Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Really Short Fiction - Creative writing class

Writing Assignment: In 300 words, write a story with a beginning, middle and end that incorporates conflict and tension. (At the class meeting after the reading, it was suggested I get rid of two cliches
I'd used—those are crossed off in the text.)
A recent escapee from midwestern winters, I enjoyed being outdoors in January and decided to walk to church that day. I dismissed warnings about danger for pedestrians on the streets of Culver City as the unfounded fears of car-obsessed Southern Californians. Sauntering along enjoying the warm weather, I noticed a young man hurrying my way. I stepped aside to let him by, but he reached out and grabbed me on the breast as he passed. Half grope and half punch, it hurt. I stood, shocked and stunned, rooted to the spot. After a few seconds of feeling like I was handcuffed like a mouse cornered by a cat, I turned to see him vanishing down the hill. Everything that had constituted the confident and happy me drained away in that instant but I collected myself enough to continue to church.

Inside the dark cool chapel, a few parishioners were kneeling, preparing their confessions. Settled into my regular pew, I felt momentarily safe, but outrage over the incident washed over me and I wept. a classic damsel in distress. As I snorted and snuffled into a wad of tissue, a handsome blond man slid down the pew, leaned in and whispered in a heavy accent, “You know they’ve heard everything in here. It can’t be that bad!” In spite of my distraught state, I laughed and replied, “It’s not my sin I’m crying about—it’s someone else's.”

I couldn’t stop myself. In a rush of words, tears and nervous chortles, I told him what had happened.

He listened as I disgorged and I could feel him, like a chamois cloth, soaking up my pain and 

frustration. After the final snuffle, he gazed at me with luminous blue eyes and so much compassion, 

I forgot all about confession for a long, long time.

304 words.

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