A Writing Workshop Writing Sample (Right!?!)
(NOTE: Scary Writing Samples is a series of excerpts created by me and others for use in writing workshops. I needed excerpts that weren’t by “real people” so participants would feel free to say what they really thought. If you wish to use any of these as a sample in a writing workshop or other creative endeavor, please contact me first! This one in particular was for a POV workshop.)
Sample 1: Shallow POV
It had been a long, hard ten hours working the day shift, and Estelle was tired. Her last customer sat in the far booth, and Ditty, the hostess, told her, “He wants coffee, hon, and he said make it fast.”
That annoyed Estelle. She poured the dregs of the coffee pot into a clean mug. It wasn’t enough to fill it. She cut it with decaf and headed towards the table. The guy sat with his back to her so she couldn’t see if she knew him.
Right when she got close, Estelle tripped over the waffle some kid had thrown in the floor. The hot coffee balanced on her tray spilled in her customer’s lap.
He jumped up. “Ouch!” he yelled in pain.
“I’m so sorry!” Estelle couldn’t meet his eyes. She hoped her manager hadn’t seen because he might fire her. All she could tell was that he was tall and had a wet crotch.
“No problem, could have happened to….” His voice broke off. “Estelle, is that you? What are you doing working at Waffle Barn?”
Sample 2: Deep POV
Estelle studied the back of her last customer’s head with something akin to hatred. Ronnie’d promised she could go home by three, and here it was, nearly seven, and the dinner crowd packed into the Waffle Barn like it was the only restaurant in the county. Her feet throbbed like a horse had tromped them. Exhaustion blurred her vision for a minute, or maybe it was these ugly glasses she’d had to wear since her last pair of contacts ripped.
“Earth to Estelle.” Ditty waved a hand in front of her face. “I seated your last ticket. He wants coffee, hon, and he said make it fast.”
“Make it fast, huh? Who do you think’s waiting on him, the President?”
Ditty laughed that smoky laugh of hers, followed by the cough that always made Estelle worry she was going to hack up a lung. Estelle wiped her hands down her stained apron and grabbed a clean mug off the counter. She poured the dregs of the coffee pot into it, but there wasn’t enough. Crap. She eyed the decaf, decided what Mr. Make It Fast didn’t know would probably be good for him, and topped it off.
Each footstep a jolt of agony, Estelle wove around the other diners and waitresses. Her customer had his nose buried in a newspaper. Neatly cropped blonde hair didn’t come close to touching the collar of his dress shirt. Briefcase on the table. He wasn’t anybody local, that was for sure. Probably some kind of engineer at the new aeronautics plant.
A crowd of truckers who came in every Tuesday rose from the table next to her customer.
“Hey, sugar, I liked that pie,” one of them said. She smiled and avoided his ass-grab with a practiced hop that didn’t even cause the cup of coffee on her tray to ripple.
Unfortunately, she landed right on a discarded waffle some kid had tossed in the floor. She slipped and the hot coffee slid off the tray, right into her customer’s lap.
He jumped up like–hell, like somebody’d poured hot coffee in his lap. “What the hell?”
Oh, God. Oh, no. She was going to get fired. Fired and sued. She fixated on his crotch, a place she didn’t normally stare. Coffee splatted across his khaki pants in what had to be burning agony. Burning agony of the dingus.
“I’m so sorry!” she babbled. “It’s on me. I mean, it’s on you, but I’ll pay, I mean–“
No problem, could have happened to….” His voice broke off. “Estelle, is that you? What are you doing working at Waffle Barn?”
© 2005 Jody Wallace