Taking a Creative Writing Class...

As part of my college studies, I took a class on Creative Writing this semester.  I've had some really good exercises to work on during the course, some of which I'll share with you all in time.  But what I wrote today just surprised even me and I thought I'd share it with you all and hopefully give you a  little laugh. 

It's a very short story mind you and was done quickly so please excuse any grammatical or lack of serious detail.  I was following the guidelines of keeping it short.  Now the exercise was to write a short scene where a person has an audition/interview to go to.  And several things have to happen: someone unexpected shows up, a routine is disrupted, irrational behavior or thoughts occur, there are negative and positive actions, and finally a terrible thing to happen occurs.  So now I give you my effort at this exercise:

            Jane couldn’t believe it, the call had come.  They had wanted to see her the next day.  She had spent the previous evening going through her clothing for just the right look.  Glancing over at the corner of her bedroom, she could still see the pile of rejects she’d tossed aside dismissively during her quest.  They seemed to glare at her with resentment for being treated so.  She promised to give them all a good washing and would put them away nicely when she got back.  But now she had to get ready.
            Quickly she moved over to the sink in the bathroom to fix her make-up.  Everything had to be just right or she’d be sunk.  Everything was lined up just as she had left it the night before.  Lipstick, eye-liner, blush… all of it was just waiting there for her.  Then she looked up and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and cried out in horror.  Clutching her chest she backed up into the wall, eyes wide, mouth gaping… BED-HAIR!  But not just ordinary bed-hair, no this was possibly the worst case of it on record. 
            “Why, why today of all days?” she wailed and sank to the floor.  The interview was in an hour, what was she going to do.  Pulling herself together she grabbed a brush and went at the tangled mass with a vengeance. 
            No good.  Instead of taming the wild look it was only making things frizzier.  Dropping the brush she made a dash back to the bedroom in search of a hat.  That might at least help calm the tangled mess down.  She searched high and low but only found a baseball cap.  That wouldn’t do… or would it?  No, with her luck, the interviewer was probably a fan of a rival team.  No she’d have to think of something else. 
            Maybe she could shave her head and say she’d been going through treatments?  No that would be disrespectful of people like her sister-in-law back in the south.  Not that she ever cared for the woman, but still.  What was she going to do? 
            She could see it all now, trying to go to the interview like this would be a disaster.  As soon as she walked in the receptionist might take one look and hide behind the desk.  Another person might walk by and ask how did she manage to get her finger out of the electric socket?  Did she see a doctor?  Did she need an ambulance? 
            Or even worse, they might take one look and call in security to remove the homeless bag-lady that had wandered in.
            Oh what was she going to do?
            Just then there was a knock at the front door.  Groaning she started heading towards it while the pit of despair grew larger and larger in her mind.  Then suddenly she stopped.  What if it was someone who could help her?  One of her friends?  A fairy-godmother come to render aid in her hour of need.  Hour… she looked up at the clock, only 45 minutes until the interview.
            Panicking she raced to the door and found a man in postal uniform standing on her stoop.  He had a pleasant face and was holding a package, along with a clipboard and pen.  “Unnnghhh….” was all she managed to say as he greeted her warmly. 
            “Oooo… that’s some hairstyle you have there miss,” he chuckled.  “I haven’t seen a case of bed-hair that bad since my days in cosmetology school.”
            Jane perked up. “You did hair?”
            “Well yeah but…”
            She didn’t let him finish.  Grabbing him by the hand Jane hauled him inside and closed the door and locked it.  Leading him to the bathroom she babbled and incoherenet explanation and handed him the scissors and comb and told him to get to work.  If he was fast enough, she’d still have time to make the appointment.
            The man tried talking but she told him they could talk after he was done.  There was an edge to her voice that she hoped would block any further protests.  It worked. 
            With a resigned shrug, the postman went to work.  10 minutes later he stepped back and let her take a good in the mirror.  Jane screamed.  The sides were uneven, her bangs were lopsided, it was worse than before.  She hadn’t thought such a thing was possible.  “I thought you said you went to Cosmotology School!” she cried.
            “I did,” the man explained backing up.  “But I sucked at it, that’s why I wound up getting a job with the post office.”
            The wail of frustration Jane uttered took them both by surprise.  She never knew she could hit such a high note with her voice. 
            As the for the failed-hairdresser, the sound startled him so much he stumbled backwards and tripped over the discarded clothing. 
            Jane watched in horror as the world slowed down and the postal carrier fell backwards and cracked the back of his head against the corner of the nightstand and hit the floor.  He did not get back up.  Nor did he move.
            Eyes wide Jane started to let out an unholy, “OH MY GO…”
            “THAT’S GOOD, WE’VE SEEN ENOUGH!” a voice from out of nowhere cut in.
            Turning outward to the front of the stage, Jane stared out at the darkness where the director, the producer and the playwright were sitting.  “Could I do that last part again?” she asked, “I don’t think I really captured the mood when Tony went down.”
            The director waved a reassuring hand, “Don’t worry.  You were great.   In fact you’re exactly the person we’re looking for.  You’ve got the part.  Why don’t you gather your things and we’ll see you back here tomorrow at 2 o’clock.”
             Delighted with this turn of events, Jane squealed with glee and rushed off the stage. 
         Once she was gone the trio slowly made their way onto the stage and glanced down at the still unmoving figure in the postal carrier outfit.  “It worked,” said the producer.
            “I can’t believe it,” said the director.
            Only the playwright smiled, “Well, you won’t have to worry about your little blackmailer anymore.  Accidental death is what it will be declared.  I told you.  I know how to write killer scenes.”


  1. Allan - I've been part of a monthly-meeting short story group for about 6 years. It took me perhaps 1/4 of that time to appreciate the genre, even longer to LIKE them. What I enjoyed about your story was the twists it took toward the end and your character development. I prefer to be surprised by the denouement - and was. Except for another read-through for typos and duplicate words, I'd keep it as is!

  2. Thank so much Liz. I'll check for typos but otherwise leave it alone as you say. I must admit the story's final turn took even me by surprise. But it was just so much fun and so unexpected. A bit of a Twilight Zone finish if you will. And I've always wanted to do something in that vein. Thanks again.


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