Exercises in Narrativity – Volume 3

Tangent looked over his notebook’s contents from the past months. All verse fragments, incoherent streams of consciousness, broken clauses…

“What the hell have I been doing?” he whispered, leaving his mouth agape long after the utterance.

‘At least if I add some punctuation and do some reformatting some of this could be presentable,’ he thought. It was salvaging time.

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Exercises in Narrativity – Volume 2

“Oh, he went to pick up the ball we left behind.”

“That’s nice of him,” Tangent uttered. His tone was appreciative to the point where the girl had no idea if it was mockery or sincerity (not that the ambiguity of Tangent’s expression was a new development).

The two stood watching the boy as he walked to the basketball court. Everyone else was long gone. He picked up the basketball. But instead of returning, he began throwing the ball up against the backboard, alone.

“Oh, now he’s shooting some hoops,” Tangent commented, with the same ambiguous appreciation. The thought struck him that this was an awfully private moment that he shouldn’t interfere in, or even be watching. But it was only a passing thought. He was never known for his sensitivity.

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Exercises in Narrativity – Volume 1

Five in the morning. Always five in the morning.

It started during the first half of winter. Then, I could get to sleep well enough without too many layers of sheets, blankets or whatever for warmth, but by the very early morning it was freezing as all hell. The temperature always dropped significantly while I slept, and the sheer cold started forcing me to wake up every night at 5 AM, at which point I threw on as many layers of sheets, blankets or whatever as possible and went back to sleep. But by the time the nights started warming up again, waking up at that time had become part of my sleep schedule. Even when I stayed up for hours and resolved to sleep in until 12 PM or later to make up for lost sleep, I still woke up at 5 AM. Perhaps it was more psychological at that point; was I only waking up at that time because my body expected to be forced to?

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Exercises in Narrativity – Introduction

The boy asked Tangent what he was writing, which he recognized as a mistake as soon as Tangent turned around with a big grin.

“It’s personal, private, and a little bit secret,” Tangent said, wagging his finger.

“Oh. Well, I’ll respect your privacy, then.”

Tangent paused, then nearly threw himself onto the boy. “No, I’m kidding, I want to tell you about it!” he pleaded.

“I figured as much,” the boy smiled. It didn’t register at the time, but he could see all the signs now; Tangent was desperate to invite the boy’s curiosity. He had positioned himself so he was facing away from him, but at an angle so he could still catch a glimpse of his notebook in his lap, and he had over-exaggeratedly hunched over his notebook, dying to be noticed.

“Well, I don’t have anything important to do for the next hour,” the boy rolled his eyes, “what’s on your mind?”

“What’s on my mind?” Tangent echoed emphatically, “the whole world’s on my mind!”

Scratch that, the boy thought, make it two hours.

“So many thoughts race through my head, but this,” Tangent held up his notebook, “this is all I can make of them.”

This is a series of miscellaneous stories concerning Tangent and other characters which are usually left nameless. However, roles often change; think of how in old cartoons, recurring characters were used in multiple shorts, but character roles, settings, etc. differed between shorts. Updates will usually consist of multiple disconnected narrations.