Sunday, March 11, 2012

Timed Writing: 3/6/2012



Time: 10 minutes
Source photo: Dopo tanto pallore, Domani by GiCi

The woman that I followed through the reddening haze of the cobblestoned alley shifted her purse straps on her shoulder and rummaged for her car keys. I would have to act now, before she drove off, and certainly before the sun rose fully, burning off the protective mist.

"Excuse me, ma'am," I said. My voice sounded faint and distant, even to me -- a tiny tinkling of sand against the cristal walls of her hourglass. "Please, wait a moment," I said. This time I spoke with greater force. The waves that my voice created in the fog rolled over her, causing her to shudder. She truned around and peered into the dark.

"Down here," I said, and then she saw me. She dropped her keys and I think she might have screamed if she'd been able to get a decent breath. In her panic, her breaths came rapid and shallow and the only sound she managed was a series of little half-moan wheezes. Each tiny inhalation fed her feelings of suffocation and caused her greater stress. A stifling spiral into complete mental chaos.

I took a few steps toward her, and, to my surprise, she found her voice.

"No. Stop," she said. "Please don't come any closer." There was enough light now that I could see tears sparkling on her cheeks. They left slick masquera-stained trails through her rouge like ritual warpaint -- or the decorations on one destined for human sacrifice.

"I only have to touch you, ma'am," I said, as I closed the distance between us. "You will hardly feel it. Just a little brush on your skin and it will be done." She was sobbing now and she collapsed to her knees on the rough pavement. Her purse fell open, spilling a toothbrush, tampons, eyeshadow and lipstick, pens, notepads, and a crucifix on a string. I pushed these aside, gently, carefully. I cleared my path and moved forward until I stood mere inches from her face. Her forehead was pressed against the ground. Her body was curled into a fetal ball of tension and terror. With minimal force and great deliberation, I extended my fingers.


(about my timed writing exercises)

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