Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Storytime with Shreen, Part 1: "Death Poems and Ed J." or "Adverbs 'R' Us"

Recently, while taking an extended break from thesis edits, I began sifting through a folder of old writing I found in my computer. It doesn't have a lot in it--I'm missing years of clich├ęd stories, wince-inducing poems, and surprisingly good scraps of prose--but I've got a good enough sampling. From what I've seen, it seems I thought that adverbs were in danger of becoming extinct, so I jammed them in wherever I found an opening.

Still, I laughed out loud at a few things I wrote. Some are hilarious. Some are atrocious. I thought I'd share the best parts with you in a series of blogs. This first one will summarize a short story I wrote for English in high school, complete with quotes and commentary. I won't subject you to the entire thing. That would just be cruel. Keep in mind--I thought this was fantastic when I wrote it.

So the story, endowed with the mind-numbingly boring name "The Dilemma," begins in a school hallway with a protagonist inexplicably named "Zebina" and her friend, Leia. Leia tries to tell something to Zebina, but Z leaves because Leia is histrionic and prone to exaggeration (basically).

In class, she talks with her other friend, Geena, and the obligatory good-looking dude, "Edward Jamison, on whom [she] secretly cradled a crush." Ole' Ed asks Z some question about the homework and she melts in joy. Or something like that.
(Note on Ed: I wrote this before Twilight existed. That crazy lady stole the name from me!)
(Note on Geena: I remember trying to write her character as an exaggerated form of myself--practical, studious, calm. I'm not sure why I thought this described me.)

Anyway, Leia finally tells Zebina that she's being stalked by "The Rat," who is a crazy social outcast. I included a helpful description:
Albert "The Rat" Ratzschnen could quite accurately be called the creepiest person in the entire school.  He was approximately five-foot-three with short, bristly black hair.  He wore enormous horn-rimmed sunglasses and had about five different floppy black coats with chains and abnormal apparatuses hanging from them.  The extent of the acne on his face was only surpassed by the seven or eight bizarre piercings scattered amongst his eyebrows, nose, and chin.  And perhaps weirdest of all, he always carted around a wooden cane with the likeness of a gold mallard duck adorning its peak
I almost died when I read this. Horn-rimmed sunglasses? Ahahaha! Where would you even get those? And a gold duck cane? O_o

So the duck-caned little man put a creepy poem in Z's locker. The poem is fabulous. I'm rather proud of my teenage self:

From the first day I saw you,
I knew you would be
The perfect one for me.
I knew that someday

we would and could
be united together
in death.
When worms
and other such creatures
burrow through our corpses,
I’ll know that we were meant to be

Great, right? So she avoids him, blah blah blah, the story drags on, she worries a lot, and then she gets another poem. Huzzah! Except this one's just poorly-written and stalkery, not about being jointly devoured by worms: 

My eyes follow you
but you don’t see me.
I’m just out of sight,
I cannot be seen.
Perhaps you don't know
who to look for;
perhaps you don't know me.
But you will.

After this, the story drags on a while longer. Z talks to Ed J. some more 'n' stuff. Then she gets another poem that's not even fun. The Rat tells her where he wants to meet her, but he's too brilliant for foolish ole' Z, so she can't understand his cryptic message. So instead she she finds him "after gym class, [while he is] stopping to tie his grodalated old tennis shoes.
His eyes, somewhat out of focus, narrowed when he saw me.  "What do you want?" he asked guardedly in his nasally voice, standing up to lessen the distance between us.
I remember he was fun to write. Unfortunately, the story gets super boring from here. She confronts him and finds out that he's been writing the notes for Ed J. the whole time. Yay! The high school girl gets a boyfriend and avoids the creepy rat-man. Fourteen-year-old me is so original.

Thank you, thank you. I do deserve your applause. *bows*


  1. Um. You know where the duck cane came from, right? I don't need to remind you where the inspiration for your Rat came from, do I?

    1. Meh. So I'm even more unoriginal. Did he really have a duck cane? I thought I made that part up. :P

    2. There was a duck cane. I'm sorry.

  2. Face this is a dreadful story. :p More, more, I want more! Also I have some of these and you're making me want to dredge them up! lol