The last decade.
I was scrambling at this point.
It wasn’t a glorious ending when it finally came. Well. It kind of was. Because I actually finished the project. On time. I had 130 (of what I thought were) unique tales. And it was over. Done with. I never had to write another tweet-tale again (!). It felt great. It usually does, doesn’t it? To get rid of, or overcome, some self-imposed burden? It makes you feel like you finally have an answer to yourself; that you’ve finally strengthened your own willpower. Yeah. It really did feel great.
It wasn’t glorious, however, because it felt, at the time, a little bit like I was, once again, cheating. To complete this project, I was desperate: I rifled through every file on my computer, every written exercise I ever did and tried to find things, any thing already written that would work, that could fit into the #130tales model.
I scavenged from things already in existence. I scavenged from myself.
And no one needed to know.
Reliving this experience makes me see now that this isn’t, and wasn’t, a bad thing. This ending isn’t, and wasn’t un-glorious. It was daunting, and it wasn’t the way I had expected it to turn out, but that doesn’t mean it was, or is, wrong. If anything, looking back at it, re-living this experience, decade by decade, I’ve realized this ending is a natural movement that keeps strongly with the entire soul of #130tales. I was so busy sitting around in the mindset that I was writing these on a time limit and for other people that I kind of overlooked the fact that this project was designed to inspire. Anyone. It was designed to inspire writing. I felt shame then, while rifling through my files, because I wasn’t making anything new. The reality of the situation is that I was creating something new by looking to the past, by looking at my past writer-self to see what I could take, what I could adapt and revitalize.
130 Tales was never about an easy way out. It was designed as a challenge: to search for story where there wasn’t. It was basically designed to be a puzzle, something that wouldn’t give away all of its secrets upon first glance but, with time, would unravel, or open a pathway or possibility that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.
I don’t know if I’ve uncovered all of its secrets, but I do know that with this reinterpretation of 130 Tales, I’ve brought it closer to the project it was always supposed to be.
I’m so glad you’ve come on this journey with me.
# 121 – 130
121. “In order to wash, one must come to terms with how in need of a wash one is.” His parents learned not to listen after a while.
122. I really have to stop leaving my house at the exact time school ends, he thought as he adjusted the backpack on his shoulder.
123. Hotdog. Beer. Untouched as the mezzanine rail supports a weight unknown.
124. She tricks herself: maybe she didn’t actually speak. A second attempt forces her mouth open as black steals its treasure.
125. As soon as he hit the dusty earth he threw his head back, not sure what hit him but determined to find out.
126. “Did he take anything?” “The toaster… but left the plug. He said it had sentimental value… but I never-”
127. Round, clear and quick it falls; trailed by many it moves as one, like an endless army on a witless crowd.
128. She was the envy of all around her: a Queen of the night. Dank light lay atop the creamy dark, contrasting her made-up essence.
129. A pant leg rolled, three times above a spinning wheel. Twelve different colours of paint splattered on jeans, blurring the scene.
130. A different voice carried every emotion; a village brought his mind to life and he longed to start anew within its walls.