I had a really good time on Saturday with my Lapidus pals (www.lapidus.org.uk) writing and supporting each other in our writing processes. I am grateful to Sue for her writing with all the senses exercise which encouraged us to get to know two pieces of fruit and develop characters from them. For me, it resulted in this:
The day has been oppressively hot. Everyone has kept to their own cell in the bowels of the boat. It is only in the cool of the evening that people begin to come on deck. They are a disordered lot, crying or mumbling or fumbling, the weight of something unspoken making their spines crooked.
In contrast the young woman in her serge cloak and kiwi green gown, stands slender and straight leaning against the handrail. She watches the boat slip over the river water as if it were sliding across a snake’s back. The wooded hills rise sharply on either side to a gloaming sky. Where there is a patch of flattened bank, there is a village gaily lit with coloured fairy bulbs. The air is tangy and sweet.
An older woman comes to stand beside her, her skin is pitted and scarred. Neither of them belong on this ship of folly. They’d merely been on the wrong landing stage at the wrong time. ‘It’s beautiful here,’ says the youngster.
‘If you’re partial to this sort of thing,’ replies acid tongue, aware she loved it once.
‘Do you know where we’re going?’
‘Didn’t you check the destination board?’
‘I just jumped on at the last minute. I’m happy to go where life takes me.’
‘Then you’re more of a fool than the rest of them, for they aren’t here by choice.’
‘So you do know where we’re going?’
‘It’ll be wherever you least want to go.’