Wednesday, 21 September 2011

W.O.W - Going through the motions

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 15 - Give yourself some time to notice the people around you. The people who may cross your path each day. The lady in front of you at the supermarket, the man who helps the school kids cross the road, a neighbour, a waitress in a cafe, a librarian, anyone at all. Choose one person, someone you don't know, and this person will become the basis of the week's writing exercise. Describe this person as you see them, describe their surroundings. Then imagine a problem, create conflict for this person. Describe the conflict. Describe how your character deals with the problem. The conflict might resolve itself, it might not. It is up to you. Perhaps, the lady in the supermarket has forgotten her wallet. Does she bursts into tears? Maybe the librarian finds a lost child. The aim is to show how your character responds to conflict and in the process, reveal something about that character. Tell us their story.

Write On Wednesdays

She put her phone back in her pocket just as the delivery man arrives.
"Where do you want the boxes" he askes, balancing the trolley with his foot. Such a simple question, yet too much to handle at the moment. "Right next to the freezer thanks" was the reply she managed.

Her head was spinning and the words of the phone conversation were going over and over in her head. The delivery man finished emptying his trolley and hands her the invoice and delivery docket. She placed them on the counter absent-minded.

She slowly walks around the counter to the freezer and starts to undo the boxes of ice-creams, restocking the empty spots. It was a mindless task that she appreciates at this moment. As she finishes restocking, she pulls the baskets out to store the excess stock underneath. "Bloody hell, why did he order so much? Where am I meant to put it all" she mutters to herself.

She had not noticed a customer come through the door. She was head-down in the freezer relishing the cool air drifting up to her rosy cheeks. As she shuffles the boxes around, she comes to realise that someone is standing behind her. She finishes reorganising and grabbes the heavy baskets to put back into the top of the freezer. The customer shuffles with impatience.

She saunters around the counter. Taking the DVD from the customer she scans the code and informs the customer of the cost, almost robotic. While the customer counts out her change, and the computer goes through it's motions of recording the transaction, her eyes drift to the delivery docket on the counter. Damn! The items were all ticked but she had only undone 5 boxes, not the 6 boxes on the docket. She checks the docket for the company phone number and dials the number. As she speaks to the woman from the ice-cream company and informs her she is one box short, she realises that the customer is still waiting to pay and get change. She hangs the phone up quickly and hands some change over that she hopes is correct, but doesn't care enough about to check.

It was only 11am. She was rostered on until 5pm. How was she meant to focus for the rest of the day? She had so many questions jumping through her head. The phone call had come completely out of the blue and had left her shaken. Focus! She had to push it to the back of her mind to get through this day.

As that thought finished in her mind, the haunting conversation returned. Like it was on replay.