The Hazard – straight out of my head, no edits
A title: THE HAZARD
The scene: a marital argument, (the specific causes for this are in the previous scenes; H, the MC, saw her husband, Geoff, do something with another woman at the house party they’ve been at which she doesn’t understand (not obviously ‘affair’ type behaviour, but on the other hand not ‘safely-married-man’ stuff either). H immediately leaves the party to go home.
Notes: This scene is in the first quarter of the book – so this is kinda at the end of the ‘status quo’ and beginning of her upward arc (I think! It could change!)
The storm nightmare is a touchstone moment – it’s the only dream she ever has (or at least remembers having) and it relates to the storm on the night of her birth which swept her village and father away [see previous Friday Feedback posts for more story context].
It’s real first draft stuff – so I’m not hugely confident that there is a well-polished/thought through emotional arc… but time to post is limited today, so in a penny, in for a pound!
Hope you guys like it! 🙂
THE START –
The dream arrives quickly – my agitated state when I fell asleep, I guess. The storm is the worst I can remember. The wind presses against my chest, leaning upon me and the noise of it; truly a howl. A mournful rise and rise, as the waves lift, higher and higher. I can’t move, though I know what comes next. A slow-motion topple. Down, down, down. I am to be swept away. I wake with a start, and the sight of Geoff silhouetted in the bedroom doorway.
“Oh, you’re awake.” His downbeat greeting.
“What time is it?” It comes out as a hoarse whisper. I feel hammered by the nightmare – my chest is tight with the sense there are words stuck in my throat. I cough.
“I had to leave the car there. Got a taxi home.” He plonks himself down on his side of the bed, starts unloading his wallet, spare change, watch onto the bedside table. A careless clatter, done deliberately. Intended to provoke. Like the beginning rumble of thunder; make me run for cover.
“Yes. No doubt you did.” This isn’t the correct response, but I don’t know what response ever is. I’ve got lots of other options, more sarcastic responses, angrier ones, accusative ones. But I’m too well trained. I opt for this vaguely passive aggressive one. Intoned with a ‘I don’t really care anymore’. Is that true? I have the feeling I am failing at more than just my marriage vows, that I am failing to join dots, I am failing myself. I don’t know what to do with this feeling.
“Where do you think you get off, just leaving me there like that?” He stands up, takes off his jeans, turns around to face me and pulls at his jockey shorts, repositioning himself.
“You’re kidding right?” though I am not surprised he starts there.
“No.” He chucks his jeans on the floor. “That’s bang out of order.”
“Is it? Because you didn’t seem to worry about deserting me as soon as your bicycle buffoon buddy called you to heel with your ridiculous nickname.”
“Is that what this is about, woman? You’re pissed off because I went to talk to a mate?”
THE MIDDLE – (THE CHANGE MOMENTS??)
Oh god. I’m getting into it. I don’t want to get into it. It’s a trap, always is. I won’t be heard, seen, understood. I can’t stop myself though. Still hopeful, after all these years? No, merely well trained for this particular dance. “Because you went off and stayed ‘off’. Where did you go? Oh, and for that matter, why didn’t you tell me you knew Helen and Jeremy.”
“You never said that you knew Helen, my work colleague, the one who invited us to the party, and her husband, Jeremy, whose house it is. I’m reliably informed by another of your bike-buddies that you regularly turn up at that house to be given pit-stop refreshment. Why wouldn’t you tell me this?”
“Jesus, woman. I didn’t know you didn’t know. No one told me. Calm the fuck down.” He sniffs and walks to the en-suite, leaving the door open as he pees, a spattered fall. Then that weird finishing jiggle, massaging his dick to shake the final drips off. He walks straight back out, wiping the same hand on his pants. “You’ll have to go collect the Merc tomorrow, I’ve made arrangements with the lads to do a 60-miler tomorrow.”
THE END –
And that’s it. Discussion over.
I’m numb, but in a peaceful kind of way. Somehow, I’m different. Like the relief when your back clicks or you get to stop carrying a heavy weight. Normally after an argument I’m so wrangled it takes me hours to fall asleep. But, this is good; I can definitely spend Saturday working on my latest canvas at Henry’s.
When I fall asleep, the sea is nowhere, gone beyond my horizon
- This discussion was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Rachel Davidson. Reason: formatting issues :)
- This discussion was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Rachel Davidson. Reason: edited to change the shape of Geoff's pee stream (the sentences I get to type nowadays!) thanks to Jonathan's excellent correction and also to rejig the final paragraph to make the emotional change clearer (hopefully!). Trying not to be too perfectionist about these first-draft posts, but it's hard to leave be!! Thanks guys :)
- This discussion was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Rachel Davidson.
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