Weekend Workshop Assignment

This weekend I once again immersed myself in the world of writing. We were assigned a challenge. Write a one page piece with a clear beginning, middle, and end. It should have a conflict (rising action) and resolution. Achieving all this in one page is a particular battle for me as I struggle to be concise. Here is what I wrote:

            August in Madrid is oppressive on a level I’ve never experienced before. An intense, dry, blinding heat that pounded down on me. There was no humidity. Not a drop of moisture to be had. Nothing to relieve the intensity. It made a body move slow. Each step I took was weighed down, and I had no choice but to adjust my pace to that of the local’s. I began to understand precisely why the madrileños take things the way they do.

            It was in this heat that I came to spend a long weekend with my friends and their children. Miguel and Juanita reminded me that I was far from home and my own family. They said come spend a family weekend with us. I could not and did not object.

            Thursday afternoon, before we were due to drive to the mountains, was still a work day. I was working remotely, Miguel from the store, and Juanita had to run out of the house for a short meeting. The children were occupied by Sponge Bob. In theory, everything was under control. Juanita left her children under my and Sponge Bob’s supervision.

            Not ten minutes after their mother had left, I hear a wailing sound come from the attached garage. Three year old Mateo had unglued his attention from Sponge Bob, and realized his mother was not there. I entered the garage, and he looked up at me with big, watering, mournful eyes, and wailed, “I’m coooooooooold! I’m cold! I’m cold! I’m cold!” He continued, unceasingly, to repeat this. At first I was completely and utterly bewildered. It must have been forty degrees Celsius. How on earth could this child be cold? But then I understood that this small child did not have the words to tell me, “My mother disappeared, and I need her. I’m frightened. I don’t know when my mother is coming back, or if she ever will.” He could only tell me that he was cold without her.

            Immediately, I gathered Mateo into my arms. Pressing him to my heart. Warming him heart to heart. Never mind that we were both overheated and sweat soaked from the force of the hot air in the garage. Mateo sighed and relaxed against me, his sticky fingers tangling in my hair, tears slowly abating as warmth returned to this chilled little boy.