Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Good Left Undone: Chapter 1

(Here's the first chapter of my WiP,
The Good Left Undone, which is about a little girl named Sandy and the problems she has with controlling her memories, nightmares, and dreams because of her great imagination. 

Also, during this conflict of imagination and memories, she finds out her parents are keeping a dark secret away from her and she tries to find out what that secret is. 

If a lot of people request that I put up the next few chapters, then I would oblige only if there are MANY of you, who wish to see Sandy's story be told. So, let me know what you think and if you want to hear the rest of the story. Write on and read on!)

Chapter 1: Seed.

There I sat in the middle of it all. In the field of wheat. The sun blazed a great fire on my head, making me sweat every drop of water I had in me. I saw the wind push the rows of wheat, forcing them to fight amongst one another. I heard Papa’s words, “Nothing will ever grow here, but wheat, darlin’. Nothing…” His voice drifted with the pushy wind.

I sat there amongst the rows of wheat and stared. I hoped a flower would appear amongst the wheat. A flower, that’s all I wanted. All I needed. Please.

No flower appeared.
The wind continued to push.
“Nothing will ever grow here, but wheat, darlin’.” His voice lingered in my mind.
“Darlin’,” it echoed across the field.
“I will prove him wrong! I will prove them wrong!” I yelled out into the skies. I grabbed the sunflower seeds that my father always chewed on and planted them firmly into the ground, in front of the wheat, so the wheat wouldn’t have to fight with my sunflower, let it be amongst itself and stand tall. Let it be the leader of the wheat. The wind will have to give up eventually, because now the wheat had a leader. They had the sunflower, who will grow to be their queen.

Then, I saw him. The shadow man. He stood there with his shoulders hunched over. I couldn’t see his face or his clothes. All was covered in black. All I saw was him staring at me. I knew he was staring at me, in Papa’s wheat field, because I was the only one there.

He hunched on closer to me. He pushed against the fighting wheat. He pushed against the wind. He saw his target, and it was me.
I looked back to see that my house was no longer behind me. The sunflower seeds in front of me disappeared and I lay defenseless in front of him. I had no protection. No queen or king of sunflowers to protect me.
“Nothing will ever grow here, but wheat, darlin’. Nothing,” my father’s voice continued to echo through my ears.
“Why, daddy? Why do you lie?! It’s obvious that there is something in the wheat. Something grows in the wheat. He won’t leave me alone, daddy! Please save me!”
The man in black only stepped closer.
“He won’t leave my mind alone. I want to dream of you and mommy. Of sunflowers. Of things that grow in the wheat.”
I. Won’t. Let. You,” the man in black said.
“Why are you here?” I had tears running down my cheeks.
I. Was. Always. Here. Always. In. Here.” He tapped my head with his index finger. My mind?
“No,” I cried out.
“Yes. In. The. Field. Of. Wheat. There. Are. No. Sunflowers.” He snatched me by my head and lifted me off the ground, so that I stared him directly in his eyes. I never was more scared in my life. I closed my eyes hard. Then, I wished it to be over. All over.

I awoke from the same nightmare over again. I was panting, mumbling, whispering in my sleep. I’m sure of it.  Should a kid like me suffer so much?

Eleven years old.

Should I still be afraid of nightmares?

I can feel the seed. It has been planted.

“Are you ok, Sandy? Is everything alright?” Dad rushed over to my side; he evaded all the toys and junk in my room. “What’s wrong honey? Why you screamin’?”

“Nothing, papa. Just…umm…a bad dream.” I hoped it was a dream. “Dad is it true?”

“What?” Dad brought me up against his chest. His rough chin, on top of my head, scraped against my hair. He brushed it, gently through his fingertips, turning a bundle into single strands. One fell swoop.

“Is it true nothing will grow in your fields, but wheat?” My voice trembled a little. My voice trembled at the thought— the possibility—that a man can grow in the wheat field. My father’s wheat field. My wheat field.

“You know I’m a grain farmer, darlin’. Only grains and the rare weeds.” He kisses my cheek. “What were you dreamin’ about? Did something scary come out of the fields?” He put one hand on my shoulder, looked at me straight in the eyes, and tried finding the answer.

“Yeah, a monster,” I took a deep breath, “papa.”

