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Your family tree simply grew this way.

Your mother’s tongue cut throats as well as stone walls, but it never reached your skin. You considered this a blessing, failing to account for the million praises you never heard. Since the moment you were born, she struggled to separate your face from her morning coffee. She lived in a slow blur and you were an alert inconvenience. Nearly every morning she faded through the kitchen and living room, reciting old sorrows to herself while you wondered what you had done to confuse her.

Sometimes she remembered to kiss you goodnight. Other times she pretended you didn’t exist when you cried for her. Soon enough you realized that it was better to stay quiet because then it hurt less when she didn’t speak.

You were too young to understand, crouched on the sofa with an innocent moon of a face. How could you have known?

One day when you had been left alone in the house, as you often were, you amused yourself by digging through your family’s things, and that was when you found the photo album. Its leather cover had cracked and its pages had yellowed, but you still stared in amazement at the old shots: the girl in the pictures was young, spindly, and bright-eyed, clad in a gauzy white dress as she leaned against a brick wall. She was a stranger but you recognized her at once.

For days afterward, as your mother ghosted her way through the rooms, you replaced her face in your mind with the face of the woman in the photo. You could never quite draw the line between when one transitioned into the other.

I like to imagine that your father tried; he had the heart your mother lacked, but none of her strength. Though he never told you he was proud of you, you recognized his face in a crowd of seven hundred and the truth struck every bone in your body. By then you were too old, and its impact was dulled with the years, but you promised yourself you wouldn’t let that feeling escape you. You’d waited too long and the fruit was too sweet.

He taught you kindness. Every time you stayed up late comforting a friend or held someone while they cried, his voice was the one in your head telling you to stay. Even now, whenever you catch a spider and free it outside instead of crushing it, you know that it was his influence.

You wished you could have seen him more. Your childhood days were spent waiting at the door, and nothing made you happier than when he trudged in at dusk with his hands blackened with grease and his tired smile camouflaged beneath his grey-flecked beard.

“I want to be you when I grow up,” you told him one day, in the untroubled tone kids use when describing a future they could never possibly comprehend. He nodded quietly and kissed you and sent you to bed, so you never saw the tears in his eyes. You were the son who loved him.

Your brother was gone before your memory was strong enough to grip. He sent you a letter once every six months and when you replied, the words felt like sand in your mouth, the dry pleasantries of strangers pretending they have any ties aside from blood. To you, he didn’t seem like anyone you’d ever like: he was too tidy, too formal, already married to some clean-cut girl you’d never met and living in some faraway suburb in a peaceful bubble. In spite of this, you sometimes wondered what it would have been like to grow up with him anyway. You liked the idea of having a brother, and though you always had one, he was more often a figurehead than a family member.

He invited you once or twice to visit him and his wife, but you let the letters collect dust. In some alien way, you knew you didn’t belong there, and you were too awkward to go and try pretending that you did.

To this day, you never even knew his middle name.

Meanwhile, your sister used to lock you in the basement while you squealed childish threats and pounded the door in fear of whatever imagined horror was bubbling up behind you in the darkness of the steps. You later flushed every lipstick she owned down the toilet, and she ignored you for two and a half weeks. In a particularly heated fight, you pulled out a long blond clump of hair in each of your small fists. In retaliation, she smacked you back so hard into the banister of the staircase that you had a multicolored bruise inching up your shoulder for what seemed like months.

She only apologized because your father forced her to.

Still, the night she drove home drunk you kept her secret from your parents, and when she left for good, she kissed your forehead and you were forced to acknowledge that you would miss her.

And you were born in the middle of the night in the middle of the summer. They named you after algae ponds and insects chirping, and when they took you home, you slept in an orange crate beside both cats, who looked upon your tiny pink shape with uncertainty and something like protection.

It seems at times that you could have matured better in a different place surrounded by different people, but doubtless you wouldn’t have become the same person. And while the world called your sister a whore and your brother a fool, it never called you anything, which was somehow the worst insult.

