As you may remember me blogging about before, I have been doing an introduction to creative-writing course.
I have been toying with posting some of what I’ve written on here, and decided hell, I might as well!
Nothing is ‘polished’. This is just from homework assignments, which I have to admit, I haven’t been spending that much time on – I have been using the exercises as I way to get my creative juices flowing. Because I have been doing that, I haven’t exactly always stuck to the assignment!
This was from my first week. The idea was that we were supposed to go to somewhere with a crowd and observe (I went to the bar at Hackney Picturehouse). Check out what people were wearing, how they sat, their mannerisms, snatches of dialogue.
Unfortunately, this was when I realised I was very good at writing what was asked for, as I went off at a tangent. I found that I couldn’t observe people closely without imagining a back-story of some kind for them. So, here is my first attempt at anything vaguely creative in about 15 years. Cut me a break 😉
Waiting for the Queen
I watch a group of three friends. One of them is quieter than the other two. She is wearing bright green ballet pumps, but the toes are really scuffed, like those of a little girl. I have a sudden vision of her on a swing in a deserted playground late at night. I wonder if her knees are grazed under her jeans.
A woman is wearing a t-shirt that says “RAP MUSIC MAKES ME FEEL INVINCIBLE”. She is in her mid-40s and looks like a librarian – a bit like Mary ends up if George Bailey never existed. Her hair is neat, but her fingernails are a mess, and she chews on one as she reads the local paper. I wonder if she has borrowed the t-shirt from a son or a lover, or if maybe she mistakenly thought it said ‘invisible’.
An ageing DJ sits in the corner at decks with ‘Flights of Fancy’ emblazoned across them. He looks like he might once have been somebody. He plays reggae with undisguised joy. He puts on a reggae version of The Carpenter’s ‘Yesterday Once More’ and looks disappointed when nobody reacts. He pushes the volume up and I imagine that his dark glasses are showing him an alternative reality, where he’s in a thumping club and he controls the mood of the dancers – like a reflected memory of his heyday. One of the staff girls asks him to turn it down.
“I think I’ve left it too long”, one girls says to her friend. Her friend squeezes her hand supportively. For a fleeting moment, I wonder whether she is talking about her hair, which is slightly lighter at the ends – the difference between coffee and chocolate.
One woman gives another a small doll in a clear ziplock sandwich bag. She takes it without a word and immediately puts it into her handbag. I wonder if the first woman stole it from her when they were children.
One of the bar staff looks like Jesus. I think Jesus would work in a bar. It’s the perfect place to see people from all walks of life – and especially those who may be a little lost. And the bar could save a fortune on wine!
There is a woman drinking red wine. As the level of her wine goes down, her face becomes more red, as if she is absorbing the colour directly into her face via her lips.
A door opens in the wall behind us, and without a word we stand and make our way into a darkened room.
“Aelita: Queen of Mars” it says on the screen. We sit down, and the film begins.