Original Works

Dear Macy

Dear Macy

It was a dark afternoon. The clouds were thundering outside and the rain poured heavily. It was the perfect weather to work on my novel, so I grabbed my laptop from my bag and brought it to the fireplace.

My novel was called ‘BFF: Best Friend Fail’. It was about two best friends who grew up and did everything together, until they met a man. The man charmed the best friends and they both fell in love with him. Since they each could not give up on that man, they became rivals.

I know, it’s a rather cliché story, but my agent said there was a market for it. I finished writing the first draft a few weeks ago, and I was planning on improving it before sending it to my editor. Opening up the file on my laptop, I began with chapter one, ‘Dead Macy’.

No, that was not the title for chapter one. It was an error. I quickly changed the morbid word to ‘Dear’ and moved on. By the time night had fallen, I was done with five chapters and ready for bed. I also felt good about myself; only thirty more chapters to go!

The following morning, I decided not to waste any time and started on my novel right away. As I swallowed my buttered toast, I opened up the file and immediately groaned at what I saw. Those bold words did not seem to have saved the last time. After changing ‘Dead’ to ‘Dear’ again, I scrolled through what I had done the day before to check if the other changes were saved. Strangely they were, but I did not dwell on it much.

That day, I managed to go through ten chapters. By then I decided it was better to print it out and work on paper instead; I always wanted to be an English teacher. So before heading to bed, I hooked my laptop to the printer and left it to print while I snoozed.

When morning arrived, I put off working on my novel and decided to go for a walk. There was a small path behind my holiday cabin that led to a lake, and I was hoping for nature to inspire me. After my walk, I returned to the cabin and went straight to the printer. Rearranging the sheets of paper, I came across a word that was starting to annoy me. Quickly grabbing a red pen, I crossed out the word ‘Dead’ and wrote ‘Dear’ above it.

Checking my laptop after, I found that the error was still there. Frustrated that my laptop was acting up, I retyped the word, and printed the first page. I was confident this time, as I strutted to the printer only to find the same grim word.

Somehow having inkling that my laptop had revised itself again, I decided to ignore my novel all together and read a book instead. Maybe my eyes were playing a trick on me or maybe I was just too tired after my walk to the lake, whatever the reason was, I was not going to touch it that day.

Cuddling up on the couch as a light drizzle began, I let the crime novel take me on an adventure. Halfway through Detective Frigate’s theory on who murdered Lady Gloria, my phone rang. Grunting at the disturbance, I pulled away from the Detective’s office and answered, “Hello?”

“Hey Rosy, how are you?” my friend asked.

“Good. I was reading. You interrupted Detective Frigate,” I replied

“Nice to know you’re feeling better,” my friend said with a chuckle.

Better? I was not sick, but I responded with a ‘thank you’ anyway.

“So, how’s the book going?”

“It’s going fine.”

“I heard you’re going to let Macy take credit for it.”

“Macy?”

“Sorry. I know, it’s too soon to be talking about her.”

I did not reply. I had no idea what she was talking about.

“Anyway, it’s good to hear from you. Jake said he could not reach you, so I was worried.”

“Jake?”

Who were these people she was naming?

“The guy that you and Macy always hung out with? The one Macy liked?”

“Oh, Jake,” I said. The conversation did not go on after that, because I became extremely disturbed by chapter one’s title. When my friend hung up, I went straight to the pile of printed words and read the first chapter again.

Chapter 1: Dead Macy 

My dead friend Macy was always kind and generous, but she was only kind and generous with strangers. With me, she had a habit of taking everything, even the man I liked. Too bad for her now. She’s gone and-

I could not read on. It was not what I had written a few weeks ago. Somebody had changed it. As I checked the rest of the chapters, I found one titled ‘Goodbye Jake’ and another ‘Daddy’s Funeral’. I had no recollection of writing any of it and I began to freak out.

Maybe I was sick. Maybe that was the reason my parents sent me away. Maybe that was why a doctor came this morning. What was his name? Doctor Lake? No, I took a walk to the lake. Did he ask me to? Wait, where am I? Where’s Macy?

