This is actually a scene I was recently working on in Once Upon a Time in Iowa. In the book, we are with Mary. I thought it might be fun to look at it from Jesse’s point-of-view. It’s inspired a writing prompt which you can find at the end of this post.
Jesse leans in the doorway, watching Mary. She remains unaware of him. The way she moves around the kitchen is like an intricate dance.
Her dirty blonde hair is twisted on top of her head, and pinned there. It strains against its confines and threatens to burst free at any moment. The apron she’s secured over her dress is smudged with smears of food.
She is humming along to a song in her head. Her hips are swaying to an entirely different beat. She scrapes a plate into a large pail and then rinses it off at the sink. She turns to grab another.
As she repeats the process, her demeaner changes. She’s no longer humming or dancing. She looks frustrated and upset. She starts muttering to herself about her miserable excuses for brothers.
Jesse hates to see her so upset and searches for something to say. His brain stutters and his mind goes completely blank. The best he manages is to ask her about the bucket she is filling with food scraps.
Startled, she jumps, spilling bits of food onto her bare feet and the floor in front of the pail. She turns those big blue eyes his way. The plate, forgotten, dangles loosely from her fingertips.
He rushes to the sink to grab the towel she’s left hanging there. He takes a step towards her as he offers it to her. For the longest moment she only stares at him, and he begins to wonder if she expects him to clean off her feet.
She thanks him as she takes the towel. She cleans off her feet and then stoops to clean the mess off of the floor. She explains the slop bucket to him as she works. He never takes his eyes off of her.
He offers to help her feed the pigs, excited at the prospect of spending more time with her, even helping with her chores. Along comes William to ruin the whole thing.
William slaps Jesse on the back and invites him to come join in building a fence. Resigned he agrees under the condition that they stop off and feed the pigs first.
a different perspective writing prompt
Give it a try. Take a scene from one of your stories (WIP, finished piece, something else) and write it from the perspective of somebody else in the scene.
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