TMA 01 Part 1
Prompt: What’s in your pocket?
Cluster words sweets, fluff, bus pass, money, hankie, ticket, wallet, drugs, knife, money, (more money, in a roll, bank notes, elastic band, big) ticket, keys. What’s the deal with the drugs, the knife? Why carry a knife? Bus pass, oyster card, travel on a bus. Bus travel, that’s safer than walking, safer than driving maybe. Why, where would you be travelling? Do a deal maybe, drugs. Wiki. Knife. Pocket? Carry a knife in your pocket, maybe back pocket. Free. Freewrite. Pocket. What’s in your pocket, my pocket, Bilbo’s pocket? Gollum. Riddles. What’s in his pockets? Police, Empty your pockets, can they ask you to do that without a warrant, guess they can. Knife. That’s a worry. Why the knife. Purpose of knife – to hurt. Purpose of knife- for protection. Same difference. Drugs. Sniff.Nose. Daniella wossname Eastenders. Nose. Pockets, Cargo pants. Do drug dealers where cargo pants! Trackie bots and hood? Stereotype. Could be him, or him, Mr Nice, Mr smooth suit. Smooooth suit. Smoooth. Smoothie. Clean. Shaven. Boy next door. Nice boy. Nice to his mum.
Word count: 176
TMA 01 Fiction Part 2
Would I have acted any differently if I had known? Who can know what’s going to happen. In the space between a second your life changes. You can’t go back. Better to ask, did I do enough?
I like to cycle back from the office over Chelsea Bridge. It’s a beautiful bridge but this day the fog was hanging about and I didn’t relish the ride. So, I took the bus.
I was dozing. That state between sleep and semi-consciousness. I could hear the kid crying. Opening my eyes I saw two youths standing a couple of feet away up the aisle of the bus. The one with his hood up had his back to me, the other, with a large snake tattoo on his neck, was standing sideways on. They were pulling at the kid’s hat and laughing at him, nasty and loud. The more the kid cried the louder they laughed. And no-one took any notice. I swear some people were even turning away.
‘Less of that, guys’ I said, quietly but loud enough for them to hear.They ignored me and carried on.
Hoodie swung round, his face pushing forward into mine.
‘Whass that? You got something to say old man?’
‘Just leave off’
‘Fucking make me’.
Please, I so wanted to fucking make him; nothing would have given me more pleasure. I wanted to stand up, grab him by his hood, lift his feet off the floor and perhaps drop him down the bus stairwell.
Leaning over I would shout down ‘Are you alright mate? Sorry about that, my hand slipped.’
Over six foot tall, and well built, I was very capable of throwing him down the stairs but I didn’t want to light up this scene any more than it was already lit. So I stayed seated. The mother turned round and looked at me, a worried, tight face. The kid struggled off her lap and tumbled onto the litter crusted floor. Snake Neck bent down and roughly pushed the kid over onto his back. The mother leant forward into the aisle to grab him but Snake Neck got between her and the child. I looked down at my hands. I looked up at the ceiling. I sighed. And I stood up. Unfurl is probably a better description. Stood up implies I went from seated to upright in one move but in reality it was more like a black sail slowly being released from a mast. Sounds impressive but unfortunately, for me, it ratcheted everything up a notch. Hoodie’s face travelled upwards with mine as I rose and I could see his drug-ravaged nose and I could smell his breath, so bad it would have melted glass. Amazing observational skills! I’m a security expert; it’s my job to take note. I just wished I’d been more observant about what he was doing with his right hand! Shifting the front of his coat backwards, his hand moved into his pocket. I saw the glint of a knife. Shit. I felt a dull thud against my thigh. Not exactly painful, more like a punch. But a warm trickle down my leg was proof of the stab. He thrust the knife at me again, higher this time. Instinctively I raised my arm, my forearm towards him. The knife caught me again and this time I felt the pain.
‘Christ all bloody mighty!’ I shouted. The woman next to me started to scream. Or maybe it was me. I fell back onto the seat and everything went black.
I was dozing. But things were different. I could hear sirens. And someone was trying to stick something into my arm. I struggled back to reality and realised I was in an ambulance and a paramedic was setting up an IV tube. First thought was I wondered how they’d got me down the bus stairs. Second thought, was I dying? My third thought was where the hell are my trousers? A commotion was going on by the ambulance door. Lifting up an inch or two I saw a worried face peer in, the kid asleep on her shoulder.
Word count: 721
TMA 01 Part 3
After I finished the cluster I researched the effect of sniffing drugs on your nose. The research I did for exercise 2.6 (p.41) gave me the idea for an attack on a bus. Browsing for an interesting item, I found an online BBC article about a man who had been attacked with a knife by a youth on a bus and nearly lost his life. So I had the scenario of a knife attack linked possibly to drugs. After reading the chapter, ‘Writing what you know’(pp. 44-55) in the workbook, I thought about the experience of a recent bus trip where a child had cried throughout and the true story of a friend’s son, who been attacked by a gang . I made notes throughout the chapter and using these and the freewrite I brought them together in this passage. It has morphed from its initial form and has been re-written and over written quite a lot but it is still the same basic story of a man who makes a decision. To stand up. Unusually I also found myself writing the scene as a man. This is not something I have done before.Reading more like a writer I have begun analysing what I read and looking at the devices authors use. Harlan Corben writes murder mysteries, quite gruesome, but there is always humour, sometimes dark but not always. He uses humour throughout his novels and I have found it incredibly effective and enjoyable. I have used a little humour in my piece and if I were to continue writing crime fiction I think it is something I would try and include.
Word count: 273
Anderson, L (ed.) Creative Writing: A workbook with readings, Abingdon, Routledge /
Milton Keynes, The Open University.
BBC News (2011) BBC 1, 20 September 2011