What Clothes Say About Your Characters

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what your clothes say about you

Photo by Michele Spaulding

When you get up and get dressed for the day, why do you pick out the clothes that you do? Are you looking for comfortable clothes to fully enjoy your lazy Saturday? Are you attempting to look professional in your work uniform? Maybe you never even change out of your pajamas.

Showing what your characters are wearing can be a great way to show your readers what they might be up to that day without having to actually narrate anything.

Here are five examples:

1. Fancy dresses

Your main character just put on some makeup and changed into a fancy dress, complete with heels and a tiny handbag. Is she going somewhere?

Chances are she's going on a date. Maybe she's going to a movie or she's meeting someone for dinner. Perhaps she's going to a dance. Is it for school or is it a local event? Keep your readers wondering.

2. Uniform

Perhaps your character is driving while wearing an, “I <3 Texas Roadhouse” T-shirt on. Is he going to work? This could be your way of letting your readers know that your character is a waiter.

3. Pajamas

Your character never changed out of her pajamas.

Why?

Maybe she's off from work and decided to stay at home and watch movies all day. Maybe she's sick. Maybe she's sad because she just went through a breakup. Maybe it's Christmas morning and she just rushed downstairs to see the presents. This simple outfit holds plenty of possibilities.

4. Black Clothing

A character is wearing all black. Is this the norm or is something wrong? Is your character goth or is he attending a funeral? Maybe he's a ninja and needs to blend in. Experiment with possibilities until you land on something you like.

5. Jeans and a T-shirt

It's a normal day at school, so your character is wearing normal clothes. There's nothing simpler than jeans and a T-shirt. Oh, wait. What does that T-shirt say? “You suck!”? Is she mad about something? I guess your readers will have to wait and see . . .

What kinds of clothes do your characters wear? 

PRACTICE

Start a scene by describing what your character is wearing.

Write for fifteen minutes and post your practice in the comments. Be sure to support your fellow writers by giving them some feedback. Have fun!

The Magic Violinist is a young author who writes mostly fantasy stories. She loves to play with her dog and spend time with her family. Oh, and she's homeschooled. You can visit her blog at themagicviolinist.blogspot.com. You can also follow The Magic Violinist on Twitter (@Magic_Violinist).

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67 Comments

  1. Bob DeSpy former Spycacher

    But, all those years in the desert and after, during his education, and training and later in the working days, he never had the chance to take care of himself. To be aware of himself. He now felt he deserved it; especially after the undercover operation, where he had to play the role of a jobless pauper to infiltrate an NGO laundering money for a guerrilla group that, by the way, after the fall of the communism lost their legitimacy and became a gang of smugglers, bandits and extortionists. He bought second hand clothing, reversed the worn collars of his already shabby shirts, wore shoes a few sizes too large with holes in the soles and pointing up tips. If the opportunity came along, he had a creased, ill-fitting suit and white shirt that was yellowish, to attend job interviews. He lived in a bed and board room rented by a spinster in a shack and ladle out the pan with a wooden spoon he made. Although he never showered, there were people that saw him searching rubbish bags of the better-off trying to find soap waste, and when he had several, he stuck them together by soaking them in water for a while. He never paid the rent, but in kind. She didn’t care. The operation took so long, and he played his part so well that even his personality changed, and he forgot he had an ultimate task: to deal with the target.

    Reply
    • R.w. Foster

      This is pretty awesome. However, I’m a bit lost: Is this going on now, or is it being relived? It seems to switch from one to the other midway.

      Reply
      • Bob DeSpy former Spycacher

        This is a segment of the book I am writing, and I selected this passage because it had a description suited to the subject treated on this blog. The character remembers a situation he lived in a past time.

        Reply
        • R.w. Foster

          Ah. I understand now. Thank you for clarifying that. From this selection, I think your novel will be outstanding.

          Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      The imagery in this is vivid. This line was my favorite, since it tells the readers so much with such simplicity: If the opportunity came along, he had a creased, ill-fitting suit and white shirt that was yellowish, to attend job interviews.

