November Group Exercise
Write about 3 characters (see the list below)
- A woman who is happily married
- A woman who is unhappily married
- A woman who is on her own
Taken from our Text Book
Lewis, Linda. The Writer's Treasury of Ideas (p. 47).
Filament Publishing Ltd.
She stood in front of a very ornate full length mirror. She gazed at her own reflection and took in every tiny detail. Not from vanity, but out of a deep sense of loathing that permeated her every breath.
This day changed her. She always thought it was her fault why she felt anger and frustration for much of her day. She had decided that she was going to examine herself closely and see what it was that was wrong with her. She started her examination at the top of her head and scanned downward until she arrived at very elegant patent gloss black stiletto heeled shoes. She noted the tear that had, during this observation, made its slow descent toward her cheek and finally fallen off her chin to the floor six feet below. She noted the tear’s journey was now completed and it could rest peacefully undisturbed. How she envied that tear, and its completed journey, she was so weary of her own.
She reviewed the details of her gaze. The Tiffany earrings, the Gucci glasses, the Swarovski diamond nose stud, the immaculate Armani suit, the thin black leather belt tight round an ideal waistline provided by The Raw Food diet and Dukan. The Cartier watch, huge stoned engagement ring and thick 10mm 3 colour gold wedding band. Her wonderfully tanned long slender legs and finally at those Christian Louboutin shoes. Nothing she observed had been her choice or her purchase. Every single thing that adorned her was chosen and purchased and forcibly hung on, and about her, by a being who claimed her as his own property.
She had missed out but one item in her mentally listed inventory. A Smith and Wesson “38”. She dropped the weapon to the floor where it fell with a hard final thud. Her rage subsided swiftly now the gun nestled into a stable position. It was soon joined by an array of discarded companions. Glasses, earrings, Saint Laurent necklace, watch, belt, rings, suit jacket - skirt, blouse and jacket and finally Eberjey carefully matched and elegant Harrod’s bought underwear.
She gazed at her new reflection and observed she liked this figure much better. Strange thing, as she gazed she imagined her youth had been returned to her. She wore no rings or any other items that had ensnared and caged her. She smiled at this ‘new’ reflection and noted her reflection seconds later sported a huge grin. She remembered her earlier years of ‘discovery’ where she had lived a very different journey. The one where she was the master of her own destiny. The things she encountered before she married the bully both had frightened and alarmed her. She was never good at coping, her mother had never let the wind blow on her at the time. After 20 years of dullness she thought how less dull and tiresome her life had once been.
For no reason she lent forward to better look at herself. Her hair seemed longer and fell about her waist. She observed though this was only because she now seemed four feet tall instead of her previous six. Her skin was fresh and new. Her heart beat fast excitedly now as she remembered the surety and comfort of being truly loved and protected by the two wonderful people she thought she saw stood proudly behind her. The man looked proud and wore the happiest of expressions she had ever seen, and she felt so good that it was her that made this man feel so wonderfully happy. The woman behind her smiled loving and adoringly at her baby and marvelled at her perfect little creation. This scene lasted at least a full minute. The mirror seemed as if it could not contain itself or the image within it for one second longer and suddenly in her head it shouted out “now then miss! What have we got here then?”
Rudely disturbed she stood upright again. In the mirror She observed vaguely a uniformed lady placing an arm around her in a securing embrace and a second official looking lady covering her modesty in an ill fitting ‘all in one’ suit. She had but seconds to look at her refection in the mirror. There was not much to take in really. Bare feet, a blue grey body bag, a pure white jump suit, two open palms, and a face peaceful and calm. She observed how that face, though so serene, had aged back again. Her demeanour had returned to one of uncertainty, tyranny and terror. She imagined that the reflected face in the mirror was ageing but through this new transformation it gained new lines and wrinkles, but always maintained a calm and peaceful expression and best of all, was finally free to be at last itself. And “what of prison?” she thought. I have only exchanged one cage for another, but at least I chose it for myself, so that I could be free of him.
She closed her eyes for a minute and when she reopened them, gazed into the mirror again. Her reflection was as it had initially been, she was once again the perfect immaculately dressed well presented trophy woman that he had made her. A voice the other side of her bedroom door said “for heavens sake darling, whatever do you get up to when we are due to be anywhere, we’ll be bloody late. Now for god’s sake get a bloody shift on!” Her boldness disappeared though in the next commands that filtered through the closed door.
Reluctantly she grabbed her hand luggage and walked from the room. As soon as she left the vacated hotel room, reality kicked in. “About bloody time! We are in real danger of missing our flight home. Now get a move on!” She thought "I can be happily married. This cage is most comfortable, and you never know, he might just disappear one day, hopefully... and then I will be as free as a bird, forever. Until that day comes we (me myself and I) will make the very best of things that we can. It's all about appearances my dear.”
Draft 9 - ready for critique at Monday 13th November Meeting @ The Masonic Lodge, 1 Selby Road, Howden DN14 7JW