So I have started a future learn course in creative writing. I’m enjoying it so far (which to be fair, isn’t very far yet). We have been asked to write a first draft of the beginning of our story, in 500 words. So here is mine… remember, it really IS first draft…
The tap was dripping again. It had been dripping on and off for a week or more. Piles of dishes and plates layered with cutlery were stacked on the small draining board threatening to avalanche the dying plants on the windowsill.
Clothes were piled up near the washer dryer, acting as a causeway from the kitchenette part of the bed sit to the sofa come sleeping area. In the half light of closed curtains, not much of the midday sun was getting in but a pioneering ray of light had made its way to Hazel’s face. She pushed her pillow over her head and tried to block out the day. An hour later, Kenny, her neighbour below had decided it was late enough to turn up his music and the muffled sound of drum and bass reverberated through the floor. The beat finally drove Hazel to get up. Reaching for the nearest clothes and pulling on a pair of slouchy jeans she found a mostly clean maroon t-shirt along with her favourite midnight blue sweat top. Shoving feet into already tied trainers she wrenched the tap shut again and scraped her dark tangled hair back with the elastic band she found in her pocket.
The kettle and instant coffee found, she was now drinking a brew from a stained mug found under the desk. She rested her head on her knees as she sat on the now folded up sofa bed.
A bedraggled hare, its blue grey fur flea bitten and a chunk missing out of its right ear, sat next to her, its whole body drooping. It raised its head tiredly towards her and spoke.
The intervention had come in 2030. Humanity became, overnight, part of the sentient collective as earth was flooded with microscopic DNA advancers, turning everyone from homo sapiens to homo-novis. The change in DNA had caused an unexpected shift in that part of a human which was not physical: the soul and mind.
Ancient cultures and modern writers had hinted at it, but now every human could see and converse with their own souls. Other people’s souls could be seen as a blur of coloured light, but to the individual they looked like an animal. Likewise, other people heard another soul’s words as faint chirping or the scuff of leaves along the pavement. But for each person, the conversations we used to have in our heads, now happened both there and out loud with the other that was also us.
“You know we cant go on like this” the hare said.
Hazel shifted a little so she could look at her. Once soft and thick fur was now thin and bald. Itchy patches could be seen down the hare’s spine and a listlessness to the eyes had appeared. It really was time to choose. Either she had to get help, or they would die.