Writing me Down

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Exercise 6.2 - Setting and Character Mood

Version A

Jen walked slowly between the neat rows of identical white headstones, stroking her stomach. Suddenly, her hand clenched and she stopped, breathing carefully and steadily. The writing on the stone, marble white as her face, swam in a haze in front of her. Gradually it sharpened into focus. “Harold Winter (25) Much beloved son – always missed.” Tears glistened at the corners of her eyes. Losing a son. She felt her stomach again, cradling it, willing the pain away. It’s only indigestion, she told herself. She walked on, feeling the weight of that stark white row of losses. A crow called three times, mocking her before flapping lazily into the yew tree. The grey clouds pressed down on the graveyard like a pall of smoke and the silence of the dead rang loud in her ears. She felt hot despite the chill wind, and hugged her coat close around the treasure she carried. Hurrying her steps, she clanged the gate behind her, and hastened to the hotel and the comforting presence of Peter.

Version B

The first thing that struck Mary when she opened the gate was the birdsong. A blackbird was singing its heart out, filling the graveyard with liquid song. Against the white stones the flowers stood out in rich colour – scarlet and gold, pink and orange. She took a deep contended breath and smelled the new-mown grass and damp earth – the smells of spring, of new beginnings. She smiled as she strolled between the handsome headstones, gently caressing the smooth marble of each one. “Thank you,” she whispered to each one. “Thank you for giving us peace so we will live in comfort in our gorgeous new home.”


Post a Comment

<< Home