View Full Version : Sai Delgado's writings

sai delgado
11-04-2009, 04:56 AM
Okay so I'm doing Creative Writing at uni and I was hoping that maybe I could post some of the work I have been doing on here so I can get a better idea of what needs doing to improve it? It would be really, really helpful and much appreciated. Don't be afraid to hurt my feelings. If it's bad, it's bad; then I can work on making it better.

sai delgado
11-04-2009, 05:01 AM
This is the first piece I have done for my Creative Practice module. We were meant to think back on a memory of being 7 and write it using the perspective of the child-self, using senses that we remember like sights, smells etc. What do you think? :ninja:

A Journey Of Youth

The first time I was allowed to walk to school with my sister was quite a big day for me. I was seven, and I'm pretty sure it was sometime in September. I'd just moved up from Infants' School to primary school and I remember how excited I was at the newness of it all. New uniform. New lunchbox. New pencils and pencil case. It had taken a lot of nagging and hassling, something I wouldn't have dared to do in front of my dad but he was at work and my mum knew how I wanted to be like my big sister Kelly and walk.

I remember that first feeling of excitement and grown up-ness swelling in my chest as I jumped out the front door, swinging my lunchbox with the new plastic smell and my book bag. My sister trudged out a few moments later with her gigantic rucksack and her best friend Gina.
I don't remember too clearly how they looked back then, what with me being so small, but I do remember they way they used to giggle together.

They are giggling now, until Kelly realises I'm there and throws me an annoyed look.
"Right, lets go. If you can't keep up I'll just leave you to walk to school by yourself. Serves you right."
I poke my tongue out and skip off ahead, past our house, past Joyce's house, who had a coloured windmill in the glass front of her door, round the bend, on and on until I reach the kerb where I have to wait to hold a grown-up's hand and stop. Look. And listen.

The house over the road looms over, looking dark and empty, even though it's sunny and I know people live there as they always stare at me when I see them. I don't dare look at the upstairs windows in case there's a ghost looking back at me. After ages and ages, Kelly and Gina catch up with me. Kelly doesn't even look up at the house; she grabs my hand and crosses the road, letting go as soon as we're on the other side. I kept my eyes on the ground, kicking the piles of leaves that were all over the path in front of me. I grab a handful off the floor and look at them as I walk. Autumn leaves. Green, yellow, orange, all bigger than my hand and covered in thin little veins. Some flakey to touch, some rough and some smooth. We were doing about leaves at school.

The next step of my journey was through the graveyard. As I stand outside the heavy iron gates over thirteen years later, I can still feel echoes of the fear and hushed amazement at that quiet twilight zone of death and other-worldliness. It was like the feeling I used to get at church-a presence of something much older, bigger, and scarier than I could grasp in my imagination. It doesn't look as dark in the graveyard as I used to remember it all those years ago...

The graveyard is full of trees that cover up the sky and block out most of the light. There are pinecones and leaves all over the path, and they crunch loudly under my feet. It's very quiet, even the birds aren't making much noise. My teacher says birds always make lots of noise in the morning. Kelly and Gina are marching off ahead, too busy talking about boys to notice I can't keep up I bet. The grave catches my eye and before I think to look away and carry on after my sister, I have already headed towards it and knelt down in the wet grass.

It's a small grave, shaped like an open book, like the bible. The graves on either side of it are loads bigger and are covered in flowers.
Robert doesn't have any flowers on his grave.
Maybe Mummy forgot; she used to come here lots but now I have to keep asking her to take me to see him. She always says that she will but not today, maybe tomorrow, and that I won't really see Robert because he is underground in a coffin. But Kelly says he's at our old house because she saw him looking out his bedroom window, and he's a ghost. Mummy said if Robert was really really a ghost he wouldn't hurt his little sister so there's nothing for me to be scared of, but Kelly is always hurting me and I'm her little sister too. So I think Mummy might be a little bit wrong.

