I was applying for a writing job and found this prompt: Tell us about your hometown. Describe
- what was it like growing up there?
- what are some things to do or see?
- what are popular foods in the area?
I didn’t really want to talk about where I came from but I wanted to incorporate some of my real memories and paint them onto a new landscape. These are the words that came when I put my fingers on the keyboard.
I was born in a tiny, rural town that is perched atop a cliff overlooking the Sargasso Sea. While I grew up amid what the older folks would call “the enlightened times”, many nights we would lose electric power and the villagers would turn to storytelling for entertainment. One of the stories repeated at many bonfires was that of the two young lovers whose parents refused their repeated requests to marry. Desperate and disenchanted with the free love that existed everywhere but was denied them, the two had joined hands and jumped off the ledge to spend eternity together, wherever the cliff finally bottomed out.
My grandparents owned a tiny restaurant close to the cliff and in it, the most popular dish on the menu was called “Jump For Your Love”. As a teenager, I worked there as a waitress but doubled as guide to every lost tourist who wandered in for directions and stayed because my grandmother would choose that moment to open the pot, allowing some or other aroma to waft into the room. That first summer, I must have repeated the story a thousand times, watching eager faces line with interest as I related the sanitized version of the story that the adults had shared with me. Eventually, even that truth bored me and I started embellishing the story with made-up details. Imagine my surprise when I saw that version, complete with the lies I told, in a book that someone wrote about my town.
Copyright © 2018, Karen Wright
I think this is the start of a brand new story. Don’t you?
What about you – are you reading or writing something exciting today?