticker instead of a cheesy line on my blog, but it’s true: You are your own muse. Also, my kid beat up your honor’s student.
Ahem. The story, which I’ve titled The Sand Bleeds My Name:
My father forced me to run away, leave the beach, and never look back. My mother’s screams echoed in my ears, pounded away at my senses as I streaked through the scorching sand. A part of me wanted to turn around, to see the horror that was unfolding back down at the waters edge, but the adrenaline coursing through my body propelled me forward.
You with your calloused hands but sweet smile. You with your quiet mannerisms but thunderous touch. You with all your lies.
I should have known better than to believe the things that came out of your mouth, and yet I always did. Because that first night when the sun went down, when it dipped so low that the sea swallowed it whole and the beach succumbed to the frigid breath of evening, you gave me a fur coat.
As I was walking down the road, tears in my eyes. I came upon a hidden pathway. As I walked down the path, I saw the scenery changing. Suddenly I was surrounded by unicorns and gigantic creatures I thought had gone extinct millions of years ago.
Three rapid blinks, and the image is gone. I'm still alone, stranded with nothing but my fur coat and the memory of my father’s face as I ran. There are no unicorns. No creatures. No you. I ran away, to you, and nothing.
It seemed I had been running to nothing my entire life. It pulled me, no, dragged me to it and whether I wanted to or not I had to follow. Defeated, I collapsed into the sand. I called out for you, or for Byron, the unicorn, but my cries echoed across the beach and remained unanswered.
Only then, palms against the sand, did I realize it wasn’t my heartbeat, nor the pounding ocean. It was the thunder of a thousand feet, running in step. I should have known my father wouldn’t let me leave at my leisure. Daughters can’t be left to wander. They must be driven, relentlessly, into the ground.
And yet, strangely, I know I’ll get away. The blood on the sand will drive me on until there is no strength in me to run, and then further still. I cannot outrun the memory of that dreadful sight but, at least, I can outrun the demons they send for me now.
Slipping out of my fur coat I throw it up, up, high into a tree. Let the hounds bay for that. Swinging into the branches I fly.