So I did this exercise wrong. Since I skipped last week’s assignment on action, I was anxious to get back to Cyprian and Hal, but didn’t read the instructions carefully (I do things like that and also break rules). Anyway, here is this week’s installment taken from the dog’s point of view (remember from the last prompt installment, Cyprian was ordered to get a dog). Please suspend disbelief. It was originally 700 words and I had to whittle it down to 300.
Exercise: The Other Side of the Story
In 400 words orless, rewrite a scene from a story familiar to most of us from the point of view of someone other than the main character. Tell us the name of the story you have chosen and who your viewpoint character is, and then show us what is different about the way that character sees the action and personalities involved.
When he was nine weeks old Pup was introduced to another Human who would become his Mother. When he first saw her, she squatted down and put her hand—the palm facing forward—for Pup to sniff. Her scent was like clean, sweet grass, with a hint of bananas and cream. Pup licked it, and She looked up to Him and said, “I think he likes me.”
He who Smirked when Pup was around said, “I suppose he’ll be my competition for your affections.”
She laughed, “Don’t be silly. You both have my love equally.”
“Spoken like a true Marxist,” He who Smirked said.
Months passed, and Pup’s name was now Max Eastman. Mother argued for that while He who Smirked said that it was long that he would not respond to it. What He who Smirked didn’t know was that he could understand everything and was bilingual!
One afternoon while he was basking in the sun on the sofa, Mother sat next to him. She said he had an important job. She took his red Coach collar, and with manicure scissors tore a small section of the stitched leather. He watched Mother as she took a tiny square from the pocket of her blouse and inserted it inside his collar.
“We’ll take it to Yuri to sew it together. No one will suspect,” she said.
No one ever did. Not the men with the blue jackets and with the large yellow letters, who ransacked Mother’s flat after she disappeared, and not even He who Smirked knew he carried an important secret.
Months later He who Smirked took him on a journey to Moscow to visit Mother. Her name, he said wasn’t Cyprian, but Yulia. In Moscow, he sniffed the air, the scent of sweet grass, bananas and cream was strong. He barked. Mother was near. When he finally saw her, she hugged and kissed him. In their language she said, “You did well, secret-keeper, but you no longer have to carry this burden. Look what I have.” Mother took from her coat’s pocket, a brown leather collar.
“What’s wrong with his red one?” He who smirked said.
“It’s too old and dirty.” She put the new one on, and dropped the old collar in a trash can.
Max Eastman wagged his tail. Their job was finally completed.