Welcome to Wordy Wednesdays!
You ready for some fresh material? Well, here it is!
While perusing for writing resources on the interwebs, I came across a set of writing exercises. The first one said to write a description of an area, one spot, as if it were to be included in a larger story. So, here’s mine.
The courtyard was full. Sitting on the red brick half-wall, I could feel the heat seeping through my jeans. The multi-colored bricks in the quad were arranged in a circular pattern with a tall clock tower in the center. A plaque attached to the tower displayed the year the campus landmark was donated and the name of the generous, long dead benefactor. The bricks continued in a swirling, artful pattern, out in three directions from the courtyard; walkways leading away from the quad. The wall I rested against was on the North side and behind me was a bridge and a creek with ducks and babbling water and students. Trees stood sentry around the central area, filtering the light that flashed here and there as it escaped the waving reach of the branches.
I often stood here, in this place, watching them from behind my sunglasses. The people that traveled through this courtyard. They seldom looked at the beautiful red brick buildings or the cool water of the creek as it floated by. Their eyes were usually downcast, hands gripping their backpacks and purses, trudging through on their way to another class or study group. I was not one of them, not a student anyway. But I belonged there, perhaps more than they did. The breeze gently brushed me, disrupting my hair and flipping an errant strand across my face. I moved to tuck it behind my ear and stopped.
A boy with slacks the color of sand paused by the clock tower to check his phone. His eyes shifted to the side. I followed his gaze and saw a small, blond, mousy girl walking toward the quad from the East. She was alone, her hair limp and shoulder length. He waited, the boy. I could almost hear his heart beating faster as she approached. She was plain and I wondered why he waited for her, desired her company.
As she came closer, he replaced his phone in its pocket home and turned to face her. Too thin, her spindly arms wrapped around her binder, holding on for dear life, shielding herself from life and ridicule with the flimsy cardboard, metal and plastic. Her eyes were downcast, her step quick, hoping to reach her destination without any confrontations or interactions. Her scrawny legs mercifully held her up and carried her forward, towards the boy with the phone.
He stepped in front of her and I could smell her terror from where I stood. She never looked up, but her body shook. He reached to touch her arm and her body jolted, jumping back from his touch. He spoke again, his words somehow soothing the frightened girl. Daring a glance, the girl looked at him and angled her body in his direction ever so slightly. As she turned slowly toward him, toward me, I could see the confusion and doubt all over her.
She said nothing, but like a child learning to read, her body moved in jerky movements toward the boy as if she had never been spoken to before. And perhaps for her, it felt like she hadn’t. As he talked, her body slowly turned towards him and her head rose. Her hair fell behind her shoulder and I could see her face fully now. The sun flashed through a cloud, bathing her with light and she smiled.
I hope you enjoyed Wednesday’s writing piece. I especially enjoyed writing this one. Happy Reading!
~ Eileen 🙂