Writing 101, Day Nine: Changing Moccasins — Point of View.
Today’s prompt: For today’s assignment, write a scene at the park. Up for a twist? Write the scene from three different points of view. A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.
Who are these two people and why on Earth are they sitting here beside me? Why are they looking at me, rudely, as if they knew me, and why is he whimpering? I’m going to ignore them, that’s what I’ll do. Ignore them so they’ll go away.
It’s not working. They are still there, still staring. At least he’s stopped crying, but now he’s smiling. What does he want? Does he want to sell me something?
‘I’d like to show you something.’ He says awkwardly. I don’t like him.
‘It’s a picture, a photograph of…’ I cut the idiot off, ‘I’m not buying anything, thank you.’ I tell him gruffly, hoping to scare him off.
He smiles back and says that’s all right. What does he mean it’s all right? Perhaps he’s a thief. I grab my handbag firmly and squeeze it tightly under my arm. It’s uncomfortable to knit like this, but I’ll manage. I can’t stop knitting now, the time is running out.
I need to say something to break the ice. She’s just sitting there ignoring us, and it’s breaking Tom’s heart.
‘That’s a lovely sweater you’re knitting.’
She nods, and continues busily. Well, at least she hasn’t ignored the comment, so I go on, ‘Who’s it for?’
She knits on, as if she hadn’t heard me.
‘Is it for a little boy?’
She huffs and pulls an impatient face. Silence.
We sit there for a few more minutes. I fix my eyes on my watch, hoping for the time to pass. We need to take her back home for dinner. It’s getting chilly in the park.
I hate coming here. I hate the way she looks at me. I hate the things she does, and the things she says. I hate the person she is now. I hate what’s happened to her. Why doesn’t she look at the photos? She might remember if she looked, but she won’t. She doesn’t want to remember! She never loved me, she always preferred Jim, but he’s dead, and now I have to look after her, and she doesn’t even know my name. I’m in tears again. I can’t take more of this. We’ll have to find a home for her.
Suddenly she stops knitting and smiles at me.
‘You know who it’s for, it’s for Tom. He likes red. Do you know my son, Tom?’
End of Post. Check out other entries.
This is really part two of Day Four, which was a three part prompt we haven’t done yet. In Day Four, I narrated personal experiences of Alzheimer’s. Today on Day Nine, I’ve dramatized the loss of oneself that this illness represents, and I’ve also aimed to show how difficult it is to understand and cope with, by relatives and carers, who suffer greatly.
Were the three narrators’ voices distinct enough in such a short narrative?
Did you like the way they were separated by *** ? My novel has multiple narrators, too, and that’s how I indicated a change.
Do you have any other suggestions for signposting a change of narrator?
Thanks for dropping by!