WIPpet Wednesday: Broken

Why, hello there, Wednesday! This time last week, I was just starting to come down with a cold, courtesy of my 10-year-old. Apparently, we taught our kids a little too well about sharing. Fortunately, I recovered in plenty of time to play with my orchestra for our annual educational concert yesterday. It was a blast—several hundred third graders listening to us play Wagner, Handel, and Britton. Good times. Best moment: flute player demonstrated her instrument by playing a bit of “Let It Go” from Frozen.

On to this week’s WIPpet. We last saw Micah reflecting on his epic implosion. We’ll get more on that another time; right now, we join him at the house on the lake. For context, his father had attempted to clean it out before his death but never finished. The house is a mess—dust, stuff cleared out of the upstairs rooms, things to get rid of. It’s not clear yet what condition the house is in overall, but Micah suspects it’s pretty bad. He’s having a moment.

My WIP math is easy: it’s 4/9, so 4 + 9 = 13 sentences.

In addition to the thick layer of dust covering every surface, the house was a mess inside. The main living area was piled with junk—everything from old newspapers and magazines to what looked like the contents of his grandmother’s attic.

This was ridiculous. He assumed the rest of the house was no better, and he probably wouldn’t be able to sleep there until he’d done a significant amount of work. That meant driving back into town and finding a place to stay for who knew how long. Suddenly, Micah was angry—at his father for leaving him a heap of rubbish; at Elijah for gloating over it; and at himself for being foolish enough to believe for even a few minutes that maybe he’d meant something to his family after all.

He picked up the nearest object, which happened to be an oddly-shaped ashtray, and hurled it at the wall. It smashed and rained shards of broken pottery onto the floor. It was thoroughly satisfying. Micah spent the next five minutes throwing things and watching them shatter. He had managed to clear a space around him when he reached down and came up with a hand-painted birdhouse. It was too pretty to break, and suddenly the whole thing seemed impossible and strange. He tried to laugh, but that, too, broke into pieces, and instead, he sobbed, sinking down to his knees in the middle of the floor.

I’m kind of enjoying stringing you along, but let me list for you the clues so far as to what story this is:

  1. 3 sons, Micah (the MC) is the youngest
  2. Dead dad
  3. Inheritance wherein 2 older brothers get great stuff and youngest suffers, with financial hardship

Hmm…we’re missing an important piece here. No worries; in two weeks, I’ll introduce a character that will surely give you the answer. I’m not sure if I’ll be around next week, since I’m going on vacation with my family. I don’t want to post if I’m not going to read all the other lovely entries—there’s no fun in that! So I’m making everyone wait. Keep guessing in the meantime.

Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. Be sure to check out the other entries here. If you want to add your own, just post a bit of your current work that relates (in whatever creative way you choose) to the date and link up with us. Happy writing!

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16 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: Broken

  1. Ah…poor, Micah! I’m really feeling for him there at the end. Actually, the whole scene is frustrating. I’m sure the mess is overwhelming, and the whole thing an emotional quagmire no matter how he’d like to deny it.

    • Yup. That’s a big part of who he is—denying a lot of things and burying the pain. Despite what I said about keeping things light, there’s a bit more raw emotion in this story than the last one. Still gets a happy ending, though. 🙂

  2. I have to say, I’m not looking for who the story is about/based on. TO e, this is Micah’s story, and he’s got a lot to heal from. Not to mention, a lot more to clean up now… 😉

    I do think that in the end, he might find himself with more of a connection with his father and his family. This house sounds like it holds a lot of stories and memories that have been long hidden.

    • Well, I was having a little fun seeing if anyone could figure out the inspiration. Like with my last one, this won’t end up having much in common with the fairy tale. That was just the raw material. It is truly Micah’s story, and he’ll tell it the way he wants to.

      I don’t know how connected he will be to his father, but there will be peace and reconciliation of sorts eventually.

  3. Even though I know it isn’t I’m still saying 3 little pigs, because I have no better guess!

    I can see how breaking things could help move along the emotional… baggage? I don’t know how to put it it. But, it is a step to crying, which he obviously needed to do. Personally, I knead dough. 😉

    • LOL! Maybe that’ll be my next project.

      He has a ton of baggage, that’s for sure. He’s not ready to process it—he’s just letting some out.

  4. Amy,

    This is a powerful WIPpet – and it could be more powerful if you deleted the statement that the house is a mess and instead focused on the specific details that show it, and, in the process, draw out the correlation with Micah’s own emotional wreckage…

    Like Ruth, I can – almost! – identify the story, but my brain won’t make that final tiny little leap. At least I know you’re eventually going to tell us! =)

    I love the last bit, with the throwing, laughing, and, finally crying. It would be even better, maybe, with more senses engaged -what things felt like, the smell of the room, physical responses..,something along those lines, woven into the action.

    I’m eager for more, but, if we don’t see you next week, enjoy your vacation! =D

    • Confession…I skipped a paragraph in between because it seemed too long. Guess I should’ve left it in after all! (I skipped the one with the details about the house because I thought it was less interesting than the throwing things.)

      Fortunately, this is the first draft, so I’ll take those suggestions into account when I go back through. 🙂

  5. your word is literally. Mine is suddenly, and you used it twice! =P I wish there was more expression by you of the emotion Micah is feeling, especially in the last two paragraphs. I think it’s very important and adds to the story a lot more.

    • LOL! I’ll be sure to fix that. I’m peevy about any repeated words.

      There’s a reason we’re not seeing exactly what he’s feeling, but I’ll take that into account and add some detail when I revise. He’s not quite ready to cope with what’s under the surface. Perhaps we need another character to appear. 🙂

      • Well you say he’s angry. You can say “anger surged up and he grabbed shit left and right” to make it better. You’re like borderline telling… No need to tell me why he’s angry. =P

    • Issues upon issues. But, as always, I don’t take myself or my writing too seriously, so he will eventually deal with it, and he will have some help with a fun plan to take down his “evil” brother. Mwahahaha!

  6. Pingback: WIPpet Wednesday: Lemonade and Sympathy | unchained faith

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