I take a flower from the big shiny grave next to his. It's a white flower but I don't know what it's called. I'm sure the little girl buried next to him won't mind, she has lots and lots of flowers. I put the flower in the pot by Robert's grave, it keeps leaning funny and won't stand up straight but it still looks pretty. Looking up I can see Grandpa's grave a few rows back. His name was Robert too. He was Daddy's Daddy and was looking after Robert in heaven, Mummy says.

It's then that I remember no longer hearing my sister's footsteps anymore, or her voice. The graveyard instantly seemed much darker, much quieter, much scarier, when I realised I was alone...

I can't move, I'm too scared to run. Everytime I hear a twig snap or a bird flying from a tree I get even scareder. I kept thinking about ghosts, and of strangers, and I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping they weren't coming to get me. After what seemed like ages I heard Kelly shouting me and I didn't feel alone and scared anymore. I jumped up and ran back onto the path, hoping she woudn't notice the dampness of my knees and ask what I'd been doing, or look over at Robert's grave and see the flower that I'd stolen.

Kelly moaned at me for the rest of the way to school. She won't let go of my hand so I can't climb the wall near the park. I try hitting her with my lunchbox and book bag but she just squeezes my hand tighter until it hurts. When we reach the front gates of my school she pushes me into the playground and walks off quickly with Gina.
Not seeing any of my friends, I went and sat on the bench and waited for the bell to ring. Some kids from another class came over and started calling me names, just like they did every morning. I try my best to ignore them until the bell rang, thinking of the flower I stole and what Mummy would say if she knew.

11-04-2009, 05:06 AM
What a wonderful, sweet, touching piece! The miracle is, it is, somehow, full of that September autumnal air... a preciously rare achievement... I could really be there with those little girls... it's all in those details, you know, the house looking empty although you know there's plenty of people, and then those birds, loudest in the morning, and the grave like an open book (the Bible), and the Grandpa being Robert, too... it's priceless, it's what literature is made of...

Do you want me to put it on the Index as a Short Story?

sai delgado
11-04-2009, 05:15 AM
That would be great, thanks :) :wub:
It was really hard to write as it was very personal to me, but I found as soon as it was written I wasn't at all scared about sharing it with people.

11-04-2009, 05:30 AM
I hope you have a lot to share!

And you have your own entry in our Index now, congratulations!


sai delgado
11-04-2009, 05:50 AM
I have a few more to share, I won't post them on here all at once though, don't want to put people off :lol:

11-04-2009, 05:53 AM
but you certainly would attract bears

sai delgado
11-04-2009, 06:32 AM
:rose: I will serve each piece of writing with a nice bear-size portion of custard, to keep bears happy while they read :rose:

11-05-2009, 07:20 AM
Very good Stef!
Jean is right about the atmosphere - you can feel it.
And the inclusion of some great childlike thoughts/language works very well too. (like "...We were doing about leaves at school..." & "...I get even scareder..")

nice work!

sai delgado
11-05-2009, 11:55 AM
Yeah I tried to talk like a child but I didn't want to over do it. Hope I got the right balance there

11-05-2009, 02:22 PM
Yes, the balance is fine i think.:thumbsup:

Rambo, John J
11-05-2009, 03:02 PM
Loved it Sai Delgado. One question though - were you to write it as though you were still 7? If so, i'd say its maybe a little too correctly structured.

Ugh... If this is a criticism, its meant in the nicest possible way. What I mean is, it reads beautifully and flows perfectly - a story written by a seven year old would be a little more erratic I suspect! I agree with the others, I can see that its a special memory and meant a lot to you. Sometimes... I don't know - you can tell when a writer is coming from the heart and when they're phoning it in. Yours is most definitely from the heart.

I look forward to reading more of your work.

