Monday, January 18, 2010

Day #13 — Off the Beaten Path

I'm taking a detour from Lisa Romeo's month of writing prompts to respond to Linda Cassidy Lewis' experiment on her blog, Out of My Mind. She plans to post the entries on her blog today. My rules will still apply to this effort; it will be a SFD* and limited to (about) 10 minutes of free writing, starting now.

Prompt: Through the Open Window

Oh, my God. What is he doing out there? she thought. "Jason. Jason!" she yelled, rapping her knuckles on the closed window, trying to get his attention. Finally, she pried open the ancient sash, breaking a nail in the process. 

"Shit," she said, under her breath, then bent to the three inches of open window, wincing as a blast of frigid air smacked her in the face. "Jason! Are you crazy? Get down from there. You're going to break your neck."

Oh, God, she thought. I sound like my mother. No. I sound like his mother.

That thought did not please her at all. Ever since Jason lost his job six months ago, their relationship had slowly shifted from one of mutually supportive adults to a mother/son gig that did not sit right with her. She had chosen not to have children because she didn't want to be anybody's mother; she certainly didn't want to be the mother of a 39-year-old man.

She glared at him, squinty eyed, through the open window. Why did he get to turn into a kid again? What was he doing sitting in that fucking apple tree? He looked like an idiot.

The cold wind stung her eyes, which watered and blurred her vision and suddenly, man-Jason transformed into boy-Jason — striped knit hat perched on his head, feet dangling freely under him as he clung easily to that big middle branch. His smile was radiant in the bleak grey of January, a second sun outshining the weak winter one hiding behind a dusty veil of clouds.

For the first time in her life, Jessica felt her uterus stir — jump, really, practically into her throat, and she knew that everything she had known about herself and who she was and what she wanted had changed forever.

Without thinking, she pulled the sash all the way up and climbed through the open window. 

Time:  12 minutes

This ran a little long. I got wrapped up in the story, which I guess is a good thing. Much of it feels trite, but something feels true. May be worth revising to see where it would go. It somehow feels like a short story (not quite this short), but I'm not very familiar with writing short stories.

*SFD = Shitty First Draft, ala Anne Lamott


Anonymous said...

I like this take on my prompt. You really jumped out of the box. This is my year for learning more about the short form, maybe it's something you should explore. Your 10-minute writings could inspire quite a few stories.

Oh, and thanks for the link.

2KoP said...

You're welcome for the link. Thanks for the prompt!

Ciss B said...

Pretty good for a SFD!