This is the beginning of ‘Red Brick Summer’

I’m writing fiction again. It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and truly enjoyed a project. Sure, I’ve been tinkering with a sitcom, but that’s different. Anyway, I’m revisiting the characters I’ve created for Wet Dog Howls, a novella I wrote a few years back.

Looking back, it wasn’t that good. I love the characters of Jasper Morrison and Martin Joyce. I reworked them a bit and subtracted one of Martin’s sisters. Now it is just Margaret and Minerva; the other sister (whose wedding was the setting of the novella) was really underdeveloped and just a MacGuffin.

Martin is now the narrator of the new story and I will retell a lot of the character development that happened in WDH, but change certain aspects. As for the title…it’s a working one. My file is saved as ‘Martin and Jasper’ – but today I was listening to my friend Liam‘s first album and there’s a song called “Lost For a Meaning” and some of the lyrics sort of perfectly fit into the theme of this story. The opening lines are:

A brick red summer and a lost young man
this city taught me nothing, maybe the next one can
I met you then I left you, at the same front door
The visit was too quick, heartsick at the airport

Basically, I just was writing this morning and listening to the song and it just clicked. But you don’t care about any of this. I’ll just present the opening 246 words to the story:

‘Red Brick Summer’

I suppose you can say this is a story about a life changing event, but then again what event isn’t life changing? It all started the weekend after my high school graduation. My mother looked over at me after we finished a late traditional Saturday brunch and asked me if I was glad she convinced me to partake in the ceremony. If I’m being completely honest, I would have preferred sticking to my guns and skipping the whole charade of pretending to care.

As far as I can remember I always was the good kid in school. Not to boast, but I received top marks in all of my classes. I wasn’t one of those student body presidents who was an ace at some sport and won a state championship or anything. I wasn’t a nerd either. Really, I’m not quite sure what I was. Average, I suppose.

Anyway, I wanted to skip walking just because it didn’t feel right. See, I had just turned seventeen; my mother put me into school terribly early. It never bothered me being nearly a year younger than everyone. Eventually age didn’t really matter. If I’m being completely honest I think I didn’t want to walk because there I was: this young, smart kid who wasn’t even valedictorian. It sounds silly now, but that’s what it was. Another part of me just didn’t want to see anything change. I wasn’t sure if I looked forward to going off to college.


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