Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Grandfather Clock

 This was a writing exercise we did in my Creative Writing 2 course. We were to write in the style of Chekhov.   Hope you enjoy.           
                 Anya sat across from the grandfather clock. The room was silent, save for the sure steady rhythmic clicks of the second hand.  She stared at its face, unblinking and entranced.
                Her parents, Feodor and Nonna recently died in a worker’s protest in Red Square.  This was a bit ironic, as they were well off and never had to perform hard labor a day in their lives.  She had always admired, and even tried to emulate their independent spirit.  They bred in her a powerful sense of wrong and right, to stand up and defend your beliefs.  What she could not accept or imitate was their willingness to take it to the point of martyrdom.
                Earlier today, the will was read, and as expected she inherited all they had. In their living room, now her living room, she sat in a staring contest she could not, nor did not intend to win.  It was not the point. She wondered what would become of her, a young woman of 20, now parentless.
                She received the news of their demise while she was at university in St. Petersburg.  She had heard news of the protest over the radio and the ramblings of her fellow scholars.  There was no doubt in her mind that they were in attendance.  Her Aunt Bepa, who she was staying with while there, was the one who gave her the unhappy report. 
                She knew from the moment she arrived at the house that something was not right.  Bepa was normally busy in the kitchen or singing some old tune around the house.  Today, she was sitting quite in the parlor.  She did not greet Anya, which was typical.  Instead, she motioned her to the sofa beside her and delivered the news in a voice that was both admiring and devastated.
                That was two weeks ago.  Since that day she had traveled back with Aunt Bepa accompanying her to make the funeral arrangements.  Three days ago it was held.  Anya was surprised at the massive turnout of the people who’d come out to honor her parents’ sacrifice.  They only knew them as revolutionaries, as symbols and not as the people they were she thought bitterly.
                Now she sat in her home, amongst her possessions.  The future is always an uncertain place.  You can plan it, direct it, guide it; but those who think they have total control over how it will turn out are delusional.  Yet, she now faced an even more uncertain future than before.
Would she return to school?  Though she did not share her parents’ way of bringing change, she still knew change was necessary.  Education was her way to bring it, to change the system from the inside.  Could she still do it?  Was her heart still in it?
For now, she faced the constant, steady tick, tick, tick of the grandfather clock that stood stoically before her.