Yet you, by miracles, eclipsed the sun. You built the thin structure of your body and lived off the soil of your heart and the hope for something bigger.

You will survive, and when you leave, every hummingbird and superhero is gonna know your name.
This is a little older. Never posted it. I wrote it for my school's literary journal. My creative writing teacher hated it and mentioned that when the boy finds the photo album, he "should have felt attraction for his young hot mom" and I was like "wtf dude no" and he got pissy and refused to publish it

anyway, I liked it, even if he didn't. he literally hates me.

I'm workin on responding to all of your messages. Again, sorry for the absence. I'm hoping coming back to dA will help me get back into writing and find myself again after all the shit that's gone down.

thanks for reading!!

-Kat c:
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:icondickywebster:
Dickywebster Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2016
This is good, ignore your teacher, they haven't a clue :)
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:iconwaraiigoe:
waraiigoe Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wtf??? eff your creative writing teacher. this whole piece is magic.
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:iconshui26:
Shui26 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Have you ever written slam poetry, or heard of slam poetry? This would make a fantastic slam poem.

Absolute goosebumps. I hope your real life was nothing like this.
Reply
:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2016  Student Writer
I HAVE and I stalk the Button Poetry channel on YouTube ;u; ahhh thank you!! Sometimes they do readings downtown where I live so maybe I'll read something sometime. C: and nah my life's not like this, it's all fiction
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:iconshui26:
Shui26 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Button Poetry, you say? I'll have to check it out. Slam poetry was my absolute obsession for the longest while. Can't get enough of it. I could blab of all kinds of different poets and poems that I love. Haha
You should! Not only being able to share your writing, but being able to express it in such a way that the passion rolls off the tongue and you feel your audience reciprocating. I don't know of your location, but I live in Denver, and they do poetry slams at a cafe every sunday. It's marvelous! Though any open mic will do.

:) I'm glad to hear your life is nothing like that. It would be a little heartbreaking to hear if it was.
Reply
:iconcloudedheu:
CloudedHeu Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016   General Artist
can I just fav and run XD ? this kinda hits home for me despite being a second person narrative oddly enough.
Reply
:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
you can do whatever you like, just know that it's appreciated :heart:
Reply
:icona-girl-named-divine:
a-girl-named-divine Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
This is so powerful and breathtaking. Everything was so ridiculously real and vivid; I actually felt painfully relieved when I realized that this was fictional. All of these characters have their own little intricacies and yet there's so much left unsaid about them as people but they're still portrayed as complete. This didn't feel fictional at all, it was told with the depth and the emotion of something that has happened in front of you, a special sort of pain you've witnessed.

Your creative writing teacher sounds like a dick  shouldn't be a creative writing teacher if he can't understand and appreciate creativity. And no the boy in this piece really shouldn't...? that's not what most people think when they look through old pictures of family?? 
and it's relevant that he saw her before the light in her had sort of faded and I love how you've not really explained that, leaving it open ended.

Also...
“I want to be you when I grow up,” you told him one day, in the untroubled tone kids use when describing a future they could never possibly comprehend. He nodded quietly and kissed you and sent you to bed, so you never saw the tears in his eyes. You were the son who loved him. Add more
 

I don't think you intended the "Add more" to be here? it looks like something lingering from an edit. 

anyway I really like this. It's incredible. Thanks for writing and sharing it <3
Reply
:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
just screenshot this comment because my HEART thank you so much, I have no words :heart:

He's QUITE opinionated. If you're looking for some stories of how rude he is, scroll down a bit, I left a few little anecdotes in the last couple of comments I answered. But yeah he only likes things if they're done his way and he can't appreciate anything else. And I would appreciate real criticism but all he does is nitpick about things that he personally just doesn't like. That's not critique, that's acting like a douche.

