Cross My Heart and Hope to Write


Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Tear Collector

This, ladies and gentleman, is the single most important work I have ever written. "Why?" you may wonder. Well, for one, it's the first story I ever wrote to its completion. I was nigh 16 when the idea occurred to me while riding a bus to school. At the time, I was rather depressed (over what, escapes me now), but I pondered the possibility of saving up my tears in jars. Most certainly impractical, the concept lingered in my synapses and began to flesh itself out, stringing together ideas that had been biding in my mind with no commonality for years (fallen angels, carrousels, poisonous flowers, bathing in blood, Latin, holy war, Frankenstein, and the list continues). Once the writing process began, I remember I looked forward to coming home every day from school to write until dinner time; it took about 9 months to complete. It is the second longest story I have written to date at about 90 pages (second only to The Purgatory Wing, which I'm sure to include an excerpt of here eventually). I am currently attempting to revise a lot of it, mostly improving upon the gammer, though I felt it quite pertinent to share a sample at this time.
More importantly than the work itself is the impact it had on my writing in general. At the time I began writing the piece, my understanding of grammar was fairly deficit. Growing up, I was a special needs student with behavioral problems, which made my teaching environment rather unique. I knew how to use periods, exclamation points and question marks properly, but other grammatical rules (such as the proper way to use a comma or semicolon, or how to separate paragraphs) were nonexistent. This being the case, I wrote the entire story as one continuous paragraph consisting of sentences built solely around periods, exclamation points and question marks. Only after the story was completed did I go back and add in commas, semicolons and so forth. All that being said, writing The Tear Collector singlehandedly taught me the rules of language.
Alright, enough history! The actual story concerns a 16-year-old boy (haha!) by the name of Fleo (Latin=to cry) who is orphaned at an early age and left to fend for himself in a bustling metropolis in an unnamed land, surviving in the home of and off the fortune left by his father after he committed suicide. For as long as he can remember, he has felt this sickening pain in his soul that has never left him. While attempting suicide, Fleo dips into the Dark (the afterlife constituted by Light and Dark, respectively), but miraculously returns to the realm of the living - only with a horrible secret. His secret is discovered by the tyrannical emperor of the metropolis Sir Malus Contemno (Latin = evil and despised) who desires to capture him. Fleo is lead into the uncharted woods that surround the city by a man named Sapiens (Latin = wisdom) to protect him, and the hunt begins. The rest of the story consists of his escape into the woods and the people he meets there, discovering the forgotten history of the land along the way.
The small section I have included here is taken from the chapter entitled The Girl in Blue a third of the way through the novel. Fleo has met a wandering girl in the woods by the name of Angelus (Latin=the angel). We find them in the wee hours of the night sitting beneath a hulking willow tree, its branches aglow with fireflies and insects. It reads from the point of view of Fleo and, well, let's indulge, shall we?

The Tear Collector

     "She lifted her face to my eyes once more. She was so picturesque, so pleasing to my gaze that I did not want to look away. In that moment, those precious moments we had shared for the short while we had known each other (the most alien and indescribable moments of my entire existence), a passion had replaced the longing, bleeding, saddened crux that sat in my chest for as long as I could remember. A burning flame, a torch to light the dark path of uncertainty I had always traveled had been kindled. This newfound glory erected a warrior within me, ready to bite the bullet of love and strive for it with the zeal of a trillion valentines. 
     In seeing her, she flooded me with a happiness I had never felt, drowning all the pain and suffering. The reason I could never find was suddenly welled up inside of me, nearly bringing me to tears. With an unstoppable desire that I knew was right, I placed my hand in hers and pulled her close to me. My eyes dipped back into my skull as I pushed my lips to her's and the moment they met I felt another death become me. In that symbiotic moment, a burst of electrical ecstasy pulsed through every stem of my being, every wish and dream, and gave them life. Every question, every fear was shunned away, and the hunger I had felt before was suddenly satiated. As I held my eyes shut, savoring the texture of her lips, feeling as divinity filled my soul, I heard the leaves above us rustle and shiver as the trunk beside us shifted and creaked. A great rush of light illuminated my eyes from the inside as the insects flew off into the night in all directions, mimicking the walls of my heart as they were obliterated beneath the force of love."                    

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