Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Roadtrip Wednesday: In the beginning... writing was not good. I mean, no one's was! If I had it here, I would share the story that started my writing obsession, but it's tucked away somewhere at my parents' house. It's called Flutter the Fly, and I wrote it when I was seven. For fun, not for school. It's about a fly (named Flutter!) who goes in her little fly cage (something like this, minus the accessories) to the fair, where she gets shown and wins a blue ribbon.

I was cool enough to bring it to school one day and show it to my teacher, who thought it was so good that she asked if it was okay if she read it aloud to the rest of the class.

I was so proud/embarrassed.

And of course, I never looked back.

But since I don't have that here, you get my first "serious" (I use this term way loosely) attempt at writing a novel. It was pretty long, but all handwritten so I have no idea of the exact length, and it was actually well thought out, if strange. I was eleven, I think, or maybe twelve when I wrote the majority of this. I stopped working on it when I was about thirteen or fourteen.

The plot: Genetically modified kangaroos have taken over Earth. They killed all the humans except a few smart ones who they keep imprisoned on an island in case they need them for anything. And they've started culling farm animals who don't live up to their standards of beauty, in rounds. Later, they intend to do pets and wild animals as well, but they've started with farm animals. The main character is a cow named Frosti. (Um, this was also my putting an "i" at the end of names instead of a "y" phase). There's more, but that's the gist. So enjoy some thoroughly embarrassing little snippets of my lovely old writing. Be warned, it gets really purple in places. And I avoided any pieces with dialog, because it's too embarrassing to even show to others.

The first two paragraphs of chapter one.
Cattle Creek Farm was a majestic place. It was nestled in a pretty little valley that also encompassed a quaint town called Summerville. The town was a farming community, and all of the farms were rich and luxurious. But none compared to Cattle Creek Farm.

The farm had three large barns to house the one thousand or so cattle who lived there. Each barn was equipped with the latest comfort technology, including heated floors, soft cushions in the free stalls, and soothing massage stalls on the ends. Nearby these was another structure, a towering hay barn that stood out against the early morning sky with its lofty roof throwing eerie shadows across the ground. The magnificent and far-reaching fields were filled with cows, their velvety brown coats gleaming as they grazed and chewed their cud peacefully.

A piece of the chapter I was most proud of (my MC has been taken to a slaughterhouse, along with a younger calf named Socks.)*
Before night had fallen their hearts were permanently scarred with the suffering they had witnessed. They saw calves fall under the feet of the cattle, screaming as they died painfully. They watched as time and again the two brute-like kangaroos flung calves over the fence. Occasionally the calf didn't make it over, and the small fragile skulls would crack on the bulging boards that barely held in the mass of cows in the pen. Blood would splatter everywhere, and the contents of the calf's head dripped onto the ground. The kangaroos would then simply laugh and say, "Damn! Bad throw."

There were also those bovines who found bad footing on top of the others and slid horrified through a crack. Frosti would then hear the crack of a rib, the grinding of bone against cement and bone, or the grotesque snap of a limb breaking off. The agonized moans of the dying beast would then follow.

The sickening sights and sounds were enough to make some do horrible things. One mother screamed as her baby fell down, its last word a pitiful heart-wrenching, "Mommy!" The cow flung herself after, and Frosti flinched at the sound of her bones crunching.

"Socks," she said firmly. "We will escape."

[end of chapter]

In case anyone fears for poor Frosti, she did escape (and so did Socks). They started a revolution with some wild animals in the forest. I honestly don't know where this idea came from, but I think I might have just learned about the Holocaust for the first time around when I got this idea.

*It's important to me that I point out: this in no way reflects my view (past or present) on what actual slaughterhouses are like. They are not like this. No matter how you feel on the subject, I hope you all know that too.

Hope you enjoyed my lameness! Feel free to tease...nicely.


LizPage said...

So, I'm a vegetarian and this just worms it's way inside my heart and reminds me why I've been insane enough to abstain from meet since I was 12.

I love this. The fantasy/innocence of it makes me smile while at the same time, the advanced details of the emotions make me want to just hug little you.

I actually like this alot. No teasing here :]

Amanda Hannah said...

No fair. Our very young work was supposed to be somewhat tragic. This is not. This is really good and I love that at such a young age you were so insanely creative!

Michelle Schusterman said...

I just love this story. You are so adorable - and so talented, really!

And *gasp* – you CUSSED! KAITLIN!! Shame shame... :)

Kate Hart said...

Ditto Amanda. This is some early genius.

John Rea-Hedrick said...

Sounds like a cross between 'Animal Farm' and a scene out of 'War of the Worlds'.

Very imaginative (and chilling), but nothing at all to be embarrassed about.


Kaitlin Ward said...

Michelle: I remember thinking I was so badass for using the word damn ;)

Kirsten Hubbard said...

YES. I have been waiting for this.

Kristin Miller said...

A-DORE! Such great early talent. Now excuse me while I get a tissue.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing for such a young age. I did snicker imagining the kangaroos with their short arms heaving the other animals. So awesome!

Emilia Joyce Plater said...

"One mother screamed as her baby fell down, its last word a pitiful heart-wrenching, "Mommy!""

Kaitlin Ward said...

Emilia, it's written in different colored markers for each page. Still want to??

Leah Michelle said...

Epic story with awesome description? I agree, no fair :P All this stuff is supposed to be bad not brilliant haha!

Anonymous said...

You had an EPIC imagination. *high-fives mini Kaitlin* :D

Jhony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bailey McKay Clement said...

Brilliant brilliant brilliant writing!