Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dilute Solution

This story is a response to a challenge by Mattrozi. His challenge was to write a story with a maximum of 300 words that had the word "dilute" in the title, and the following words at least once within the story: "dilution", "legacy", "river" and "red".

How well did I meet the challenge? You decide. Have a read, and then add your comments.

Thanks to Mattrozi for his challenge. Mattrozi writes a poetry blog called Cleveland Thomas.

Tara's red t-shirt was tight on her. She liked that. Even though no-one could see her down here at the river, she still felt proud and powerful. Her mother had left her a wonderful legacy, and she was glad for it.

She removed the shirt and her shorts, and stood for a moment in the shade of the gum tree in her black one-piece swimsuit, before going into the water. The water was cold on her skin, and felt fresh and exciting. The way her body reacted to the cold still intrigued and excited her. She drew out the swim for a few minutes, holding out on herself, making herself wait. Her breathing was fast and shallow from the cold and the anticipation.

Back on the shore, she took the plastic drink bottle from her backpack and drank. She finished almost half of it in one go, and then gasped for air. She felt the effect of the vodka in the cordial almost immediately. Tara smiled, and finished the bottle. She lay down on her back on the rough sand with the afternoon sun on her face, and enjoyed the feeling of the alcohol as it warmed her belly and her cheeks. Soon her legs didn't even feel attached to her body.

The vodka was easy to get. She took it from the Smirnoff bottle in the liquor cupboard, and then made up the volume with water. The vodka was used only for mixing with orange juice for Tara's mother. She would never notice the dilution. There was usually a fresh bottle every week or two, allowing Tara a good supply.

Tara's next big project was to find a husband to provide her with a house, car and other necessities.


Mattrozzi said...

Nice story. It made me smile. The imagery was great! There is an ambiguity here. Is her behaviour normal or a little disturbing? I know some wouldn't blink an eye and see what she was doing as perfectly natural. I want to know more about this Tara. The cover-up, the dilute solution, tells the story. You have risen to the challenge. The short length format works!

Bernard S. Jansen said...

Mattrozzi: thanks for your response, I appreciate it.

The ambiguity is deliberate; it is important for the reader to ask the same questions. That's not to say I don't have in mind what I'd like the reader to take away. In this case, I'd find it a "little disturbing" for the reader to consider "her behaviour normal". Though I know many do.