I read something interesting recently. It was a small excerpt from a Masterclass conducted by the inestimable Margaret Atwood, writer of Handmaid’s Tale (amongst a plethora of other much loved gems). She was talking about choosing somewhere different to start your story, giving the  example of: “It was dark inside the wolf.”

Fabulous isn’t it?

It resonated strongly with me, as I’ve been trying to write a piece – primarily for myself – about the losses I’ve experienced over the last 12 months. (I even hate the phrasing of that as it puts me in the centre of those stories, whereas I am really just a side character.) So while I cast these painful events to one side for now to muse on later, bear with me. I’m going to try this exercise to entertain you (and get out of my head).

See if you recognise this one.

The wind howled around us as my brothers and I huddled in the living room. Each fresh gust had a way of snaking its way under the doors and down the chimney, filling each small room with a fetid stench. We kept well away from the windows and hoped that the strong walls would hold.

So far so good, but my brothers hadn’t been so fortunate. 

My brothers had arrived on my doorstep earlier in the afternoon with tales of cyclonic conditions which reduced both their houses to rubble. Of course I welcomed them in quickly before the winds arrived to take their aim at my abode. I tried not to gloat, but secretly wondered as to how they each came to the decision to use such lightweight materials to construct their houses.

The wind eased for a moment outside, as the wolf took another breath. “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in.”

As the winds swirled around us again, my brothers squealed with fright. I hoped that the house I had carefully crafted from bricks would continue to hold.