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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)

TITLE: Not Forgotten
By Shellie Bailey


In an old wooden trunk covered in dust up there in my attic, it sits. What was once my pride and joy, my greatest achievement, my key to greatness. My manuscript. The manuscript I poured my heat and soul into. The countless hours devoted to it, writing and rewriting until it was perfect.

Now part of me laid forgotten upstairs in that old trunk, beckoning to me once in a while. Calling my name asking me to remember, begging me to remember.

Oh I do remember and I remember well, the day I placed it in that trunk. It had been one of those awful days, the ones we all have and hope to forget. Not one thing had been gone the way it was supposed to that morning. Everything that could go wrong did.

The daily trip to the mailbox pushed me over my breaking point. I had expected it; all writers expect it, the rejection letter.

I had told myself so many times that rejection was part of the writing process. I had no doubt in my mind, I would be able to handle rejection letter after rejection letter. I was strong, I would make it. I would stay positive and remain diligent in my writing tasks. I would be waiting patiently for someone to believe in me.

Yet, here I was standing on the sidewalk with three letters in my hand holding back my emotions, preparing for the worst hoping for the best.

I tore open the first one. I read quickly the first line.

We are sorry to inform you…it read.

I pulled myself back together, the next one. I held my breath, it began the same. We are sorry to inform you. I could feel my heart breaking ever so slightly.

This has to be the one. It has to, it just has to I thought.

I tore open the envelope. My eyes reading over it quickly, tears forming as I read. It too was a rejection. It was another stab, the stab which pushed me far past the point of no return.

I stormed into the house, forgetting everything I told myself. Found my printed manuscript lying in its home on my desk, grabbed it and carried it to the trunk. I never wanted to see it again.

Three years later it remains, calling to me.

Today it’s calling out loud. Today my heart is pushing me to it. I debate giving in to the call.

I walk slowly up the stairway to the attic, gently open the door. Dust off the trunk and gradually open it. There lay my manuscript, yellowing and tattered, a not so pretty sight.

It was my heart and it called me back. To lay eyes upon it opened the floodgate of emotions. This was me, a creation I conjured up from my soul.

I brought it back downstairs pressed closely against me, tears streaming down my face.

I learned that one can never abandon themselves. I had tried and failed. My manuscript could never be forgotten. It was me.

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This article has been read 412 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanna Stricker05/06/10
Although I have yet to submit a book, I have well-imagined a scenario such as yours, and fully expect many rejection letters in my future--but anticipate a reaction very similar to your MC. You did a very good job describing the process and resulting pain and pull from the banned manuscript.
Jan Ackerson 05/07/10
You absolutly tapped into the writer's heart in this story. (And also into the reason why I've never submitted a MS anywhere). Very well done.
Mildred Sheldon05/08/10
I enjoyed your story very much. Oh, the fear of rejection. It can make or break so many. You did an outstanding job. Keep writing and God bless.
Joanne Sher 05/09/10
I think we all can relate to this. A poignant piece, and so true to life!