Back in the day

In an attempt to reconnect with my “true self”—before the self-consciousness of high school had a chance to creep into my writing—I took a vacation from Perl (which I’m also trying to learn now) and Unix and organic chemistry in favor of a nostalgic trek (Star Trek?) through the days when writing was about whatever popped into my mind in whatever order. I found a pretty neat response to Monsters, Inc., from back in eighth grade. I don’t think I realized until now just how much this mirrors my own mind (minus eating small children’s table lamps). Maybe all our writing does that—or maybe all of it should. I’m starting to think that, no matter what socially-accepted standards school avidly drilled into my sleep-hungry brain these past three years, creativity and the ability to truly visualize a story matter so much more than active verbs and putting my 90-word sentences through liposuction.

Here is “my door” (notice the binary):
My door

Here is “my monster.” His name is Ink:
My monster.

And here is Ink’s story:

Ink is a very special monster. Unlike most monsters, he is relatively harmless, even if angered. Ink enjoys everything, basically because he has almost no idea what is going on most of the time. To him life is one big game. Points are scored and points are lost depending on random events that only he knows about. He has an unlimited amount of lives, and thus he cannot die in any other way than by suicidal means.

Most of the time, Ink is very happy. It is very difficult, however, to predict how Ink will react to something or how he would feel in a situation, because it is very difficult to predict how he will interpret it.

No one, not even any of the dozens of scientists studying him, really knows what goes on in the mind of Ink. It is commonly known that Ink eats table lamps. It is also known that after Ink digests these table lamps, he squirts ink in every direction. This is due to a very strange enzyme in Ink’s bloodstream and is also the reason for his name.

Ink does not sleep, mostly because he has no need for rest. Ink obtains all of his energy through the consumption of table lamps, most of which he finds in the rooms of young children. Just for the sake of preparation, one should be aware of one of the few things that scientists have uncovered about Ink’s emotions: He hates–absolutely detests–pink and blue checkered table lamps.

Here, finally, is my encounter with Ink:

Dragging his bulky body as if exhausted, Ink waddled slowly through the door. But Ink was far from tired. He had spent the entire day walking through doors similar to this one, frightening young children out of their wits, but he was not in the least bit tired. In fact, Ink was rather energetic, for he had found and consumed at least two table lamps every time he’d walked through a door.

Ink observed his surroundings. Rug, rug, bed, closet, chair, TABLE! Almost immediately his senses sharpened. Suddenly he spotted it. Ink jumped from the spot, hurling his body with amazing speed toward the table. He grabbed the shiny steel table lamp and stuffed it into his mouth, diligently chewing, completely focused on the task at hand.

Suddenly Ink paused. He had heard a sound coming from the bed. A small creature, about half his height and one-fifth his width, was huddled there. Interested, Ink spat out the part of the lamp he had not yet consumed. He approached the creature, who nervously fumbled for the light switch on her table lamp before realizing that the lamp was not there. She would have to run for the light switch on the wall on the other side of the room. She jumped out of bed, running for the light. Startled by the sudden movement, Ink screamed a terrible, ear-shattering scream, squirting the whole room with ink until the walls were dripping and the ground two feet in ink. The girl stared at Ink, immobilized halfway in her journey to the other side of the room by fear and surprise.

Ink looked around the room, confused. What was he still doing here? He saw no table lamps. Silently, Ink crept out of the room, shutting the door behind him and heading toward his next victim. The girl looked around the room. If not for the ink splattered all over the room, she would not have believed that the monster had ever even been there.

But I guess we shouldn’t dramatize the past too much. Here are some of my eighth grade notes:
Notes.

And some more notes:
More notes.

And the zenith of my, um, artistic expression:
This is art.

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~ by science cow on August 21, 2009.

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