lørdag den 6. juni 2009


[For danske læsere: se en dansk version af teksten her. Husk ugens bog-konkurrence, som udløber søndag ved midnat.]

Writing exercise. Write a ´slow text´ in no more than 400 words.

Joan pulled out one pair of silk socks after the other, felt with her hands in all corners and nooks of the drawers, pulled them out and checked under the bottom. Systematically she continued with shelves bulging with vests and pants, sticking her hands deep down each and every pin-striped pocket and into the toes of the polished shoes.

Halfway through she tiptoed back to the large bedroom. Erlandson´s wife was still moaning quietly with a cold cloth over her eyes . The curtains were drawn and threw a sickly-green tinge over the bed. One could almost feel pity for the woman.

Joan continued with the bed and the bedside table. Checking under and over, inside and behind, up and down. She pulled the sheets off and turned the mattress. The two small drawers revealed a large collection of main-stream porn and the occasional dust mouse, but not a shred of interesting paper anywhere.

She swung out the flat screen from the wall, scrutinized the backside and let her fingertips run down the wallpaper. Nothing. But she knew her subconscious mind had registered a detail which jarred. A bird sailed past the window, and her heart skipped a beat.

She placed herself in the doorway and looked around her as if she saw the room for the first time. The bed, the wardrobe, the bedside table. The walls and the carpet. She had even tried if the skirting boards were loose.

The table! He had put the alarm clock and the ashtray in the windowsill. Why use the sill when there was a table at hand? Joan knelt down next to the square piece of furniture. Experimentally she dragged it away from the wall, rocking it from side to side. Something rattled inside the plinth…

“What do you think you are doing?”

Her eyes darted round and revealed to her what the room must look like from his point of view. Underwear and socks spilling out of the drawers, a couple of porn magazines on the floor, both wardrobe doors wide open and here she was, sitting on his sheets, turning his bedside table upside-down. She let the four round legs slide back into the four corresponding marks in the carpet as if the drawers were loaded with nitroglycerine. She drew herself up and let go of the table.

She knew that she could not talk herself out of this.

10 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

Good one, Dorte! I really enjoyed it. Disciplined writing, builds up the tension well. Of course, I want to know what happens next ;-)

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine, thank you very much!
Your opinion means quite a lot to me. I hope the world is going to hear more about ´Joan´ one day (publishers permitting).

Belle Wong sagde ...

Very suspenseful, Dorte. I really want to know what Joan's up to and why, and who's wanting to know what she's up to.

Tim sagde ...

Yes, I liked this one too! I could imagine it clearly, and found my mind racing ahead to various possibilities. I'd like to find out how it develops. Nice one, Dorte!

Tim sagde ...

By the way ... what is a "slow text"?

Dorte H sagde ...

Ms Bookish (Belle, is it?); thanks a lot.

Tim; thank you.
A slow text, that is a really good question ;)
I don´t always know the English terms for what we are asked to do in my writing course so...
Does it make sense if I call it slow narration speed?

Beth F sagde ...

I agree -- good suspense! Is the photo yours? Of course it appeals to me (but you would have guessed that!).

Dorte H sagde ...

Beth, thank you for your comment which I appreciate very much. The photo is mine, and every time I post one of my red-brick details, I think of your Wordless Wednesdays :D

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks sagde ...

Fantastic piece of writing, Dorte! This short exercises you post are just a tease ... I always want to know what happens NEXT! (and what was she looking for?!?)

Dorte H sagde ...

Dawn thank you so much! It is always a great pleasure to hear that people like what you write. And you are right, in these short texts you can´t tell even half of what you want.

And the main character is looking for some kind of evidence that her best friend did not die a natural death. No more here as the exercise is part of a novel I really want to write.