Freewriting Friday (10/5)

5 Oct

Do you remember way back to Freewriting Friday (9/7)? I don’t blame you if you don’t. I put “Freewriting Friday” on a sort of hiatus while  we finished out our challenge. I was a little spotty on some of my writing routines with the new “day job” as well.  I think it is time to come back to it now almost a full month later (not to mention breaking a sort of radio silence since the end of September). Where were we? Oh yeah…

 

“Something Completely Unexpected That Happened to Her”

 

It was late evening and her time for a long soaking in the tub. She had become of the habit of running the water just as hot as she could from the tap and just barely safe from scalding. What was it her writer friend, Alex called them; “Lobster Baths”? She was taking one of her “Lobster Baths”.

 

She dipped her head back slowly and her hair drifted out around her body. She felt a few air bubbles escape her ears as she lowered her head. She tipped her neck back and reminded herself of the flexibility of the first aid mannequins that she was using in her class. It wasn’t a glamorous comparison. She was certainly much more feminine than the stiff almost androgynous dolls. As if to reassure her she felt a slight chill on the tips of her nipples and her knees. If she could have one wish at this moment it would be a tub deep enough that she could be fully submerged knee caps and nipples. She pulled her bright red hair across her chest. She had her eyes closed and head almost completely beneath the water. Just enough of her nostrils out to get air.

 

Ever since she was a girl she had an affinity for the water. She took swim lessons at the local YMCA from the time she was able to walk and spent most of her summers at the community pool. She dreamed when she was young of swimming in the Olympics but her father barely made the money to keep her in swim suits and she took a job as a life guard to ensure that there wasn’t a sunny day that she wasn’t near the water.

 

Her dad had a small aquarium in the front room. It wasn’t anything extravagant. There were only tropical freshwater fish that you could buy at any pet store. She would lounge in her father’s recliner for hours and just stare. There were bright yellow and blue African cichilid fish that would dart around the rocks and driftwood that her father had piled in the aquarium to give the fish a place to hide. It was a perfect daydream to pretend that someday she could dart and dash beneath the water with no fear of drowning. She would sit there and wait for her dad to come home from work and it was always later than either of them liked. She would have dinner ready for him in the oven. He would know exactly where to find her when he got home. Sometimes drifting off to sleep just imagining herself beneath the waves.

 

When she was very little she had made her dad buy her posters of mermaids to cover her walls. Even as a teen she was attached to the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and had drawn something in high school art class and framed it. It was a mermaid lying across a rock with her eyes scanning the waves. She had been inspired by the fairy tale but for her the tale was in reverse. She was the little girl who longed to live her life beneath the sea with the fish and crustaceans.

 

All of this reverie and she had forgotten where she was and her head fell beneath the water. She didn’t panic but opened her eyes. She had lots of time in the water and knew that while drowning could happen in an instant that fear was worst than the water to a person who finds themselves beneath the water.

 

It had been twelve hours give or take ten minutes since she heard about her father. She wondered what it must have felt like to him. Was he afraid? Or did he just accept it? It was nothing she would have imagined for him. He was never much of a swimmer but in her mind he was still something of a great big sea lion. He was large but his movements were always fluid and natural. He knew how to tread water and to do a water crawl that always got him to safety. He rarely had much free time but what he had he always spent with her taking her to lessons and sitting there watching her intently with a smile.

 

He wasn’t a perfect man.In many people’s eyes she was the daughter of an absolute failure. He drank daily since her mother died. He pushed a mop many more hours than he spent writing. He spent his time cleaning up after the messes of others. To her though, he was something elemental and amazing. It was impossible to imagine a world without him in it.

 

The bath had gone cold. She let all of the air escape her lungs.

 

She didn’t drown.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse.

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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750 Words says that I am sitting just around 795 with that one. I just wrote for the time that I had this morning. I wrote not even sure what the conclusion was going to be as I was writing it or even where I was going from the start of it. Freewriting can be prompted by anything. It can be something you have done (as routine a daily task as bathing) or a memory or anything. I use different prompts every day. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be 750 words (or a little more). Give yourself grace with spelling or grammar. There is nothing that needs to be corrected. This is just a sort of way to break past our blocks. Now freewrite and share with me here in the comments,please.

 

Your prompt for next week:

 

How He Spent His Saturday

 

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As always your comments are appreciated.

 

Excelsior. Peace Out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “Freewriting Friday (10/5)”

  1. jiltaroo October 15, 2012 at 6:36 AM #

    I love this story Sean. It reminds me of a bath I had a few weeks ago after the move. I went to sleep and woke up in cold water. The way you describe the hair and the coldness of the exposed body parts is very well done. When I was younger, I used to imagine my hair as spun gold like the girl from the story “Rumplestiltskin”. You write so well as a woman!

    • seanomurphy October 15, 2012 at 3:49 PM #

      This is a compliment? I listen to the women in my life and observe them closely. Then I try to write some of that into the women I write. I am never quite sure how well I do with female characters.

      • jiltaroo October 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM #

        Definitely a compliment. I imagined “the writer” as a woman and then remembered it was you. I is evident that you are a very observant person. You should feel very confident about your female characters.

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