Flashback Friday: “Writings of Yesteryear”

FlashbackSo a friend of mine, Mister Brewer over at anastasisman.wordpress.com, posted one of his early writings for all to enjoy. It was one of those riveting tales that only middle school-aged boys could possibly come up with (aliens included). I had a lot of fun reading it, and thank him for sharing!

He also tagged me. So now I have to post some writing from my early days as a blooming writer. Unfortunately I don’t have anything that goes as far back as his does (except maybe tucked away on an external hard drive at my parents’ house somewhere). I intended to post the first complete short story I ever wrote at 17, but luckily ended up finding the beginning of a Christmas story I began writing when I was a sophomore in high school (15). I guess that’s childish enough? Anyway, it cuts off before anything really happens, but here I am, writing in all my young teenaged glory.

By the way, I’m tagging dear AJ over at authorajadwen.com to post her early writings. Enjoy!

The First Christmas Rain

Kharis Courtney ©2005

There’s something peculiar in the way the rain falls on a chilly day—something about how a raindrop clings to the barren trees just before it loses its grasp. There is something in the way the crisp picture of the day is lost to the waiting clouds, who cast their shadow and weep over the image, making it fuzzy like a photograph that was taken during happy times—like perhaps a sudden laugh jolted the photographer just as he captured the photo, making it ever so slightly and beautifully blurred.

I gazed through the foggy window as the dim lights hanging from the next door neighbor’s rooftop flickered lazily at me through the grey drizzle. They looked as pathetic and disappointed as I was. It was the first time in my many years of living here that it had rained on Christmas day. To be perfectly honest though, one really couldn’t complain. It seemed fitting. After all, that was the year for firsts. Not only did that year mark the first time that I forgot to mail my Christmas cards, but also the first time that I had realized that black was not my color, that I could never live off of casserole alone, and that I loathed the idea of casual “my condolences” cards. But the most important first of course was the fact that this, the first Christmas rain, accompanied my first Christmas without him.

He had been there with me every holiday season for years, nailing the garland to the wall and serving his famous slightly scorched eggnog and Christmas cookies with a thin layer of “burnt to a crisp” on the bottom. He loved this time of year, and it didn’t bother him that he was a terrible cook or that the angel on top of the tree was always slightly crooked—just like his playful smile. Truthfully, it didn’t bother me either. His trees always looked the most beautiful, and I cherished the moments that we spent working on it together, hanging ornaments in the middle of the night. I had learned to love the taste of eggnog just the way that he served it, with smoldering cookies and all.

This year, the eggnog was perfect and the cookies were golden brown all over with no trace of being overcooked. They were absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious and I hated them. There was no tree that wanted to be subjected to the agony of being decorated only by me, and it would have been agony for me as well. Getting a tree meant remembering the look on his face as he piled the biggest fir that he could find on top of his little truck. Getting a tree meant driving my small car to the nearest tree farm all by myself. Worst of all, getting a tree meant bringing out all of the trimmings and decorations.

The decorations were up in the attic where the stagnant air smelled softly of old spice, tobacco, and the nauseating scent of comfortably settled dust. It was the scent of old memories that were fresh enough to be painfully vivid, but stale enough to avoid the warm beauty of reality. Getting the decorations wasn’t just a holiday tradition anymore: it was a confrontation with something that I hadn’t yet found the heart to face. How I had clung to that scent after I lost him. I remembered the nights of putting my head slightly on his pillow as I wore his old shirt and tried to inhale every last bit of him before he could escape my grasp. I remembered when the day came that my own scent began to overpower his and I decided to put all of his clothes away in a pathetic attempt to save what I still had of him…

-THE END- (for now)

So that’s it. The earliest beginning of a short story I could find. It could definitely be cleaned up, but it’s not ALL bad, is it? Maybe I’ll actually finish it one of these days… If I can remember where exactly I was going with it!

In Love and Christ,
KC

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