So, like I said, I don’t have much time to devote to interesting posts – at least, not until after Wednesday. But I have to meet my post-every-day quota for this month, or I’ll probably be jinxed in that arena for life.
Anyway, I want to try this challenge today, and I’m hoping I’ll have enough time to do it in-between studying for my history exam tomorrow. If I do well on my Art and Speech exams, then I’ll let myself do this challenge.
It’s sort of fiction writing, which will be breaking my rule, but I’m getting desperate. I really want to write! Besides, it’s such an interesting challenge, and I have to take it!
This post is being saved for this challenge, if I manage to write it. If not, then this is all you get! Sorry!
Okay, I managed to get the challenge done! Yay! It was a reward for getting a big, beautiful A in Speech! So here it is in all its first-draft glory:
Challenge: A woman is standing on a path, looking out at a lake. She’s just found out that she’s pregnant. Use the setting and the things she notices around her to convey how she feels about the pregnancy. Do not ever mention the fact that she’s pregnant. This works best as a timed 15 minute short story.
Bianca had always thought of Lake Shiva as a ‘she’. It seemed like a she. It was a mother, and the waves that hit the sandy shore were her little children. They’d stretch out on their own for a bit, but then they’d go back, like miniature prodigal son stories that only took a minute to tell. Lake Shiva was a good mother; she always took them back.
It was why this was Bianca’s favorite spot. The sun was a giant, hot yellow orb that lit up the sky, making the white sand sparkle. If she stared at it too long it made her eyes burn, but she did it anyway. She always did stupid things. Her mother had told her that.
Thinking about her mother, Bianca’s throat tightened. She’d have to go see her, soon. There was nobody else.
The idea of seeing her mother made Bianca’s fingers shake. Maybe the muscles there remembered sharp slaps from a ruler, or a spatula, or whatever tool her mother had had handy when it came time for Bianca to be punished. And it was always time.
Cautiously, Bianca laced her fingers across her stomach, as if she were afraid it would explode if she put even a fraction of pressure on it. The violent, red and purple plaid material of her t-shirt was nearly as painful on her eyes as the glittering sand had been, but she wasn’t looking at the shirt.
Ever since she was young, Bianca had been very small. She wasn’t much bigger now – barely five feet tall, maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet. Her arms and legs were like spindly noodles, and her stomach had always been too flat, almost inverted. She couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Lifting her eyes back to the lake, Bianca let her thoughts roam back to her mother, and the idea of facing her once more.
She could imagine her mother’s sharp eyes homing in on her like a vicious bird of prey, her claw-like hand tensing up as if she held a ruler in her fingers already. Twenty-two was not too old to be punished, she’d told Bianca.
Especially if you were Bianca. Lost in the memory, Bianca could almost hear her mother’s voice: you stupid, stupid girl!
It hurt then, and it hurt now.
Bianca looked down once more, at her too small fingers over her too small belly. She couldn’t be like that. Could she? Would she ever hit a child? Would she get angry and call a child stupid? Would her mother do it to another child?
Maybe she wouldn’t go back. Maybe she would stay here forever. Maybe…
Letting her hands fall to her side, Bianca started across the sand. It rose up between her bare toes, and swished across her ankles. She walked until she reached the water, and then she kept going.
The cold water soaked into her cropped jeans, then her ragged t-shirt. It came up to her shoulders, then her chin, and it stung her eyes and nose as it covered her face completely.
The current pushed at her as if to say get out.
I’m a prodigal child, too, Bianca thought. But I won’t run away again. I’ll stay forever.
And Lake Shiva welcomed her in.
Yeah… kind of depressing. But there you have it!