Last night was the November meeting of Lowestoft Library Writing Group. Our homework from last time was to write a 500 word account of being on a bus and being accosted by a drunken person. Here is my attempt.
Typical. Just typical. The bus is pretty much empty and the weird guy is making a beeline towards me. If I just shuffle over then he’ll have to sit somewhere else. Nope, too late. Just ignore him.
“I know,” he whispers, leaning in uncomfortably close. He’s been drinking. The smell of stale alcohol bombards my nostrils. I gag.
I nod and make a non-committal ‘hmm’ noise as my hand scrabbles around inside my bag for my iPod earbuds. Where are they?
“I know,” he whispers again.
I smile and move closer to the window. There’s no more room. Where are my earbuds?
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone,” he whispers.
“Ok,” I say, laughing nervously. I wish I hadn’t said anything. I turn my head and look out of the window.
“I know … the truth,” he whispers.
I look at him. He looks over his shoulder then back at me. He slides down in the seat. We’re in a traffic jam. Great.
“Where are you headed?” he whispers.
“Town,” I say. I don’t want to give away more than I have to. I don’t want to give away anything, but I also don’t want him to stab me for not being cooperative. I don’t have a clear route of escape.
“I understand. You’re on a secret mission,” he whispers. He brings his forefinger up to his lips, makes a ‘shh’ sound, and winks at me.
I smile. It’s fake. I feel sick.
“That’s a brilliant disguise,” he whispers.
I laugh quietly. My heart thuds.
“It’s so good, I almost didn’t recognise you,” he whispers.
I bring my hand to my face. I know I’m not wearing a disguise.
“I like this one the best. I saw you a couple of weeks ago on the television. You looked so different back then. You looked uncomfortable though. The clothes, the hair, the face; they didn’t suit you. But today, you’re so much more natural. I guess that’ll knock your assailants off guard. They won’t be expecting you to look like this,” he says.
He’s drunk, he doesn’t know what he’s saying. If I just humour him he might leave me alone. Or he could think that I like him, and he might follow me. I have to get off now.
“I have to get off now,” I say, almost asking his permission.
“I thought you said you were going into town,” he says.
“I am, but I fancy a walk,” I lie.
“Very good,” he says, tapping the side of his nose and winking.
I half stand up and smile, hoping that he’ll move out of the way to let me out. He stays put.
“That’ll keep them on their toes,” he says, grinning.
“Yeah,” I say, nervously. “I really have to get off now.”
“Oh, of course,” he says, standing up.
I walk past him and hold on to the rail. He puts his hand over my hand. I shudder.
“Good luck Mr. Bond, your secret is safe with me,” he smiles.
For the activity in the session, we had to choose a picture from a selection that had been brought in. They were all of people. We then had to write a dialogue between the characters. I chose the following picture.
"What are you doing here?" she asks, gripping his shoulder. "I told you not to come."
"I couldn't let you go through this on your own."
"But it's my problem."
"What kind of friend would I be if I let you go through this alone?"
"Friends. Is that all we are?"
"I thought that's all you wanted."
"Didn't that night mean anything to you?"
"What with you and James, I didn't want to come between you two."
"Me and James are over. In fact we never even started."
"Really. Things have never been right between us. We've always been at different stages in our lives. It would have never worked out."
"Would you have wanted it to work out?"
"If ifs and buts were candy and nuts."
"What does that mean?"
"I don't know. But what I do know is that I want you, if you'll have me."
"Of course I'll have you."
"Are you ready?" he asks.
"As ready as I'll ever be."
"I'll be waiting right here for you when you've finished."
"I'll never leave you alone from now on."
"I love you."
"I love you too. Now go and pass your driving test. I know you can do it."
There was a bit of time left at the end of the session, and we were asked to choose something physical about ourselves that we didn't like and write about how we'd change/hide it.
My chin: I'd have a sex change, dose up on the hormones, and grow a beard.
Our homework for next session is to write one person's perspective of a conflict. The next session will be Tuesday 11th December, at 19:00.