Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Imperative

Found this from another, long-since forgotten blog, and really, really liked it, so I thought I'd share.  I was doing a lot of writing exercises at the time, and this one was one of the few that worked out well enough for public consumption. The exercises can be found in Brian Kiteley's book, The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Exercises that Transform Your Writing. I highly recommend it.

In Kiteley second exercise, called The Imperative, he instructs the writer to write a 400-word min. story fragment in only imperative sentences, instructing the reader to accomplish a task.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFESAVING TECHNIQUES

Pack and go.

Do not wait until you have nothing of you left to take. Take your books, yes. And take your clothes. Box them up and seal them tight with thick, USPS-approved cellophane tape, label them carefully, and put them in the back of your car. Do not let him know you are going. Do not say good-bye.

Just pack and go.

Leave before he can try and talk you out of it. Get out before he has the chance to convince you that you will die without him. Do not give him one more chance to tell you that no one but him could ever love you, and that you are worthless and useless. Make haste and depart before he can describe yet again how easy it would be for him to kill you in your sleep, and then hide your body where no one would ever find it.

Pack a smaller bag for your little one, full of his or her most precious possessions. Do not leave your little one behind so that he has the opportunity to tell him or her that you left because you did not love the child, rather than because you had long ago ceased loving the father. Do not let him poison the child as he has tried to poison the mother.

Pack and go, before he has one more opportunity to let you know that he does not today, nor did he ever really love you. Pack and go before he can find other little ways to kill your soul or fragment your self with his unloving of you. Pack and go before you can be shocked again at the realization that he never knew who you were, and that he really didn’t care, as long as you were fertile and young and could give him the children that he wanted.

Pack and go while you still have the tiniest morsel of you to seed and grow back into the woman you were, the woman you were meant to be, before the unloving and the unknowing and the uncaring of you, of this life you have now. Take your boxes and your bags and and your little one and anything else you can carry and, as quickly and quietly as possible, avoiding panic and mayhem, find your way to the nearest exit, before you lose all sense of direction, all sense of yourself and of your purpose on this earth.

Do it, now.

Find your real life.

Just pack.

Then, go.