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Correcting Prose -- a /gg FTW Writing Challenge

Posted 07-12-2010 at 12:53 AM by Kalverone
Prompt: Writer's Choice
Title: Correcting Prose
Fandom: Original
Genre: General
Rating: PG
Summary: A traveling writer shares his strange perspectives on life.
Author’s Note: Trying out all sorts of different things here... hopefully all of the allusions make sense. There may be grammar errors that my twisted English won't be able to catch. XD Some transitions won't make sense, admittedly.


Seven and another thoughts, one clear, one the mist, all thoughts obscure even still, little known by many, all known to none. It’s something, but nothing, and nothing, but something. It’s good, not bad, not sad, either. There’s point to thinking of it, but if you are, you’re thinking far too hard for anyone’s tastes. It’s simple, but not. Static, yet changing, but then it’s a trivial thing, and nobody cares then, we think.

Who is we? No, there is me, free tiny me who stares at crows all day when he’s feeling rather gay. That’s “happy” here, from another place in time and space, where the narrow is nary a nay and one thing is a single thing and there’s never a choice in the matter, we think (who is me.). Today though, we are anything that is everything, we think, because we know (Because I know, because I am.). Though, the anything I am is everything for a single cause, writing prose on the little clock cogs, turning gears to chase away my fears, so every minute is never the same the very next day.

That’s a little thing too, we think (I feel.). But it’s a “little” thing, to make one-hundred big things, and two-hundred giant things, three-hundred goliath things, and one-thousand other sizes to make one big whole. But it’s far smaller than meets the eye.

It fits in your head; it can fit in a can. But, sometimes, it can’t be touched on, upon, and agreed, yet errs again and another to yearn for simplicity, but always finds itself complex again, falters again, and finds peace, we think (I think.).

Today, the memory is already vague. I remember fondly, though, about the empty refrigerator and the bank full of cash, and my wife and daughter in another city, but I love them, they’re just at the doctors’ office for an annual checkup. See, my wife and daughter have the same birthdates, so they go at the same time.

Another city is another country too, though, because I’m business, and business travels far off, tailing publishing companies and business offers, and things of that sort. It’s sort of nice, but sporadic, but exotic, but revitalizing. In Hong Kong, it’s humid, and I’m a proud man, a proud African man, but I’m from Chicago, and the color of my skin is moot to me, it is, we think, I think.

The humidity’s outrageous, though. You know, in Chicago close to the lake, and not in China where in Thailand we’d passed Ximending, where it’s loud, but it doesn’t faze me regardless: the bliss of bustle, or that of tranquility.

There was a local woman who stopped me this morning. To her, I was a landmark, the ninth wonder of the world. But, I was only six feet and two inches, went to the gym only three times a week, and I ate normal food, I thought. The woman spoke fluent English, and she was ninety five years old but looked forty five. Ninety five to forty five, she ate better than me, I thought, and I think I look pretty good for thirty.

I sit around and ate cicadas for the rest of the day. That’s what the woman did, ate cicadas, prayed, and slept, and she was still a flattering creature. Under a tree in the humidity, it feels kind of humbling. Like a retired king or an army general stepped down for a change of pace. I traded crowns for cicadas and bustle for the quiet for a quick second, until the phone in my pocket begins to sing with some other news, some for better or for worse, but I’m no speaker in the first place, I believe.

“Hello, this is ….?”
“Yes, this is ….”
“Where are you?”
“Under a tree, eating cicadas, you should try it.”
“I’d rather not, sorry.”
“That’s a shame. Maybe someday you’ll change your mind and we could try it together, just once.”
“I don’t really understand this…please, just come back to your hotel, please.”
“Alright, goodbye.”

A rental car was parked a mile away, a Toyota, at that. But it’s old, nineties old, and blue. But it cruised through and through the dirt without fail, but I’d left it a walk away anyway. Perhaps I needed a workout, or maybe the cicadas needed time to simmer.

And as I walked on, the marsh is thinner, the sky is a fitting red turning to solid gold, I feel like the richest man on Earth just watching the Earth turn.


These people, they’re grand people, sitting at a round table in a grand round room, with their grand round heads and grand round headed cane…or on of them who carried one. It was a fine novelty, indeed a treasure of man, the prize of seekers this world over, but it’s so simple.

I greet the man, and then I greeted his cane, “It’s wonderful.” I say, he smiles and extends an old grateful hand, and he said, “Eccentric men are indeed revolutionary, you seem a fine gentleman.” Though, I am no different. I may read, and write, and eat cicadas, and enjoy life, but even nice things deserve rightful attention. It’s grand, I know it, but maybe one day I’ll be ninety five and look forty, and still carry a good cane for fun, that’d be some treat.

I dislike suits, yet I wear one now, for this grand assembly in this grand land of Hong Kong. The men and woman all with suits and eager smiles. Eager and yearning, yet I offer nothing but words.

“Hello,” I start, staring forward to the congregation, “Today I’ve thought about the refrigerator, the bank, my wife and daughter. I miss all of them, it’s only natural, I think. But I met a woman in Ximending, who ate cicadas, slept, and prayed, so I ate cicadas under a tree. I slept there, and prayed; perhaps you could try it once.”

These good people find a strange delight, all grand smiles and laughter, I agree too. I knew it was quite funny.

“Not long ago, I wrote a few short stories all in one, a collection of sorts. The main story is called ‘Correcting Prose’, or the title of the book, as is, it’s impossible to correct prose per se, what with different styles of writing and such.”

We think.

A close thing, but for what makes up of it is not. It’s not common, nor deserves reward, but it does, because that’s what it is.

For my wife and daughter, the bank is full, the refrigerator is too, and Chicago is under all of our feet, and a jar of cicadas.

Take the lesson as you will. We think there is none, not my wife, or my daughter, or my publishers even.

But we think it’s just a funny story.

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