Here is Cherry Doyle’s response to the January Writing Task, where we used a character profile as the basis for a story. It’s the opening of potentially a longer story or novella about
A shaft of sunlight forced its way through the gap in the blinds, burning dust and bending through last night’s empty wine glasses. Blonde hair on marble shoulders shimmered like threads of fire under its persistent rays.
It reminded him of the violence he’d seen in this spot – behind these unused skeleton buildings where no business or shipbuilders dare set foot. Soft skulls exploding under guns barrels, dead weight in and out of car boots, blood running into the water like a river. All the while so helpless to stop. So against his nature - so cruel to stand by and watch a murder.
After 15 years working undercover, he could hide his emotions well, but his inability to interfere was frustrating – he felt like a small cog working towards…who knew?...and he couldn’t tell whether he had any effect. It was this which prompted his early morning walks at the dockyard.
But he couldn’t back out now – he could be killed, or worse – his family could feel the effects of his career choice. He longed for his mother’s kitchen, and mangoes in the morning sun, fat on a blue gingham tablecloth. But he couldn’t. He hadn’t spoken to her for months. She understood, he knew. She was always supportive of him, because she was so happy that he had chosen a career instead of time behind bars. When he specialised as an undercover agent she was noticeably concerned, but she trusted him and he thanked her for it. But now he just wanted the sweet smell of spices, fruit and tea which was ingrained in the yellow painted wood kitchen.