We’re supposed to finish this novel together.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Occasionally, a random idea pops up in my head and I write it down. This story is one of them. There’s no ‘moral’ to it, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.

Do let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

© 2014 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

39 thoughts on “Dear Macy”

  1. [My mistake. Jeyna, the Malaysian writer. I apologize.]

    ____This is my criticism. I wasn’t fooled by your ending; I wanted to be. You say you would like to try to fool everyone, then, consider directing your reader’s attention elsewhere. You draw attention to the fact “Dear” gets changed to “Dead” four times. What else is there to think about?! “I crossed out the word ‘Dead’ and wrote ‘Dear’ above it.” By this point, I’ve figured it out: Macy’s really dead. And I’m certain your readers would have too had they not been confused thinking that you put yourself in your own story. How could I have distracted the reader? You ask. It’s a broad question, but you could go about it two ways. Add another plot. Since you’re a plot writer, this will probably appeal. Suppose, while she writes the book she’s also trying to beat the high score on a miniature golf course near her cabin. Do you see? With more than one plot you can emphasize one over the other, especially if you want to surprise the reader. You attempted something like that when she starts reading a crime novel, but the timing is late. The narrator is annoyed that she gets interrupted, I’m not. The second way to distract reader attention is to focus on character. To make us feel some way about the person Rosy.

    1. I’d like to try and fool someone, not everyone. It is impossible to fool everyone. But honestly, that was not why I wrote this story. ‘Dead’ is a dead giveaway, like you said. I’m only glad this story, in its simple plot, managed to confuse readers. Which sometimes happen when I write in first person.

      I have to say, you do a really good job at digging into a short story. You remind me of my years in university writing frame-by-frame film analysis for class. In this case, the main character reading the crime novel was not a distraction, it was just a filler. It’s merely a scene to drive the plot forward. I do appreciate your attention to detail though, as reading between the lines tend to make a story much more meaningful.

  2. [I hope you’re ready for another of these! Hello Jeyna, the Malay Writer. I confess I’m still on that thought from our last exchange. I suppose now might be appropriate to reveal I’m African-American; therefore, I certainly get you when you say you want to be known as a writer of the culture you live in, not the language you speak. At the same time, I hope you also recognize and, more important, embrace the cultures that influence your writing and, maybe, imitate aspects of the writing style. Why not promote other Malaysian writers on your blog? I mean, your most popular fan fiction borrows from the world of a British writer and, you say you used to read a lot of Stine? Well, he lives in North America! But enough of that for now, let’s talk about this piece.]

    _No moral, you say? Well, I suppose that depends on how one takes the ending. The shift in your narrator’s awareness could mean she’s in denial that she really did kill Macy. She doesn’t want to admit the depths of her hatred but, another side of her, her conscience, subconsciously writes the truth down in a quaint but cliché story, exposing her evil. But that idea came to me after a third reading. Everyone who left a comment enjoyed being “fooled” into thinking the narrator was outside the story she was writing. I agree. I liked that twist ending and how you presented it. Felt like a Goosebumps story. Although, I can’t say I was utterly fooled by the ending.

    1. [Hello again! ‘Malaysian’ writer, you mean? Malay is one of the races in Malaysia 🙂 Just thought of clearing that up. As for the literary culture in Malaysia, it is only starting to bloom in the past few years, hence I was not exposed to a lot of local works growing up. The reason why I previously wrote Harry Potter fan fictions was because I was suffering from ‘Post-Potter Depression’. It was a way for me to cope with the end of my favourite series. I did not borrow those worlds because the author is British, nor did I read Fear Street because the author is from North America. I like the works as they are. As for promotion of other authors, perhaps I would do that one day. When I have more influence, I would love to help push Malaysia up the publishing ‘food chain’.]

      I did not have a moral in mind while writing this story, that’s why I say it has ‘no moral’. But of course, I’m glad to hear it’s subjective to the reader. I certainly can’t fool everyone either, but I can try 🙂

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