Not-really-a-teaser-Tuesday

12 Nov

Since September I’ve been running a new writing club at school, in a desperate attempt to meld work with some of my outside passions. Today’s session was on creating character, for which we used games from Booktrust and Language is a Virus.

From a list of items including strawberries, a diary and a chandelier, I came up with Andrea:

Andrea drummed her heels into the tarmac, pushing herself relentlessly forward. The road stretched out before her, a river of grey shimmering in the L.A. heat that had swiftly grown fierce in the two hours since dawn.

“Father, father, father,” said the rhythm of her run.

Her mind skipped like a scratched disc from the palm trees ahead of her to the letter waiting on her dressing table at home. She’d recognised the handwriting immediately.

“Father, father, father.”

Where the hell had he been all these years? Couldn’t even be bothered to let her know he was still alive? Why now?

She pushed down a rising tide of angry bile. She had no idea what had gone on. Maybe he’d been in a flea-ridden foreign jail somewhere, busted for smuggling; maybe he’d been in a bad accident and developed amnesia and…

Why hadn’t she just read the letter before going out? Now she’d have to try and force down his likely apology with her usual strawberry, avocado and goji berry smoothie. The rest of her day would be ruined: her spray tan at ten, her yoga class at two and a long, silent dinner sitting at the other end of the dining table from Sachin, under twin chandeliers. Okay, that last one wasn’t exactly something to look forward to; her father’s confession might break up the monotony of her failing marriage at the very least.

Her hair tie slipped loose and her California-blonde waves fell in wafts of apple scented shampoo around her face. She was so busy scraping it back, she didn’t notice the car until it was too late.

The students came up with some brilliant ideas including a frustrated businesswoman (with dreams of saving the world) and a girl bullied at school for being too posh. I think they like having time to just sit and write, without any pressure of grades or levels – just the freedom of a pen and a blank page.

I quite like it too.

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