We are learning to make fire

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 23  Write the words of Margaret Atwood at the top of your page “We are learning to make fire”. Set your timer to 5 minutes. Write the first words that come into your head after the prompt. Stop when the buzzer rings.

‘We are learning to make fire’ she thought.

She looked at her child at her feet, clinging to her knees, arms wrapped around both legs so that she could not move. It had to stop. The fighting, it had to stop.

She loosened the grip of the whimpering child, and bent down to start to pick up the pieces of the paper that he had thrown around the room…A random collection of bills, shopping lists, child care reminders that she kept in a folder on the kitchen bench…The folder lay spit in two on the floor, such was his rage that it has broken on impact as it collided with the kitchen wall…paper was everywhere…the kitchen was a mess, her marriage was a mess, and his words, like fire, raged within…

She was angry, she had had enough….Over time he had worn her down, his cruel words, his inability to compromise and work together on this thing called ‘ family’, his coldness, his distance.…each outburst stung, the venom in each word  felt long after each tirade…it left her smouldering, angry that he could launch such calculated attacks on her…and then just leave….leave her in the house, with the kids…with this silence….

‘We are learning to make fire’ she thought ‘ And it has to stop’

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kate@springdaysnewgrowth
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 08:02:57

    Apologies if you get this twice, not sure what I did…
    I really like the way you “wrapped” this story in the prompt – you’ve written a real picture of the hurt and smouldering anger, the fire. Good work!


  2. Sarah
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 10:11:44

    I agree with Kate…I braced myself as I read it…I could see the papers and feel the turmoil – great job x


    • Catch Up With A Mate
      Nov 08, 2011 @ 20:47:31

      Thanks Sarah…I really felt for the main character, and could imagine what it would be like to be in such a situation…..it scares me to imagine a life such as hers….which sadly is a reality for many….


  3. Sarah Mac
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 13:56:18

    I’m wondering how she will make it stop? What will she do?

    I love the way you used the prompt to tell so well a story that is played out over and over again in families.


  4. Madmother
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 17:02:30

    SEcond one with this sort of contemplation… interesting.


  5. Stephanie
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 17:37:35

    I loved this piece! I could feel the anger and depression she was feeling. The moments of rage was creating such a vivid image of her life. Great job on this prompt.


  6. Jayne
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 02:10:27

    I could definitely relate to this piece-you’ve captured the fire, rage and passion of this scenario perfectly!


  7. Veronica @ Mixed Gems
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 10:25:50

    You painted such a vivid picture with your words. I was quite riveted. I really liked this, though that’s probably odd, given the subject matter. Glad to see you enjoying this meme.


  8. Ink Paper Pen
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 06:38:02

    Ooooh, an interesting take on the prompt. Yes, fire can symbolise rage and anger, of something burning out of control. It can also represent passion and power, I’d love to see this theme used next in the story. I’d love to see the main character rise up out of the ashes and see where the sparks take her…You have set the scene for further writing on this story, I think.


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