      Great job. 🙂

      Reply
      • Bob DeSpy former Spycacher

        Thanks a lot to all of you for the nice support. It fills me with pride and encourages me to go forward. You know, I’m not an English native speaker, and I have to work hard getting the correct expression and meaning in English.

        Reply
        • themagicviolinist

          Wow, I would not have guessed that from your writing. 🙂 Your English is great!

          Reply
    • tercentum

      I like this! The description of his habits were great; they gave us a great impression of the character he’s trying to inhabit. The only thing that threw me off a bit was the lengthy sentence describing the undercover operation; it stuffs a lot of background in very quickly, and feels rushed. Do you think you could cut it at all, or, alternately, expand it?

      Reply
      • Bob DeSpy former Spycacher

        Thanks for pointing it out. It is something I picked up from Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is part of the first draft of my book. I am sure it requires changes and polishing. I will go over it in the second and third edition. Please, hang on.

        Reply
  2. James Hall

    It’s harder to apply to the Medieval times. Though it may be easy enough to distinguish between commoner clothing and royalty clothing because different classes wore different clothing. Even by profession clothing adds detail. Blacksmiths, for example, wouldn’t be wearing their best clothes when they are smithing.

    You could definitely distinguish from the everyday dress and the formal dressed up.

    Unfortunately, I think the more detailed you get, the less people will really understand. They understand modern clothing more.

    Great post, though. Applies to most or all writing.

    Reply
    • R.w. Foster

      Good points. However, with the blacksmith, I think you could differentiate a well-off blacksmith (like say the king’s) from the village one by having the former in deer hide (which only the king and certain folks were allowed to hunt), and the latter in leather (which anyone was allowed to kill). What do you think?

      Reply
      • James Hall

        That is very true. But how many people really know that only the king was allowed to hunt deer.

        Also, I never really understood why they would have it that way. What is wrong with the common people hunting deer?

        Reply
        • R.w. Foster

          Not many, unless you spell it out (maybe a throwaway line?). Deer – if I remember correctly – were seen as a status symbol, and usually ran through the king’s (or queen’s) forest. Royalty’s property, and all that.

          Reply
          • James Hall

            Yeah, I guess since they owned like ALL the land, that would make hunting hard.

            Greedy.

          • R.w. Foster

            Indeed. But that’s how we look at it. I think they merely saw it as a divine right. Maybe.

  3. R.w. Foster

    I hope this works:

    ****

    Prologue

    Part 1

    Two men stood in the white void between worlds. One was tall and broad shouldered with long black hair. He had dark eyes, high cheek bones and a wide jaw which was covered with dark stubble as if he hadn’t shaved that morning. He was clad in a silvery, purple-green colored, form-fitting armor. Across his forehead was a band of the same color of his armor. He looked regal, deadly, and intimidating. A pure white sword was held in his hand, resting against his shoulder. A tan leather pack hung from his other shoulder.

    The shorter man was wearing simple leather armor, stained with blood, sweat and grime. A black leather pack hung from his back. He was lean, and muscular. His sable hair was combed straight back from his forehead. Despite the exhaustion in them, his coffee colored eyes had a sparkle of mischievous humor in them. He glanced at the taller man and grinned. He was still surprised that this being, one of the most powerful in the multiverse was friends with him.

    “So, tell me, Carter: what’s the plan?” he said.

    “It’s simple, Robilar,” Carter said. “We storm the castle and tap on Death’s forehead until he stops destroying universes.”

    Robilar laughed. “I like it. Just one problem.”

    Carter’s left eyebrow went up. Robilar had seen him do it enough to know that his friend was going to ask for clarity. “What is this problem, my friend?”

    “The problem, Carter, is: You are the Walker of Worlds, you have the power to slay, or banish deities. I, on the other hand, am a simple man.”

    Carter’s jaw dropped for a second. Then, eyes crinkling, he burst out laughing. The force of the laughter doubled the big man over. Robilar pursed his lips and shook his head. “Robilar is not amused,” he said.

    Carter gasped and pulled himself upright. He determinedly didn’t look at his friend for fear that he’d start laughing again. “I’m sorry, Robilar. I wasn’t laughing at you. Just what you said. You are far from a simple man. The only one I know of that is a more epic ass kicker is Angriz, the half-dragon warrior who taught me to fight.”

