Thursday’s Children: People Running

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It’s 10:16 at night.

My eyes are heavy, my heart beats slowly. And the pillow underneath my back feels warmer, softer, more inviting as the clock ticks.

Please let me go to sleep Please can’t I just go to sleep?

Across my mind’s eye runs a man. He’s young. Tanned skinned with tattoes running down his shaved head and crisscrossing across his neck. They glow.

He runs down a thick red carpet laid out in an old crumbling house.

In his arms is a woman, too skinny, dark hair that swings as he runs. Her eyes are closed, her dress is torn. Behind them a dark cloud grows bigger and bigger. He’s running away from danger, the very danger he’s embraced for too long. The danger that gave him the tattoes that only illuminate in the dark,  reminding him of the path he’s chosen and where to find it.

And yet, the woman in his arms is the key to everything good. Everything he wants to be but doesn’t know how. By carrying her, saving her he has defied everything he knows and everything he’s been trained up to be. He’s not completely sure he’s doing the right thing but every time I see him running with the only woman who ever accepted him for who he was..

Every time I see his face in my mind’s eye and know the sacrifice it costs him to run..every time his earnestness and deep, frightened desire to be good if only just for her plunges into my own heart, I plump the pillow behind me and prop myself up to keep writing.

Because this imaginary character of mine who is so real, so violently alive in my mind won’t let me not write.

There’s a story needing, pressing to be told.

It’s their story and my characters are the best inspiration I’ve got.

Thanks, Thursday’s Children!

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21 thoughts on “Thursday’s Children: People Running

  1. I don’t think non-writers have any idea how real our characters are to us, and how much time we devote to them – even when we’re not actually “writing”. Probably a good thing, they might be very frightened 🙂

  2. Characters do have this tendency to hijack our thoughts and play out their exciting, scary, funny and downright fantastic lives over and over in our heads. That’s the joy of being a writer. 🙂

  3. I get this! Which is why I have a note pad in every room and bathroom in my living space… The voices will not shut-up sometimes. When they do settle down, I find that I miss them.

  4. My characters do the same thing. Always. Even those I’m not supposed to be writing about yet. My husband loves hearing about their intrusions. Welcome to Thursday’s Children!! 🙂

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