I have been going to a creative writing class the last three weeks, each Thursday evening.
Our teacher made us do an interesting exercise yesterday. We had to write a word or phrase for each of the following, off the top of our head, and these were my responses:
A feeling: Tired
A colour: White
A food: Pasta
A sound: Honk
A texture: Rough
Something you’ve said or thought today: Have a nice vacation
An object you’ve handled: Cell phone
The name of a person you know or have known: Anna
She then asked us to write a sentence including as many of the responses as possible, with a minimum of three.
This was my sentence:
Anna is tired, so for dinner she throws together some pasta, loving its white body, its smooth-rough, rough-smooth texture.
Then, our teacher asked us to make that sentence the first line of our story, something, anything we could write in ten minutes. Here is the stuff I wrote:
Anna is tired, so for dinner she throws together some pasta, loving its white body, its smooth-rough, rough-smooth texture. She slurps it in, checking if it is al dente, burning her tongue. She thinks of the things she did today, the uniforms, the scrubbing rooms, the conversations. She sets the pasta to drain and stirs up the sauce, the red tomatoes reminding her of the blotches on the white towels as the little girl bled on her table. Anna’s table.
The girl bled, bled, bled, making the nurses scurry here and scurry there, looking for clips, more towels.But Anna had cut into the wrong place, a main artery so near the heart would pump blood, keep pumping it out, the heart unaware of the blood spilled.
Anna makes herself turn to the pasta, now drained, white, but no longer inviting, the spaghetti strands flowing like bloodless veins. They have gelled into a gooey mess, sticky-gooey and the pale white looks too much like the white girl’s white face, and the whiteness of her father as color drained out of him.
Anna mixes the sauce into the pasta, stirring it slow, willing it back to life, then gives up. She picks up the whole lot, chucks it into the bin. She switches off the kitchen light which had begun to give her a headache, and walks out towards the patio to have a drink.