Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Class Reading - Solving for X (story posted)

That was supposed to be for the painting story but I did Solving for X instead. And basically almost passed out while reading it (if you didn't notice) so if my reading wasn't exactly coherent, you'll get to see it when I get home to put it online in this post. For now here is my intro....

I wrote two of these. The first one sucked. The second one sucked less. I went with that. I got to about K or L before I got stuck and had to think for a while. I started writing the sentences out of sequence when I thought of good ones for the particular letters. For example, I wrote the long one that started with T before I did R or S, and then I filled in the blanks with something that fit. I actually busted out the dictionary for X and Z, and I found out that there are lots of words that start with X, but none of them are useful in conversation. There are actually some useful words that start with Z. Like zero. Zero is a good word. And zealous. But not zebra because that's a little too elementary school. And I really, really didn't want to use xylophone.

"Solving for X"

Absolute darkness fell over the house. Blinded momentarily by the abrupt loss of light, Grant stood frozen in place.

“Can you see anything?” Frances asked.

“Do you think I can see in the dark?”

Eventually the objects in the room became clear to him. Frances had planted herself on the arm of the couch. Grant sat down beside her. He put his hand on top of hers.

“I had a feeling this was going to happen tonight,” he said.

“Just think, if we could have known for sure,” Frances began, staring out the blackened window.

“Knowing wouldn’t have changed anything.”

Lights across the neighborhood, porch lights, street lamps, and windows, blinked off and on in random intervals. Moments passed as they sat in silence, as if the absence of light also signified the absence of sound. Not until sirens wailed in the distance, growing increasingly louder, did they stir from their trance.

“Oh my God,” Frances whispered. “Please let this be over soon.”

Quietly, Grant walked to the window and pressed the palm of his hand against the cold, smooth glass. Red embers were falling lazily from the sky. Some of them had landed in the dry flower bed out front, causing the flowers to smolder and crackle.

This could not, would not, be the end of all the things that Grant had known and all the many things that he still wanted to know, even if it looked as though all hope for survival was gone and there were loud, thundering sounds on the horizon, and the ground shook ominously below their feet and the fires began to glow in the distance like the dawning of the very last day on Earth.

“Unless you’d like to burn alive, I say we start running now,” Grant said.

“Very funny.”

“We could have moved away to Australia or wherever else, but you just had to stay here where all hell was about to break loose.”

“Xenophobia was always my biggest flaw.”

“You know I love you in spite of it.”

Zinnias and daffodils waved goodbye in the blazing night breeze as Grant and Frances ran away down the street, their sweaty fingers interlocked, and their eyes to the ground.


  1. This story is about creating a story using a-x.

    Your story was really good I had no idea that it was the A-X story.

  2. I liked that you were able to find words for the hard letters such as x and z and were still able to make the story work. It didnt seem like you were even trying to get all the letters to work togehter.

  3. This story I think is about two people who have accidently lit their house on fire.

    This was impressive. There wasnt alot of sense detail but given the restrictions, you added alot of elements like dialogue which I was impressed with.great job.

  4. This is a powerful story! I felt the chills as I was listening to you read it...very good job, and excellent work using the restricted pattern!