    “Okay, Carter. No more ass kissing. How do you want to get into Death’s castle?”

    The big guy folded his arms and closed his eyes. Robilar waited patiently for several moments. Then, he began to pace. As he paced, Robilar swung his arms back and forth, began to whistle and then lifted his sword a few inches from its scabbard to make sure it was clear. It was a blue crystalline bastard
    sword. The blade was a double fuller, lenticular design. The cross-guard was
    curved slightly towards the blade, the grip was of onyx and wrapped with golden wire in a chain link pattern, the pommel was a clear gem. He’d gotten it a few centuries ago on another adventure with Carter.

    “Storming the castle would be our best bet, Robilar,” Carter said unexpectedly. The other man started. His back had been to his companion.

    “Good,” he said, turning. “That’s my preferred way to do things.”

    “Let us return then.”

    The white shimmered, then shattered into pieces, revealing the rose, purple and azure sky of sunset. A gorgeous young woman stood before them. She was dressed in robes of palest azure trimmed with silver thread. She had auburn hair, eyes the color of grass, lips the color of a ripe strawberry and her skin was pale, like milk. She had high cheek bones and a heart shaped face. The tips of her ears protruded through her hair. When her eyes settled on the Walker of Worlds, her face lit up.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      This was intriguing and you had a nice way of showing things through the dialogue rather than the description. 🙂 It’s always best to do that if possible, because then your reader doesn’t get bored.

      Two things I would change:

      1. He looked regal, deadly, and intimidating.

      You had such a nice way of showing things until you got to this line. I think the readers can decipher that he looks a little intimidating after reading that he was tall, broad-shouldered, and wearing armor.

      2. You characters called each other by name a lot (“Okay, Carter.” “Storming the castle would be our best bet, Robilar.”). In real life, we don’t usually address our friends with their names tagged on to the ends of our sentences. Once maybe twice is fine, but after a while the dialogue starts to sound jerky.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

      Reply
      • R.w. Foster

        Thank you for your input. I’m glad you enjoy it, too.

        In explanation:

        1) Good point. I was trying to convey how he seemed to Robilar while also continuing to paint a picture for the reader. If I re-insert this, I’ll have to think of how to re-work it.

        2) I admit: I cheated with naming the characters for the reader. For me, just throwing the name in there (“Go to the castle wall,” said Jinder Mahal.) feels odd. Maybe I could wait until they encounter the woman at the end, and introduce the names that way.

        You’ve given me more to think about. I appreciate it. 🙂

        Reply
    • Sarah Hood

      This is interesting–kind of like futuristic space fantasy or something. The first sentence caught my attention, and when I got to the end I wanted to know what happens next. Good job!

      Reply
      • R.w. Foster

        Thank you. I am happy to know you enjoyed it.

        Reply
    • M.C. Muhlenkamp

      Great practice, R! The description totally drew me in and painted a great picture in my mind. I only got a bit confused at first with the names. I personally take Carter as a more common name than Robilar, and for a second I had the characters mixed up. Robilar seemed to fit the Walker of Worlds better than Carter and vise versa. Other than that, I thought it was great! And now I must ask, is this part of a bigger project? I am a sucker for fantasy.

      Reply
      • R.w. Foster

        It is part of a much larger epoch, and is actually a now discarded prologue to my second novel (which is in the works atm). Carter Blake is the Walker of Worlds, and Robilar is a Chronomancer. Carter is from a world that is analogous to our own, while Robilar is from a more fantasy-based world. Hope this helps.

        Reply
        • M.C. Muhlenkamp

          sounds fascinating 🙂

          Reply
  4. Sarah Hood

    At the edge of the camp stood Anmar, her tall figure shadowy in the firelight. She stood straight-backed, almost regal, like a solitary statue in the midst of a desert. She wore a plain camel-hair tunic and pants, a leather belt and shin-high boots, and upon her back a bow and quiver of arrows. From her belt hung a leather-sheathed long blade and a water skin. Her headscarf hung loosely about her neck now that the sun had set. A few strands of hair had escaped from her sun-colored braid and blew rather unnoticed in the breeze. Her weathered face was long and angled at the jaw; a jagged scar still gorged her right cheek. Her eyes, pale gold and turned up at the corners, searched the horizon tirelessly. She might have been beautiful, had she not chosen a life of exile, but beauty was of little concern to her. Strength, skill, alertness–these were the traits that kept her alive.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      I loved this! What comes next?!