11-06-2009, 02:02 AM
Loved it Sai Delgado. One question though - were you to write it as though you were still 7? If so, i'd say its maybe a little too correctly structured.
It is really a delicate point here, as always when the author is writing in the person of a kid; I think that the correct balance really, as Stef surmised, was found in this case. Reading child-talk is, in fact, hardly bearable; while even very sophisticated structures don't sound out of place when the rest sounds authentic, the most conspicuous example being To Kill a Mockingbird. Personally, I am not ever sure the inclusions of the childlike language Brian has mentioned were so very necessary, but at least they don't ruin the flow of the text for me.

11-06-2009, 06:35 AM
I know what you mean Jean.
For my part, I felt the inclusion of a bit of child-talk gave a lot of authentcity to it, but you are right in saying too much of it would spoil it. balance is the key.

sai delgado
11-12-2009, 04:06 PM
Here's a short story I did in the Halloween spirit. It was meant to be based on a simple plot line- A woman waking up, getting out of bed and going outside, then going back to bed. I was really enthusiastic about this one, what do you think?

One Samhain Night

Once, many many years ago, there was a very greedy old farmer known as Stingy Jack, who drank a lot and played tricks on everyone he met. Then, one dark night on All Hallows Eve, Jack ran into the devil himself at his local pub. He offered his soul to the devil if he would but buy him just one last pint to slake his thirst, so the devil transformed into a sixpence piece to pay the bartender with. Seizing his chance, Stingy Jack put the sixpence in his pocket, beside a silver crucifix, and refused to free the devil until he agreed to not take his soul for another ten years. The devil agreed, and so Jack freed him and went on his way.
Ten years passed, until one day Jack ran into the devil once more, on a roadside. Stingy Jack, seeing that his time was almost up, asked the devil if he would climb the tree nearby and bring him an apple to feed his starving belly; assuring him that he would give up his soul straight after. The devil, thinking he had nothing to lose, jumped confidently up the tree to retrieve the apple. Like lightning, Jack carved crucifixes all around the tree trunk, preventing the devil from getting back down. He made the devil promise to never take his soul into hell, even after death. Having no other option, the devil agreed. After freeing him, Stingy Jack went back about his business, revelling at his victory over the devil himself. When he eventually died, Jack was turned away at the gates of heaven for all the evil he had done, so Jack made his way to the gates of hell. But he was denied entry by the devil, who reminded him off his promise. Having nowhere else to go, Jack had no choice but to make his journey back to where he came from. The journey back was dark so the devil gave him a hot coal, marking him a denizen of hell and serving as a warning to all others who thought they could deceive satan. Jack carved out a turnip that he had in his pocket and put the coal inside, creating a lantern which he could use to find his way back. Since that day, Stingy Jack has been doomed to roam the earth in search of eternal rest every Samhain night, using his turnip lantern to light the way. So when you carve your jack-o'-lanterns every All Hallows Eve, beware of Stingy Jack and his forsaken soul.

Closing the book with a sigh, Joelle leaned back against her pillows and gazed out the window. The moon was high in the sky, the silver light streaming through her bedroom window and illuminating her soft skin with an eerie glow. The sounds of screaming and laughing kids trick or treating across the street had long faded into the thin veil of mist that hung across the sky, like a sea of spider webs that had been blown into the horizon. Yet still Joelle could not catch the sleep that had been eluding her all night. Even reading had not helped, although the choice of story might have been more to blame, but it had been on her mind all day. When she had read it to her son earlier he had sneered at it; Halloween was just sweets and costumes to him, as it was to most people these days.
Placing the book on her bedside cabinet, Joelle put on her nightgown, quietly made her way downstairs, and slipped out of the front door into the moonstruck night.

As her bare feet struck the cold concrete path she pulled her gown tightly around herself, and breathed in the pungent yet sweet smell of the sage that was growing beneath her kitchen window. The crooked grin of the jack-o'-lantern she had made with her son earlier leered at her on the ground by her front gate, which was swinging wide open into the mist. Frowning, she gazed at the pumpkin for a few moments. It had been on the gate post earlier, she was positive. Shrugging, she crossed the garden path and clicked the gate shut. As she placed the grinning pumpkin back onto the gatepost, a dry cough emerged from over the fence to her left.

