101 words of story.Posted: March 19, 2008
So today in class my creative writing teacher had us write stories exactly 101 words long. Now because I have no homework, I got carried away and wrote three more. I like the 3rd one best, 2nd one least.
She arrived in his life at 42nd street, leaping onto the train, brushing aside already closing doors. She was radiant—an unlikely vision in khaki shorts and a tank top. He sat mesmerized, mind whirling with reasons to ask her name. She balanced 5 feet away, swaying with the motion of the train—one hand on the overhead railing, one hand on the strap of her bag hanging heavy at her side, a textbook peeking out. She noticed him looking, flashed a nervous smile over green plastic glasses. At 51st the train rumbled to a stop and then she was gone.
Thunk thunk thunk. He could smell its scent wafting down from the high shelf he could not reach. It was tantalizing, tangy, warm and enveloping like a puppy’s breath. He closed his eyes, inhaling deeply, allowing it to wash over him in a wave of goodness. His heart raced at the very thought. He found himself getting impatient, unable to stand the wait any longer. It was growing darker, the time growing near. He called to his family—tongue growing moist, breath growing shallow. Truly excited, he sat in anticipation of the fast approaching time to eat. He wagged his tail.
He was the type who played games. Not normal people games with sticks and balls, but games of words and ideas, with money on the line. “Bet you can’t use the word vaguely in every sentence you say today,” they challenged. “That shall be vaguely simple” he countered. And so it went.
“How are you?”
“Ready for that presentation?”
“Decaf or regular?”
“I’m feeling vaguely like decaf today.”
His day was going swimmingly and that pool of cash was his by 5 pm…vaguely. Until he heard the conversational landmine he could not sidestep. “I love you,” she said.
I missed you today. I thought I would see you but I guess you didn’t eat lunch. Or was it that you ate earlier than usual? I mean, most days there you are with your tray of soup and your buttered roll, sitting at the same table four down from my own. Alone. A sight for sore eyes, if you will. My day feels incomplete without your “oh, hi,” tossed over your shoulder as you make your way toward the recycling bin. When will I see you again? Tomorrow? Next week? Tuesdays mean minestrone, your favorite. I’ll be waiting for you.