Home > write365. > Day 12: revisiting earlier work.

Day 12: revisiting earlier work.

I hope this isnt cheating: an old scene of an old story rewritten to better illustrate the tone. After all, it is fresh writing. Hell, it counts. I was revisiting some of my work saved in the depths of my harddrive, because I had no ideas, really, and turned over this stone. It was for an English class, a substitute assignment for an analytical essay. We had been reading stories by Flannery O’Connor then (and I still do; I love that woman), and this, in its entirety, was an attempt to channel her religious morality into my own fiction.

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A quick and lustrous glister before the long stalks. Royce javelined the gig deep into the water and felt it drive thickly into the soft bottom of the river. The lean muscles in his shoulders hardened like a man’s, alert and defensive. He pulled the gig from the river and in the flat lantern light he saw stuck among the murky ancient rivershit, what to him looked like collard greens, a statelylooking bullfrog. The tines ran it through in a few places, the torso twice, through one of its thighs. Its hoary eyes looked out, down from whence it came, up again when Royce turned the gig in his hand and faced his brother, marveling at the bullfrog as if he had come across a great discovery.

Biggest of em tonight.

He looks old too, Calvin said.

He aint never been caught fore, Royce said. Thet how come he got so fat.

I reckon so, Calvin said. I tole Reverend Wright, I say I might make folks pay to git on my boat but I aint goan make ye pay it, ye a good man and we need preachin to if it floods and it gets to be a time for worryin. Reverend Wright he’s a good man and I figger he might know to do.

He might do, Royce said. He was wading up from the river to the shore. It goan be a big boat. He sat down in the sediment and motioned to the end of the gig, saying, Hep me with this, would ye?

Calvin picked up a plain tin pail off the ledge of the shore and knelt with it at the end of the gig.

It goan have to be a big boat, he said.

How ye makin it?

Calvin eyeballed the bullfrog. Its throat bubbled, withdrew. He put his hand on the small cold body of the thing and tried to slide it off the tines, saying, I reckon the normal way, saying, as he struggled to clear the bullfrog from it, We got to fine some wood and nails and a hammer I guess. He couldnt budge it from its terrible yoke, saying, If it get to be real tall we got a ladder to hep us dont we? His brother was saying they did, it was in the back shed with the rakes and shovels, and Calvin tightened his grip on the trembling thing and when he squeezed to pull again the bullfrog slid easily, at the end of the gig its guts draining out of its punctured husk of a body in Calvin’s hand, brown and wet and cold, slopping into his palm and in his ear it sounded like dropping pigmeal into the feeder. His face screwed up like punctuation and he slammed the bullfrog into the bucket already half full of the similarly suffered dead and he was yelling, yelling to Royce and to the river and over the rain, Oh it shit on me it shit on my hand Royce it shit all over my hand Royce!

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Categories: write365.
  1. Peter
    13 January 2011 at 8:31 am

    I’ll allow it. So long as you change it enough so that it’s a different scene, or much better, more refined scene, I see absolutely nothing wrong with going back and revisiting scenes.

    In fact, that could be a challenge within the group — have someone write a basic, no frills dialogue-heavy scene, and see how we write it from different perspective and points of view.

    • Dan
      14 January 2011 at 2:01 pm

      I like that very much actually, Pete.

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