Hello, everyone! As you all can probably tell, I’ve just gotten back from the cherry blossom festival in D.C.—which was pretty much just plain awesome, but also left me exhausted. So, once again in lieu of a long, drawn out post, I’m going to leave you all with a scene I wrote for an assignment from my fiction workshop class.
It only takes a moment for the camera to focus, the details of the interrogation room sharpening to reveal a man and a woman seated at opposite ends of a grey metal table.
The woman twists a bottle of water in her hands, the plastic crackling slightly as she applies pressure on it. Her eyes are trained on her work; the man seated across from her is frowning slightly at her lowered head.
“Whitney Marie Garrett?” he says. He shifts his left hand to start tapping a rhythm on the underside of the table in front of him.
The woman’s eyes flicker toward the source of the sound before they return to her hands. “That’s what they tell me,” she replies. The bottle protests as she continues to distort it.
“….All right, then.” The man’s voice has risen slightly in pitch. His fingers drum harder against the underside of the table. “Miss Garrett—”
“Whitney should be fine.”
Her eyes narrow slightly. The man watches as she presses against the edges of the water bottle to squeeze out an indentation in the plastic. He clenches his right hand into a fist as she starts bending it in again. A few seconds pass before his hand relaxes, his fingers splaying out across the surface of the table in front of him.
“Miss Garrett,” the man continues.
“Where were you the night of September the fifteenth?”
“Randi reckons I was at home. She’s a southerner. Probably. They tend to reckon things.”
The man lifts his right hand again, this time to rub at his forehead before briefly passing it through his hair. “Not, ‘Where does Randi say you were?’ Where were you?”
“That’s the question.” The woman blinks rapidly, but she doesn’t look up at the man watching her. She gives the bottle a sharp twist, this time wrenching it completely out of proportion.
The man reaches across the table, trapping her hand against the bottle. She pauses.
“What do you remember?”
She blinks at his hand on hers for a few seconds. “Coffee.”
“Coffee?” he replies, raising his eyebrows. He draws his hand back. “What does that mean?”
“It doesn’t mean anything,” the woman says. She is running her fingers along the edges of the bottle cap. The hard plastic doesn’t crackle under the pressure. “It meant something. It might mean something.”
She sets the deformed bottle down.
“What…the hell…” the man mutters. He reaches forward, taking the bottle and drawing it to his side of the table. The woman follows the motion with her eyes. “You’re not giving me much to go on, you know.”
“There isn’t much for them to go on, you mean.” She doesn’t inflect the word them, but she does lift her head to look somewhere over the man’s left shoulder.
He follows her gaze, his eyes catching the sight of his own reflection in the two-way mirror behind him. “Tell me again why we’re going with this plan,” the man says, raising his voice slightly. He reaches behind his head to rub at the back of his neck before turning to the woman.
“Because nobody’s ever faked memory loss before.” She tilts her head to the side, meeting his eyes.
He slides the water bottle back over to her.
Also, if any of you guys were wondering about the prompt that we were given for this writing assignment, I’ll go ahead and provide that here. We were supposed to write a story that followed these guidelines:
- 500-750 words
- Two characters
- Think point/counterpoint rather than protagonist/antagonist
- Do not describe the characters physical appearance, but their actions.
- One event must occur, whether small or large, significant or not.
- Begin the story in medias res.
- Both characters must be in the room when the story begins.
- The action must take place in one
- Characters may interact with up to three objects total, one of which must be a container of water.
- The Narrator
- The narrator must observe the story from the third-person objective perspective (i.e. no thoughts of the characters, no omniscient knowledge, no interference, no editorializing). In other words, be a camera. Observe.
- You must use at least one line, description, etc. from your index cards (not the line I gave you).