      Reply
      • Sarah Hood

        Well, I’m not sure. She’s a major supporting character in a novel I’m trying to write. Problem is, I have a cast of characters and a setting, but no real plot. Not yet anyways. 🙂

        Reply
  5. Ellwist

    She wasn’t the same.

    He wasn’t sure what happened,
    but she wasn’t the same. The War—it had changed her. The young, timid Asian
    American he had known and loved was gone now. He could see it in the way she
    looked.

    Her hair was caught undone,
    free and long, damaged slightly by the dirt and sweat of the day, her eyes dim
    and black, bagged in deep purple. She had worn an unwashed blue hoodie over a
    plain white T-shirt, rummaged from the remnants of civilisation, the same jeans
    he had seen her wear back in the days worn out but still noticeably
    comfortable. She had carried a backpack around with her, now—it shook with
    every step she took, hanging on her shoulders like a parasite.

    On a small gap where a water
    bottle should’ve been, she had carried around a rusty pipe, a pair of broken
    scissors attached to it. It was bloody. Used. She’s fought a battle before. By
    the looks of it, she’s fought several battles before. And won.

    No, she wasn’t the same at all.
    She was different.

    But that didn’t really matter
    to him. The change was a minor disadvantage to him. There was only one thing that
    actually mattered to him, and that was the most beautiful possibility he can
    imagine amidst all this chaos, a chance that he didn’t find possible.

    She was still alive.
    —-
    I wrote this during a long session of writers block. I’ve never really found myself posting anything here, but I wanted to try it out, so.

    Reply
    • Emma Marie

      This is great! Now I’m wondering what kind of war made her change so drastically.

      Reply
      • Ellwist

        Thanks. The War is (or what I plan it would be; it changes as I edit) the Fourth World War, which you could say took America by storm. Imagine ruins of a modern age and a lot of bombs.

        Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      This was amazing! 😀 The flow and description was wonderful. It almost read like poetry.

      Reply
      • Ellwist

        Wow, thanks. I personally thought it was just mad drabble that made no sense. But still, thanks.

        Reply
  6. Big Bear Geek

    The look on my manager’s face told me I made the wrong decision.

    “Mark, you’re wearing a pink shirt!”

    “I was listening to the women talking about wearing pink for that cancer thing and I thought I’d try to fit in. Sorry.”

    Ms. Anderson smiled and told me to take a seat. It’d be
    another 30 minutes before the rest of the staff showed up, so it was just us early birds. “Mark, don’t look so down. Seriously, there aren’t a lot of men that can make pink work. Now, I know you keep an extra set of clothes in your car, so why don’t you go change before everyone gets into work.”

    “Stupid, stupid, stupid”, I said to myself as I walked back
    from the washroom. Thought I could fit in – plain stupid. And there’s Ms.
    Anderson just smiling like nothing’s wrong. How can she smile so much anyway?

    “Mark, come sit for a minute?” she asked. I wandered over to
    that chair, the one I always sat in when she wanted to cheer me up and sat down. “Mark, I have to ask.” She giggled. “Or better, I’ll just say it. You ordered
    that online didn’t you?”

    “How did you know?”

    She looked at shirt folded neatly in my hands. “You’re a geek. I really mean that in a nice way Mark, but you have little fashion sense and besides, it’s a woman’s shirt – see the collar?”

    That explained a lot. OMG am I stupid. “Smile hun, its ok.” She
    said. “You’re not a bad looking guy, not overweight like out other IT manager
    was. You’re just a bit awkward socially and you have plenty of time to grow out
    of that. I’ll just need to train you up a bit on some things. Next time let me
    help you shop online ok?”

    Just then Susan from accounting walked in. “Morning
    everyone!”

    “Morning Susan”, we chimed in. She looked over and stopped
    in her tracks –“is that a pink dress shirt?”