Looking around she saw her neighbour, Keith. He was staring at her through saggy, bloodshot eyes, from the safety of his front porch. Taking a drag from the cigarette that was balanced between two grubby fingers, he continued to gaze at her. Joelle shivered slightly, unnerved at his peculiar behaviour. Keith was usually very friendly towards her, and was often helping her around the house and garden. When it came to putting up shelves and repairing the fence, Keith was always there to help.
"Good evening Keith. I'm sorry if I disturbed you, was just shutting my gate-I don't suppose you saw who opened it?" She inquired softly, taking in his vast countenance with an apprehensive look.
Breathing out slowly he shook his head, his jowls quivering as he did so.
"Nevermind I guess. Probably just some kids playing around. I should probably head back in." She said uncertainly, as she watched his eyes scrutinising her front garden.

As she reached her front step she turned to look at Keith once more, wondering whether there might be something wrong with him, or even drunk. As she gazed at him he shifted forward slightly, out of the shadows of his front porch, to stub out his cigarette on the fence. She gasped as the moonlight struck his face and took a step back. His skin looked as if it was composed entirely of rotting flesh, his tanned complexion had turned an ugly shade of green and his eyes had turned from brown to milky white. He stared at her from over the fence with a vacant expression, mouth hanging open slightly. Then, just as Joelle was about to scream, the moon rolled behind a cloud and the dim orange glow of her porch light revealed him to be plain old Keith, nothing dead about him whatsoever.
He blinked at her, and said.
"I said how was your Halloween. Conall made a ruddy good job of that pumpkin, did he go trick or treating in the end?" He frowned as Joelle continued to gaze at him aghast. "Is there something wrong? Joelle?"
Joelle blinked and shook her head.
"No...no, nothing's wrong. I just had a bit of a fright that's all. Conall's very proud of that pumpkin; I helped a bit but don't tell him I told you that. We put it on the front gate to ward off the evil spirits. But I'm pretty sure he just wanted it there to impress any of his friends if they happened to walk past. He did go trick or treating, but he came back early, said he felt ill. Think he might have passed it on to me actually. I'd better go back inside."
She nodded to Keith, who smiled and nodded back in the same, jovial manner he always did. Feeling reassured slightly, she headed back inside, locking the door carefully behind her. It must have been a hallucination. That story had gotten to her, and the moonlight was making her see things. That was it.
She walked up to her bedroom slowly, took off her nightgown and slipped into bed. Thoughts of zombies and jack-o'-lanterns buzzed around in her head until she eventually drifted off into an uneasy, troubled sleep.

As the moon silently re-emerged from the swift surge of clouds, a figure slipped closer into the shadows by the tall oak tree that leant against the far side of woman's house. His face was concealed in the dark, but his eyes glowed a pale blue and a small light was emanating from the carved out turnip he carried in his hand. Glancing at the pumpkin on the gatepost he hissed quietly. Standing in the wet, earthy soil by the tree he gazed intently upwards at the small darkened window, where he could sense the woman's sleeping form. He had been watching her for some time now. His cold smile looked like a ghostly grimace in the pale light of his lantern.

Rambo, John J
11-23-2009, 12:09 PM
Excellent, very atmospheric, and the story within a story motif is always fantastic when done well. More please...!

11-25-2009, 07:34 AM
I love it Stef!
Does the tale continue - or is it just a cliffhanger with unknown ending??

sai delgado
12-01-2009, 04:46 AM
I'm not sure whether to carry it on or not, or whether it serves its purpose by having the cliff hanger and ambiguous ending?

