Her feet were strung up with steel wire, precisely one foot apart. The wire cut into her skin, releasing fat drops of blood up her ankle towards her knees. Her arms dangled freely, occasionally caressed by white tufts of her hair as it swayed with the breeze coming in through the cracked window.
Back when I was writing this scene, sitting at my lonely desk, I didn’t think it could really be done, not in practice. Imagine my surprise when I managed it.
She gasped loudly, informing me that she was conscious. Her eyes opened and focused, falling on my army boots, then up my camo pants, up my tank top and finally on my face. They stuck there for a moment and then she started to scream at a high-pitched decibel.
‘Alright, pipe it down now!’
She did pause after a second, but only because she had run out of breath, I think.
‘Why are you doing this?’
‘Seriously? Isn’t it obvious? Look around you, woman! How you’re strung up, the tools I used, the clothes I’m wearing.’ I actually shook my head in disbelief. ‘Who’s pedantic now, huh?’
‘Is this…Is this because of my critique of your novel?’
‘But I was only doing my job!’
‘And ruining mine!’
‘But every line is a cliché!’
‘Ma’am, do you think you’re in the best position to continue criticizing my work in that manner?’
‘What do you want? I’ll do anything.’
‘Not much you can do now, is there? That blasphemous article is out there. My novel isn’t selling—‘
‘I’ll write it again. I say it’s better on the second reading, that every line is filled with meaning, that there’s a coded message hidden in your prose. A conspiracy like that would sell more copies than the Bible! What do you say?’
Ah, shit! I had to think about that; sell copies or test out my scene to its end?
Have you ever had to make a decision such as this one?
The word this week is PEDANTIC: unimaginative, pedestrian. A difficult word to be imaginative about!