    I wanted to answer but Ms Anderson jumped in, “Yes it is.
    Mark was just showing it to me; he got a mix up online.”

    “Oh let me see – I couldn’t find one for today.” She took
    the shirt and then both women started chatting over how it would look, when she finally decided to go put it on.

    Back at my desk I was just getting logged in when Susan skipped over to me. “It’s perfect!” she said.

    Well, now I could see why it fit me all wrong and it sure did look good on Susan. “And here” she said as she pulled her hand from around her back. “I know you’re a SCF/FI nut and this book just came out. Why don’t you read it first and let me know over coffee how it is ok?”

    She had a smile that made my heart skip a beat. “Sure, thank
    you” I stammered. As she walked away I glanced over at Ms Anderson’s desk. She has a smile too and I knew she was watching. It’s was that “it’s going to be ok” smile. Somehow I knew it would.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      This was fun! 😀 I enjoyed seeing the characters interact with each other. This could easily lengthen into a short story.

      Reply
  7. M.C. Muhlenkamp

    A tall woman with long black hair loosely draped over her back enters the Grand Hall. The ceremonial gown she wears generates hushed whispers from the observing crowd. Her body is wrapped in a strapless red suit, nothing like the black or white uniform she is used to wearing. It envelops her body, emphasizing her svelte, yet toned frame. Waves of delicately embroidered silk drape from the sash wrapping around her slim waist, highlighting her striking curves and giving her a somewhat fragile appearance in spite of the double-bladed daggers tucked behind her. A giant bow, crafted from the same type of fabric, is firmly secured at the low of her back, partially concealing the weapons. Still, everyone knows she
    has them, after all, that’s why she came. Her features are covered 
with a
    thick white base. The red lipstick and red and black accents around her 
eyes
    only enhance her striking beauty.

    ps: Magicviolinist you did an awesome job with this post!

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      I want to know more about this girl! 😀 Your descriptions are amazing. I think the trick to that is all in word choice. Poetry is a great way to practice that.

      Thanks! 🙂

      Reply
      • M.C. Muhlenkamp

        Absolutely! I also like to keep pictures on hand that might help me describe a certain image in my head, even if the picture has nothing to do with the actual scene, the result of describing what you are seeing makes a world of difference.

        Reply
        • themagicviolinist

          Yeah, I love using pictures when I’m writing! 😀 Some of my best short stories have come from using a picture as a prompt.

          Reply
          • M.C. Muhlenkamp

            🙂 There you go

  8. gurl6 .

    I daydream about …

    …being at a party in Cary Grant’s Bel Air mansion in 1967. I’m wearing a strapless, cream satin gown that skims my body and pools at my feet. My only jewelery is a three-carat ruby solitaire pendant surrounded by tiny diamonds on a fine platinum chain. I’m there with Dean Martin and I’m laughing and having a marvelous time because he’s my best pal but everyone thinks we’re lovers. The air smells like cold olives, gin, cigarettes and sliced oranges. Dean grins at me and flicks a brow in the secret sign language of best friends. I look across the ballroom and see Peter Graves leaning with one wide shoulder against the wall and he’s wearing a slim, black tuxedo with the bow tie undone and his hair is the color of moonlight and I can see the blue of his eyes from where I stand twenty feet away and even leaning like he is, he’s the tallest guy in the place and his beauty hits me with a soft punch to the gut and I think, breathlessly, how does a man like that happen?

    And because he’s my best friend, Dean walks right up to Peter Graves and says, “Hey Pete, take care of my girl for a minute, will ya?”

    So Peter…

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      This is great. 🙂 Your descriptions were vivid in my head. I can practically smell the cigarettes and oranges. One thing I would try to work on is making sure that your sentences aren’t too long. Take out some of those commas and replace them with periods. Your readers will thank you. 🙂

      Reply
    • Winnie

      Bringing in those big-name stars does something to the story.

      Reply
    • Fruitheads

      Hahaha what an incredibly cute piece- brings you back to those moments in high school.

