Peeling back a corner of the universe to glimpse the utter chaos that lies behind.
Jan 8, 2011
A New Adventure
This morning we put on our brave pants and headed out to give a writer's group a try. This was a first for us, and it was actually kind of fun.
The way this group operates is that we are given a prompt and a set time to write something once the prompt is given. Of course some of these go nowhere, but others turn out better than you would think. We each have the opportunity to read our work aloud if we want, but there's no critique. It was particularly interesting to hear what the others did with the same prompts.
Here is a very short story from this morning that was prompted by the phrase "There was dirt beneath her fingernails". We had 13 minutes for this one.
Dirt Beneath Her Fingernails
The kitchen door didn't quite close anymore because one of the kids had swung on it one time too many. Now hanging slightly cockeyed in the door frame, the warm night breeze pushed the torn screen in and out as the cat watched a house fly buzzing aimlessly around the bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling.
It had been two months since she had told him to get out. Surprisingly, he apparently had, leaving her the house, the kids, a falling-down barn full of his crap, a couple of cars that don't run and a farm that was barely fit to be called a farm at all.
Her friends did not believe that he was gone for good.
"You ought to go get one of them restraining orders" Eileen told her over drinks at the Dew Drop Inn last weekend.
"I am not getting any restraining order - he's gone and he's not coming back. I can feel it"
As good as it was to finally be free of him and his drunken rages, she was now left with the work of the farm and the work of raising the kids by herself. Getting the kids up and sent off to school, tending the animals, cooking, feeding the kids again and helping them with there homework each evening left little time for herself.
"This is better" she kept telling herself as she scrubbed at the dirt beneath her fingernails, standing over the kitchen sink as the radio played softly so as to not wake the children.