Fear in Writing: High Drama Blogfest Entry

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Saturday, August 7, 2010

High Drama Blogfest Entry

This is not an action piece, but feel it has subtle drama.  And it is a piece entered for DL Hammon's High Drama Blogfest.  Click over there for a list of other entries, and to visit DL's great blog.

Drama Piece
Sweat. It slides down my jaw line, around the blemish on my chin, and drops onto my chest. There it hesitates, soaking briefly into that one spot before continuing its run. I feel it in an almost sensual way. The sweat slides from my collarbone to the ever-widening expanse between my breasts. It pauses again here, before taking the plunge over my (clavicle?), turning beneath my sagging right breast, crossing my rippling ribs, and joining the bathwater. 

It is gone, but I can still feel it on every point of its path.

Can I sink below the water? How much skin can I cover with this half-filled bath? There's never enough hot water for a full tub.

I try anyway, creating a aquatic frame around my face. My legs are stuck over the end of the tub like an undiscovered corpse. I fold them crossways and hold them under water; it takes work to keep them from floating. But my stomach still rolls above the surface. It takes all the muscle control I have to create a concave belly, pressing my back to the bottom of the tub.

Now my knees float to the surface. I can't keep it all under. I choose the stomach.

My ears are beneath, and the world is quiet. I can hear something bumping. Footsteps? Did they discover me so soon?  I'm not ready.  I need silence just a bit longer.  Please!

No. Its my own body, my heart beating its time. I've never heard it quite like this. Then I realize I can feel it in my fingers, which are grasping the swan-neck faucet I didn't know I was holding onto. I must have used this leverage to push myself beneath the water, and kept hold as a precaution. I don't remember being so cautious before.

But the pulse continues. I hear it underwater a millisecond before I feel it in my fingers.



Was that a missed beat? An extra beat? Panic takes over for a moment and I hear the thumps quicken...Is a killer hiding in my chest? Am I dying? Should I end it all now, in the half-filled bathtub?


The extra beat is just my bones—when I turn my head the joint makes a sound...it's like...It's just stupid. I laugh inside a bit, but not too much.

Then I sit up. Better wash now, before the world notices how long I've been in here.

Who am I kidding.  There are already real worries headed my way, real thumps in the hall.  If I can just reach that towel in time...

Please check out the post below for a very important award to a fellow blogger!


  1. Michele - This is a terrific story! I especially like the way you build the tension in true Tell-tale Heart style. Very nicely done! I want to know what happens next...

  2. Oooo, intriguing! Nice job of building the suspense. :-)

  3. There is never enough hot water for a good bath! ;-) I liked this!


  4. Very nice writing. Nice build of tension. I definitely want to know what's in the hallway.

    Thanks for haring. :)

  5. Yes, good subtle drama. And it pulls me in.

    I'll follow your blog.

  6. Wow, nice take on the drama, Michele. And yes--Poe came to my mind as well. Though I'm more curious what she's doing in the water than what's in the hall... :)

  7. I love the way you've built the tension Michele - a very intriguing character. :)

  8. This has great voice in it, thanks for sharing your drama with us. I enjoyed the read.

  9. Thanks for posting this for the blogfest!


  10. Great tension!
    And I hate when the kids interrupt a nice bath :-)

  11. This is awesome Michele! Can there be drama with just a single character?? You bet!!! I loved this line...My legs are stuck over the end of the tub like an undiscovered corpse. Such imagery! Like the others...Poe came to mind.

    Thank you for taking the time to contribute today!! :)

  12. The details are so precise and real! And the tension is definitely there!

    Awesome :)

  13. Margot- I love the reference! Thank you.

    Shannon- And when writing it, I wasn't even thinkning that way. I'm glad it worked out.

    Justine- Isn't that so true? When I was pregnant, my husband would boil water downstairs and bring it up so there'd be enough to cover my belly! Talk about love...He wasn't pouring boiling water on me, btw. :P

    Lola- And is it even dangerous? I don't know. But now I have to explore it.

    Charles- Thanks! Glad to have you. And tomorrow I'll check out yours...

    Summer- Aaahhh...This intrigues me as well. More to explore.

    Jemi- I like that she's self-aware.

    Summer- Thank you, and I'll be clicking over to yours in the morning!

    (Two Summers in one comment area. What are the odds?)

    Bru- And thanks for coming by to read it!

    Al- Yes. That part is autobiographical!

    DL- That was my take--how simple can I make it, but still be dramatic? Does it have to be over-the-top? No. Thanks for inspiring me!

    Victoria- I took some details out b/c I had gone overboard. So easy to do! Thank you.

  14. what could be coming down the hall?!?!
    (in my house it would be fussing kids- ahh the terror!)

  15. Love the subtle drama and the description, especially My legs are stuck over the end of the tub like an undiscovered corpse. Loved it..:)