12-02-2009, 12:12 AM
don't ask

it's entirely up to you and ain't nobody's business until it is written

07-15-2010, 05:38 PM
I enjoyed reading both pieces. Very well written.:thumbsup:

07-15-2010, 06:50 PM
Wow. Fantastic work, Sai Delgado.

A Journey of Youth I was particularly impressed by, both by how honest it felt and how it was well written. You said it was hard to write, but the way you perfectly described everything, of how you were able to capture the innocence and the very world of a 7 year old was so well done and easy to read that I hadn't guessed.

Also liked your halloween story One Samhain Night. I think the main thing I loved about it was the story within a story: I don't think I've ever read a more British ghost story, especially with a name like Stingy Jack! :lol: Speaking as a bit of a proud British bastard who likes to make his writing as British as wherever possible, I really do mean that as a compliment! Should your story continue? Hmmm, perhaps not. It is a halloween story, after all: all good halloween stories have either nasty endings or suggestively nasty endings. That's just my suggestion, anyway.

I can see why you chose Creative Writing as a course for uni: for you, it must be a piss-easy course to do! :lol: One question: any chance you'll be posting any more short stories for us anytime soon?

sai delgado
09-16-2010, 02:25 PM
It's been forever! I've been very busy- but I'm happy to say I passed my first year of university with a first, and I am soon starting my second year. I have a few short pieces of prose I could share, but I'd really like to show you some of my poetry, as it's still quite new to me and it's all I've been working on over the last few months.

This is my most recent poem- called The Breathing Night:

Below the white gaze lie fields of corn
infinite carpets spread
beneath naked soles.

Here I could surely step
over each foot-provoking stone
arriving at some thought-trodden place-

at the sadness of a beautiful thing unrealised
and the voicelessness of something dark
yet never quite black.

and also-

The Return

The train marches from the station,
leaden sails pursuing, a grey weight
over a journey to nowhere.
Icy nails hammer the lid, drum the sides,
as I’m carried upon metal shoulders.
A man pushes a trolley past-
Coffee? Sandwich? Cup of tea?
Sea-weathered face unwelcoming.
I turn to the window, to the fast receding face
that leaves me with no expression
save water tracks where one cheek had been,
cracking the sky like a lightning fork.

Unfortunately my other poetry is on my other computer- but if you like these then I'll be happy to post them another time. Thanks :)

09-16-2010, 11:02 PM
oh, at last, at last, she's back!

:rose: :rose: :rose:

sai delgado
09-17-2010, 06:06 AM
Tell me about it! I don't know how I managed to go so long without logging! Time's just been flying past me! :rose:

sai delgado
11-11-2011, 10:49 AM
Okay, so here I am again with writing in abundance. This is one of my most recent short stories, called Do Not Touch The Giraffes. It was inspired by the first line, of which we were given an exercise in class to write a sentence, then rip the first part off and swap it with another person - other examples were:
'The wind chime's cough is disturbing.'
'The swing caught Sam playing with a tuba.'
'Cloudy lemonade snapped in two.'

It's a good idea for anyone struggling with an inspirational spark to prompt some writing, would definitely recommend it.

Okay, so enough waffling - here is the story. I'll try and post more things as time goes on.

Do Not Touch The Giraffes

The giraffes are nicely fat and orange this time of year. Black tongues curl around the branches offered by lines of children in raincoats, as their parents stand close by holding up cameras. They are clearly and implicitly instructed to feed the giraffes with palms stretched outward. Do Not Touch The Giraffes, the zoo attendants say. DO NOT TOUCH THE GIRAFFES the sign says.

Leonard maintains his position on the log bench because he has been told to Wait. He wants to stroke the nose of a giraffe because it looks velvety, like the nose of Mr Pink, his Grandpa’s horse. He’s called that because he has a pink nose, and likes pink Panda Pops. He even stole one off a girl outside the village shop, and everyone except the girl found it really funny.

