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Tiaras and Trucks

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moving Day

Greta paused, expecting her ex-husbands presence to echo off the walls and ceiling, magnifying in the now-empty space. 

Their argument over the paint color started as a joke.  Truly there wasn’t much difference between steel and dove, especially when they weren’t planning to change one brush stroke on the smooth walls.
But his voice had grown petulant, fading into uncomfortable silence as they shifted a couch and armchairs and her small Parsons desk into a workable configuration.  He slunk away as she poured wine, leaving her to settle into a cream IKEA armchair in the dusk, looking through the south window alone.
Today, freed from their cages beneath comfortably low couches, dust bunnies crept along white baseboards, scarred from lack of care with wayward shoes and table legs.
Grooves from her desk chair marred the birch floor, highlighted, along with dancing flecks of dust, by the sunlight streaming through the sole window.
“Ready?” Drew spoke from the doorway.
“What would you call these walls?” she asked cautiously, though they were past the point of tests.

 

“They’re grey, Gee,” he grinned simply.

 

Silently, she took his hand, pulling the door closed, leaving dust bunnies in peace.

the prompt:
This week we asked you to take us somewhere. Where was up to you -fiction or creative nonfiction- but we asked you to use your words to paint the setting as vividly as possible. In 200 words.

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56 Comments:

  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous dosweatthesmallstuff said...

    I could see the empty room, the feeling of it being stripped bare... Your description of the dust bunnies was perfect.

    Oh, I have to say I like Drew! I like a guy who doesn't know the difference between 'steel' and 'dove'! :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:51 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    He's kind of her equalizer :)  I'm glad you could feel it.  I like people more than places :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 9:59 AM , Anonymous Sara said...

    You did this prompt very well. I could see the room. I have to highlight a line because it's so great..."Today, freed from their cages beneath comfortably low
    couches, dust bunnies crept along white baseboards, scarred from lack of care
    with wayward shoes and table legs." That is such a great description..."freed from their cages." I also like the emotion within the setting -- life moves on. I like you had her close the door..."leaving the dust bunnies in peace." Well done and thanks for sharing this:~)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:11 AM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

    Me too! And you did a great job with Drew..he's definitely a likable guy. 

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:13 AM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

    You may like people better than places, but you did a great job of taking me to that empty room. Like Sweaty, I adored this description:

    "Today, freed from their cages beneath comfortably low couches, dust bunnies crept along white baseboards, scarred from lack of care with wayward shoes and table legs."

    I mean, wow. Nicely done. I really felt an "on the brink of something" moment with this piece. And I loved it. 

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:21 AM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    Love this...and I love Drew! I'm rooting for them :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM , Anonymous Earlybird said...

    I loved that line too! (' freed from their cages beneath comfortably low couches, dust bunnies crept along white baseboards, scarred from lack of care with wayward shoes and table legs.') Nice detail about 'steel and dove'.

    Possible typo here?? 'But his voice and grown petulant,'

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:55 AM , Anonymous Jdaniel4smom said...

    All that was left was the bunnies and the scratched floor. How sad!

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 11:22 AM , Anonymous Kpiccini said...

    Saw every nook and cranny of that room, felt her pull to want to feel "something" and then her comfort when Drew agreed, gave her his hand and her self esteem back. I was sad and uplifted within moments of one another. I could hear that door click into place at the end.. wow!!!! Xo

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 11:26 AM , Anonymous Elena said...

    Those of you who write fiction for WoE amaze me. Truly. This was a great entry and I'm in awe of it.

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 12:24 PM , Anonymous Karen @ Time Crafted said...

    A story, a setting, and character emotions I could feel, all in one...brilliant!

    Loved this: "Today, freed from their cages beneath comfortably low couches, dust bunnies crept along white baseboards, scarred from lack of care with wayward shoes and table legs."  Truly loved the dust bunnies here and at the end!! :>

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM , Anonymous E & A Rosenfried said...

    nice :) 

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous Gayle said...

    I love how you used the dust in the form of bunnies to animate and lighten the heaviness  that comes over you when you move.
    great post

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:12 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Love that ending! :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:53 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    There's a sense of beginning with the ending, no?

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:54 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  I kind of fell in love with the dust bunnies.  Isn't that silly?

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:55 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  I love that you could sense the brink of their new beginning here.  She has been through a lot to get there.

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:55 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Me too ;)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Absolute typo...it should say "had grown petulant."  Thanks for the catch!

    And thanks for the comment about the color.  It says a lot about their personalities, really (though her ex isn't a huge part of this part of the story.)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:57 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It's ok that it's sad, I think.  She is ready to move on, and leaving that sadness behind is ok.

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:57 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Kir!  She's been through a lot, you know?  I wasn't sure I wanted her to find someone else so quickly, but Drew just crept up on me :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, that's too nice!  Thanks Elena :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 5:01 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Karen.  I'm at a point in the story where just setting didn't work for me, so I included a little narrative as well :)

    I like the dust bunnies, too :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 5:02 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 5:02 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    They're my favorite part, too :)  Wandering around aimlessly...

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 5:02 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    He's a great guy :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 7:07 PM , Anonymous Renee said...