And yup that was most definitely an accident, whoops :lol: thanks for the catch, can't believe I missed that

Thank you again, I really appreciate this!! :heart:
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:iconboaa987:
boaa987 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016
Honestly? This is my favourite so far :D
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
I know you've read a lot of my work, so that makes me very happy :heart: thank you so much! :D
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:iconboaa987:
boaa987 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
Thank you for all the lovely and inspiring work :huggle:
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016  Student Writer
:heart::blushes:
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:iconcherry-oh-sundae:
Cherry-Oh-Sundae Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I have no idea how your teacher could be so fixated on that one detail (which is perfect as it is, I don't even know where he was coming from with that comment; kind of letting your fetishes slip, mr. guy) when the rest of this is just breathtaking. salmon heart bullet 
Reply
:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
Me either, I was really confused when he told me that. He's like, "it would be more realistic if he felt some kind of awkward attraction to his mom" and I was like "I think it's more realistic that he WOULDN'T feel that way."

:lmao:

thank you!
Reply
:iconazuline-furcula:
azuline-furcula Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2016
this was lovely.
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
Thank you very much! :heart:
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:iconemsoileau:
emsoileau Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
I like this, but what the hell @ your teacher thinking the person should have felt attraction to his mother? I'm not talking about anything to do with opinions on incest-- what the hell kind of logic would there be in that when we're not talking about anything to do with sexual attraction or anything at all that would make even a humorous "Hey who is this chick, she's hot!" "That's your mom." kind of moment at all fit with the story?

Ergh.
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
BEATS ME MAN

He said something about the whole piece being unrealistic and that the kid not being attracted to his mother made it less realistic. Which...? Okay. He also said a brother and sister wouldn't have a relationship like the one in the piece, but I think he's wrong. Maybe he just doesn't get it but I have brothers who I fight with and who I've punched and who I would also straight up take a bullet for without a second thought. It's that kind of relationship.

He has a very big problem with letting his personal opinions dictate everything and everyone around him, and if it isn't up to his standards, it doesn't matter. But I've learned long ago to only value the opinions of people who know what they're talking about, and people who can be respectful about it. He's far from respectful. Let me give you an example: I once told him that I was going to go to college for graphic design (a plan that has since changed), and his exact response, and I quote, because I was so shocked that a teacher could be so rude, was a very sarcastic "Wow, I'm glad you're pursuing a career in something you have absolutely no experience in."

What kind of teacher says that to a student? Not a good one, that's for sure.

Anyway. LMAO. Thanks!
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:iconemsoileau:
emsoileau Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah no my whole family are like at each other's throats and talking shit about one another and generally pretty awful but if an outsider were to take umbrage to one of them ALL OF US WOULD STRAIGHT UP MURDER THAT PERSON so I disagree with your teacher and plus my best friend's sister is actually physically violent with her and they kind of hate each other but they also love each other to death has your teacher never seen complex relationships?

screw your teacher. period.
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016  Student Writer
lol yep he's a douche C:
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:iconemsoileau:
emsoileau Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
DON'T INSULT DOUCHE LIKE THAT MAN 
actually douche is pretty unhealthy from what i've read never mind insult it
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:icon0hgravity:
0hgravity Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I typically do not like the second person narrative. I still don't like it (and perhaps that is at the root as to why your teacher hated it?) but I think it worked well here. it seemed like a heartfelt eulogy and, with that in mind, I wished that was indeed the set up for using the second person. Despite the lack of context for the narrator, everything said really did evoke in me a care for this person. There are some really beautiful lines and you crafted his family portrait with lovely and at times painful detail - it made this person feel very real.

All that said, I could definitely look beyond my own bias against second person narrative to see the great value in this piece and you certainly have reason to like it because it is a well-crafted and quite touching.
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
I thought second person might make it feel more personal for the reader. :) thank you very much for the comment, I really appreciate it! :hug:
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:iconsuperuli:
Superuli Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really liked this a lot. Especially calling the protagonist by "you" instead of by "he". It makes it feel personal.
You feel the sorrow, the pain and the lucky days this boy had growing up in his family. 
It's nice to look inside of someones life and feeling a little bit more alright afterwards, you know what I mean?

