ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Confused? Two Blogfests in one day! Secrets Blogfest and Bickering Blogfest

Thank you, Tara from Midnight Ink,  for hosting the Secrets Blogfest. Here is my entry.

This is an extract from the beginning of a short story of mine. The whole story is full of subtle secrets which all come together in a crescendo in the last line, but I’m sorry, you won’t get to see it all here… *weeps loudly*. So I offer this little teaser...


The old lady snapped open her purse. With trembling fingers she gently caressed the object through its silky velvet pouch.

‘Yes, this will be fine. It’s just down the lane,’ Raissa said, peering out of the window at the darkening landscape.


‘Are you sure, lady?’ the bus driver’s voice was uncertain. He knew the area. Once a body wandered into this forest, there was a good chance they’d never walk out again.


With a shrug, the bus driver turned the key. The ancient bus juddered to a halt.


He watched his passenger in the rear-view mirror. He saw her apply bright red lipstick, check her hair in the fancy compact, snap it shut and return it to her purse.


‘No luggage then love?’ he asked.


‘No, I don’t need luggage this trip.’ He watched her smile dreamily and he wondered exactly who she was meeting in the bush. As far as he knew, all the houses had been bulldozed years ago to make way for the sawmill. He remembered there’d been quite a kerfuffle at the time but these things always settled down. People had short memories.


He turned around in time to see her popping something in her mouth, then take a tiny sip from her water bottle. She stood up slowly, wobbling a bit, clutching a parcel.


‘Well, I’d best be going then. Let you get on,’ she said. She held a posy of red roses in her white-gloved hands.


The bus driver was on his feet in an instant, remembering his manners. All his other passengers were long gone. No one came this far out. He’d added this stop to his itinerary just for her. He could hardly let her hitch all the way from Anernene.


She took his arm and he helped her down the steps. He smiled at the picture they made — they could be heading to the dance floor to perform a quadrille.


Once on the ground, she turned to him with the sweetest smile. Her face was lit from the inside – he could see her delicate beauty shining through.


‘Thank you kind sir. I’ll be on my way.’ A smile, a gentle touch of her hand. Looking down, he saw he was clasping a tiny red rose.


He watched her, twirling the flower absently in his hand. ‘How will you get back?’ he asked.


‘Don’t you worry about that,’ she called. ‘That’s my secret.’ She winked, waved, then walked off, her back ramrod straight, her steps faltering. He saw her clutch her bright red coat around her tiny frame, though the late afternoon was balmy. Strange, he thought. In a moment she was just a shadow amongst the trees.


‘A lady of quality, that,’ he mused as he stepped up into the bus. He sat pondering a moment before he could bring himself to turn the key.


The old lady heard him gunning the engine. For a while she’d feared he would stop her. The age of chivalry was not dead. She smiled and walked on into the darkness…

10 comments:

  1. Ooooh wow very intriguing! I love the bus drivers take on the lady :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks NZ. Yeah, his POV is important..:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow; both very intriguing. Engaging characters Actually, both ladies seemed to have a secret; something that made them stand out and be noticed.

    Well done.

    ......dhole

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow. Excellent entry. Very sweet scene. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice work. It's good to see an entry that shows a secret but doesn't give the secret away. There is an air of confusion but for good reason and I'm very intrigued in the overall story that is yet to be told. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I got such an ominous feeling from that entry. I hope the old lady isn't going to die out there. Very interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oooh leaving us with a mystery, no fair! Nice scene, love the atmosphere (all mystery, here)!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Donna,SarahJayne, Dawn, Raquel (sorry, you might be right), Tessa (glad you got the atmosphere): Thank you all for your comments.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you! Hit me with your wisdom!