Each year the SCWC*SD holds a writing contest in which all conferees are invited to participate. The rules are simple: Write a piece in any form you wish of no more than 250 words based on the topic announced Friday night. The topic for the 25th annual San Diego conference was “Any Spelling of the Word ‘No.'”
Her toes fluttered the air, a nervous habit that once amused but now distracted him.
“Must you?” he said.
“I can’t relate to her fear,” she said.
Her husband set down his book.
“In the scene a stalker attacks her while she takes a bath.”
“Take a bath. You’ll figure it out,” he said.
She sighed at the papers strewn over the sofa and dragged herself to the bathroom.
# # #
Chamber music drifted from the bedroom. The lavender salts soothed her muscles and she forgot her novel. The light faded behind her eyelids as she slid deeper into the tub. The cello hushed. The water embraced her face as she rode the tide of each breath. In the stillness her heartbeat echoed in her ears.
Movement. She opened both eyes. Two hands pinned her shoulders to the bottom.
His face–her husband.
Her lungs burned. Her legs flailed. She grabbed at the rim of the tub unable to lift herself against his weight. Her clenched lips craved air.
He lifted her and said, “Now you know. Go write the scene.”