      Reply
    • Kileen

      As far as the prompt goes, a favorite part of mine was were you describe how the dress skims and pools – AWESOME. I wanted to be in that, sounds so luxurious! My favorite, though, is when you describe Peter and how his bow tie is undone. It instantly made me wonder what has he done tonight, how he’s in the dressiest suit, but his tie is undone. 🙂

      Reply
  9. tercentum

    She is wearing, as she always does, her uniform: black on black, and a silver-grey helmet. You have offered many times to give her clothes more comfortable, but her only concession in that regard is to let you wash it: she will not go to her death in clothes stinking from two weeks’ worth of sweat and dust. Even on a spaceship, even in her position, it would be unpleasant–undignified. You know she wants to die with dignity.

    She searched it for bugs afterward. You did not see it, but you know this too.

    You let her keep the uniform. It is risky, but not very; the rebels have never had as much technology as they would wish, and your SOs swore against their life that there were no surprises hidden there. She had been a worthy opponent, and deserved your respect.

    Now she is your prisoner. She is still worthy.

    She is *more* than worthy, and this aches. You know the rightness of your cause, and that your emperor deserves your loyalty; you do not regret your service. You cannot, not when you think over the lives you have saved; not, too, when carry a large responsibility for the crushing of the rebellion, the new stability of the Emperor’s rule. Nor do you wish you had never met her; you have, and what is the point of wishing otherwise? Even fighting her has been–not a pleasure, for she has killed, good and loyal servants of the empire. But an education, certainly. No, you do not regret fighting her; you merely wish, with all your heart, that it had been at War Games at the Academy, and not true war, deep and deadly.

    Deadly, yes. For those you commanded, and now, finally, for her.

    If she had been born on one of the Moving Worlds, you might have fought and won together; you might have crushed the rebels in half the time it took you, or even less.

    They did have other commanders, but she was the best. This is the reason she is still alive, today, now, alone of all her fellow leaders; the Emperor is going to execute her in front of his people, and mark for all of them the end of the war.

    It may–you are not certain, for you cannot see how he would have known this–it may also be a little bit of revenge; she confessed to you, once and once only, that she had wanted to die by enemy fire. The Emperor has ways of knowing things, though, and the thought that it might be revenge comforts you on your too-long journey home. Two weeks. It is not long, and yet.

    You dread arriving. You wish the ship would carry you faster. You wish she would escape and cannot wait for her death.

    Truly, you cannot wait to see your emperor, true and solid, the only thing real.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      The uniqueness of this piece is wonderful! 😀 I loved how you used the second person. It really made the whole story stand out.

      Reply
      • tercentum

        Ah, thank you. I actually have trouble writing in anything but the second person, when it comes to fiction. Not sure why.

        Reply
        • themagicviolinist

          Huh. That’s usually the one everyone has trouble with. I tried to use second person in a book once, but I kept accidentally switching to third. 😛

          Reply
          • Winnie

            Have you tried using the second person p.o.v. as narrator, then bringing in at the end the omniscient narrator, the one who’s been observing the protagonist, to tie up the loose ends?

          • themagicviolinist

            Ooh, that would be interesting. I’ll try that. Thanks!

          • Winnie

            I hope you have more success than I’ve had every time I try it.

  10. Abigail Rogers

    Sorry, I forgot to time myself for 15 minutes! Had a lot of fun writing this, though.

    Her work clothes were neither stylish, nor flattering. They had come off the sale rack at JC Penney’s last year, casually grabbed off the hanger and piled into a scanty cart to be hauled away to a closet predominately stocked with sweat pants and oversize t-shirts.

    Regina was not cut out to be an office worker. She tended to do foolhardy things, like daydream while editing an expense record, or make friends with a particularly savage representative of the competition. Or scream and throw things at her coworkers.

    “You’re nothing but an arrogant pie chart. Get out of my way!”

    “I am not a pie chart. If anything, I’m a bar graph.”

    “You’re a soulless piece of corporate garbage.”

    “That’s rather harsh.”

    “Dagnabit, move!”

    “No. I won’t let you do this to yourself.”

    Regina brandished a stapler. “Let me out of this cubicle or your life is forfeit.”

    Joshua pinched the stapler between two slender fingers and slipped it neatly from her hand. He was a tall fellow in a tailored black suit, which failed to hide the fact that he was still a dweeb. “You’re not going to assassinate our boss.”

