When I get really stuck, as I was yesterday, I scene storm. Using a word, or in this case, a set of words, I try to write around them. I’m happy to say, it almost always works.
I pulled today’s inspiration from Dancing with the Gorilla by Darnell Arnoult. Historically, the author has offered weekly scene storming prompts. It’s been a while since she’s updated, but if you go to past posts, you’ll find other suggestions designed to get you writing.
Today’s words were: Head, drive, ridges, reach, body, ground, voice, fog, refugee, sleep and here’s what I came up with:
Fog floated like a trail of refugees, weaving threads through bare fingered bushes. It glided over ridges and congealed in the middle of the winter gray pond. Water lapped a rhythm to the slap of sneakered feet on wet ground. Ducks muttered back-up to her measured breaths, the swish of the borrowed nylon jacket, its wet hood spanking her back.
Alongside the road, strands of bittersweet climbed from beds of composting leaves. Their lethal tendrils wrapped around high limbs, screening the entrance to the woods with a ropy tangle. Years ago, she and Ashley had created forts and shelters behind those thick curtains, unaware the creeping plants shading them from adult eyes pulled at tall branches with a pressure that weakened the trees, before yanking them to their knees.
She hadn’t known when she’d woken from her restless sleep this morning she could still run this far, that she’d reach the bend in the drive marking their childhood shelter. In the beginning, she and Ashley had pulled rusted beach chairs and an old milk crate underneath the gauze of vines. Grandmother’s tattered tablecloths served as capes, sarongs, and the turbans they wrapped around their heads. They were older when Robert arrived in town. Not long after, the hiding place provided an invisible spot to cough down the whiskey he’d pilfered from his father’s stash.
He’d come upon them unexpectedly that first time, in unlaced canvas high-tops covered in mud, his gold and white striped shirt ripped at the shoulder. She and Ashley had been talking, giggling really, about how Thomas Rodomont had kissed Ashley the day before, when something in the woods behind them cracked. Ashley had screamed, her voice a bird cry on a still night when she’d seen Robert, his angled body slouching against a fat oak behind them, his hands stuffed into the pockets of his cut-off shorts.
He’d given them a long stare. Then he’d run his fingers through his mop of hair, cocked his head, pushed off his resting place and sauntered toward them.
Happy Weekend All!