Swings & Windows
The following is extracted from Writing 3 student Carlie Morgan’s short story completed at the end of her Level 2 Writing Short Fiction unit.
Freda dangles her arm into the cot. She strokes the cotton-thin hair of her new-born and watches its effect in her window. With each stroke, her own face, milk white and blurred is shown on the screen.
“I’m going downstairs now. I’ll check on you later,” she says. She switches on the musical mobile and the images in the baby’s screen dance with colour.
Downstairs Jude lies on the settee with his feet on the table. He’s reading another book. As Freda sits beside him, she sees the words in his window. They flash up and dissolve as he thinks them.
“Ella’s seeing my face more clearly. She’s even worked out the colour of my eyes,” she says. Jude rests the book on his stomach so that he doesn’t cover his window. It would be illegal, even in his own living room, if he were to intentionally cover it.
“I haven’t seen my face yet,” he says, looking at his wife’s window. He sees his feet on the table and the colour of the background is red. Red is bad. Red is anger. He takes his feet from the table and the image dissipates.
“Don’t worry, it’s just because I’m here with her all day. You should spend more time with her. She’ll soon pick up your face.”
Jude nods and takes to his book so that the words will camouflage his irritation.
“I’ll do you some lunch for work. Beef okay?” says Freda. She doesn’t wait for an answer.
Jude only puts his book down when it’s time to leave. He slips it onto the shelf and thinks about putting his jacket on. Freda watches as he folds up his sleeves and brushes down his trousers. The images in his window echo each movement. Brush. Tuck. Fold. Anything other than think what he really thinks. Freda knows he is an expert at masking. To anyone else, Jude would be a boring man. Thinking only of his books and his work. But Freda knows the truth. Or at least she would, if he’d let his thoughts slip. But that only happened once. The black-haired girl with the creamy face and the big lips…
To read Carlie’s full story please click Swings and Windows
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