    “I can do whatever I pretty well like. Oh, how I’d like to smash her head into the photocopier just to see her face!”

    He frowned. “She’s having an affair with her secretary. What’s wrong with that? You’re not married to her. Are you?”

    “Good grief, no.”

    “Well, you never….”

    “Consider yourself informed. Now the fact is that I am sick and tired of this place. Everything I ever enjoyed about it is gone, presto, disappeared. One by one they’re sucking it all into some kind of horrible black hole.”

    “What’s your problem, Cee?”

    She looked at him with the harshest expression she could muster, which ended up looking something like a lost puppy. “I just want things to be like they were. Why did that stupid woman have to go and…and….”

    Joshua’s face cleared and he looked his boyish self again. “Oh, so that’s it. It’s not Wilkinson, it’s Robert.”

    Regina colored and dropped into her swiveling computer chair. “Well…yes. If you have to know.”

    Joshua placed the stapler back down on the desk, careful to keep it out of Regina’s reach, then sat down on the edge in a fatherly, understanding posture. “How long have you loved him?”

    “Oh,” she twiddled with a pink bow on her blouse that contrasted terrifically with her red hair, “a long time, I guess. Since I came here, maybe.”

    “And you haven’t told him?”

    “Of course not! And if you dare say a word….”

    “I know, I know. You’ll throw me headfirst into the dumpster.”

    “After I’ve stapled your eyes open.”

    Joshua winced. “Come on. If you love Robert you should have told him a long time ago. Before she-who-must-not-be-named started toying with him.”

    “As if he’d care for me.”

    Joshua coughed. “Actually, um, we’re pretty good friends, Rob and I. And he tells me things. Sometimes.”

    Her mouth dropped open. “What, what did he tell you?”

    “Well…maybe a few months back he dropped a few hints that, well,” he tugged unnecessarily at his collar, “he found you rather attractive.”

    Regina laughed. “Really? You’re kidding me. How is that possible?”

    “Well, you’re young, vibrant, enthusiastic. You’re counter-culture and…interesting. Rob likes that.”

    “So, you mean he likes me?” She looked hopeful for a moment, then kicked the paper shredder with her stiletto heel. “But not now. He’s after her.”

    “It might be possible to change his mind, you know. Even now.”

    “And how would I manage that?”

    “Just a little inside knowledge.”

    Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolves_tog/4049718335/

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Bwa ha ha! Those pictures at the end are hilarious! And this story was so much fun! I’m glad you forgot to time yourself. I especially liked the “she-who-must-not-be-named.” 😉 Great stuff!

      Reply
    • catmorrell

      Great fun. I smiled all the way through and had to reread it. You had me in the first paragraph.

      Reply
    • Abigail Rogers

      Thank you @catmorrell:disqus and @themagicviolinist:disqus! That is very encouraging 🙂

      Reply
  11. catmorrell

    Kara, picked up the hoodie laying on her bed. The soft azure matched her eyes. She tugged it over her head. The cotton in the pale blue corduroy jeans felt soft against her fingers. The lucky find came from the local thrift store. She pegged the inseam just last night so they fit skin tight all the way to her shapely ankles, her version of skinny jeans. Standing sideways to the mirror she tucked her tummy in. “Perfect.”

    Her blue eyes seemed so much brighter in these colors and the pastel accented her pale pink skin. A little lazuline eyeshadow and a touch of ebony mascara helped call attention to the bright eyes.

    Last she looked at her hair or what remained of it. The stubby ends left something to be desired, but the cap she so meticulously knit from shades of multi hued pink and blue hand dyed yarn to match her outfit covered the stubble from the recent shave. She grabbed the second matching cap as she left for her best friend’s home. She would make her beautiful too before driving her to oncology.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Oh, this is sad, but beautifully written. I like how you hinted at the cancer before you actually mentioned it.

      Reply
      • catmorrell

        Thank you. I was inspired by a friend on Spark People. Both her and her daughter shaved their heads with a mutual friend who was undergoing chemo.

        Reply
    • Abigail Rogers

      What a sweet, striking piece. Nice work bringing it all together in the end.

