Just There

4 Nov

It’s #FlashFriday again, and the #FridayFictioneers are writing and sharing their 100-word(+/-) stories over at Madison Woods’ blog.  You can check out some of their stories and even share one of your own, if you’re interested.

Here’s the inspiration image Madison shared this week:

My story came to 100 words again.  I based it on an actual experience but changed the setting from Tempe, Arizona during the summer to some place where it snows.  Also, yesterday I was reading a post by writer Stephen A. Watkins where he talks about “Writing Poetry as Prose“, and I liked the idea of using line breaks to capture bits of meaning.  I don’t consider myself a poet and am not really trying to write poetry so much as playing with line breaks for effect.

Anyway, I wrote this story two ways: one with extra line breaks and another closer to how I’d normally write.  Feel free to tell me what you think of both. 🙂

~

Just There

I watched students
Scuttle off to class
Down the snowy path,
Beneath frosted trees.
No one saw me;
Everyone was in a hurry.

But not him.

He was unique.
Riding the wind, not indifferent to it.
Not bitter because of it,
Not wishing to escape it.
Just there,
Being.

He glided over the salted path,
Hands in his pockets.
Swaying left, swaying right.

He noticed me.

Numbed by Winter’s breath,
I stared.
Still.
He slowed, got off his board.
Said hello.

I forgot to reply.
Forgot I existed.

He shrugged then rolled away.

I remembered how to speak!
Too late.

~

Okay, now without all the extra spacing…

~

I watched students scuttle off to class down the snowy path, beneath frosted trees.  No one saw me; everyone was in a hurry.

But not him.

He was unique.  Riding the wind, not indifferent to it.  Not bitter because of it, not wishing to escape it.  Just there, being.

He glided over the salted path, hands in his pockets.  Swaying left, swaying right.

He noticed me.

Numbed by Winter’s breath, I stared.  Still.  He slowed, got off his board.  Said hello.

I forgot to reply.  Forgot I existed.

He shrugged then rolled away.

I remembered how to speak!

Too late.

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20 Responses to “Just There”

  1. T. S. Bazelli November 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM #

    I think it works well in poem form! It reminds me of that exercise Stephen did on his blog. Also, I know that feeling LOL mmm. This made me smile today.

    Like

    • Tiyana November 4, 2011 at 1:23 PM #

      Yeah! I pretty much tried the same thing. I thought it was an interesting exercise, heh.

      And yay for smiles! I can’t tell you how dumb I felt afterwards. I seriously just stared at him. He was actually waving at me at one point like, “Hello?” But I couldn’t say anything! LoL

      Like

  2. Stephen A. Watkins November 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM #

    Hey, this worked pretty well in the prose to poetry format. This is a sad sort of story moment. I’ve had moments like this in my life, as well.

    Like

    • Tiyana November 4, 2011 at 1:28 PM #

      Cool. I thought your exercise was interesting–inspirational, even!

      Yeah, it was a sad moment. But I think it made me laugh more than it saddened me, heh.

      Like

  3. mahjira November 4, 2011 at 11:43 AM #

    I loved this. The same words but a slightly different feeling. The first one read so that I got each line, equal and just as important. The second one held a sense of urgency in
    the longer lines. It flowed and stopped as if punctuating the importance of a sentence.
    Maybe it’s just me, but that is what I got out of it. 🙂 It was a beautiful story and reminded me of one of my own memory I had with a boy name “Mitch”. 😛

    Like

    • Tiyana November 4, 2011 at 1:31 PM #

      Thanks for the different interpretations! Those were interesting, and useful. 🙂

      I wish I’d gotten at least a name. Now he’s just “that guy on the skateboard”, lol. It was the most surreal moment, I swear.

      Like

  4. John Wiswell November 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM #

    I preferred the properly paragraphed edition; it had a more natural flow to it than coming to a stop every line. Nice use of the prompt, Tiyana!

    Like

  5. Siobhan Muir November 4, 2011 at 11:49 AM #

    Oh, the tragedy of missed opportunity! I was cheering for the narrator. Nicely done, Tiyana.

    Like

    • Tiyana November 4, 2011 at 1:34 PM #

      Heh. Thanks, Siobhan!

      I’m going to read your story (and everyone else’s) later today, I promise! I just don’t have access to the Internet at my job, lol.

      Like

  6. deshipley November 4, 2011 at 3:51 PM #

    Works well in both forms! I think I prefer the second format, because that way it feels like poetic prose — poetry *and* prose — instead of poetry only. Fun with twofers!
    In other news, laughingly sorry about you and Skateboard Guy. (X

    Like

    • Tiyana November 4, 2011 at 9:44 PM #

      I kinda prefer the “twofer” as well, hehe. But it was fun to try something different!

      Yeah, about Skateboard Guy…thanks. 😀

      Like

  7. Madison Woods November 4, 2011 at 7:10 PM #

    Hi Tiyana, I liked them both, but I think I liked the prose format better with line breaks to emphasize the strongest emotions. To me, though, the short singled out lines felt like the strongest phrases. Very nicely done, either way.

    Like

    • Tiyana November 4, 2011 at 9:47 PM #

      Thanks for the feedback, Madison!

      And also, thank you for another lovely inspiration image again this week. 🙂

      Like

  8. WhitneyCarter November 5, 2011 at 5:39 PM #

    I like it with the line breaks. Each word carries more weight that way, and the whole thing has this smooth stop and go feel to it. It feels poetry-ish but is still prose.

    Like

    • Tiyana November 6, 2011 at 10:12 AM #

      It’s interesting to see everyone’s preferences and why they liked one more than the other.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Whitney!

      Like

  9. Robin Hawke November 7, 2011 at 9:05 AM #

    Two different reactions! Mine were similar to Mahjira’s.

    I love the salted path, Robin

    Like

  10. Jay Noel November 7, 2011 at 10:56 AM #

    I’m torn between the two…

    So that really happened to you? I’ve been the one saying “hello” before!

    Like

    • Tiyana November 7, 2011 at 3:19 PM #

      Heh, yeah. One of those weird, stupid moments…

      Like

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