He wants Andrew to come back so he can stop sitting on the bench. Andrew is his Father. Andrew likes pub crawls and football, but when Leonard asked he said he liked the zoo as well. He’s funny because he tried to give one of the elephants a cheese and pickle sandwich and got told off by the man who had to Shovel Shit For A Living. Leonard thought the elephants looked really dry and Andrew said he knew how they felt.

The woman at The Ice Cream and Candy Floss Cart keeps staring at Leonard so he stops dragging his feet in the dust. Both hands on his plastic Tell Your Own Time watch are pointing to four. Grandpa said dinner at little five and big three. Stew and dumplings because of the weather. Leonard hopes there will be time to see if the lions have woken up yet, and to look at the gorillas. Ralph has been to the zoo three times, and he says the gorillas are the best part. Ralph sits on the same table as Leonard at school, and sometimes shares the special felt tips that he got from the zoo shop.

It gets dark and everyone is leaving. The zoo attendants are asking people to make their way toward the exit. Leonard has left his log bench and hidden in the reptile house. He doesn’t have any money but once everyone has left the zoo and gone home he can try and get into the food carts. Andrew is still missing and Leonard wants to stay until he’s found him. The zoo attendants will just take Leonard away if they see him, and he’ll never see Andrew again. It might take a few days so he plans to sleep with the gorillas, and he’ll have a baby wolf as his friend, to help with the tracking.

The Ice Cream and Candy Floss woman asks Leonard if he’s alright and if he’s lost his mummy and daddy. Leonard says his dad will be back soon. And at big ten little five Leonard sees Andrew’s Nike trainers fastly approach. Andrew says he was gone so long because he had to talk to Laura. Laura is Andrew’s girlfriend who Leonard will Have The Pleasure Of Never Knowing. They’re going to be late home so they need to Hurry.

Leonard sits in the front of Andrew’s red Skoda, holding a plastic bag carefully between his knees. Inside is a pack of special coloured pencils from the zoo shop, a drawing book with a gorilla on the front and a gorilla shaped eraser. Andrew also got him the biggest chocolate milkshake for waiting on the log bench so long and Leonard drinks it while waving at the man in the Tesco lorry beside him.

Andrew says they can stop off and get fish and chips, but Leonard can’t because Grandpa made stew and dumplings because of the weather. Andrew doesn’t say much after that, except maybe they’ll go to a theme park next time. An empty bottle slides under Leonard’s seat and he nudges it back, only for it to thud into his heels again at the next red light.

sai delgado
11-11-2011, 02:25 PM
Here is a link to my poem Bleak House, published in a magazine called From Dusk 2 Dawn. Scroll towards the back and you'll find it :)


Also, here is the poem that won me a merit prize for the Nottingham Open Poetry competition last year, and was published in the literary journal ASSENT, a magazine which I now have an internship with. They don't have an online presence as yet, so here is the poem as it was published, and underneath is another version of it, because I've made a few edits over the past year:

The Breathing Night

Below the white gaze lie fields of corn
infinite carpets spread
beneath naked soles.

Here I could surely step
over each foot-provoking stone
arriving at some thought-trodden place -

at the sadness of a beautiful thing unrealised
and the voicelessness of something dark
yet never quite black.

And here it is in it's most recent form.

The Breathing Night

Below the white gaze lie cornfields
Like carpets that stretch to the skyline.

Infinite before these naked soles
The rubble of new collapses.

Here I could surely step
Over each foot-provoking stone

Only to reach the absence
Of everything missed

The silence of darkness,
Empty, and endless

Hope you enjoy!

11-11-2011, 02:40 PM
Your back! Nice to see a local being published!

sai delgado
11-11-2011, 02:57 PM
Thanks :) From Dusk 2 Dawn magazine is free and distributed in a lot of public areas in Derby, so next time you're in town keep an eye out!!

11-12-2011, 03:14 AM
I suspect you'd be a natural at wreath poetry.

love your work.

12-09-2011, 04:26 PM
You're great and I loved it! More please? +rep