Describe the wrong things


Carol stands absolutely still. In front of her, not more than ten feet away, is a fully-grown black bear. The ferns beneath its feet are crumpled and slightly browning, their delicate fronds pressed into the thick, wet mud of the forest floor. Carol hesitates. Slowly, very slowly, she looks around for a possible escape route. The light falling through the canopy of leaves has a pale, thin quality to it and the air is brackish with a faint scent of the stagnant water from the nearby estuary.
She decides to make a dash for it. Her shoes are slightly too tight, pinching at her toes and digging into the soft skin just above her heels. If she had put on thicker socks this morning, this wouldn’t be a problem, but in her haste to leave the house, she had grabbed a thin white cotton pair designed to sit low on the ankle, hidden below the line of the shoe. Seeing her move, the bear leaps forwards. A plane is flying directly overhead and the sound of its engines is like the rumble of a distant washing machine. It is a passenger plane of some sort – most probably an old 737 with a good few years of service still ahead of it. The bear eats Carol.

11 comments:

  1. Hahahaha! The "nearby estuary" is my favorite.

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  2. Hilarious! When I read this, what made it even funnier were the Google ads on the page for 'Wool socks' and 'Ecco Womens Shoe'!
    Thanks for the laugh - and may I promise to avoid washing machine similes hereafter!

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  3. Hilarious, and yet very close to the truth. This is exactly why I hate overly-descriptive prose.

    PS I hate you for having the idea for this blog before I did.

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  4. I'm a big fan of yours, Doctor. A big fan.

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  5. I dunno, I felt like it was one of those "so scared I noticed every little thing" moments.

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  6. For me, it could pass as a "so scared I noticed every little thing"... until the part about the socks. I loved the "If she had put on thicker socks" sentence - so pedestrian it totally derails everything.

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  7. Excellent, made me laugh, thanks for sharing, always enjoy visiting here.
    martine

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  8. I'm in awe of the delicate fronds - so many adjectives, so little time..

    Great post and I wish I could be so good at being so bad:-)

    Lesley

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  9. How you gonna outrun a bear? Carol's only hope of escape was in keen awareness in her surroundings. Unfortunately it didn't help her, but in the moment she wasn't paying attention to the size of his teeth questioning whether the bear could bite off an arm—it's a bear, people! It could bite off her head! In her final moments she could only breathe in her surroundings and pause in faint remorse of a minute decision.

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  10. Proper strategies when attacked by a bear (in North America, anyway):

    If it's a grizzly bear, play dead. Grizzlies won't eat carrion, and though it may turn you over a time or two, it will eventually leave you alone.

    If it's a black bear, it's attacking you because it's starving. Fight back! Throw stones if possible, sticks if that's all you've got. Do anything you can to make yourself too expensive as prey.

    If it's a polar bear, it doesn't matter what you do. Fight, run, play dead ... you will be killed and eaten.

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