The more I write, the more I begin to realize that writing is a little like building a snowball. It begins with this small thing in your hand, tiny and fragile, cold to the touch but beginning to melt, even as we speak. Quickly, in order to preserve its’ life, you pack more and more snow on to it. Suddenly, it is too big for you to hold, and it begins to roll down the hill. It grows as it falls ever downward, until it hits a tree and is split apart with a satisfying poof.

Or at least, that’s what my writing feels like. It always starts with a little idea I had, and then suddenly it is careening into alleys that I never thought existed. As the days go by (and there have not been many) I grow to love this more and more. Thank you, void where no one is reading and no one is listening, thank you fo rat least being my void. Thank you for at least making me feel heard. You may be a void, but you are mine.

Back to this story.

This one was supposed to be about a woman with one leg, the other lost from a car accident on the way to her first ballet as a professional. She would’ve sat in her wheelchair and cried, at the end, as she watched this sweet music box that she’s had since she was a child dance endlessly, mocking her. Finally, in a fit of rage at her condition and at this beautiful music box, she would’ve hurled it to the wall. She would’ve regretted it, but not till much later. Not till she got her first prosthetic leg and started a dance studio for those who are at a disadvantage. One of her students would’ve given her a music box simular to her old one, but with the leg broken off.

It would’ve been a beautiful story, but somehow it did not turn out that way. Honestly, I’m not sure how, but the story sort of morphed itself into this one. This one is also poignant, but it is about a different woman with a different problem. Actually, this one is based roughly on a man I met long ago on the streets of my city, but his story was with a cello named Darling. God, that was a sad story.

I used to have a music box when I was younger. I had bought it for my mom, but she didn’t like it so I kept it for myself instead. It was this little ceramic bear, not shiny but dressed in the most beautiful ballet clothes. I used to dream of ballet, but unfortunately I was never coordinated enough. Oh well, at least I can write about it.

Alright, that’s enough of my little backstory. I hope you enjoy! Comment with an idea for tomorrow’s story, which will be about FOOD!

4. Dancing: Who’s dancing and why are they tapping those toes?

God, I thought (for the billionth time) I love that stupid music box.

The way the pristine pink shoes glinted the delicate sunlight, the slow motion of the dancer, that slightly arched back, swan-like neck reaching up and coalescing into the perfect bun sitting atop her heart-shaped face, tiny stub nose, and a face that would never need makeup. God, that damned music box would sing the most beautiful sounds, and it would dance the most beautiful dance.

I used to watch the damned thing for hours. I musta been little, probably around six or seven. I had gotten my first pair of dance shoes along with them, right after my first recital. I beamed. I glowed. I held those red roses, wore my new dance shoes (even though they were a touch too small) and carried that beautiful box around my house for hours. Mom finally took the box away, fearing it would break.

It’s a good thing she did, cause I don’t think I would’ve ever let go.

No, I’m certain I’d sleep with that stupid music box.

Even when I moved cross-country, I held on to that thing. We were downgrading to a little apartment, dad said it “had a lot of character,” but I don’t think roaches, broken shower faucets, and huge cracks in the walls count as character. We were each given a box, probably about the height of two or three Nike shoe boxes laying on one another, maybe as wide as my boot. That damned music box took up over half of it, but I was able to smuggle in some books as well. I don’t have the books anymore, just this damned music box.

Hell, that old thing even followed me through high school! God, wasn’t that hell. I remember my first day, three fights broke out and I was at the center of one of them. That surely hasn’t changed, probably never will. I’d fight people because they’d tried to take my lunch money. The teachers never believed me, but I swear that’s why! That and nothing more! I was a good kid, I was sober, I was clean, I mostly did my homework, I studied real hard, and I never got pregnant. I wasn’t a star student, hell I wasn’t one of the best students, but I was decent. I was a good kid, excepting when I threw a couple a punches at those who tried to rob me of the little cash I had to buy my lunch. I would work at night to save up for lunches and clothes, I’d try to feed my little brother Robbie whenever I could.

That damn thing was with me when they tossed me outta school. It was there when I lost my first job. And my second. And my third.

It was there that one shitty night when that asshole accused me of stealing his meth. Sure, I stole his meth, but he was too outta it to realize until much later. Thank God he didn’t call the cops. He was probably too scared to anyway.

It’s was there when mom died, when dad told me I had to leave. When I asked Robbie for a bit of cash but he just laughed. And it was there when I got my first house. Sure, it’s not a nice house. Yes, it’s got mice, and it’s always cold, and it hard as a rock because there is no bed (or walls or a roof or anything too it really) but hey, it’s free as hell.

Besides, only thing I ever really needed was that damned music box.

God, I miss that old thing. The money wasn’t worth it anyways.

 

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