Writing 101: Day Nine – Point of View

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

As with many other prompts, I will be adapting this assignment to one of my stories instead of writing about the man, woman and old woman in the park.  The following is present day Jillian & John, set in Atlantis.


The day had been a miserable combination of lecture and negotiation.  Rodney started the day as only Rodney can with a forty-five minute dissertation on the importance of the scientific discoveries on Vollan.  It wasn’t enough that his breakfast was ruined by the intrusion, but Rodney had continued to talk all the way to the scheduled meeting being held in the conference room.  The next two hours were taken up with the complete review of the Vollanese culture.  The only bright spot of that meeting was the fact that Jillian led the discussion.  As the lead anthropologist, she had spent time with the leaders from Vollan and had studied their history and culture.  There would be very specific customs to be observed while meeting with these people.  The problem was that John couldn’t concentrate on anything she was saying.  So when the actual negotiations began between the leaders of Atlantis and Vollan John did his best to blend in and be quiet.

Jillian had set directly across the table from him during the discussions.  More often than not, when John looked up he met her gaze directly.  There was a certain amount of tension between them.  It wasn’t an unfriendly tension.  In fact John truly enjoyed any time they were able to spend together.  Maybe it was just the questions in his own mind. All he knew was that it had been a long day and he went to the training area in hopes of finding Teyla or another partner to spar with.

Before he got to the door, he heard the music.  Surely it was not one of the soldiers training or sparring inside.  When the room came into view, John could see Jillian inside.  Her long auburn hair was curled up into a mess of a bun atop her head.  She was clothed in her dance attire, right down to the shoes.  She was lost in the music and didn’t immediately notice him there.  John knew in that moment that he could watch her forever.  All of the summer nights from so many years ago came rushing to him.  The way her body moved against his, the passion they shared on the dance floor and off.

All of a sudden, the music swelled and Annalii turned and leaped, landing a few feet from John and facing his direction.  The glow of her flushed face and the look in her eyes were his undoing.  Dropping the Bantos rods, John crossed the distance between them with swift, long strides.  When he reached her, his hands were on either side of her face and he was kissing her, hard.  The years of missing her had been nothing compared to the months of being near her again.  Her mouth was soft and inviting, allowing his tongue access to glide across her own.

Then it was too much.  He was breathing hard, feeling so much for her.  John had to pull his lips from hers.  Immediately however, he placed one arm around her back and one around her head, crushing her to his chest.  “God, I’ve missed you.”  He could feel her labored breathing, even the beat of her heart.  He wasn’t sure if it was from the dance or their embrace, but he didn’t care.  All that mattered was that she was in his arms at last.  Her response was wordless as she slipped her arms around his waist and held him tight.

They stood like that for awhile, with the music still playing in the background.  Finally, John put his hand under her chin and gently lifted, looking into her eyes.  Her face was almost unreadable.  “Jillian, I want you back.  I need you in my life.  It’s been hell having you work so near me and yet being so far.  I know it was a long time ago, but…”

Jillian reached up and put her index finger over his lips.  “How about we take it one step at a time, fly boy?”

Amused, John lifted a single eyebrow.  “What did you have in mind?”

As the music changed to a sweet jazz melody,  Annalii smiled and took his hand.  “Dance with me.”


Jillian let out a sigh of relief when she found the room empty.  This room, which was often used for training, was the largest space for her to dance in.  What truly made it her favorite though was the way the sun softly illuminated the room through the colorful windows, especially near sunset as it was now.

She placed her iPod in the dock of the music system and stepped back to begin her warm ups.  Stepping up to the barre that had been added to the room for her use, she slipped into first position to begin the plies, battements and rond de jambes to warm up the muscles in her arms and legs.  After a few minutes, she moved into stretches as the soft piano music lilted from the speakers.  It felt so good to settle into this familiar routine after the day she’d had.  In all reality, the day had been a success.

Over the past two weeks, Jillian had spent time living among the people of Vollan.  She had studied their history as well as their current culture.  She immersed herself into their society and lived as one of them for a short time.  This was important because even Teyla and Ronan were mostly unfamiliar with these very private people.  If the Atlantis expedition had any hope of sharing resources with the Vollanese, it had to be done delicately.  So today, when she was faced with leading a two hour discussion on what she had learned about their culture, she was ready.

She hadn’t been ready, however, to face John’s scrutiny.  Just knowing he was following her every move with those green gold eyes of his was enough to keep her flustered and slightly off her game.  She could no longer deny the effect he had on her.  It was the same one she had felt all those years ago in Cabo.  Seeing him again for these past few months, she had found herself slowly drawn to him again, in a low orbit that drew her slower nearer to him until she couldn’t pull away.  That afternoon, she was caught staring at him on more than one occasion as she thought back to the days and nights they had spent together.

Get a grip Reynolds! Jillian thought to herself.  A lot of time has passed since then.  Life moves on, and I’m sure he has too.  

