Thursday 2 October 2008

Metonymy Story

As mentioned previously, we occasionally write short pieces of fiction as a group along some predetermined guideline. The following is a story written with the intent of demonstrating metonomy.

It hung there, both perfect and chaotic, a smooth circle of blue ink marred by angry tendrils crawling through the tiny creases of his skin. It hung there at the base of his wrist, the dark impetuous stare of an eye on a moth’s dirty wing. His gentle snoring eased as she brushed some stray hairs from her face, her finger slowly travelling from her temple to her ear, down her jaw, then resting between her lips. Just outside their curtain the first hints of morning were beginning to reveal themselves, the bedroom not quite freed from the grip of night. She exhaled slowly, feeling her measured breath press against her fingertip, her eyes locked on the offending blot. Alastair insisted on writing with a fountain pen, and not just any fountain pen either. It was an ancient piece. Heavy, dark and mechanical, its barrel perpetually sticky with dried and drying indigo. Ever since George had known him, this beast had left its mark on her husband and oft times in the strangest of places. Behind his ear. A dot below the left corner of his lip. Once she had even found a dark purplish smudge across the small of his back. Although she admonished him often about the pen, his carelessness, and the ink that inevitably stained his person and his clothes, he seemed helpless against this blue tide. Alastair’s efforts to please his wife meant that the small ceramic sink in his study saw plenty of use, but still not a week went by without the presence of a trespasser. George rolled from her side to her back, her hands pulling down the thin sheet from her chest until it rolled to a rest on her belly. Staring up at the freshly painted ceiling she thought back to a vacation they had taken long ago, to the beach. It was not quite Summer then, but they both preferred to visit when there weren’t many people about. Despite the crash of the surf, and persistent winds, George found it calming to lie on her beach blanket, in pants and a sweater, with her head and book propped up just so. Alastair spent much of his time reading as well, when he wasn’t walking up and down the sand dunes, poking at driftwood and other odd things that washed ashore. She recalled once, a few days after they had arrived, looking over at her husband, his fingers locked in his sandy hair as he dozed beside her, and spotting a tiny spot of ink squatting on the very tip of his elbow. Alastair hadn’t written in days, and George suddenly felt as if a very heavy stone, round and cold, had been placed in the centre of her chest.

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