Fourth Challenge in Writing Course

Our latest prompt is the first line of dialog below. We had to continue the scene from there. I found this the hardest so far.

“Hey, it’s me. I’m not pregnant. Oh, okay. Whole milk or skim?” Hanging up the phone, she started to well up with tears. Jamie hated crying in public, and here she was in the middle of the grocery store, starting to bawl her eyes out.

She looked around, and there were a dozen people focusing in on her. She covered her face with her purse, and sobbed quietly into the distressed leather. The bag was absorbing most of the tears, darkening the stitched golden letters, L and V that usually sparked slightly in the light. It was an expensive present from her husband, the man on the phone that could only respond monosyllabically with a “good” when she broke the news.

Jamie continued to sob. She was nearing thirty-five and still didn’t have any children. Her sister having already three continued to press when Jamie and Norman were going to start a family. The dread of never having children popped into her mind, and she dropped her purse, crying ever louder.

She noticed the various reactions of the people around her and many didn’t know what to do. Some seemed to empathize without knowing the issue, and others seemed to be working hard to ignore her.

A young cashier came over, her belly swelled with a baby. Jamie lifted her hand to wave her away, but she continued to come closer. She leaned in to give her a hug.

“What’s wrong, darlin’?”

Jamie found her sinuses clogged, and she still couldn’t catch her breath. She actually felt a little anger and jealousy towards the young cashier, despite the seemingly sincere concern. “My husband is an idiot. We’ve been trying to get pregnant for three years now, and I just found out that I had a miscarriage.”

Jamie felt the cashier release her grip and almost stumble backwards in surprise. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t…”

Where there were only a dozen people watching before, a small crowd had gathered to witness the exchange. In the distance, Jamie could see security approaching. Her heart started thumping harder in her chest. A feeling of loneliness and emptiness overwhelmed her. Bolting from the store, purse still on the ground, groceries left behind, Jamie knew she had to get away from her sadness, frustration and embarrassment.

4 responses to “Fourth Challenge in Writing Course”

    • The prompt wasn’t much to go on. I couldn’t think of how to extend the scene outwards from the prompt. We only have 15 minutes to come up with something and write it out. I wasn’t feeling especially creative tonight, and so my brain was really smoking on where to go with only that first line of dialog to start me going.

  1. I think personally I would do fantastic at challenges like these – where I always seem to fumble is half way through the story. When I was reading through your introduction I had at least 10 ideas all at once – but I know if I were to write down even half of them I’d want to fall asleep before the middle. *chuckles*

    I’m really enjoying your creations so far, and am glad you’re sharing them on your blog. 🙂

    • I’m glad you are enjoying them. 🙂 I enjoy these types of challenges, and I have issues with the middle as well. Thankfully, these are short scenes because we don’t have much time to write them.

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