Finished with her warm ups, Jillian scrolled through the music on her iPod and selected the perfect song.  As the music came on she found herself mixing classic ballet moves with modern jazz and interpretive moves.  As always, she found freedom and confidence in the dance.  When she was performing, the rest of the world fell away and she could lose herself in the music.  It seemed to carry her without thought through the steps, turns and jumps.

During her third song, she found herself crossing the room with a sudden leap into a turn. When she looked up, Jillian’s feet stopped, seemingly glued to the floor.  She was staring straight at the very same man she was dancing to forget.  Before she had a chance to react, he crossed the floor in long, graceful strides and stopped inches in front of her.  Her breathing was labored as she looked into his eyes.  She no longer could tell if it was caused by the dance or his proximity.  Suddenly his hands were framing her face, drawing her lips up to meet his in a frenzied kiss.

Just as quickly, he pulled away, but not completely.  Jillian found herself crushed into John’s chest as his arms held her tightly.  “God, I’ve missed you.”  She could feel his breath as his words came out in a rush near her ear.  Dazed as she was, she could only return his embrace and revel in the moment.  She had dared not hope he could still feel anything for her.  She had been so wrong to let him go then.  She never wanted to let him go now.

When he pulled back again, it was to lift her face and gaze into her eyes.  She was so stunned she couldn’t even think how to feel or react.  Then he spoke.  “Jillian, I want you back.  I need you in my life.  It’s been hell having you work so near me and yet being so far.  I know it was a long time ago, but…”

Jillian reached up and put her index finger over his lips.  “How about we take it one step at a time, fly boy?”

Amused, John lifted a single eyebrow.  “What did you have in mind?”

As the music changed to a sweet jazz melody,  Annalii smiled and took his hand.  “Dance with me.”


Rodney could barely contain his joy.  He could almost be considered giddy.  If Rodney ever got giddy that is.  Today had been a huge success.  Not only had he played a key role in the negotiations with the Vollanese, if I do say so myself, he thought, but he had procured their cooperation with all of the technology he had been looking to acquire.  Yes, he was practically bouncing on his toes.

The only thing that had marred an otherwise remarkable day was Jillian.  She seemed so… average in her role of facilitator today. Jillian didn’t do average, Rodney knew.  He decided he needed to talk to her to see what was going on.  Not wanting to give her a a chance to brush him off, Rodney decided to use the cameras set throughout Atlantis to determine her location.  After a few moments, he found her alone in the training room she sometimes used as a dance studio.

Quickly, he made his way to the closest transport and made his way to where he had found her.  As he rounded the corner, he found Shepherd standing in the doorway, Bantos sticks in hand.  As quickly as he saw them though, they were thrown to the floor as John disappeared inside.  Hesitantly, Rodney followed to the doorway and looked inside.

What he saw made his heart drop.  There were his friends, Jillian and John, locked in a passionate embrace.  He knew he should walk away, but he couldn’t make himself do it.   Of course, he knew they had been an item years ago when the met by chance in Cabo.  Yet she had been here for eight months and neither of them had made a move to be together.  He had grown to believe, as he had always hoped, that there was a chance that this girl he’s known since grade school could possibly love him.  Yet here was the proof before him.  He could not deny the desire he saw.  But would it last?

He stayed in the doorway a bit longer, still unseen.  As Rodney watched, he saw John gently lift Jillian’s face to meet his gaze.  Althought he couldn’t hear what was said, he could read the love on the other man’s face.  Within moments, the music changed to an old American standard that Rodney recognized.  As Jillian placed her hands in John’s hold, Rodney watched what seemed to be the girl of his dreams dancing away from him forever.



Write about acceptable losses…

John and Rodney were still arguing when they walked into Jillian’s office.  They were covered in ash and dirt and smelled of smoke and gunfire. 

“That was millions of dollars in equipment that you left behind there!  Not to mention the invaluable data from the samples we had collected.   With that soil and those plants we could have found the…”

“Rodney!” John bellowed, interrupting.  “We barely got out of there with our lives!   Did you want me to risk the lives of the entire scientific team for a few jars of dirt?”

They had left earlier in the day with Rodney leading a team of scientists in a research mission.   They plan was to harvest local crops and soil samples from a planet similar in size and climate to Earth.  John had gone along to pilot the jumper.  This was the fifth time a team from Atlantis had visited the planet.  Each time had been peaceful.  In fact there was talk of making a Beta camp there.  From the looks of it , things had changed.

“We have no way of knowing if they were a true enemy.  They only started firing on us when we got near the jumper.”  Rodney said.

“When they pulled guns, I had a pretty idea they weren’t our friends.”

“Maybe they were just startled.  Likely defending their crops from thieves like us.  It doesn’t matter, I can’t believe you left that equipment behind!”

“Rodney, I’m willing to sacrifice a lot of things for this mission, but human lives are not acceptable losses.  Machines are!

Jillian had had enough.  Walking up between them, she put a hand on each man’s shoulders and said, “Do you two need to hug it out?”