Deconstructing Boxes

Walking out of the building rage roared, like flames devastating what had been her carefully constructed life. The walls fell down in ashen piles, the view clearing. The wall behind her, constructed as protection from all of the garbage dumped on her and into her world, vanished. The wall in front fell away and the sun shone in a blaze of clarity. Emma had both hands on her future. Nothing would ever control her again.

She became divided into “before” and “after” by a visit to Spencer, Guilford and Lee, Attorneys.  Before, she walked into the office with a life dreary and sad but carefully forged as her own. After, she left blasted into something staggering and uncertain yet emboldening. Deciding to donate blood, then learning she didn’t match her parents, hurled her into the discovery and a future she wasn’t sure she wanted. They don’t understand, Emma’s scars are concealed by her skin because they are gouged from the inside. There isn’t a person, family or friend, who understands and she isn’t compelled to explain, so these new people aren’t necessary.

Bursting through the doors, stumbling and stunned by the revelation, Emma’s boxes quickly opened and her stride became sure and confident. These people may not be welcome but they presented clarity and sureness for her future. Before, finishing her degree online seemed endless.  After, Loyola tuition paid, and a journalism degree on the horizon meant the self constructed cubbyhole was in her rear view.

Emma stopped, closed her eyes, raised her face and the breeze blew through her sweeping the weight of the rubble away. Opening her eyes, the sun burned walls away, lighting the trail beyond. Ahead there would be gates, locked and unlocked but  the  trailing dust obscured and faded what lay behind, she knew the ugly past would never prevail.


I’m linking up the newest Emma post with Write on Edge’s Red Writing Hood prompt. I stumbled over this Switchfoot song while looking for another. I love this band and the song fit the direction I want to take Emma and serves as a pivotal moment beautifully! Read the lyrics which are conveniently included underneath the video.

“This week, we asked you to envision “making it big.” So big, in fact, that your great novel is being made into a movie – so, envision the song that would be playing during the pivotal scene of a movie based on your novel . . . once you have the song set, write that scene.

In 300 words.”

Also linking up with Studio 30+ for their prompt “in the clear”. Emma’s new revelation seems to fit this as well since she is now “in the clear” of the baggage of her past.

Pomp and Trumpets

How many times have I heard this song? How many times have I played it? This time there’s the satisfaction, I am the one marching and NOT playing the song until my fingers are stiff as grampa’s collar, and lips are buzzy and numb.

Daa, da da da daa daaaa! I look to the band pit smugly thinking “ha ha!” (like the Simpsons “Cartman”) Poor suckers! How many times are you doomed to play and listen to this song?

I stride to my seat grinning gleefully at two friends who also endured endlessness “Pomp and Circumstance.” Never more! The glances reveal a mirth and deep need to break into uncontrolled dance, but we maintain restrained.

The march winds down, the MC smiles, lifts his hands heavenward and introduces our class to the audience whose pride overflows like tight jeans holding up a muffin top. Families are giddy with gratification, relief or both.  Their kid has reached the summit of life thus far. As the applause dwindles toward near silence he says, “Please be seated.”

Carefully smoothing my robe, I take my seat, a smile still squishes my face. Drawing a deep breath I am smacked with the realization. My thoughts race through rapids and channels as I understand this is the last time I will hear the march. This time it’s for me.

The speeches are filled with conviction that mere children may know what lies ahead. In reality they are clueless to the reality that nothing will be as it’s envision or believed. The time in between is smudged and blurred, indistinguishable accept for the churning worry I may trip while receiving my diploma.

I awake as Trumpet Voluntary begins to blast and mortar board rain down and I rush to escape to the future that awaits.


This post was written thanks to the RemembeRED “prompt” at the red dress club:

This week we asked you to think about graduation. It didn’t have to be yours and it didn’t have to be high school. It does have to be non-fiction – it’s memoir.