CWS Exercise: Coming out of a painting
The task: we were given a load of paintings of people and asked to imagine that they had been hung up somewhere and could see and hear everything that happened in that room; then, one day, they appear in that room, but are unable to communicate the things that they have learned; again, I’m not going to say what the painting was
She turns up on a Wednesday morning. The moment I walk into the office on the first floor of my house, she’s just… there, sitting on my chair.
I don’t know what to do at first. In all honesty, the first thought that goes through my mind is how I’m going to sit in my chair if she’s there.
As it turns out, I don’t have to worry about that. Through the lace of her hat I see her eyes widen and she gets up immediately. She stands behind my chair with one hand holding onto the back and the other gesturing for me to sit down.
That was my plan anyway, so I do it.
The picture frame next to my monitor, where the postcard bearing her image is kept, is empty. In a way, I knew it would be when I saw her sitting there.
She pushes my chair in and turns my computer on, then hurries out of the room.
The computer has just booted up when she returns with my cup of tea: the one I made for myself just before coming upstairs to write.
The one I had forgotten, left in the kitchen when I came upstairs, just like I do every morning.
Okay, I think she’s looking the other way now. I don’t have much time. She’s standing beside me right now with a gun to my head – my own gun, the one I keep in my drawer, and she’s miming at me all the ways someone could die. No, all the ways that I’ve killed my characters, and I think she wants me to write something nice, or she’s going to shoot me