Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fiction Class Assignment #3

Dear Globlets,

I am so dead right now. I've been dead every day this week and it all started with that damn 16 hour party. Very soon I will post real shit. I sound like a broken record. But I do have a story for you today! If you've ever met my grandma, you'll understand much better than anyone else. If you're related to me, you're my mom and you know everything.

The idea was to develop a character based on someone you know and to take them out of his/her home. My prof mentioned that she would have preferred to see some more reasons for the things my character feels/thinks. I lost the point of view a couple of times but I think if we talked about that more before we handed the assignment in, I would have kept it better. Last class, when we did a point of view exercise (which I'll post next), we talked a lot more about it during the discussion of stories, which was good, but I know that if we'd done that one first, I would have done better at maintaining my POV.

Oh yes! And this is the one that the entire class got to read. Most of my respondents had very good points; some made some stupid comments that I disregarded because they were stupid. "Pastel-like" and questioning why she twitched at the sight of the tattoo. Alexah gave me the best response. She got everything and gave me some very useful suggestions and made some excellent points. She's awesome.

Along with the story, I had to create a Character File that gave some background on the real person. Nationality, occupation, education, appearance, likes and dislikes, religious and political views, things loved, things feared, and so on, were some of the things that was asked for. It was to give a better idea of who the character is.

Here you go:

Ladies’ Night Out

Swava walked into the Cactus Club restaurant with her best friend, both carrying recent purchases from their favourite store, Winners - purchases that would surely cause an argument from their husbands if they found out they had spent money on clothes. The tall hostess greeted them and asked, “Ladies' night out?” The two friends looked at each other, then back up at the young woman and said, “Yes.” The hostess turned to face the dark modern tables and when she did so, Swava saw a large dragon tattoo that went from her neck down to her back and even onto her shoulders. Her lip twitched slightly and she quickly diverted her attention to something more pleasant as they walked to the table.

Swava noticed the hostess' black high-heeled shoes and the stylish, form-fitting dress she wore. She thought back to the days when she could wear dresses that showed off her small waist, sizeable bosoms and lean legs. Although it had been many years since she wore 3-inch heels, she still looked fashionable in her bronze metallic sandals, white jacket and blue denim jeans. She was not the type to wither away behind oversized pastel t-shirts and ugly brown shoes, but instead went for looks that were stylish, comfortable and appropriate for her age. She was not one of those skinny, bony, old, witch-like grandmothers, nor was she a large, plump, round-faced Mrs. Claus. She was of healthy weight and always looked classy. She did not come from a lot of money, but, like her mother, she was a seamstress and was always interested in fashion.

Even after seeing the large tattoo on the hostess' back, she smiled at the young woman, who was much taller than the two friends, and thanked her once she sat down and learned of the Soup of the Day. Swava noticed that the napkin on the table was not perpendicular to the edge of the table. She lifted her soft, fragile fingers to fix it.
Two waters arrived for the ladies but they decided to order some tea as well. Swava would have it straight - no sugar, no cream.

“So,” began Swava's French friend, “How are things with you and Andrew?”
Swava's eyes grew wide. “Oh, you know...” she said in her Polish accent as she played with her favourite jade earring. “It's okay. We are okay. You know how he is.” Her hand came back down to the table and she rearranged her large metal bracelet so it was more comfortable on her wrist.
“Ahhh, yes. Shall I bring your clothes over this weekend sometime then, ah?” her friend asked.
“Yes, I will call you. Thank you for doing this. I just don't want to start anything with him,” explained Swava. She ran her delicate hands along the cold wet glass of water as if to clean them and, before drying them off with her napkin, which she made sure was then left perpendicular, she massaged her thumbs that had become somewhat swollen from her arthritis. “Plus, this way he won't even know that I got anything,” she added.
“I understand,” replied her friend. “And if he asks, just say it was a gift or that you had it all along!”
Swava nodded. Their teas came and the waitress asked them if they needed more time to think about their order. They did, as they hadn't even touched the menus.
“He's been talking about selling the house again,” said Swava.
“Ah yes? Ah, well...” her friend said, not knowing how to respond.
“I don't know what to do. I don't know what I will do. You're such a good friend; I don't want to move away from you.”
“Ah, but Swava! We'll still see each other. It won't be too hard. I mean, it won't be easy but I have a car and...”
“I know. But right now all I have to do is take a few steps and I am at your house. Plus, the grandchildren almost grew up in this house. But, I suppose if we have to, we have to,” she reasoned. She knew if she didn't change the subject quickly she would get emotional and there was nothing worse than crying in public. As it was, her green eyes teared up but she did not let any tears fall.
“Oui. C'est la vie, no? Swava?” The Frenchwoman leaned in and reached for Swava's hand. “I will still be here. It will be okay,” she insisted.
Swava didn't agree but she did not say any more. They picked up their menus and just after making their decision, the waitress returned to take their order.
“I have to, ehh, go to the bathroom,” said Swava's friend after the waitress left. “Will you come with me?”
“Oh yes!” Swava said enthusiastically. “I don't really have to, but it's so nice in there; I will go anyway.”

While appreciating the cleanliness and decor of the Cactus Club washroom, the two European friends agreed to not talk any more about their husbands. After all, it was Ladies' Night Out and not Ladies' and their Annoying Husbands' Night Out.

Mark: 8.4/10

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