Monday, 17 June 2013

Favourite Scenes

Writers shouldn't have favourite characters, right?  Well, maybe it's because Becca is a little bit awkward and a little bit bolshie the way I can be that makes me love her so much.

We're allowed to have favourite scenes though, so I thought I'd share one from the end of chapter 12, beginning of 13 in my teenage book 'Re: Becca'.
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Remember the school Games lessons on those horrible barren wastelands called playing fields?  Here Becca has just been (as usual) the last one picked for hockey teams and she's not having much fun. Until...

‘Okay… and… Bully-OFF!’ Miss Jordan shrieks and blows the whistle so shrilly that any dogs within a ten mile radius will be spinning on the spot before heading in our direction.  

       I sigh despondently,  though I take my stance and try to look like I mean it.  But before the game has a chance to get underway, I hear a loud CRA-ACK!   Pain shoots up from the base of my leg and I am immediately pole-axed and lying in a state of agony on the muddy grass, clutching my ankle for dear life.  I don’t even need to turn round to see what the hell has happened to me because it’s taken place so many times before that Miss Jordan probably thinks I’m a secret epileptic or something.  This is a foul carried out by one of the minions under Juliette’s control by a strike to the ankle with a hockey stick and if it didn’t hurt so much I’d be rolling my eyes with the whole boring monotony of it all.
‘PPPPEEEEEP!’ the whistle slices sharply through the air again and Miss Jordan springs over to me, her breath white in the chilled morning air.  She bends down and glares at me as if I’ve just dropped something messy on her nice clean carpet.  Deliberately.  She does my mum’s hands on hips stance and I swallow beneath her, waiting.
‘Becca Banks!’ she scowls accusingly – like I’m doing this to secure a curl-up-and-die part in this year’s school production.  ‘What do you think you’re doing down there?’
Seriously, so many words have to be bitten back where teachers are concerned.  WTF  d’you think I’m doing down here, Miss? Springs to mind but before I know it, I’m being hauled to my one good foot by Claire and Miss Jordan and virtually dragged over to the reserves bench.  The pain is spiking right up my leg and they lump me down and leave me. 
‘Sit it out,’ Miss Jordan huffs and then runs jauntily off back towards the field peeping her whistle like she’s peeping for bloody victory.  Stupid ignorant lesb…
‘This the injuries bench then?’ a voice splits the silence. 
I turn around to see a tall tracksuit looking a whole lot warmer than I feel, hobbling towards me, the hood pulled down close to its owner’s nose.  I can’t quite make out who it is but the voice sounds familiar.
 ‘Can I?’  the tracksuit points to the bench and as I nod, it sits down beside me.  ‘You look cold,’ he says, lifting his hooded face  to the sky.  I wonder why he isn't glued to the female forms as they bounce and bob their way after the stupid hockey ball on the field in front of us.  I open my mouth to tell him that, yeah, strangely enough, I am actually ber-luddy freezing as it happens but I’m hypnotized into silence as my eyes see long nimble fingers tear down the zip, pull both arms out of the sleeves and then the still-warm track-suit top is wrapped around my shivering torso in one seamless move.
 ‘Better?’ Judd Crawley smiles chivalrously into my astonished face.


13.

When our grandchildren ask me to tell them the exact moment I realised I wanted to be with their grandfather for a lifetime - if not longer - I shall tell them that we were sitting together on a very damp, very cold wooden seat at the Hartley Road Upper playing fields.  We’d both been in our respective sports classes and, as luck would have it, had become contemporaneously injured and arrived here, on the reserves bench, at almost the same time.  
Fate.
I sit and relish being in the warmth of Judd Crawley’s fleecy lined tracksuit top, my skin heating up nicely from the mere proximity of his body beside me.  On a deeper level, I also feel all the stuffing which had been so cruelly pulled from my insides not minutes before, return to my body a gazillionfold.  Only this time my innards are suffused with a radiance of proper happiness. I may actually be floating at least five centimetres off this bench for all the reality I’m feeling right now.   I’ve already screwed my eyes shut tight twice and opened them just to be on the safe side; to make sure I’m not concussed or anything – er - from the ankle?  Well, who knows. But he’s still here.  Sitting beside me.  And I have his fleecy top wrapped around my body.  HIS fleecy top.  Around MY body.

3 comments:

Derek said...

I really like the emphasis at the end, and the sound of Becca's voice throughout. You can tell that the character 'lives'. Are all favourite scenes revealing or pivotal, I wonder? Thanks for sharing an evocative piece.

Debs Riccio said...

Thanks Derek, for reading and commenting :)I'd have to mull over a favourite scene being revealing/pivotal. What say you?

Derek said...

I think, to some extent, they're pivotal to the author. Maybe it's the moment when you realise that the character comes alive, or you really begin to understand them. Or else it's that moment where the momentum shifts and things start coming together.

My sense is that we have favourite passages not only for those reasons, but also for the quality of the writing and what it says about us as writers.