Thursday, September 29, 2011

Behind Schedule

 It had taken so long to get here, now that the end was in sight Charlie could hardly contain his excitement. Patience, he thought to himself. You've waited this long, you can wait a few more minutes. 

The subway car slowed for another stop and as people got off and more people got on Charlie gave up his seat to a young mother with a toddler and a giant stroller loaded with shopping bags.

"Thank you," she said, relief in her eyes as she sat down and pulled her son into her lap. Keeping one hand on the stroller to keep it from completely blocking the aisle.

The train slowed again and Charlie smoothed down the from of his suit jacket in nervous anticipation. MacPherson Square said the barely audible voice over the loudspeaker. He would still have a few blocks to walk but it was a beautiful fall day, he would enjoy it.

Years of patience, planning and focus had culminated in him finally getting the job he'd wanted since childhood. Of course, today would be the day his car wouldn't start. Luckily, his habit of leaving time for any eventuality had come in handy. That and the Metro station a block from his new apartment.

The doors to the car opened and Charlie stood to the side to let a couple of ladies exit first. He was just about to step onto the platform himself when the third woman, stopped abruptly in front of him and whirled around.

"My portfolio!" she gasped bumping into him as she tried to get back into the car. The tangle of their side to side dance lasted just long enough for the doors to begin to close. Finally just pushing past him, the woman raced to the seat she'd just left and grabbed the well-worn black messenger bag from under the seat. "Crap," she said looking up and seeing the platform disappear as the train entered the tunnel.

"Did you miss your stop too?" She asked coming to stand beside Charlie next to the door.

"No thanks to you," he muttered glancing at his watch. He still had 10 minutes to get to work. He didn't like the thought of cutting it so close on his first day. But what could he do? He took a moment to look at the Metro Map to see how far away the next stop would leave him.

"I'm sorry," the woman smiled up at him flashing him a smile, complete with dimples and a happy green eyes. "We can just get off at the next stop, its only a few blocks out of your way I'm sure."

Charlie nodded, before he could orient himself using the map, the train came to a stop and the doors opened. The woman grabbed him by the arm and pulled him out of the car. "Come on, I'll take you back to the square. I'm Erin, by the way. Where are you headed?"


This week’s Indie Ink Challenge came from Kayla, who gave me this prompt: write about a person who does everything "by the book". I challenged Hannah with the prompt: I've never done anything like this before. Are you sure it's safe?

I'm not thrilled with my work, but I want to keep working on these two characters. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Favor

Her favorite color was lavender. But she ruthlessly shoved past her new purple top in search of the drab olive green blouse her mother had given her for her last birthday. She was going to the ballroom tonight, but she wasn’t going to have fun or try to hard. 

She owed Dan a favor and this was how he chose to collect. By making her accompany him to the Friday night swing dance class so he could be assured of having a partner once the open dancing started. It didn’t hurt that she’s been the one to introduce him to the hobby so she knew what she was doing.

She was scraping her long dark brown hair into a messy ponytail when her doorbell rang setting her dog, Milo off on a cacophony of delighted barking as he raced to the front door.

“You ready?” Dan asked.

“Give me five minutes,” she said opening the door and walking back to her bedroom. She smudged on the barest hint of black eyeliner and a single coat of mascara before grabbing a sheer rose colored lip-gloss from her basket of makeup and slipping it into her back pocket along with her driver’s license and cash.

She paused before leaving her room to take a couple of calming breaths. It was ok. She was allowed to go out and have fun.

“Hurry it up,” Dan called. “I don’t want to miss the lesson.”

“You know I can give you a quick refresher when we get there?” she reminded him as she came down the hall.

Dan was still standing by the door, Milo sitting at his feet begging for a good pet. “Yes, but I already know you. I want to meet some new ladies and the partner switching during the lesson is the easiest way the break the ice.”

She rolled her eyes and grabbed her keys from the table by the door. “Be good Milo, I love you!” she said with a quick couple of pats before leading Dan out the door.


Thanks to Alison and the II Writing Challenge for a truly inspiring prompt: Her favorite color was lavender. I think I may have the beginning of something pretty good here.

Be sure to swing by Debra's blog to see how she answered my challenge.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Go fish.

Growing up, my family took a lot of road trips. We were pretty poor. But every couple of years there was a summer road trip to somewhere. Montana, Missouri, Victoria Canada, Texas... and all stops in between.

On the Montana trips we would often stop to fish in one of the many creeks or rivers we passed. My brother and I each had our own poles and creels and I wasn't the least bit squeamish about impaling an earthworm or cricket on my hook. My dad would give my brother and I our little cans of bait and send us off. Never out of shouting distance, but we had quite a bit of freedom for 7 and 9-year-olds.

I don't remember where we were on this particular day, but I remember finding my spot up river from my mom on a big outcropping of rocks. An older woman was fishing from the other end of the rocks and I being a social (chatterbox) little kid quickly struck up a conversation with her.

This lady had a bunch of fish dangling from her line (whatever its called when you sting a fish by its gills and let it float in the water?) and I was impressed. I don't remember a word of our conversation but I do remember what happened after she caught a fish.

"I don't like them to suffer," she said before grabbing the trout (most likely) by the tail and whacking its head on the rock next to her. I was too young to understand the irony of the situation and I don't remember any of our conversation after that. But I do remember my mom calling me over and making me fish beside her the rest of the day.

Now that I am an aunt (to the cutest little boy in the world) I can't imagine letting him wander around in the wilderness talking to strangers, but it was a far different time back then. Wasn't it? Then again there was a weird lady bashing fish to death in front of little girls...


Thanks Feisty Cat for the inspiration as part of the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. Want to join in the fun?