This week I’m teaching a workshop on Micro-Writing to 11-13 year olds at the Vancouver Public Library’s Book Camp. What’s micro writing? Yeah, that’s what they asked too.
Micro writing is short, short writing. We’ve done six word stories, fifty-word stories and postcard stories. It’s a challenging form that is basically the art of finding the pith of what you want to say.
Postcard stories are stories inspired by an image and are less than 500 words. Here’s a postcard story I wrote today.
The Easter Bunny or Inside a Series of Bad Events
Dropping out of high school was a terrible idea. I know that now.
Ok, I don’t want this to be an after-school lecture a la Degrassi High or anything. I’m not here to preach.
I dropped out around the time my parent’s got divorced. In retrospect it was the best thing for them to do, their constant fighting ceased but I got lost in the shuffle. Mom moved back to Winnipeg to live with her parents. Dad moved downtown into a swinging bachelor pad.
I refused to move with my Mom. I was too connected with Vancouver and the ocean to move to the flatness of the prairies.
I was almost 18 so I moved out half way through grade 12. Dad was supposed to give me money to live on but I didn’t want to bother him. And once he got a new girlfriend he stopped remembering me, so I took random jobs.
I worked at every fast food chain. McDonnalds. Burger King, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s but never for more than two weeks. I worked as a night security guard on the West side protecting half built mansions near Arbutus from squatters or theives. Most of those nights I just slept until my supervisor caught me and I was fired on the spot.
In the Spring I took a job at the mall as the Easter Bunny. That costume smelled worse than any hockey locker room, gym bag and jock strap I’ve ever smelt combined. I almost barfed when I put the head on. I don’t think that costume had been cleaned in 20 years. Funny how something can look so cute and happy on the outside while on the inside is a circle of hell.
One Saturday my old Math teacher from grade 11 Mrs Green came by with her husband and new baby. I didn’t see her through my mesh mascot eyeballs. It was her voice I recognized first. It reminded me of the day my parents told me they were getting divorced. They did this over breakfast: poptarts. Mrs Green came over to me and said I looked terrible that day. “Is anything wrong,” she put her hand on mine.
She approached me, or as she knew me, the Easter Bunny with a friendly “How are you?” She stood by the photographer and cooed to get her child to smile and look the right way.
After the photo was taken the baby was sick all over my arm. Of course I didn’t notice. Mrs Green apologized profusely and stuck a $20 bill in my paw.