Friday, August 24, 2007

The 13th Page

I was awfully fond of the last 13th Page that I did. So here we go. Pick an item, and I'll tell you the story behind it. Said story may or may not make sense. The author makes no guarantee.

First off, a junk drawer is a collection of seemingly disassociated items. We all have this drawer in our house. It's the drawer were 'everything else' ends up. Old tools, things that are broken but can't seem to be parted with, ticket stubs, washers, rubber bands, wet naps*. But as we all know, each of these items has it's own story to tell. I highly encourage any of my fellow writers, if you're stuck and wondering about a character, write a junk drawer for them. All their bus passes, their take away menus, their old Playbills and receipts. You can learn a lot just by going through the detritus of their every day life.

I typically write these when I'm feeling creative but directionless. They seem to craft their own stories. It's an amazing thing to watch. Or it could be like watching paint dry. You be the judge.

  • One red lacquered wooden chest, carven with the images of two cranes, intertwined, dimensions 12"w x 8"d x 6"h. Sealed all around with pitch. White granular residue in the bottom appears to be mineral salts.
  • One silver fork, crane pattern, tines bent, two forward, two backward, so that it might stand as if on four legs.
  • One small leather bag, brown, containing a set of six-sided dice, hand carved, square pips, one die chipped.
  • One aged paper label, pale ivory with black text, bearing the name Ch√Ęteau Lafitte and the date 1787.
  • One ivory-handled straight razor, rusted.
  • One small handblown glass bottle, sealed with wax, containing an amber liquid, now gone murky with age.
  • One bird skull, raven, delicately wrapped in a piece of white silk.
  • One lead sphere, slightly larger than a pea, ,etched with the letter 'R', wrapped in a piece of oilskin.
  • One deck of ivory playing cards, suits without numbers, diamonds and hearts representing the House of Lancaster, spades & clubs representing House of York. The face cards have all had the faces erased.
  • One waxed paper packet containing one length of silk thread, white, ten yards, and one coin, ancient, origin undetermined.
  • Seven black beetles, threaded in order by size on a length of silk.
  • One dried poppy seed husk, pierced through with bone needle.
  • One silk square, white, folded in quarters, all four layers soaked through and encrusted with a dark brown stain.
Please, make your selection and step to the front of the line. Please have exact change ready and please mind the gap.

*Wet naps are a requirement in certain circles. The lack of wet naps has brought down entire regimes much to the chagrin of the super power with sticky hands at the wrong moment.

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