A Little Color

I will freely admit that I sometimes add a little color to my photos. I enhance them just slightly, so they look like the original subject, just a little more colorful or interesting.

Do we do this when we write? Do we sometimes take life experiences that had little or no color to speak of and add just a bit of drama to make them interesting?

I think we do. For example, here is a prose poem that I wrote inspired by Shirley Jackson’s short stories and somewhat true events.


As she lifted it by the handles, she saw something beneath the toy rocking horse. Grey fur smashed beneath the rusted springs. A trickle of blood running to toward the drain in basement’s cement floor. She thought it was one of the kid’s stuffed animals; until she cautiously reached down to touch the creature’s warm fur. The animal’s slight body rose and fell with labored breaths. It was Gigi, her long-haired mama cat. Suddenly, the cat’s tiny body seized and shook. She witnessed the animal’s last breath. “Mom!” shouted someone who was home expecting lunch. Throwing a dirty towel over the dead cat, she darted up the stairs. She spread some peanut butter on one slice, cut it diagonally and slammed it on a plate. She ran back downstairs to deal with the cat, and she saw another daughter crouching over the body with a blank stare. “What are you doing home from school?” The girl sat cross-legged hovering over the lifeless figure. “Do you know what happened to Gigi?” she asked. “No” said the child said coldly and tentatively. Together, they wrapped the cat in the white, threadbare towel, opened the heavy cellar door latch and climbed the cement steps cradling the swaddled corpse. They pushed the outer doors up, which banged and flapped with each sharp wind gust. Fall winds ripped the last few multicolored leaves from the swaying trees. “Grab the shovel”. Raindrops slowly fell from the darkened sky moistening the grave site dirt. Two sticks crossed and held by rubber bands marked Gigi’s new home. The mother and child whispered a benediction. Only the mother cried.


Ok, this is not a true story, but I did find a dead cat in my basement once that was apparently “crushed” by a toy rocking horse. As I child, I had no idea that the horse could not have killed the cat. So, I added color, drama, enhancement, just to make it a little more interesting.

Now, you try. Take a simple experience, and add some color to it. Post your results in the comments.

Happy Writing,


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