Playing Out — Draft Sample

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Unedited Sample of my Work-in-progress.... (please be kind)

 



Carole and Paul are treading dirty washing in the bath. It is an arduous chore that requires miles of walking on the spot. Up and down their knees go squashing soapy water through mounds of tangled fabric. The bathtub has distinct zones. Different degrees of dirty water. One area is soap-powder blue whilst another almost black, beneath the taps it is clearer. The coldness of the water seems to make the cloth heavier and they struggle to heave a bath towel out of the clutches of some pinstriped flared trousers. Slopping it down with a splash, they trudge some more.

To make things more comfortable, at the risk of being shouted at, they turn on the hot water tap. This makes the immersion heater react loudly as the guzzling tank refills with cold water. So they open the tap fully to get as much heat as they can before their father calls up the stairs ordering them to turn it off. It is a hazardous task too, large buttons and metal zips often hurt their feet, making them lose balance. The surface of the tub becomes slippery due to the soapy detergent. A miss placed step along the curved sides of the bath, twists ankles. It tends to happen a lot and always unexpectedly. Carole and Paul create an arch by grasping each others shoulders and providing neither of them have got head lice, put their heads together. Initially this was done out of tiredness for extra balance but lately it has become part of a game. Left, right, left, right, left, right they march, steadily getting faster and faster until practically running. Their heads bump together and only when their laughter, or the splashing becomes too much do they halt, panting like eager puppies.

Of all the chores this is Paul’s least favourite although technically he doesn’t really have a favourite. In the end the clothes are cleaned, the bath tub gleams and their feet feel velvety smooth. When the laundry is rinsed, wrung and hung the two are free to play outside.

Hope you liked it...

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