Friday, September 23, 2011

Write on Wednesday: Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

I'm joining Ink, Paper, Pen for Write on Wednesdays!  
I am a little late with my Write on Wednesday post this week, so it will have to be Write on Friday instead :)

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 15 Give yourself some time to notice the people around you. The people who may cross your path each day. The lady in front of you at the supermarket, the man who helps the school kids cross the road, a neighbour, a waitress in a cafe, a librarian, anyone at all. Choose one person, someone you don't know, and this person will become the basis of the week's writing exercise. Describe this person as you see them, describe their surroundings. Then imagine a problem, create conflict for this person. Describe the conflict. Describe how your character deals with the problem. The conflict might resolve itself, it might not. It is up to you. Perhaps, the lady in the supermarket has forgotten her wallet. Does she bursts into tears? Maybe the librarian finds a lost child. The aim is to show how your character responds to conflict and in the process, reveal something about that character. Tell us their story.

Soccer Mum

She drove down the freeway, her face tense, hands gripping the steering wheel tightly.  Her kids sat in the back of the car. They didn’t know where they were going or why their mum had picked them up from daycare early.  But they were little and didn’t ask questions.

She had worn her smart suit to the office this morning and her expensive heels.  She looked professional and polished. A business woman, mid thirties, nice house, nice car, cute kids. 

As she drove, she went over what she was going to say.  Trying to cement the words in her head so she wouldn’t lose them in the heat of the moment.

They were in the street now.  And there was the building.  She pulled up outside it, the adrenalin racing in her body.  Pulling the kids out of the car, she lined them up on the pavement.  She knew she shouldn’t have brought them here, but it was too late now.  People do crazy things when they aren't thinking rationally.

She knelt down beside them.

‘Mummy’s just going inside here for a second, okay?  Just follow Mummy and don’t worry if Mummy gets upset…..I’m not angry at you guys, okay.’

They nodded and fidgeted.  What was she was talking about?  They followed her into the building like baby ducklings.

It was midday and the reception desk was empty.  She walked through to the warehouse where the staff would be eating their lunch.  Everyone except her husband.

Flinging open the door, she marched in, the kids hanging about her legs.  People looked up in surprise.  She recognized some and not others. Scanning the room, she found who she was looking for.  She was momentarily surprised.  The photo had been much more flattering.  This girl was…..nothing.   She looked exactly like what she was - a 25 year old skank with a deadbeat boyfriend who had plucked chickens for a living before getting this job.   For fucks sake.

‘What are you doing here?’ the girl said, her face flushed and angry.  She looked pissed off, and embarrassed.  Everyone stared. 

‘I want you to see what you are messing with.  You want these kids to grow up without a dad because you can’t keep your fucking legs together, you stupid bitch.  What kind of person are you?’

It was as far as she got before the tears sprang out.  Gary, her husband’s boss, shepherded her out of the room, the kids trailed behind.  They didn’t know why mum was crying but they hoped she would take them to McDonalds to get an ice cream.


  1. Interesting! Is this a self-reflection about you?! The four kids is the giveaway that's making me wonder!

    That's a hard challenge. Lucky I'm not tackling these topics as I'll be struggling :)

  2. Don't they say write what you know :) Actually I saw a woman driving in her car the other day with her kids in the back and she was crying. I thought, either her kids are sending her completely bonkers (which is not a very interesting story) or she's having some kind of relationship problem and it reminded me of a time when I had been crying in the car with the my kids in the back. Last week's challenge was a bit easier than this one :)

  3. Thought provoking to say the least. Well written El.

  4. Great writing, I was totally engrossed right from the start. I look forward to reading more of your posts :-)

  5. I like her, she's got balls.

    But, having been there, done that, I think she would have got a lot more satisfaction out of punching him ;)

  6. Hi New Liker - Eloise.
    oh.. I was scared for the kids.
    I wondered where she was going and what she was going to do.
    I like that you built and built the suspence and I wasn't disappointed.

  7. At first I feared for the kids! I feel sad for the woman, but I do like where the story went. I'd love to hear more about how this progressed! Nice writing!

  8. At first I thought maybe she was about to escape from an abusive relationship with the kids. Then I read on and it kept me guessing until things became clear. But you know, the girl maybe should have kept her legs together but her husband should also have kept it in his pants. LOVE the line 'They followed her into the building like baby ducklings.'


Thanks for commenting, I appreciate you taking the time xxx

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