Wednesday, December 2, 2009

55 Fiction: Last Grip

Despite the blasts he gripped her wrist, leading her to the edge of the cliff. She gathered her long white dress and halted, “I can’t.” Hurt, he loosened his grip.

Wedding bells echoing!

Phone rang. She reached for the bed lamp. “Hello?”

“Elisa? About George …”

Numbed, she checked her wrist. It’s purple all around.



Bernardo M. Billeza said:
The author herself is exceptionally skillful, artistic and commendable at using implication that makes her work provocative especially in making possible intelligent guesses. Her way of suggesting the seemingly abrupt flow of events apparently and paradoxically encapsulates the vital elements of a story. One will not be able to get across the story at once if he/she is not good at making inferences and implication. Hence, filling the gap in order to capture the whole story maybe based on one’s experience or schema on how he/she conjures her abstract thinking process into connecting to a real concrete one.As for me, her use of this technique may be in accordance to her track of thinking and experience. In this way, she is connecting to her readers through their varied experiences and line of thinking. One is temptingly compelled to focus not on the words directly stated in the text but in using inferential thinking and logical reasoning that will lead to making intelligent guesses. A Reader will be attested of using her/his inferential thinking because it leads him/her to use his/her available experiences as proof to link his/ her guess with the text itself. On the other hand, he/she also uses logical reasoning as he/she needs to based his/her said available experiences if they match up the state of nature and facts of life.My own interpretation of her story based on inferential thinking and logical reasoning can be clearly summed up in this way. And I believe one of the most predictable and educated guess. Thus, implication is used to sustain my own judgment.The first three lines that talk about his gripping of her wrist at the verge of falling down the cliff defines to me that the woman and the man were on their way to their church wedding when suddenly a bomb blasted. This maybe implied because of the white dress she was wearing. The strong force of blasting may imply that it threw her on the edge of the cliff and the man immediately rescued her by gripping her hand. Hurt, the man loosened his grip can possibly be implied that he was most strongly impacted by the blast. Hence, he surrendered the grip and the woman fell on the rocky cliff.Then, wedding bells echoed. This may imply that they were near the church about to receive the Holy matrimony blessings.Phone rang. She reached for the bed lamp. “Hello?”“Elisa? About George …” This implies that she woke up she was already in the hospital. Someone rescued her. Then, she received a call from a concerned party or a friend of what had happened earlier within the day. By the way, Elisa is her name and the husband’s name is George. Elisa ? may imply that the concerned party or friend that he/she has a shocking news about George. It may possibly that George is dead because the news is stressed about him. The use of ellipsis after his name implies that the news is worst.Numbed, she checked her wrist. It’s purple all around. This implies that her bruise on her wrist ,a product of George’s gripping, is still paining and the terrible experience. It’s purple color symbolizes that he, George never surrendered up to his last breath to save her from falling down the cliff.
The elements of the story could also be implied as:
Characters: Elisa, George, a concerned party or a friend.
Setting: Cliff and hospital
Theme: Facing dangers in the name of love

Michael said:
The limit of 55 words inevitably leads to the necessity of an impressionistic writing style. With this piece, the author has shown to be a master of impressionism–giving just enough information to get the reader’s imagination going, yet leaving enough space for a free flow of associations and the joy of constructing a deeper meaning.
At first, the setting, indicated by just the single word “blasts”, seems to be clear: We are in the middle of a firefight. However, the protagonists “he” and “she” are entirely a construct of our mind, led by associations. We only know she wears a long white dress, which triggers the association of a wedding dress, and he wants to lead her to the edge of the cliff and jump down with her to certain death. However, she cannot step over the cliff.
“Wedding bells echoing” could either mean that they can hear the bells while standing on the cliff, or she hears them in her dream. I assume she is sleeping or at least snoozing in her bed, since she reaches for a bed lamp when the phone rings. Either way, it’s a cut, an abrupt switch from one scene to another, from battlefield to bedstead.
When she gets the phone call, she checks her wrist, which was previously held by “him”, George. She is numbed, which could mean she is either hurt physically after an injury or emotionally after receiving bad news. I assume in this phone call she gets the news that her fiance George, passed away. She is probably not at a hospital, and George did not jump down the cliff, otherwise someone would have brought her the news personally or seen his jump with her own eyes respectively. That means she’s at home, some time after the incident at the cliff. It could not have been a dream, otherwise her wrist would not be “purple all around”. Therefore, I conclude her love died at war, well knowing that there was no escape from death.
One final question remains. Why did she not jump down with George? To answer this question, we have to remember that with a limit of 55 words every word counts, and in this case I believe the answer lies in her very name. Elisa is Greek for ‘my God is a vow’, ‘God’s promise’, or ‘dedicated to God’, which means by committing suicide with her loved one she would break with God, as suicide in Christian belief is considered a grave sin. On the other hand, her husband George’s fate of dying in war is predetermined by his name, the name of Saint George, who fought against a fire-breathing dragon (a symbol of satan) and eventually became a martyr.
With this in mind, Elisa, the one faithful to God, can be sure that George is waiting for her in paradise. Therefore, being reunited would be the ultimate stage of God’s plan for them. Suffering temporary pain due to the loss of George on Earth is then a price she will be more than happy to pay in exchange for being with her love in eternity.

nice A said:
Wow, this piece has drawn a number of reactions! Bernardo’s and Michaels’ comments impressed me a lot though as they exhaustively interpreted the entire short work. Their interpretations remind me of a Literature teacher’s flexibility over various ways of interpreting any fiction. The saying, “there are a hundred and one ways of killing a cat” applies here. It’s a big mistake if we limit the interpreter’s (e.g. students) diverse experiences that they may relate to the story to come up with one interpretation.For me, it’s a reality not a dream as may be inferred from the last sentence (Numbed, she checked her wrist. It’s purple all around.). I can see that Elisa was prevented by George, a third party, not the groom to fulfill her wedding. George might have not been able to accept the fact that Elisa is now going to be wed as he still loves her. So on the wedding day, he abducted Elisa and ran away with her while some police were running after him, thus the blasts. While passing a cliff, Elisa struggled physically to let her go but George gripped her hand very tightly resulting to the bruise. It could be inferred from the telephone conversation that George jumped off the cliff or was shot by the police chasing him resulting to his possible death.“She gathered her long white dress and halted, “I can’t.” Hurt, he loosened his grip.” I’m a bit confused on this part who is hurt. Is it Elisa or George? I muse though based on the punctuation after “hurt” that it’s he probably because Elisa can’t run away with him to escape the wedding. It’s feasible this way as he believes that she loves him still but she refused to run away, thus he loosened the grip when he realized that it’s no longer true.So, Gleenn, I would say that you have achieved your objective as a creative writer in rousing the interest and imagination of your readers. I’m sure a bright fiction writing career awaits you. Keep writing and improving your skills.Congrats, you’re the winner to me for the depth of imagination you have stirred in your readers!

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1 comment:

Thank you for your time. I'll get back to you soon. :)