Story A Day September: Day 15

So, I’ve been MIA on this for the last week. Between a (unfortunately typical) heavy work load and a SFF writers’ convention (which was awesome, my first of three summary posts is already posted), I haven’t had a lot of writing time lately.

This is a … thing that came out of the first line, said to me.

**************

We’ve Met

“We’ve met before, haven’t we?”

Nora looked at the other woman carefully.

“Another writing class, I think?” she answered.

A smile met her response. “Yes, I think so.”

The room was small and crowded and decorated in shades of grey.

“Next, we will consider describing a scene without recourse to colour,” said the woman standing at the front of the room. She was tall and thin and dressed in long, drapy clothes.

She had a wan smile and a pale face.

Nora looked down at her notebook, but she had not written very much down.

The woman across the table from her had a heart-shaped face, a pink-tinged complexion, and a slight smile. She was not beautiful, but that probably didn’t matter.

“Close your eyes,” the workshop leader said. “Imagine a scene. If nothing comes to mind right away, think of something you think of when you think of summer.”

The room was quiet, except for the slight sounds of legs rearranging themselves, throats clearing, chairs moving slightly on carpet.

“Now. What is that scene? What can you say about it without recourse to colour? What are the sounds and smells? Write them down.”

She was walking back and forth in front of the room. Nora was trying to concentrate, because the workshop had been expensive, for one, and because she was trying to take her writing practice seriously, for two.

But the other woman, who was doing nothing in particular to catch Nora’s eye, kept distracting her. She sat, legs twisted together and leaning on the table, chewing on the end of her pen as she looked down at her notebook.

Nora looked down at the paper in front of her. The beach, she thought. The tang of salt in the air, the gentle sound of water lapping at the shore.

Blue and pale. Those were not part of the exercise.

“What is your scene?” she asks in a whisper.

“Waking up, late, on a weekend.”

“Oh.”

“The sun is pale, but streaming in the windows. Is that a colour? The sheets are cool from the evening just past, and everything is cool and fresh and I want to stay there.”

“That sounds lovely.”

The woman smiles, a small but considered smile.

“My name is Nora.”

“I’m Kathryn.”

“Who wants to read what they’ve written?” the woman leading the workshop says. She is not a particularly accomplished writer, but she is sought out for instruction. Nora can sort of understand it. The class is definitely thorough. It is not her fault that Nora has become preoccupied with Kathryn.

“Literary fiction?”

“Mostly. I’m trying my hand at mysteries.”

“Oooh. I like mysteries.”

“Do you?”

“It is most beneficial if we maintain as close to silence as we can manage.”

Nora looked down at her notebook and then raised her eyes at Kathryn, who was lookingback at her.

In a moment, Nora jerked her thumb towards the nearest door and smiled encouragingly
Kathryn seemed momentarily surprised and then nodded with an impish look in her eyes.

They both slid out, quietly, guiltily, with glee.

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