As some of you may know, I’ve been studying for a bachelor’s degree in Arts & Humanities. This year, I’m working on creative writing. As part of that I have to do a lot of writing and some of it is more fun than others. I decided to share some of the writing exercises I’ve been doing here on the blog. What follows is a piece I wrote this week which was supposed to be about a memory of mine. The task asks me to include sensory perceptions to put the reader right into the scene. Here goes…
I have to apologise for the fuzzy photo below. My old Blackberry from 2010 had a really shit camera.
I wash my hands, taking my time, lathering between my fingers and knuckles, then the outside edges of my palms. I feel strange. I’m calm but it’s almost like I know that in thirty seconds or so, my life will change forever. Not wanting to know the truth yet, I decide to wash my hands again, taking just as much care this second time. The pungent candyfloss scent of the soap reaches inside my nostrils. I can almost taste the sickly sweet aroma. I’m sure that’s why my stomach is churning. It’s nothing to do with the piece of cheap plastic lying on the counter, soaked in urine. I tell myself I can smell the ammonia, but that’s a lie. I can’t. All I can smell is candyfloss.
The towel feels rough on my hands and I dawdle over this task too, moving my ring to dry underneath it. I wouldn’t usually and then afterwards I would wonder why I get itchy on my third finger and tell myself I must be allergic to my wedding ring. It can’t be real platinum because if it was genuine, it wouldn’t make me itch and burn.
I don’t allow my actions to be halted by nerves. Although my pulse is quickening, I act like I’m totally calm. I pick up the £1 piece of plastic I just peed on. I scowl. The lines are squint, not quite centred, but there are two. The second line is so far from where it should be that I have to tilt the test stick to make sure it is a line. It is. My feet feel heavy but my head feels like it’s been pushed. There’s an invisible hand thumping my head and knocking me off balance. I should sit down. Or maybe I should take deep breaths. But instead I open the bathroom door. He’s standing at the bottom of the stairs, hands on hips, looking annoyed, expecting another false alarm.