SepSceneWriMo #1

“Quit struggling, will ya?” Lauren sat on a granite boulder next to the river, my head in her lap, her fingers probing the hook that she’d embedded in my scalp.

“I’m not the one who’s nervous,” I said, gazing past her shaded face to the horse-tail clouds being shredded by the jet stream.

“You want me to do what?” she asked, her voice tight.

“Push it around, don’t pull at it.”

“Oh, jeeze. You mean deeper? I…”

I could feel her knees shaking. The smell of her sunscreen made me remember how she would slather the children, sun ghosts we’d call them. I tilted my head to get a clear look into her eyes. She froze and I reached to steady her arm. “It’s alright. I’ve had worse injuries.” I felt her exhale, collapsing from the rigor in which she held her body.

“We should have gone to the beach.”

This was her gift to me, an indulgence of my youth, fishing in a mountain stream. “I couldn’t handle that. Not yet.”

She cupped my grizzled chin. “It wasn’t your fault.”

I worked my jaw, the muscles wavering beneath my skin. She slid her hand up and massaged the joint there.

She said, “If I’d have thought otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. Together.”

I watched her face, her eyes, chill with the memory. Will events of the past ever truly fade? Can anyone, in all honesty, forgive another—to the point of absolution?

“Here, after you push the curve of the hook around, the barb needs to poke all the way through.” I fumbled at my breast pocket. “Use these nippers to cut the whole point off.”

“This should be easy for me, you know?”

I nodded and flinched, the motion having tugged at the colorful fly in my head. I continued to gaze at her. I saw the circle of thoughts wind around her face and tighten the few wrinkles near her lips. Then her nose lost its flare and her smile returned. With the barest lift of my heart I watched her eyebrow twitch.

“How about Australia?” she asked. “Different kind of beaches down there.”

Before I could answer she gripped the hook and thrust it around like a suture.

 


11 thoughts on “SepSceneWriMo #1

  1. IS this missing a word -collapsing from the rigor she held her body. Without a connection, it’s two fragments.
    This was her gift to me, an indulgence of my youth, fishing in a mountain stream. Now unnecessary. The beach thing says it all unless you want to put it on the front end ass set up. Follow your logic. No need to back up for backstory if it’s a speed bump.
    nodded then flinched – then is superfluous. “Then” is one of those words, outside of dialogue, that needs to get caught in the filter unless it’s mandatory. Action follows logical action without it. Even secondary action. “Then, without warning, she pulled a screwdriver out the tackle box and rammed it in my ear” works without “then”, too. This heart attack thing will force you to use your control freak to 1) get in touch with things you bottled up, and 2) to use your control freak on the front end and stop “writing”, get your rule priorities in place and let “write” happen. Story first, then (y)our insertions. We all preach, we all want our message known, but the story already has all that without us telegraphing and ‘splaining. Aren’t you glad I finally found a countertop to match for the mini kitchen redux? I don’t want you to write like me or anyone else, I want you to do what Chekov said was “service” to your stories. What is left unsaid in a story often speaks louder than words. It’s not the paint you put down, it’s the paint you leave off. Music happens between the notes. Where’s my $5 for quotes of the day?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always poignant.
      Yes, all of these scenes will require work — in time. I’m blasting each one out, with the barest of intent at the outset. Some are stupid, some strange, all are diverse and “one of these things is not like the other.”
      I agree, any philosophical overlay (out of place in the story) will need to be stricken or truncated. Such injections come naturally based on my other pontification outlets. But they have no purpose in the such stories — agreed.

      Like

  2. Nice piece. I was not bothered by the insert ” I watched her face, her eyes, chill with the memory. Will events of the past ever truly fade? Can anyone, in all honesty, forgive another to the point of absolution?” This insertion in the scene made me curious as to what past event occurred. As to the questions raised, In my experience past events that raised strong emotions at the time of the event are relived more of less constantly throughout ones life unless one has succumbed to dementia. When strong emotion centers of the brain are wedded with an event the brain remembers and so do we. As to absolution the answer is yes it is possible but not guaranteed. One caveat to the above is that if the memory is so traumatic at the time of the incident it can be semi- permanently be locked and only be retrieved retrieved through memory restoration therapy. See you made me think not just consume and therein lies the grandeur of great prose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel really stupid 😥 Does the last bit mean she’s taking out the hook the right way (implying to me the story will continue) or is she digging it around painfully on purpose and the story ends there? Sorry I know nothing about fish hooks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fish hooks are designed to penetrate at a glancing angle. The idea here is if you just try and back the hook out the way it came, the barb will catch and more damage will be done. The technique is to push the hook deeper and then out of the skin, cut off the point and the barb and then you can pull the truncated hook out easily.
      Trout hooks are often slight things — think safety-pin thickness, or less.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Quit struggling, will ya?” Lauren sat on a granite boulder next to the river, my head in her lap, her fingers probing the hook that she’d embedded in my scalp.
    “I’m not the one who’s nervous.” etc etc etc. She is sitting, you are probably reclined on river rock.
    Nice “hook” though. is this Will events of the past ever truly fade? Can anyone, in all honesty, forgive another—to the point of absolution? necessary? Work more on chillin’ her face and that will be said for you.I know, heart attack and all that and this is scene draft mo and God knows I love ya! Cut ALL the BS and this could be a Hemingway moment! You’re on to something!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I often start with dialog and primary action just to get it down and work the rest in after I have a logical sequence. Working from the iceberg out cuts down on thinking about or putting all that out there. Two people, this situation. Get that then you bob ross it anyway you want with happy little trees and maybe a shed. It’s an old shed, in the shade and maybe some grass…yes, and a little creek? It’s your world, make it any way you like…
        But he preps the canvas first.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s