“A monster? What did he have big floppy ears like Sheba?” Sheba was our golden-retriever. “And big ol’ scary teeth like me. Raaawwwrr.” He opened his mouth wide and tried to bite my arm, but instead kissed it. “How about long fingers like mine?” He started to tickle me under my arms.

“Hahahah, no,” I laughed under the pressure of dad’s ticklish powers. “No, he didn’t have ticklish fingers.”

“Well, then you have nothing to worry about. I think the worst are the ticklish fingers.” Papa stopped the tickling and let me be.

“Well, this monster was a man-monster.”

“A man-monster?”

“Yeah!” I yelled out at the top of my lungs. “He was a man, but he lived in the dark like a monster. He looked, well, like your age, but taller. I couldn’t really see anything because of the dark, but he reminds me of someone.”

Papa’s eyes widened. He knew something. He didn’t want to tell me. Papa always hid things behind his eyes, but I could tell. I could see something behind the curtains of his eyes.

“What is it, Papa?” I asked curiously.

“Well, who does it remind you of most?”

“I don’t know. I think it’s someone I must have forgotten.”

“How many people do ya know?” His eyes grew wide. Could I sneak a peek behind the curtain?

“I’ve never counted how many people I know!”

“Well, maybe you should start.” He said tucking me in for the night again. “Say all their names until you fall asleep. Maybe you’ll find someone you’ve forgotten. Start with me, momma, and Sheba.”

“Paul Clancy, Sheila Clancy, and Sheba Clancy. Check.” I made an invisible check in the air with my index finger.

“Maybe you can write and draw pictures of everyone you know. That way you’ll never forget them. We’ll frame them all over your walls. They’ll watch over you at night, so that man-monster won’t get you. Sound good?” He kissed my forehead.

“Ok, Papa. Tomorrow morning, I’ll draw you, momma, and Sheba. I’ll write about you in my journal, so I’ll never forget you. Never.” I closed my eyes.

I heard his heavy footsteps leave the room. Echo throughout the hallway. Echo in my mind. I won’t forget him. This night. This.


Anonymous said...

I really liked this, and I want to know more! It's such a compelling concept, a man-monster in the wheat, and Sandy seems to be a strong protagonist. Not only that, but you've got a wonderful title! Makes me wish I had come up with it. ;]

As you say, write on!

The Words Crafter said...

Ooooo, creepy! How frightening to be so helpless...and her dad knows? Is there a deeper purpose to having the pictures on the wall? Can they really look after her? Very curious about the man in the field....bring it!

Imola said...

Hm...looking forward for the following chapters!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Ooooh, you've made me very curious! I want to know who the man in black is and if he really exsists. I love the deeper meaning behind the short phrases. write on!:)

Nicole MacDonald said...

striking and intriguing. Well done!

Angel-Star said...

love your writing style, V. i would like it in smaller bytes, so i can savor it, (and to allow for the advice to "always leave then wanting MORE...")

Vatche said...

Hello, Amanda!

Thank you for your kind, kind words! Sandy is one of the strongest characters I've ever created, despite her being of a very young age. When I create my characters, I would like them to be someone my readers can look up to and root for.

As for the title, it's from a song also with the same title by Rise Against. So, I suggest you check out that song, since that was one of my inspirations to write Sandy's story.

Lastly, write on!

Vatche said...

Hey, The Words Crafter!

I will most likely "bring it" after a few days maybe. I have to think about it. As for the man in the field, all my readers will know more about him soon enough.

Write on and read on!

Vatche said...

Hey, Imola!

I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the story, as well. I will most likely post some of the chapters if more readers request them.

Until then, write on and cheers!

Vatche said...

Bonjour, Creepy Query Girl!

I'm glad that I've caught your curiosity, because that's important to a writer such as myself, but you won't get to know who the man in black is until a few more chapters.

Write on and read on to you, as well!

Vatche said...

Hello, Nicole!

I thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, which is my sole purpose in writing stories.

Write on and read on! :D

Vatche said...

Hey, Angel-Star!

I'm glad you enjoy my writing style, which often changes more and more as I write more fiction and become a stronger writer.

Savor every word, digest the images in your mind, because I want this story to stay in your head. I want you to remember Sandy well. I want Sandy to become your friend, like she has become mine.

So, write on and read on!

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