Red Writing Hood: The Beach

Gritty.

In her mouth, in her suit, in her mind.

“When did I become such a killjoy?”

He cocked an eyebrow, and said, “What do you mean, ‘when’?”

“Pffft.”

Shelley wiggled her toes, displacing Tom’s weatherbeaten ones in the sand.  She tried to re-embody childhood memories.

warmth tickling toes, laughter dancing on the air, eyes under saltwater straining to see past vast waving kelp

Tom’s eyes glanced out at the water, but his hands stayed on Shelley’s knees, his shoulders parallel across from hers as they sat.  The pinky on his left hand began to wander over her skin, though he wasn’t aware of it.

“We don’t have to stay, you know,” he said.

“I know.”  The wind from her sigh reached across to him.  “I know.  I don’t like this, but some part of me needs it.  I don’t know how to explain it.”

“That’s OK boss, you just tell me what you need — you don’t have to justify why.”

She watched him watching the water.  He was giving her space, she could tell.  And it was true, he hadn’t asked her why she had suddenly told him that morning that she needed to go to the beach.  Perhaps it had been something in her tone.

“You’re curious though.  That wandering pinky rubbing a hole in my kneecap tells me so.”

He returned to looking at her, glanced down at the offending digit, and cracked a smile.  “Right,” he said,”I’d have to be inhuman not to be. I’m guessing this has something to do with the dream you had last night.”

last night

She bit her lip.  Last night had been amazing.  She hadn’t been expecting that from him, or from herself for that matter.  And she had dreamed, but she hadn’t told him about it.

“I didn’t tell you about a dream…”

“You cried.  In your sleep.  You were talking but I couldn’t understand you.  I tried to wake you, but then whatever it was seemed to have passed, and I thought it would be better just to let you sleep.  I didn’t want to embarrass you — it seemed… like a violation.”

“You’re so careful with me,” she said, leaning towards him, as if looking more closely at him would reflect back what she wanted to know about herself.

“Shelley… everything changed last night, right?  And now you’re in shadow. I want to know that shadow isn’t me.”
——————————-

This fiction piece was brought to you by Red Writing Hood at Write on Edge. The prompt requested a 400-word piece showing work using a “tool” that is challenging. For me, so many things are challenging. But I was particularly working on a couple of things: 1) dialogue; 2) generating interest in characters without providing backstory; 3) foreshadowing. These are completely new characters to me, and a story has now formed (yay!) which of course, I had no time to really get into here. Hopefully, though, I’ve at least managed to get y’all curious.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

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22 Comments on “Red Writing Hood: The Beach”

  1. Kristina Says:

    Oh, wow. This was awesome. I am totally curious about the dream. Their interaction felt completely natural, like you’ve been working on them for years!!

    I can’t wait to read more.

    Reply

    • Venus Says:

      Thanks so much Kristina! I’ll have to expand on the dream if I start serializing the story of these two. Though I’m not at all happy with the character names. Those were picked out of the air totally willy-nilly.

      Reply

  2. slytherclawchica Says:

    I, too, am a little curious about the dream. But I also like the connection between the two characters. Very realistic, in a kind and gentle way. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

    • Venus Says:

      Thanks so much!! Their interaction is based on a relationship that I have (in feeling, not in actual historic fact) that is, as you put very well, quite gentle. I’m so glad that came across!!

      Reply

  3. Victoria KP (@vic39first) Says:

    You definitely did a great job with the 3 things you were working on. The dialogue flowed very naturally and I was interested in the characters. Maybe you ARE writing a novel and you don’t know yet!

    Reply

    • Venus Says:

      Thanks Victoria! Who knows… maybe there’s a novel in there somewhere, but I figure I’ll start small and get my feet under me first. 🙂

      Reply

  4. Tina Says:

    Wow. Your dialogue was great–it captured the chemistry between the two of them and left me intrigued about their back story. In other words, I want more!

    Reply

  5. ReticentWriter Says:

    I want to know more about these characters. I don’t want Tom to be the shadow. You certainly did what you set out to do. Dialogue was natural, the characters are interesting and why is the beach important? Would love to read more of their story.

    Reply

  6. MJ * iNeedaPlaydate (@mryjhnsn) Says:

    Wonderful and haunting. Way to draw a reader in and beg for more.

    Reply

  7. Denise Says:

    These are your weaknesses? You pulled this off effortlessly. Very natural. More please . . .

    Reply

  8. blogginglily Says:

    This borders uncomfortably close to “romance”, but the writing is great. Now if she had a sword maybe. . . or was a wizard. . . THEN we’d be talkin’!

    Reply

    • Venus Says:

      Yeah, I hear you on the “romance” bit. If I continue the story, I think you’d be pleasantly relieved on that score. 🙂 Though I don’t know that I’ll go all Robert Jordan on it… there are enough “high-cantled saddles” in this literary world already.

      Reply

  9. Cameron Says:

    Success all all fronts.

    One teeny thing. The way you first describe Tom’s absent-minded touching makes the pinky finger seem disembodied, disconnected from his hand, his self somehow. And I promise, I feel like a total weirdo for pointing it out.

    Reply

    • Venus Says:

      Thanks! Yes, I agree the pinky does seem disembodied. And to some extent, I wanted that, but maybe not quite to *that* extent. I want him to be unaware that his body is betraying his emotion, but I think there’s probably a better way to put it that isn’t so creepy. 🙂

      Reply

  10. Sweaty Says:

    You got me curious! A great start, and now I want more! 🙂

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Red Writing Hood: Right on the Edge « I'm Not Writing A Novel - March 30, 2012

    […] continuation of the last story with Tom and Shelley here*** The […]

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