Thursday, August 4, 2011

Perspectives

I like to do little challenges for myself, and the one I decided to do today was on perspective.  I also wanted to play with different voices, to see if I can branch out a bit from my normal range.  This is the result.  I also apologize for this and will resume my regular posting materials shortly.

Perspective 1

She takes the egg from the refrigerator and weighs it in her hand.  It's light, fragile, like the life it might have held.  The dogs meander around her feet, intently staring at the floor, waiting for something to drop so they can pounce on it.  She leans against the stove, holding the egg in her creased palm.  With a quick, sharp motion, she crushes it, yellow yolk and clear liquid bleeding through her fingers and dripping to the floor.  The dogs surround her and go to work.  She turns to the sink and washes the remains from her hands.  Then she goes back to the refrigerator and takes out another egg.  This she cooks until it burns and eats it silently at the table, alone in her kitchen, with the dogs watching her every move.

Perspective 2

I didn't mean for the great egg debacle to happen.  I honestly didn't.  I just wanted to fry up an egg for myself for breakfast.  The first egg I had grabbed had popped in my palm.  I have no idea how I did that.  I guess I grabbed it too hard or something, but whatever.  It gave the dogs enough protein to live without eating for a week.  They better appreciate the sacrifice of that egg.  The second egg went into the pan much easier, not so much as an eggshell in the oil.  I seasoned it perfectly, flipped it without breaking the yolk.  It smelled heavenly.  I draped a piece of provolone over it and set the cover on to melt it.  I figured I had some time to spare, since the heat was on low and the oil wasn't popping, so I went over and buttered my roll and then checked my Twitter feed on the computer.  I thought I had spent only a few minutes replying and watching the #undateableinlit feed, but pretty soon I started to smell something...off.  I jumped up.  The egg!  I leaped for the stove, but I was too late.  The egg and the cheese were nothing more than carbon.  And then the smoke detectors went off.

Perspective 3

The teenager came down the stairs dressed in drooping cargo pants and some ratty T-shirt his mother swore she threw it out two weeks ago.  Sweatbands and earbuds completed the ensemble, along with what looked suspiciously like black eyeliner around his lids.  His mother sighed and turned back to breakfast, three eggs simmering in butter and salt.  She couldn't understand her son, couldn't understand where the smiling little boy she once knew had gone.  Somehow, before she could even blink, he had been replaced by this sullen, angry thing she didn't know what to do with.  He flopped down into a chair and stared at her, burning holes into her back.  She tried to ignore him but the intensity of his stare was too much and she turned, spatula in hand.

"Is there something wrong?"

He let his eyes wander somewhere past her and focused on a spot on the far wall.  "Where's breakfast?"

"I'm making it."

"Make it faster."

She sighed.  "Don't talk to me like that."

"Whatever."

"I'm serious."

"Whatever.  Just give me food."

She burned the eggs and couldn't tell if it was accidental or not.  Her son said nothing, just threw the egg out and left.  She sat in his chair with her head in her hands.

6 comments:

  1. It's amazing how such a simple change in perspective and voice can have such a great effect. The first one seems mysterious and tense, the second more fun and conversational, and the third one...I don't know...tired? By this I don't mean your writing style, I mean the woman seems tired and like she's at the end of her tether! I can't decide which one I like the best - they're all really good and interest me in different ways :) thank you for sharing your exercise :) x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting! They're all very different perspectives; the first one intrigued me the most.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are all so beautifully written, I would have a difficult time choosing a favorite. They all excel at conveying their intended emotions. What a great reminder that different people will see the same actions in different ways.

    P.S. I left a reply to your comment on Bird's-eye View, http://michellefayard.blogspot.com/2011/08/interview-sequel-its-ebony-mckenna.html.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you all for you awesome comments!

    Between The Lines: Thank you. (: I had a lot of fun playing with the tone of each snippet.

    The Golden Eagle: I'm glad you liked it! The first one seems like there could be more to the story than I'm saying. Maybe it should be an opening chapter.

    Michelle: Thank you for the follow-up comment and your wonderful comments! I'm glad you liked it as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such different ways to explain the same barebones scene. Very cool. This post is the perfect example of voice!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for dropping by!