    The little scars in the floor and woodwork are perfect. The last remnants of an old self.
    Time to make new grooves. In a new life.

    Well done!

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 7:11 PM , Anonymous CDG said...

    Emptiness as a vehicle for the description of what was. So nicely done.

    I especially like the argument over color, and Drew's response to the "test."

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 7:16 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you :)  A new beginning can be scary, but it's often better than staying in the past.

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 7:17 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Cam.  I think she's ready to really move on.  Drew's her balance, instead of an antagonist for her :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 7:52 PM , Anonymous Mama Track said...

    I love the "dust bunnies freed from their cages" part. That's awesome. It totally conveyed the vacancy.

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:08 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  That seems to be a popular one, and I loved it when I wrote it (to be honest.)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 8:26 PM , Anonymous Duffy said...

    I like how the state of the dust bunnies is a methaphor for the marriage.

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 9:03 PM , Anonymous The Lime said...

    I sent this to someone else today, too, but the way you phrased it ("Drew just crept up on me), has made it impossible for me not to share this quote again.

    Flannery O'Connor: "When I started writing that story [Good Country People], I didn't know there was going to be a PhD with a wooden leg in it. I merely found myself one morning writing a description of two women I knew something about, and before I realised it, I had equipped one of them with a daughter with a wooden leg. I brought in the bible salesman, but I had no idea what I was going to do with him. I didn't know he was going to steal that wooden leg until 10 or 12 lines before he did it, but when I found out that this was what was going to happen, I realised it was inevitable."

    It's from an article in the Guardian by Anne Enright, if you want to read the whole thing (also, the link wasn't working before, but if you search her name and the Guardian, it'll pop up). I'd actually say the quote is the best part of the whole thing, but still, don't want to deprive you of the opportunity to read if you want.

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 9:36 PM , Anonymous Debbie @ Day in and Day Out said...

    You are awesome and this is an amazingly written piece. Very vivid visually and emotionally. I feel her frustration, sadness, acceptance and the hope of happiness. Well done!

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:45 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

    LOL "They're grey" Answer of the century!!

    I got a really good feeling for this setting. Set those bunnies free I say!!

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 10:56 PM , Anonymous Chunky Mama said...

    I think I like this one the best of all I've read today.  Well done. :)

     
  • At October 7, 2011 at 11:38 PM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

    I'm so happy she's moving on. I think she's going to have lots of memories of how he really wasn't a good guy, you know?

    I don't know if you need that first sentence. I'm not a fan of starting something with a preposition. I like the action starting with the second line. You could actually flip-flop those sentences. Small typo: But his voice and grown petulant

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 2:35 AM , Anonymous sweetbutterbliss said...

    I love the line about dust bunnies freed from their cages. Also how you not only physically put us in the room but also made us feel the vibe of long ago arguments and relationships as well.

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 12:42 PM , Anonymous Nichole said...

    Your writing never disappoints, Angela.
    I especially love this bit, "Grooves from her desk chair marred the birch floor..." 
    Gorgeous.

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 1:31 PM , Anonymous Mrswonder said...

    Loving the dust bunnies...could totally see them scampering around looking for dust carrots after the door closed.

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:30 PM , Anonymous oregongurl said...

    Okay so I want more and I want to know now how he became her ex-husband:)  You do realize how much of a gift you have don't you?  I can cleary see that in just the first 200 words I have ever laid on eyes that belong to you:)

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:40 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Well, the marriage has been swept away :)  But the bunnies will be soon, too, I suspect.

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:40 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh thank you!

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:40 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Drew is wise.  Why split hairs over something like a paint color name?

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:41 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yay!  thank you!  That's quite a compliment, because there is some great work out there :)

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Fixed the typo and nixed the sentence, thanks :)  I flipped them at first, but it seemed unnecessary on a read-through, so I got rid of it.  You know I like to cut, cut, cut ;)

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:45 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you :)  Characters/relationships are one of my favorite things to write.

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:46 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you, my friend :)

    It can be interesting to see scars where we wouldn't expect.

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:46 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Dust carrots :)  My little girl loves that joke.

     
  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:47 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    There's a lot more to this story.  If you're interested, there's a tab for all the different pieces on my navigation bar. 

    Also, this is one of the nicest comments anyone has ever left me.  Thank you for making me smile!

     
  • At October 9, 2011 at 8:39 AM , Anonymous Ash at Shades said...

    Drew sounds like my kind of guy. Go Greta! And LOVE the free-range dust bunnies. I can actually hear that door closing. Very nicely done.

     
  • At October 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Ash!  The dust bunnies were such a hit :)  I loved them, but you never know exactly what will work and what won't :)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 4:47 PM , Anonymous MISH said...

    A wonderful piece ! And I felt a sense of release as the door closed .
    Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment on my blog .

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 8:28 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You're welcome!  Yes, closing that door is truly ending a chapter of her life.

     
  • At October 16, 2011 at 10:55 PM , Anonymous sarah lipoff said...

    Oh, wow. This is so beautiful. So wonderfully written. I love every part of it and your writing caused me to feel the emotion - the uncomfortable silence. 
    And, those dust bunnies. Creeping around those baseboards.
    Fantastic.

     

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