Tag Archives: descriptive

Helen’s Scene

Helen came bouncing through the glass doors, overcoated by brilliant frosty air. She was big, gray and nested comfortably in life like an old cat on an overstuffed chair.

In a second of bad news, Helen’s buoyant face with all its oak-bark creases could drop to a taut mask of fear and vulnerability that made her look young and heartbroken.  Most of the time, though, her cheeks and wide mouth and bubble chin lifted high and hugged together in a great warm smile.  Standing before that smile was like standing before a great oven moments before fresh bread came out to cool.

Flighty and breathless, Helen never settled on a table or chair.  In her daily hours spent at the shop she would rise half a dozen times from one perch to flap quickly to a new decided-on roost.  An hour might be spent humming long, tuneless notes watching carefully out of a picture window onto the empty street.  Sudden as the wind, she would change to a conspicuous seat at the large central table, bowed in fierce concentration over old puzzles in old newspapers.  When a friend pushed quietly into the shop, Helen would bowl aside young laptoppers in their private worlds to make room.

As the sun descended over the town on its way to new westward purchases, Helen left as quickly and decisively as she did anything.  In the middle of a puzzle, conversation or observation, she glanced up as if called, excused herself with a hearty throat-clearing, and floated out the door to drift like a dandelion down the windy street.

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Descriptive exercise

Padding across the wood plastic floor of their high, safe rooms, he paused. His eyes raised from the dusty sill, peering through the weatherproofed panes and fine metal screen that held the room against the icier drafts of winter.

Through the diced and blurred reality of the mesh screen, the rooftop world was a blur of tiny cells. The cells were blocked in places by a thumbprint smudge, a loose hair, or the windblown fuzz of seeding plants. In the fruitless suspension of the window screen they waited out their half-life of promise, potential randomly entrusted to each seed and just as randomly wasted.

The dimming sky slipped from ember-glow of sunset to the dull bronze of oncoming night. Perched atop skinny iron poles, the big orb bulbs of the city street lights mingled with burning firefly-orange strings from shopfront awnings.

Two working men stamped across the broken paving of an alley in the deepening dark. They stretched a long banner of fabric across the width of the alley and vigorously shook it clean, giving the impression of old woodcutters biting at an unseen tree with a skinny, silvery saw. Behind a nearby church, a piercing white emergency light flared to life like an angry star.

High above, in the safety and warmth of the apartment, the angry white light stared into his retina on long sleepless nights: “This time is not for you”.

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Death, The Life Story

Tracing a life through stories of death. Sometimes funny, sometimes not.


"Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living."- Jonathan Safran Foer. || student, loves travelling and perhaps baking a cake.||

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