Print Story She sits
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By DullTrev (Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 12:25:50 PM EST) fiction, what no fiction section, worse than the last one (all tags)

Silently, she sits.

The room is lit only by the harsh orange sodium glow dribbling past the thick net curtain over the small window. The light slops over the room, lighting it haphazardly, leaving huge shadows where it refuses to go. The room is rendered monochrome by this light. Its dim illumination leaves more to be imagined than is revealed.

Silently, she sits.



The sodium light is slowly replaced by the rising sun, its early morning rays filling the room with warm light, much kinder than the actinic light of the streetlights. This light reveals, emerging from the gloom, the serried ranks of knick-knacks, photo frames, doilies, trinkets.

Silently, she sits.

Above the cold gas fire, there is a small mantel piece. It is occupied by a small army of china ornaments, brash colours and brasher sentimentality their weapons. Poorly glazed horses vie for space with badly painted cherubs, the image of their eyes a few millimetres away from where anatomy dictates. Pride of place is given to a small model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, drunkenly lurching at a solid merry-go-round, fated to never spin in joy.

Silently, she sits.

The light travels across the cluttered, cramped room, illuminating the photographs imprisoned behind glass, perched on spindly occasional tables, like the forgotten hermits of an earlier age.

Silently, she sits.

The photographs reveal a time-lapse movie of her life, from a young girl, gawking at the camera, through to her smiling happily at a family Christmas, surrounded by bored looking grandchildren. In between, we see the pretty young woman, posing with naive elegance, staring off into space off camera. We see the smiles of marriage, a slightly out of focus groom beside a slightly out of focus bride, a kindness to both. We see the exhausted mother, toddlers corralled into submission in a photographer's studio. We see the children, older now, the grim formality of school photographs, the haphazard compositions of holiday snaps, the laughing as they wave to the camera, all grown up, dressed smartly, heading out of the door.

Silently, she sits.

The time lapses are greater now, years passing by until a snapshot of a smiling women, her skin lined, her hair grey, improbably large sunglasses, no husband, waving from some anonymous formal garden, dutiful daughter-in-law beside her, grandchild squalling in a pushchair. Years again, and a family shot, the woman, older again, tired, her sons, her daughters-in-law beside her, grandchildren in front, the end of a long day at a beach, full of tears and tantrums, ice cream and icy wind. The last few images are of the grandchildren, small versions of the school photographs of earlier.

Silently, she sits.

The day heats up, and the sun, stronger now, crosses the multicoloured mats, inching up the fading sofa. Crocheted covers protect the arms, delicate doilies the back. Now the light is stronger, we can see the dim layer of dust covering the room, thicker where arthritic fingers have not been able to reach. Pictures on the wall have their once bright colours dimmed not only by their long acquaintance with the sun, but by the thin film coating the glass.

Silently, she sits.

The sun illuminates her, her white hair a glowing crown. Her skin is loose, relaxed, the wrinkles smoothed. Her eyes are closed, and sunken. Her mouth is open, dry, empty. Her teeth lie on her lap, where they have ended after rolling down the front of the thick woolen cardigan. Her dress is worn, but sturdy. It shows its first stain, from her final relaxation. Her feet, swollen slightly, are encased in thick, durable and warm slippers. They have lasted long enough.

Silently, she sits.

A phone rings.

Silently, she sits.

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She sits | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Brilliant by paperdoll (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 12:37:53 PM EST
I loved it! I guessed the ending but it was really good.

I guess I've read too much Faulkner by The Fool (4.00 / 2) #4 Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 01:37:57 PM EST
I expected some severe decomposition, at least.

[ Parent ]
Originally by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 11:05:27 PM EST

It was going to end with "Silently, she rots" but, well, I decided she was too sweet an old lady to be found like that.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Thanks! (nt) by DullTrev (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 11:07:18 PM EST

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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
i like by fleece (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 01:36:02 PM EST


Thanks! (nt) by DullTrev (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 11:07:41 PM EST

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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Yep. by blixco (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 01:37:32 PM EST
Damn fine.  And, we don't need a fiction section.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
Everybody needs a fiction section by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jul 18, 2006 at 11:03:00 PM EST

I mean, otherwise how will you know this is a piece of art, rather than a piece of emo-whining?


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Tag it, mang. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 03:39:37 AM EST
Tags are the best.  Or, worst.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
This is really, really good by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 01:18:36 AM EST
I'm not sure I like the "Silently, she sits" between every paragraph, but then I don't know how you'd get the impact of the ending without it.

You're really good at despcriptive stuff, really sets a mood. Loads of emotion in there as well.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Thanks by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 01:46:59 AM EST

I wasn't sure about the repitition of that, but without it I think it becomes a story about the room, rather than about the woman. Maybe it doesn't need to be after every paragraph, though.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Good point by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 01:54:33 AM EST
Like I said, I can't think of a way to do without it. It does feel a little gimicky though, and I think your writing can quite happily stand without that.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Gimicky by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 01:57:12 AM EST

You say that as if it's a bad thing.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
I agree by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #14 Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 05:00:09 AM EST
The refrain is good, but you could tone it down a bit. A couple up front, the last two, and maybe just two more spaced out in between -- could set up an interesting rhythm that way. Let some momentum build up in the middle. Also, the description of the room is already about the woman. You don't need the refrains for that.

Just my couple coppers.

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"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

[ Parent ]
She sits | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback