Category: Short Story


Introduction to Short Story

The idea for the characters and plot in my short story came about very spontaneously. The choice for setting the story in a drive-in is due to my familiarity with it, and also the fact that creating a suspenseful story in such a place is unsuspecting and interesting in itself. For the rest of my ideas, however, I’m not quite sure of their origins. I certainly wanted the story to depict an emotional relationship between two people, and I thought that the strongest way to portray that would be through the love of a father for his daughter. A lot of what the final draft is now came about during the process that I was writing it; I knew very little of what my story was going to be about before actually writing it.

After my first draft, I realized just how much the story is centered around the relationship between Jinny and her father. Due to the strong creation of this relationship, the missing parts of the characters’ backgrounds became more evident, and frustrated readers for not knowing enough about them. In my final draft, I shed light on these missing pieces (or at least try to): Jinny’s mother, the aftermath of Jinny’s first boyfriend, the reason for the narrator’s “spying,” the explanation of the narrator’s love for nature sounds, etc. I do this not solely for the sake of preventing confusion, but all for the sake of building up the foundation of the relationship between the narrator and Jinny, nurturing it to really produce the meaning at hand: the strengthening of two peoples’ relationship with one another amidst unfortunate circumstances. Compared with my first draft, this story has really taken a lot of turns to portray this meaning more powerfully, especially in the ending. Hopefully my short story will be engaging, gripping in suspense, and creating satisfaction in its new conclusion.

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Word Document

 

There she is!  She’s still as bright and healthy as ever. Even in a silly green and yellow uniform, her innocently happy smile causes her to radiate the moment she comes outside. I smile in excitement, ready to give her my wrapped birthday gift, until she gets closer, skating towards me with a bag of food in her hands. Worry suddenly strikes me, and I duck behind the dashboard of my car. The sound of roller skates scrapes the asphalt to a sudden stop. My heart rate has become much faster. At the knock on my window, I jerk my head up to answer, but hit it with the bottom of my steering wheel. Rapidly rubbing the forming bulge on my head, I open my eyes and stop in surprise to see a teenage boy employee staring wide-eyed into my car. I roll down my window, and off to the side see my daughter, Jinny, head back inside.

I’m at a drive-in. Fascinating idea for a fast food restaurant: stalls are set on each side of a parking lot, all lined uniformly at an angle for people to park their cars. You make your order without having to get out of your car, and nice, young people come out from the nearby kitchen and bring you your food on roller skates. Just a week ago they were walking to each car bundled up in puffed-up jackets in the snowy weather, but with spring coming in and the weather warming up, they’ve become as lively as ever skating and serving food with bright smiles on their faces. The food here is not anything spectacular; I’m just here to see my daughter, who I haven’t been seen for four years since she left for college. On top of that, I’m listening to my favorite CD. My wife gave it to me on my birthday, the year before she passed away. I wasn’t able to take her love for nature sounds seriously, but now I can’t help but listen to this CD every day. Mix the sound of chirping jungle birds, the smell of fresh grass and blooming flowers, a brightly lit parking lot in the night, and I feel at utmost peace.

After I embarrassingly apologize for making the boy wait, he assures me, “No problem,” hands me my food, and skates back into the kitchen. Holding the gift in my hand, I blankly stare into the kitchen and catch a glimpse of Jinny hard at work wiping off a table. With the back of her hand, she gently wipes the sweat off on her forehead, and with a focused look on her face she disappears out of sight into another area of the kitchen. Once again, I can’t bring myself to look at Jinny. With a sigh, I put down the gift in the back of my car. The CD turns to a new track, and with the sound of crickets chirring and owls hooting in the night, I pry the burger from its wrapping and take a bite.

The last time I was able to celebrate Jinny’s birthday was when she was becoming a mature teen, or “sweet sixteen,” I guess I should say. I’ve never been good with holding birthday parties, so in preparation to celebrate Jinny’s birthday, for a few days I made a commitment to watch a show called, “My Super Sweet 16,” Every night after coming home from work, I would sink into the couch in the living room and watch with shock this show in which girls are thrown unbelievably grand parties for their 16th birthday party. The most stunning episode was one in which the birthday girl held her party in New York City, watches a concert performed by a clearly popular celebrity, and is given a sleek, sports car that looks well more expensive than all of my possessions combined. I don’t think anyone has had their eyes open without blinking as long as I did while watching that incomprehensible show. I watched the birthday girl get into her new, luxurious “gift” until I quickly changed the channel as I heard the Jinny’s footsteps coming down the stairs.

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