Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The trigger sentence was from Blood in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope. As often happens, my writing mate used it to show conflict between two different personalities.

He was aware that was she restless, chafing at the enforced idleness.

“Stop pacing,” he told her for the umpty umpth time. “There’s nothing you can do about it.”

“I should have brought my work home with me.” She flopped on the couch and started to bite the nails on her left hand.

A bad sign, he thought as he looked out the window. The snow storm had been predicted to go out to sea, but instead it had picked up water and was now blanketing Boston. The governor had closed everything, according to the morning radio.

“I suppose I could walk to the office and pick up the stuff.”

“And freeze to death.” He didn’t even want to think of her fighting the winds and drifts. “Besides no one else will be in the office.”

“I bet Thom is there. He was still working when I left.” She started on the fingers of her right hand.
“And he’s probably freezing. They said downtown is without electricity.” He almost wished she had worked all night and was stuck with Thom. 

As it was, she had gotten home after midnight having worked late and she’d planned to go back early which was why the briefcase—usually as much a part of her anatomy as her hands and feet—had been left in the office. Instead she’d overslept only to wake to a major Nor’easter. She’d still dressed to go into work as he’d argued with her until she’d given in.

At the moment he felt like he was in a cage with one very hungry tiger. “Why can’t we make the best of it?”
“It’s okay for you to not worry. You’re only a teacher. You can’t work when schools are closed.”

He wanted to lash out at her for that remark, but didn’t. She thought teachers were unambitious, while lawyers did important work. His measly salary compared to hers made her feel she had the right to determine everything they did.

When he was a child, snow days were fun. His mother would make hot chocolate and cookies. She would set out jigsaw puzzles by the fire for he and his sister. Up until their teens they would continue their story log tradition. A small log, or sometimes a branch, would be put on the fire and the story teller would have to make up a story that lasted as long as the piece of wood.

He watched his wife sigh, get up and pace. He thought about how much he loved his job and he knew that the storm brought more than snow. 

It brought the end of their marriage.

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