This is my submission for the Scrivener’s Forge exercise on Plot and Endings.
Proposed last line: When she woke up, it was just as grey and gloomy as it had been all month. But for the first time she didn’t mind.
Thank you Neil for the exercise.
So here’s how I did it. First I decided on a last line, then my character and how I would like her story to end, and finally the sequence of events that could possibly lead up to it.
Hiking up her skirt, she stepped over the puddle, and just as she was about to rejoice a successful crossing, a SUV sped by. Splash! Bloody hell. Now her shoes and skirt were splattered with muck. As if she did not have enough to do, she would have to go back and wash both. Gawd…She hated the monsoons. She hated the gloomy sky and slushy roads. She hated the way her hair and clothes plastered themselves to her sweaty body. She hated the inconsiderate vehicles who cared not for the inconvenience faces by pedestrians. Actually she just hated everyone who got to drive. She on the other hand would have to trudge through the muck to reach the bus stand, then stand in the shivering cold until the bus decided to grace her with its arrival, finish all the bloody shopping and once again come back the same way carry all those heavy bags.
She hated her life.
Why couldn’t he just get her a car? It’s not like he couldn’t afford it. Damn, he owed her a car. All those years she had cycled up and down the hill through rain and snow, working her ass off, supporting him financially until he finished school. And now that he was a successful orthodontist, he acted like she did nothing. “All you do is sit at home, why do you need a car?” he says. Really? So she just sat around and everything happened magically. The house ran itself. His clothes laundered themselves. The kids took care of themselves.
The bus reached its destination jolting her out of her misery. She stepped out, took out her list, and started working through it. It was on her way to the bakery that she saw them. Outside the Louis Vuitton store, she in her short hot pink skirt riding itself up till her butt was almost visible, shopping bags resting at her feet like offerings to a diva, he in his unmistakable green shirt that she had ironed just yesterday, she remembered cause she had to really scrub the scruff on that one, as they stood devouring each other like horny teenagers.
On retrospect she should have felt angry, betrayed, she should have felt something. She should have crossed the road, pried them apart, screamed, cried, threatened. Instead she proceeded to the bakery to finish her shopping. It was not the first time, nor would it be the last.
There was dinner to be made.
It was only after she had put everything in the pantry that she grabbed a few garbage bags. His clothes, his files, his precious music collection, the damn magazines that he valued more than the bible, everything went in. Once done, she hauled them out, left them by the road, bolted the doors from inside, and went up to sleep.
The door rattled, the phone rang, the answering machine recorded message after message, but despite it all she slept like a baby.
When she woke up, it was just as grey and gloomy as it had been all month. But for the first time she didn’t mind.