Here’s the Creative Writing Assignment from this week: character sketch. The catch? Rely primarily on the environment, not physical features. Not as easy as it sounds.
Gingerly, as if frightened of splitting the haunting silence, Hunter pushed open the door to her bedroom. The hall light spilled in, illuminating the beige carpet. He’d never understood why she selected that particular rug; the color didn’t suit her. Too bland. He took a careful step forward, his toes brushing the white stain where she’d spilled Bleach while applying it to spaghetti sauce on her favorite blouse.
He inhaled deeply, unintentionally inviting her raspberry scent to his nose. She adored raspberries; all of her feminine products featured their smell: perfume, shampoo, air freshener, ever her deodorant. He’s questioned her about it once. She responded without hesitation that the scent calmed her. She could keep her Irish pride in check so long as she smelled raspberries.
He flipped on the light switch to see better. How could those lime green walls have ever slipped his mind? Why lime green, Holly? He recalled voicing his confusion to her when she’d asked him to paint the room for her. Well to match my hair of course, Hunter! Everyone knows green and red fit together best. Besides, it’s different. Her musical voice echoed in his mind, clear as a bell, like she stood by his side.
Music. He tip-toed past her bed topped with a purple quilt that had been in the Italian side of her family since 1888 when they came off the boat. His fingers brushed the netted canopy hanging over it that made her feel like a Disney Princess before he halted in front of her oak desk. What a mess! The drawers rested half open, many a time he had acquired a bruised shin when walking by them without paying attention. Several were stuffed to the brim, overflowing with useless trinkets she could never bring herself to discard. Mountains of loose sheet music and uncapped pens completely obscured the seldom used desk calendar.
How many times had he seen her mulling over those original Holly musical compositions? How many countless times had he casually leaned against the doorframe watching her flit from her perch at that desk to her keyboard beside it and hum to herself while she scribbled a flat on the paper or plunked out a few sharps to make the piece just right? She freed the melodies trapped in her head at that desk.
Those haphazardly strewn sheets of music she labored over so meticulously were all he had left of her.
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