The below short story was written in response to Nicola Auckland’s Show vs. Tell writer’s workshop. The challenge was to rewrite a short passage in a less “telling” or explanatory style, but in a more “showing” style, thus allowing the reader to infer that which is not explicitly said. I strongly recommend that you give her post a read, Nicola gives some great advice!
Back In Town
She was back, or so he had heard. Joe didn’t doubt the rumours, although the sound of her name made his skin crawl. Six years had passed since he last saw her guilt-ridden yet determined face flouncing out the church doors with his best man in tow. The scene could have been taken from your typical Eastenders storyline. But the raw emotion that resurfaced with the memory was inescapably real.
Laden with groceries, the automatic doors slid open, and Joe’s veins instantly flooded with ice. There she was – shimmering into view through the sunshine haze, approaching fast. His fists tightened their grip on his flimsy carrier bags. Unprepared, conflicted, he ducked into the bakery next door, camouflaging himself behind the freshly-baked loaves. Had she seen him? Would she even react if she had? Joe breathed a huge sigh as she sauntered past, oblivious. He watched her curvaceous figure continue down the street in those familiar crimson heels, and he felt his cheeks start to burn. ‘Next time’, he promised himself, ‘Next time I’ll confront her. She needs to know…’. He gathered the beer bottles that had rolled from his bags and hurried out the shop, ignoring the perplexed look of the boy behind the counter. She was twenty metres away now, vanishing into the crowd, still a six-year mystery. ‘Who am I kidding?’ he thought, ‘I need to know.’
Emma H, age 26, 15/04/2017