Here’s a challenge to your ability to rethink, and, perhaps, reinterpret a story from another character’s point of view.
We’ve taken our inspiration for the scenario from Hitchcock’s wonderful movie:
You’re holed up in a flat with a broken leg and, tired of reading the fourth novel on the trot on your Kindle, you idly examine what’s going on in the flat opposite your window. You see a woman vacuuming her living room in the nude. The woman’s head turns to the door, she sets the cleaner down, and walks towards the door. She peers through the spyhole, and staggers back when the door bursts inwards. A man and a woman enter the flat. Our nude vacuum cleaner snatches a cushion from the couch, hugs it protectively and cowers against a wall. The man speaks with many wild gesticulations, then grabs a painting from the wall and marches out with it. His companion strokes the nude vacuum cleaner’s shoulder, appears to say something, then follows the man out. The nude vacuum cleaner bursts into tears. (You have a pair of binoculars to pick up some of these details.)
Now tell the story from the perspective of any one of the three characters in the flat. None of them is aware of the witness in the flat opposite. Write your story in the first person. Don’t exceed 250 words. (And if one or other feature of our scenario is just too much to include, well, then – leave it out!)
And remember – have fun! The deadline is midnight on the night of June 20 which is Short Story Day Africa.
Paste your entry into the body of an email and send it to Helen – email@example.com by midnight on Wednesday 20 June.
The entries are judged ‘blind’ by Jo-Anne and Richard. The winner receives a 200 rand(or equivalent in your currency) voucher to spend at an independent book shop of their choice.