(C)opyright me, tungsai.com, now and forever.


A writing exercise to contain the above word

Ryan sat in his room, and found himself once again staring at his pad of paper, his mind everywhere except on the story he was supposed to be writing. The laughter of the other children, bouncing off of the house next door and coming through his open window, was like the Sirens he’d read about. All he could think of was wanting to go outside and continue his game of laser tag, with all of the other neighbor kids. The sun would be down soon, and the games would soon be over. His mother, calling from the living room, interrupted like a needle scraped a record during a beautiful song. “If you don’t finish three pages, Ryan, you can’t go to sleep. You must finish them today. And it must be fiction. Is that understood?”

“Yes, Mama.” His response, painful to emit due to his reluctance to feign happiness, came with years of training. Being the son of a strict English teacher whose husband was gone made life as a child difficult. Sincerity was unattainable when dealing with Mama; Ryan would’ve had to condemn himself to unaccountable tortures should he voice his true feelings toward his mother. At first he thought he understood. She was upset about the disappearance of his father;  and he provided a means of release. Then he began to resent the continuity of her restriction, and subsequent guilt over his resentment transpired. Even his guilt had been set aside eventually, when he realized that his mother’s overbearance upon him reached beyond understanding supervision. It seemed as though she couldn’t stand it for him to have fun, since Father left. An escalating coldness permeated her company, and it created pools of thin ice which Ryan broke intermittently. Until finally an unreversible loathing resulted, and it was all Ryan could do to maintain civility in his mother’s presence.

Mother was no fool. She knew her son, and upon his digression from her strict (yet often chaotic) demands, she began to delight in his restriction. The ungrateful boy should know what to do and what not to do, but then again he was a male. They simply are no good to begin with, one must practically beat them into submission. Didn’t Ryan know that all she wanted was raise a son who rose above others and knew the beauty and remarkable candor of prose? She had never wasted her time actually telling him this; he would only ignore the implication of her remark and she would have to spend an hour reiterating the importance of her litany, like she had to with so many other things. The boy simply did not listen. So, she had to teach him through direct exercise. Eventually he would learn to love writing.

A thought struck Mother on that moment of that summer afternoon, nearly concurrent with the wafting smell of freshly cut grass that snuck its way in through the open windows. Since today Ryan was exceptionally distracted, she would have to enact more exclusive measures in his assignment. She picked up a nearby pencil, and a note pad she kept nearby. After a few moments of consideration, she wrote a word on the pad. With her lips pursed in a brazen grin of satisfaction, she walked down the hallway to Ryan’s door. She liked the way her heels authoritatively clocked on the wooden floor; he would know she was coming. He was already facing the door when she opened it, his back to the desk.

“Ryan. I’ve come up with an idea. I hope you haven’t gotten too far into your text-” She apathetically stood on her toes to ascend her view from his shoulder and raised her eyebrows in a false countenance of concern. “Oh. You haven’t started yet. Good.” She laid the paper before him, and on it was written a word: loathe.“I’d like you to use this word in your writings for the day. I know it merely restricts your opportunities, but restriction only reveals an artist’s talents more fervently. Do you understand?”

Ryan was not surprised at this new rule; it was just another in the pile under which his spirit had been buried a while ago. Still, each weight must be tested.

“But mother, I don’t even know what-“

“You have a dictionary. Certainly your inadequacies are not too overwhelming to use the resources before you?” Her tone was the epitome of sarcasm, a word whose meaning Ryan had learned well. “Pick it up and look up ‘loathe’, and read its definition aloud to me please.”

Ryan turned around, trying his best to look unaffected and pretending this was a normal situation. He found the word, and spoke: ” to hate etc. “.

“There. Now you know what it means. The rest of what to do should be evident.”

“Mama, you know I can’t make up fiction, I’ve tried, and I’m no good at it, I can only write about things I’ve really done, and with this word-“

“Are you talking back to me, boy?” She dared him to say more, and though her gaunt face revealed nothing but reticence, her gleaming eyes confessed her desire for disobedience to be punished.

Ryan again found himself against a brick wall, a wall that once was a mother he loved. “No, Mama. I’ll do it.”

The minutes ticked by, and stacked themselves into hours. Thoughtless, Ryan stared at the blank paper, knowing only anger and hatred. But nearing 10 p.m., he realized that the time he had spent was a means to one end. Like soggy drudge in the kitchen sink, coagulating in the hidden drain trap as the water tornadoed its way down, Ryan’s will solidified. His actions were without thought, for the past few hours’ contemplation were as a ritualistic preparation for the moment.

He stood up, and casually walked to his bedroom door. Like an actor he was; his actions natural by appearance; but the agenda was the core of his ultimate goal. He opened the door; and walked down the hallway. His stomach clenched when Mother came into view; she was sitting on the couch, grading papers before her through the reading glasses she kept around her neck at all times. Exactly as he predicted, she spoke as soon as she could see him.

“Ryan, I’m not going to warn you again. Go back to your room. Now.”

Without looking at her, which was quite easy, he kept up his pace. “I’m just going to the kitchen, to get some water. I’ll go right back to my room with the glass.”

“Ryan, I did NOT give you permission to leave you room in the first place. Go back in there and ask politely for water. I will give you ten seconds.”

Ryan didn’t care if she heard the drawer open or not; if she did, it only meant he could save time. Then, as his spirit deep within bubbled with anticipation, a bubble broke the fetid green surface of his existential prison. “Fuck you.”

Her response was immediate. The quick stomps were those of an angry woman, still as quick and angry as the day she walked away from her husband- when he told her about the other woman. As she approached Ryan, his back was still to her as he turned on the water. The precise moment occurred. He swung around, a large kitchen knife in his hand. Her approach was still momentous, since she had planned on grabbing him immediately and swinging him around to deliver a slap. Ryan barely had to stab forward, her momentum was so great. Her gasp was immediate; it occurred spasmodically even before she realized that a knife was in her chest. She stood paralyzed, as if the knife had struck her “pause” switch. Ryan still had his hand on the handle, and the knife hadn’t really penetrated very deep. Perhaps an inch or two. As he watched her, a brief moment of reluctance struck him. Perhaps this would be enough to show her the pain he felt; how much it hurts to loathe his mother. But when she looked at him, and naught but anger burned behind those steel eyes, he drove the point with all of his might.

She made a noise that Ryan would later describe as almost a laugh. The kind of laugh when a friend gives you a Christmas present, you open it, and it’s a box of dirt. She fell backward, hitting her arm on the table, though it wouldn’t matter much now. Time suddenly had epic implications; each second drew out, and was strangely over just as quick as it began. Her eyes never left his; he only blankly stared at her. It was when her head rolled back and her stare fixed itself upon the ceiling that he allowed himself to cry. He sat on the kitchen floor, contemplated its patterns as he wept aloud. When he was done, he walked back up to his room, after pouring a glass of water. He sat at the desk, and picked up the pen. He wrote the first words he had ever wanted to write in his life. Never had he willingly put pen to paper, but now he desired nothing more vehemently.

How I killed my mother. By Ryan Schmeckendeugler. It all started when I was three years old….

Digg this     Create a del.icio.us Bookmark     Add to Newsvine

No Responses to “Loathe”

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.