Please don't listen to your creative writing teacher. This is a piece of art and to be honest, the personal taste of your teacher shouldn't interfere with his job. He should be able to look at it without being opinionated.
Why would the protagonist feel attraction towards his young mother? He easily recognized her and no one would be attracted once they knew the person in the picture is their mother.
And even if, there are different kind of people? Some may look at their young mom and feel awkwardly aroused, but your protagonist didn't. That's alright.

Please don't listen to people who try to bring you down. Listen to criticism, but look at it and decide what you could use and what's garbage.
I love your literature and for what it's worth, I hope you continue writing. It makes me happy and my day is brighter because of you.
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
Thank you very much, I'm glad! 

I don't listen to him lol. He actually chipped a good chunk off my self esteem over my high school career by being his rude self until one day I decided that he was just an asshole and that I didn't respect his opinion anymore, and after that I kinda just let him say whatever the fuck he wanted and didn't really give a shit anymore. And I actually really think that he needs to do something about that because he has a huge problem with anyone who disagrees with him and he thinks his opinion is law.

Brief anecdote: he's also an English teacher. Two years ago we were reading Of Mice and Men. If you haven't read that book, every teacher, student, website, and human being who has read the book will tell you that the climax of the book is when one character shoots and kills another in an attempt to spare him from a crueler fate. Our teacher insisted the climax was when a main character breaks a minor character's arm. EVERYONE disagreed with him, even other English teachers. But the next day he brought in a massive stack of papers from some high-end college essay about the definition of the word climax, and he told us that we were all wrong and didn't get what a climax was...while knowing fully well that none of the students in the class had ever heard of this mysterious college essay on climax and that we all only knew what we'd been taught in previous years about what a climax in a story was.

Basically he only cares about being right, and not about actually teaching students. 

Anyway. :lmao:

I appreciate the comment! Thank you, and I promise I'll keep going. Honestly I'm touched and hope you have a fantastic day :heart::huggle:
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:iconstargazeandsundance:
StargazeAndSundance Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, it was intriguing. The feelings hidden between the lines are well captured. I simply cannot understand why your teacher disliked it.
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
thank you very much! :huggle: I think his reasoning was something about me holding back in it? And he thought I was holding back because of the aforementioned not-having-him-attracted-to-his-own-mom thing, and because he didn't think a brother and sister would have a relationship like the one I have here. Which, sure, maybe not all siblings would, but like...do you have to be an arrogant, pedantic toolbag about it and refuse to publish it because it doesn't fit your personal criteria of familial relationships? Hate that guy tbh.

anyway I appreciate the comment lol
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:iconlaurenabees:
Laurenabees Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
your teacher was a dink this is good what a weirdo 
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
"your teacher was a dink"

I want this framed :lmao: thank you! But for real you don't know the half of it he's a total ass
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:iconlaurenabees:
Laurenabees Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
haha thanks XD and sorry you have to put up with that. I know the feel- one of my teachers had this huge inferiority complex, and would do things like pass around his college notes saying "this is how it's done". What a douchebag -_-; 
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
wow he sounds like a tool
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:iconlaurenabees:
Laurenabees Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
to put it in one word, yes XD
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:iconlayla1172:
Layla1172 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2016
It hits in an uncomfortable way. A feeling that is just missed that I know I could feel if I just reached. Its a beautiful masterpiece, the light of the moon in the pitch black of the darkness... that is to say I really liked it and it played with my heart strings. Thank you for sharing this wonderful masterpiece
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
thank you for the lovely comment :huggle:
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:iconxxgratefuldead:
Xxgratefuldead Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2016  Student Photographer
Amazing
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
thank you! :blushes:
Reply
:iconepixelle:
Epixelle Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not sure if the best way to describe my feelings towards this is awed silence or screaming but it sure is breathtaking to read
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:iconlittleblueraccoon:
littleblueraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Student Writer
:heart::heart: thank you!! :blushes:

(I'm imagining someone trying to scream and hold it in at the same time lol)
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:iconepixelle:
Epixelle Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
That's about right
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