Carol pulled her skirt down. Now that the sex was finished she felt exposed. Sitting on the bathroom bench, her knickers still on the floor, the black lace pooled on the grey slate. She adjusted her bra back over her breasts and buttoned her blouse as she heard the zip of his fly. A sharp, final gesture followed by the emphatic buckling of his belt. He didn’t look back as he left.
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Write On Wednesdays Exercise 9 – Think with Character. Choose a character from your writing posts. You can still do this exercise if you are new to WoW – select a character from another piece of your writing or simply work through the exercise from scratch. Now, think about the character in regards to their: gender, age, occupation, physical appearance and mood at this moment. Is your character in the city, the country, inside or outside? Do they live in rich or poor surroundings? Alone or with others? Answer all, some or one of these questions. Now, set your timer for 5 minutes and write the first words about your character that come into your head. Stop when the buzzer rings. This may be one week where you feel you need to throw the timer and take your time. Do whatever works for you. You may also like to consider: Complexion, Style of dress, Hair colour/style, Speaking voice and likely vocabulary, Strengths/Weaknesses, Mannerisms
I’m sorry I missed last week, but it’s been a very difficult last couple of weeks. My post The Long Last Goodbye will explain most of it and perhaps also the setting of this piece, but it definitely suits Carol.
She hadn’t meant it to happen like this. Definitely not in Ginny’s en-suite after Terry’s funeral. She’d had something more romantic in mind when she made the decision on the ferry. Carol wasn’t even sure what she was deciding upon that night coming home from work. Maybe it was the way the ferry pitched on the harbour swell, like the rocking of hips.
Or the young couple in front of her, whose hands and tongues explored each others’ without care for the long-married, bored commuters who had stashed away memories of new love in an old trunk, locked away in an attic, not to be disturbed.
Carol just wanted something. More than a text message about whether it was to be the Thai or Indian take-away for dinner. And whose turn it was to walk the dog, choose the DVD, collect the dry-cleaning.She’d been wanting Rob Lowe, shirtless, like he was on the cover of Vanity Fair. Instead, she’d had the paunchy husband of a woman she’d last seen years ago at a school concert. On the day of her best friend’s husband’s funeral.
‘What the fuck’s wrong with me? I should be serving up sandwiches, not extra- marital nookie.’
Carol slipped off the bench and scooped up her knickers, quickly stepping into them. She smoothed down her skirt and checked herself in the mirror. Her eyes went straight to the grey hairs seeping through the black. It’d only been ten days since she last dyed it. She sighed in annoyance and opened a drawer looking for a comb. Instead, it was neatly arranged with razors, aftershave, haemorrhoid cream, nail clippers and male deodorant. Terry’s drawer, neat to the bitter end. But the toiletries couldn’t mask the unseemly cancer that had eaten through his bowel to his liver.
Carol closed the drawer and left the en-suite, shutting the door on her guilt. Only to be confronted by the immaculately made bed. The pale mauve sheets, the gold comforter, the floral cushions that Ginny had embroidered and arranged so carefully. Her own bed was a tangle of sheets, ignored in the rush to leave the house.
Carol lay down on one side of the bed, her hand resting on the emptiness next to her as she tried to imagine the loss Ginny must be feeling. She pinched her nostrils tightly, scrunched her face against the tears and sobs that rushed to escape. To her shame, it was not for Ginny, but for her own pain and loneliness. A boredom that was like a death itself. A death that was a relief, perhaps, for those who’d never really lived.
I took a little more than my five minutes, but I wanted to see where Carol was heading. Still not sure!