Yesterday I went to Cole’s bookstore and bought two amazing books that are filled with writing exercises.
I decided to start with the book containing the fiction exercises first.
I just completed the very first exercise provided by Jayne Anne Philips. Her task for me was to take a wedding photograph (could be anyone’s) and then to write a short fictional piece that was inspired by that photo.
I quickly entered a google search and found a photo of bride and groom teddy bears. I saved the photo into a new project using Scrivener and then began typing.
Here is the story that was inspired by two teddy bears dressed as a bride and groom.
Six year old Jaime huddled into the back corner of her small bedroom closet, hugging the newly wedded Mr. and Mrs Bear to her chest. Jaime thought of the picture in the living room where Mommy and Daddy had looked as beautiful and happy. But everything was different now as she dared herself to be quiet and brave. She breathed in the soft lavender scent the bears wore. It was the way Oma Lilly had smelled before she’d gone to be with Opa and Jesus.
Out in the hallway Daddy was yelling again. Mommy was crying and telling him to stop, but Daddy just got madder. Jaime hugged the bears closer, breathing in the lavender once again. She tried to tune out the sound of yelling and crying. Why couldn’t she be with Jesus, like Oma Lilly. She wouldn’t yell, and she was sure Jesus wouldn’t yell like that either.
Jaime heard Daddy say some angry words over the sound of his fists hitting Mommy. Jaime’s heart was beating so fast. She wished she could go out there and make him stop, but she was too afraid. For now the dark closet was her safe place. Unless Daddy found her. Sometimes he did find her. Jaime remembered the bruises hidden beneath her thick sweater and the cast on her arm that held her broken bones together.
Jaime shuddered with fear at the sound of Mommy being thrown around like a doll. The walls vibrated with each sickening thud. Tears rolled down her face, soaking her beloved bears as she cried in silence for her mother in the darkness. Her heart was torn. Daddy had been such a good man once. She didn’t understand what had happened but she prayed God would make him stop hurting Mommy.
Somewhere a door slammed and suddenly everything was quiet. Too quiet. Jaime stared blindly into the darkness of the closet. Not even the sound of Mommy crying or Daddy swearing was heard. The vibrations in the wall had long died down. The silence was deafening and Jaime didn’t know if it was safe to come out of hiding. So she waited. Mommy usually came to get her when the fighting was done. They would hold each other and cry. Then they would take their night bag and go to Aunt Lia’s for the night. They would pretend that nothing was wrong. It was her and Mommy’s little game that they played.
Jaime waited and waited. Her only companions the tear-drenched teddies, and Oma’s lingering perfume. Mommy never came.
While the story is a figment of my imagination, the sad truth is that an estimated 1.3 million woman are victims to domestic violence each year. (sadder still is that so often children get caught in the thick of it) I found tons more stats like that here! http://www.clarkprosecuter.org/html/domviol/fact.htm (sorry, link button was being stubborn again.)