Wednesday, February 13, 2013

120: Time

The clock on the wall said 3 o'clock.  Last call for alcohol.  The night air was chilled with a slight breeze along which the smell of last call wafted. It was dark but for a small bit of moonlight filtered down through the fog between the taller buildings a few blocks over.  The streetlight overhead wasn't lit and few cars passed along on the street. There was raucous laughter as a party of three spilled out onto the street, only staying upright because of how tightly they were clinging to one another.  Wobbling down the street I hoped there was a bus or a cab in their future but they turned the corner before too long.  I pulled my coat tighter around me and tried to breathe without sucking in the cold air or the stench of the street - a mixture of dashed hopes, going home alone and desperation of various kinds.  Two police offers walked my way, but I set my face into a hard, stony look and nodded as if I knew I belonged here.  They looked carefully but proceeded on.  In the morning, they wouldn't remember me, I blended in.  If they remembered anyone at all, it would be a bouncer or private security, not that there would be need for the police to even consider this evening or this street.  Before too long, a shaft of light crept from the stoop onto the sidewalk and he stumbled out, a fat balding man in a cheap gray suit.  I stepped away from the lamppost and intercepted him just as he began to fall.  "Woah, buddy, you alright?"  I asked, softening my face into a compassionate smile.  "Thankrssshhh" he drawled, grabbing for my arm.   The non-descript blue or brown van pulled quickly to the curb, the door opened and I used his momentum to push him right in. Just as quickly the door closed and the van pulled quietly but quickly and I walked off trying to remember which side-street my motorcycle was parked on.

120s are my creative writing exercises.  Sometimes they are literally all I can fit into 120 seconds, other times I may spend longer on them.  I don't do these nearly frequently enough.


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