Written for a FutureLearn fiction writing course. The task is to write a 500 word story that enables a reader to see a character through their thoughts, actions, personality, location and back story. As always, feedback would be appreciated.
Alan slipped out of bed quietly and made his way to the bathroom in the dark. He liked the mornings, the sleeping house peaceful around him as he prepared to start his day. Going downstairs he took the packed lunch he had prepared the evening before from the fridge and added it to his organised briefcase, closed the front door gently behind him and backed his car up the driveway. His wife would complain about the music he selected if he played it in the house. Smiling at the thought he started his daily commute. Life was good.
Jenny turned and stretched, luxuriating in the freedom and space of a bed all to herself. She wondered if Derek enjoyed living alone. She had never been inside his house but had conjured up images of how she imagined it to be, especially the bedroom. She pictured order, muted colours, functional and unfussy furnishings. She pictured herself, naked on his bed.
Sighing she rolled over and glanced at the clock. She could hear the children clattering dishes in the kitchen as the pump for the shower came to life. They would expect her to appear, to tidy away the detritus that would be created by their morning routine. Tempting though it was to close her eyes and dream for just a little while longer she forced herself to move. Her duties would not wait.
Derek enjoyed his morning walk but felt tied down by Jenny’s expectations. What had started as an interesting diversion had become an irritation, not because he did not like the woman but because he had no wish to become involved in her domestic dramas. He had known that she was married from the start but this had never bothered him. Her loneliness was palpable but they were two consenting adults; it had never felt as though he were taking advantage.
An unexpected phone call from her mother meant Jenny was late leaving the house. She pushed down her guilt at the abruptness with which she had dealt with the simple request. This was the best part of her day and she would not be distracted. Her mother expected too much from her and could never be pleased anyway.
Reaching the common she saw the familiar figure up ahead. She knew that he would not wait for her, that he did not lay as much store by their encounters as she.
‘I thought I might have missed you. My mother calls at the most inconvenient times. Did you have a good evening with your friends?’
‘Yes it was fine. A couple of them stayed over so I won’t be out for long, just enough to give Buffy a run around. Patch seems to have recovered from whatever was making him limp yesterday. Did you go to the vet?’
‘No, he seemed fine so I didn’t bother. Who stayed over?’
‘Oh just a couple of friends. Look I’m going to have to get back. I’ll catch you next time.’
‘Oh, okay. Maybe tomorrow?’
‘I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. Maybe. Bye.’
Derek hurried down the hill to his imaginary friends. He really should sort this out. Perhaps he would find a new place to walk.
Shared on Friday Fiction, hosted by Nikki Young Writes.