ex :: Glimpse

Writing Exercise: (one page) Write a scene of a story from a glimpse you have had of a group of people—in a café, zoo, train or anywhere. Sketch the characters in their setting and let them interact. Do you find that you know too little? Can you make up enough—or import from other experiences—too fill the empty canvas?

        The team filed into the hospital lobby to the concerned looks of people waiting in the atrium chairs. Coach Brenum’s warnings from the bus ride over still ringing in their ears the boys kept their usual banter to a dull roar, but they were boys after all and young and riled up and so it was inevitable when their chatter began to grow again, prompting the receptionist to cast dirty looks at the group over the telephone clasped between her neck and shoulder.         The small waiting area had only a hand full of chairs, too few for the team even under the present circumstances, and not helped by the fact that several people were already scattered about the lobby. Robby, Sam, and some of the other younger boys had already stacked out a set of chairs in the far corner by the window and were now already well into flipping through the month old magazines, snickering at the expressions on peoples faces in the advertisements and acting out exaggerated pantomimes of rapturously enjoying paper towels or fat-free salad dressing.         “Boys,” Robby’s mother snapped at them from across the room in a forced whisper, “show some decorum, this is a Hospital.”         From the boys looks it was clear they had no idea what ‘decorum’ was, but Mrs. Simon’s tone left little to the imagination and the small group renewed their social commentary in the form of empathic silent pointing, stifled snickers, and screwed up faces.         Candice said she would call down from the ER when they had more about Luther’s condition,“ said Mrs. Simon, turning to Coach Brenum and two other mothers who had just walked in from the parking lot, ”But did you see these signs.“ She motioned to a large printed sign near the entrance that read ”Please Turn Off All Cellular Devices Within the Hospital, Thank You.“ ”I don’t know if they’ll even let her call. And if she does I sure as hell can’t answer. Do you think one of use should wait outside?“         At her suggestion the other mothers began to look contemplatively at their shoes, no doubt running the hundred degree temperatures outside through their minds. Coach Brenum looked cooly down at his watch, as if not listening to Mrs. Simon’s question, and then spoke abruptly.         ”Candice knows the drill, they can send a page down to the receptionist when things are ready.“ His tone was one of someone who had obviously spent more than one Sunday afternoon in a hospital lobby, and it was a bit comforting to the other mothers, though it didn’t seem to have much effect on Mrs. Simon.         ”I don’t see why you’re so cool about this. That medic said that gash on Luther’s head might need surgery.“         ”Sutures, Melony. Sutures aren’t surgery, its just another name for stitches.“ Coach replied, still looking at his watch. ”Its just a superficial wound. He’s bleeding so they’ll see him pretty quickly, have ‘em sewn up in about 20 minutes and then we’ll be out of here with a bottle of antibiotics and a bunch of rowdy soccer players all wanting to hear what it was like in the ER. It’s the quietest you’ll ever hear them.“         Mrs. Simon wanted to argue the point further—to go on about how she hoped he had insurance for the team and how traumatic the ER had been for Robby when he was 4—but the coach’s steady tone made her think twice. She sat back in her chair and turned towards the boys who had moved from the magazines to critiquing the paintings of rural doctors offices and country landscapes.