Sunday, July 12, 2009

For your enjoyment:

Here, for your enjoyment, is another short story of sorts. I don't think this can really be considered a story though...it's more of a...creative tidbit? I don't know. I was bored and thoughtful one day and this is what came of it. I look forward to hearing what you have to say. :)

The heat was soft and damp, but far from comforting. It felt as if the sky were pressing down upon the earth, smothering it. Every home had the AC running constantly. Saving money wasn’t an option in weather like this. Everything was still. The humid air flattened everyone to the ground and dared them to try and move.

At the gas station, old Neilson was leaning on the counter and fanning himself with a used scratch off ticket. Every time the door was pulled open by a customer a new wave of heat rolled in and he fanned more frantically.

He had lived in this city for years, but this was the first summer he could ever remember being this miserably hot. The door opened. He fanned. A girl brought a bottle of orange soda to the register. He told her the price without scanning the bottle and gave her the appropriate change when she paid him.

“Don’t stay out there too long, miss,” he said. “You’ll melt.”

She laughed. “Not me. I love it.” He gave her a look that questioned her sanity, but then relaxed the expression, assuming she was making a joke.

“Mmmmhm. Sure,” he responded with a chuckle.

“No, I’m serious. I really love it. Summer makes me feel alive.” He wondered at how she could possibly feel alive when everything was withering under the sun. He tried to remember if he’d ever felt that way.

“Enjoy it then,” he told her as she turned to leave.

She flashed him a brilliant smile. “I will.” She left then, and as another wave of heat rolled in through the door Neilson could swear he saw every muscle in her body relax under the sun’s glare. Her walk transformed from that of any bouncy teen to the lithe step of a ballerina. She positively oozed grace and peace. He grinned and shook his head. Crazy kid, thought the old man.

He resumed fanning, but his mind wandered. He recalled days spent wading in creeks, and long lazy afternoons lying on a picnic blanket in the sweltering sun. He thought about the way it felt to snap a fresh cucumber from the vine, or the touch of a cool cloth on his forehead after a long day in the fields. He remembered the way his girl’s lips had tasted as they twirled under the summer stars to the sound of singing crickets.

Maybe the kid wasn’t so crazy after all. Maybe she was just young, and able to feel happy and alive even with all the weight of the sky on her shoulders. He smiled again, and when his shift ended he grabbed two orange sodas.

He walked through the front door of his home with a lighter step than he had in years. He kissed his wife, put a bottle of soda in her hand, and pulled her back through the front door into the blissful summer twilight where the crickets were chirping and the stars were just beginning to dance into the sky.

11 comments:

  1. aww this story is sweet. your words flow beautifully :)

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  2. wow! that was so beautiful. i have really been fet up with hot hot and humid its been and that made me no care one bit! wow! haha im still amazed :)

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  3. "He recalled days spent wading in creeks, and long lazy afternoons lying on a picnic blanket in the sweltering sun. He thought about the way it felt to snap a fresh cucumber from the vine, or the touch of a cool cloth on his forehead after a long day in the fields. He remembered the way his girl’s lips had tasted as they twirled under the summer stars to the sound of singing crickets."

    I LOVE that paragraph.

    And, incidentally, I love the whole story. Wow. I call tidbits like these 'snapshots'... Not perfectly plotted full-blood stories with turning points and conclusions, but little windows into a certain moment. And frankly, I think they can work better than traditional short stories if they're well-written, as yours most definitely is. Short and sweet, nothing extra. I love it.

    x, Iida

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  4. You've got the gift girl. Simply wonderful!

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  5. Lovely story, Carrie. Even though it is short it speaks volumes and is very uplifting.

    Beautiful imagery as well.

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you!

    Nicole, I'm glad! It's been miserable here as well.

    And Iida, that was one of my favorite pieces to write. :)

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  7. I'd say you've got the knack of describing people and places down pat! I was awed by the delightful and vivid imagery in this piece. This looks like the beginning of something beautiful. Well done.

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  8. Awe! I want to go buy 2 orange sodas now.

    Sadly, I'm almost 22 and I identify more with Neilson than the young girl. I can still vividly remember the more carefree days though...

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  9. Oh. My. God. That was AWESOME! I could never write like that! You're descriptions were amazing, it's like I was really there in the story! I enjoy writing stories myself, but I write more like Jordan Sonnenblick.

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Thanks so much for letting me know what you think.