A group of writers in Chichester coming together once a month for inspiration, collaboration and sensation
Wordsmith’s exercise from a few months ago. The task was to write a bit of micro fiction (less than 500 words if I remember correctly) based on the first line of a song. This one was left over so I decided to post it here.
Wasn’t it a good year?
Forever Alone Day 1988: Gimpo International Airport. Inhwan Song sat on a chair in the departure lounge. His mother sat stoically next to him. She wasn’t happy. Inhwan was young but he knew his mother was upset. He was holding a toy fire engine that his mum said he could open once they made it to America. The fire engine was brand new. Inhwan stared at it through the clear plastic covering. It was covered in various stickers in a language he didn’t understand. One sticker had NYC in big bold letters. Even though he wanted to open it he decided not to. He wanted to keep mum happy.
It had been a good year. Inhwan was doing well at school. His teacher would often single him out for praise. Coming home, he was usually happy. But then he would find his mum sobbing uncontrollably. When she saw him, she would run into the bathroom and lock the door. To Inhwan’s dismay, she would not stop crying. Mum and dad had been arguing quite a lot now. Inhwan remembered the day when he hid from his parents, who were arguing in their bedroom. He remembered his dad saying to his mum that he wanted to be alone. A couple of weeks later, dad moved out.
After what seemed like months of sadness were suddenly replaced with frantic activity. Inhwan now saw his mum on the phone constantly, often for hours. And then, one day, mum said they would be going away. When Inhwan asked whether they would see dad again she remained silent. All he remembered were two unfamiliar words: San Francisco.
Mum stroked his hair. “Come on son, let’s eat some noodles.”
Black Day(블랙데이) (April 14) is a South Korean informal tradition for single people to get together and eat jajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce).
The idea is that those who did not give or receive gifts on Valentine’s Day (February 14) or White Day (March 14) can get together and eat jajangmyeon, white Korean noodles with black bean sauce, to celebrate their singledom.
Scott Walker: On Your Own Again