      Reply
      • catmorrell

        Thank you. I had been wanting to write this for several days.

        Reply
    • Kileen

      This is awesome. I think it fit the prompt very well in that you first show she’s a thrifter, that she had to tailor the pants herself because she’s so skinny, how she knitted her own cap so it was the way she wanted it to be. All of this was a wonderful display of her illness. Thrifty- cancer is expensive. Tailoring her own pants/creating her own cap -obvious side effects of chemo.

      It was so touching to see this side of a cancer patient who makes her own beauty for her and her friend. Not only was the prompt taken to describe the character, the clothing is almost like a character of it’s own with it’s important to the protagonist. 🙂

      Loved it!
      [My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and again, I love the aspect of beauty in this writing and they way you’ve written it!]

      Reply
      • catmorrell

        Thank you for your kind words. It always amazes me at the different things people see in writing. That is why this Write Practice group is so special.

        Reply
  12. Guest

    Violet’s blood red hair falls behind her, resting smooth and straight above the hem of her black shorts. Her side-swept bangs remain snug behind her right ear. Glancing in the mirror, she notes the awkward fold of the collar on her light denim vest and straightens it out so it looks more rigid. Underneath the vest is a
    plain grey tank top, fitted and tucked beneath her shorts. She
    doesn’t fuss over her face too much; only sweeps on a few layers of
    mascara to lighten her grey eyes before she grabs a black leather
    satchel, swings it over her shoulder, and heads out of the door.

    Before the door has the chance to click shut, Violet pivots on a socked foot and disappears back into the small apartment. When she emerges out of the white door, the one marked 21 in golden numbers, brown leather boots that lace up just past her ankles cover her socks. She fumbles with the lock on the door and is on her way.

    By noon, Violet has sat through the entire train ride to Seaside City and is stepping off of the train, leaping down the metal station steps in her boots, and trotting down the dirt road in pursuit of the ocean ahead.

    Reply
  13. Kileen

    Hi everyone! First time posting here, big fan of the site, however :).

    Violet’s blood red hair falls behind her, resting smooth and straight above the hem of her black shorts. Her side-swept bangs remain snug behind her right ear. Glancing in the mirror, she notes the awkward fold of the collar on her light
    denim vest and straightens it out so it looks more rigid. Underneath the vest is a plain grey tank top, fitted and tucked beneath her shorts. She doesn’t fuss over her face too much; only sweeps on a few layers of mascara to lighten her grey eyes before she grabs a black leather satchel, swings it over her shoulder, and heads out of the door.

    Before the door has the chance to click shut, Violet pivots on a socked foot and disappears back into the small apartment. When she emerges out of the white door, the one marked 21 in golden numbers, brown leather boots that lace up just past her ankles cover her socks. She fumbles with the lock on the door and is on her way.

    By noon, Violet has sat through the entire train ride to Seaside City and is stepping off of the train, leaping down the metal station steps in her boots, and trotting down the dirt road in pursuit of the ocean ahead.

    Reply
    • catmorrell

      “Pivots on a socked foot” I loved that absent mindedness. Fun beginning. So what does she plan to do at the beach?

      Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      This is very well described. 🙂 I also love the “pivots on a socked foot” line. What comes next? Glad you finally got up the courage to post! Don’t worry, we don’t bite. 😉

      Reply
  14. Christina Chenier

    There was something about Adie, the girl in apartment 252. To other people’s standards, she never dressed flatteringly; but in Benjamin’s opinion she was gorgeous. She always wore skinny jeans that were faded more often than not. They were also covered in random pen stains and doodles. The bottoms would be cuffed, revealing bare or socked feet. On top, it was usually a button-down shirt, with the sleeves scrunched up above her bony elbows; unless it was chilly. Then she’d don a baggy sweatshirt, which often times had holes in various places. Her almond creme colored hair was always just hanging loose around her freckled face, or carelessly tied in a pony tail. It was her smile that drew people to her. Benjamin caught himself wondering how’d she would look spruced up in a holiday dress at the annual Christmas office party…that is, if he ever got the nerve to ask her to go: the beautiful girl in apartment 252.

    Reply

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