Writers' Workshop #2 - Conflict from a set opening line

Reply Wed 18 Jun, 2003 04:39 pm
New challenge: http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8661

Feel free to continue with this one, if you wish. :-D
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Reply Wed 18 Jun, 2003 07:24 pm
By BumbleBeeBoogie

"You're new to the neighborhood, aren't you?"

Startled, Mary turned toward the sound of the unfamiliar voice.

"I ain't seen you here before. Are you new to the neighborhood?" asked the flower vendor.

"Yes, just moved here. My husband and I both work in this area."

"Welcome to the neighborhood," smiled the old man as he handed her a daisy. "You're lucky that both of you have jobs in these trying times. What work do you do?"

"I'm a hat model."

"That's not surprising, you're beautiful."

"Thank you, you're so nice. Bye Bye."

Mary turned, waving goodbye. She Zigzagged her way down the crowded sidewalk, her hair trying to free itself from its coil in the wind. People rushing toward her dodged to defend themselves against the big red hat box she carried. It led the way, banging like a bell's clapper against her legs as she trailed behind it. A tan dress bag was flung over her shoulders. It flapped in the wind as if it were a flag on the deck of a ship at sea.

A blast of warm September wind pushed against Mary reminding her of the fierce storm that sank the Morro Castle cruise ship the day before. The rain had washed the summer's dust into the gutters, oozing mud in little rivulets toward the storm drains. The storm had torn the leaves from the maple trees lining the street, sweeping them along the sidewalk. They piled up against tree trunks, light poles, and garbage cans set out for collection in the morning.

Sid called to her from the corner where they met after work each night. They joined hands and continued their homeward journey. Several strollers were still out. Couples peered into dimly lighted shop windows, exclaiming over the new fall dresses and suits, pointing at marcasite jewelry, or wondering about the new vacuum cleaners. Like the other strollers, Mary and Sid often window-shopped at night after the shops were closed. But tonight, they just admired their reflection in the windows, as their strong strides carried them down the sidewalk.

At the corner, they noticed the news vendor was preparing to close his newsstand. He was singing, accompanied by soft music coming from a radio on the counter, "Here I go, singin' low...bye, bye blackbird." The rhythmic tattoo of his fingers on the counter jiggled the small Chinese lanterns hanging from the newsstand's roof. Their yellow haze swung back and forth over the magazines and newspapers stacked on the shelves.

Sid dropped three cents in the vendor's cigar box. He picked up a Daily Worker, whose headlines warned about repression by Hitler in Germany and by Franco in Spain.

Mary picked up the New York Times. She read MORRO CASTLE BURNS OFF ASBURY PARK; 250 LISTED AS DEAD OR MISSING. Under it's September 9, 1934 dateline: Rescue lines pick up 157; craft nearby speed to SOS.

Mary shut out the conversation between the two men while she scanned the list of Morro Castle survivors. She didn't expect to find the name of anyone she knew who could afford a cruise to Cuba.

As they continued on their way home, a ventilator in the middle of the street emitted steam that enveloped them in the aroma of freshly baked bread from the nearby bakery.

"Ummm," Mary inhaled, "that bread smells so good, it makes me hungry."

Sid laughed, "You're always hungry."
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Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2003 11:05 am
BBB, I don't want to add any work on, but could you please copy and paste your story to the #3 Workshop thread? That way it'll be together with its instructions. Thanks!
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