I started thinking about what I was going to write for the Sunday Scribblings prompt this week, and I was thinking about all the things that I collect.
I could say I collect the playing of musical instruments. I collect instruments that seem exotic (to Americans, which I will admit is not very difficult) and learn how to play them. I’m not very good at most, but I have a reckoning of all of them and can play my hardangerfele fairly well (laugh it up, Norwegians, but no here knows what it is :/).
I could say I collect sharp bladed objects, except I only really have ones that were given to me as a gift or that I thought were pretty on the spur of the moment. I never really set out to buy one on purpose. So am I really collecting them, or are they just accumulating?
I have a rack of DVDs and a steamer trunk full of books (because I ran out of space on my available shelves). But those books and DVDs were bought not because they were books or DVDs but because of the content they contained. Perhaps I’m collecting information? I definitely have a lot of unicorn paraphernalia and bric-a-brac. Throws and blankets with unicorns, pictures and clocks, tons of things. But I haven’t really bought something like that in five or six years. So that’s a past collection.
So then I started thinking about past things I’ve collected, searching for something suitably impressive to write about. I gave up on that idea quickly, since pretty rocks are generally underappreciated and my mum made me throw out my dead bugs collection when I was five. I think it was the still-living cockroach that ratted out my hiding place for it.
The past proving barren of interesting collections, I thought about ideas and less material things of that general abstract nature. But I don’t collect ideas, they just happen upon me; I don’t collect dreams, I only wish them; and I don’t collect years, they collect me.
So I gave up on writing about a collection of mine and decided to write a story about somebody else’s collection. Maybe I’d write about someone who collected jewellery, and write about where it came from. Or I’d write about someone who collected hair. Or cats. Or shampoo, possibly to be used on the cats or the hair. Or I’d write about a murderer who collected lives.
And then this story idea popped in my head, and I thought it would be fun to write about a person who doesn’t really collect things, but is more forced to collect them. Has to collect them. And then I thought it would be fun to try and see if I couldn’t write a story in the style of author X, so I gave it my best shot (which, as it turns out, is not very good, since I forgot whom I was trying to imitate halfway through and now I can’t tell from the finished product).
Any rate. The story follows.
And now it actually doesn't follow, because I'm trying to get it published and I can't have it here no more.