Challenge 12 – Due 13/02 at 09:59:59am GMT
Let’s do a time restriction exercise. Decide how much time you want to write today (it could be five minutes or 6 hours, 17 minutes and 32 seconds). The write for half that time and edit for the other half.
For bonus points, maybe use a new font that you’ve never used before…
Sarah is in bed, in a low-lit room. A giant Mickey Mouse head sheds a half-light on the space. The only other source of light is the laptop. She pick up an egg time and twists it to the ten-minute mark. She stands the timer on the desk next to the bed. The tinny sound of a US reality TV program escapes the laptop. Sarah sneezes – a huge sneeze that tips her whole body. She groans. She sniffs. She flips the bed covers off her legs. This reveals she is wearing an adult diaper. She signs again. Sarah swings her legs to the edge of the bed. Sarah looks at her phone there are no messages. Sarah picks up the War of the Worlds. She is on the last pages. She reads aloud.
Sarah: “For so it had come about, as indeed I and many men might have foreseen had not terror and disaster blinded our minds. These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things–taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here. But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many–those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance–our living frames are altogether immune. But there are no bacteria in Mars, and directly these invaders arrived, directly they drank and fed, our microscopic allies began to work their overthrow. Already when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro. It was inevitable. By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.”
Sarah shivers and sneezes. She puts the book back on the desk. Sarah walks to the window twitches the curtains. Looks up and down the street. She sneezes again. The door to her room opens, Sarah jumps back onto the bed. Mae peeks in.
Mae: You ok?
Sarah: Yeah. Getting there.
Mae: Has the bleeding stopped.
Sarah: Just about.
Mae: Feeling any better?
Sarah: I think it’s just a cold.
Mae: Would you like tea?
Sarah: I’m ok.
Mae: You sure?
Mae hovers again.
Mae: Do you want to tell me what happened?
Mae: Ok. But if you want to talk…
Mae goes out, closing the door quietly behind her. Sarah stretches out on the bed. Suddenly she is bent double, silently screaming with pain. The bout eases off and Sarah can stretch on the bed again. She sneezes.
The timer goes off. Sarah twists to look at it. She’s looking frantically round the room.
A beam of light comes through the window and surrounds Sarah on the bed. Sarah is frozen. Sarah begins to float off the bed and the beam of lights moves with her as she flys to the window. The curtains billow as the window opens and Sarah’s body is flown out. The window closes and the room is still.
Outside a massive sneeze is heard, followed by a shout and the crashing of a body falling into bushes.
Outside Sarah swears. The sound of someone climbing out the bushes. A few seconds later, the doorbell can be heard. A short exchange downstairs, with Mae sounding increasingly surprised.
The thudding of heavy footsteps on stairs. Sarah staggers in. She has bits of privet in her hair. She falls on the bed. She grabs a tissue from the box and blows her nose hard.
Sarah: Not today, invaders… Not today…
Sarah sneezes and passes out. Sarah snores.
Lights fade to black.