Fiction prompts by Sunday Scribblings

In a search to improve/find new ideas for fiction writing, I stumbled on “Sunday Scribblings,” a blog set up by writers Meg Genge and Laini Taylor.
The idea is simple. Sometime before Saturday, the women post a prompt on the site, and writers use this idea to write. A journal entry, a piece of fiction, a slice of real life experience.
This week’s prompt is “dance” or “the dance.”
My plan is to post a piece of fiction, with a prompt from Sunday Scribblings, each Sunday.
Here’s the first installment:

He grips the collar of the vintage wool British greatcoat to his face and makes a warm pocket of air around his nose, his mouth.
The air is crystalline cold, and sizzles his lungs without some filtering.
The clouds hang white and heavy, cautionary, but he knows its too cold for snow. He thinks of it as a monochrome day; just another in a long line of days he passes through.
Lonely and alone.
This particular day, a Saturday near Christmas, finds the man clutching his coat to his face to protect his breath from the bracing air with singular purpose. He moves with a quick clip of dress shoes across asphalt. The shoes are handcrafted, stiff leather soles that clomp and grind across the lot, and he steps gingerly near where the plows have deposited the remnants of the last snow that’s gone dishwater gray and icy with the last, brief, thaw.
He’s had to park in the outer ring of parking stalls, between two pickups with lifts and, he thinks, tires monstrously too large. He knows that if he does not return to his stall first, he’ll return to find his sedan – not too old, but not too new, either - dimpled. The trucks have both taken spaces clearly marked for compact vehicles and he furrows his brow momentarily just thinking about it.
On this Saturday near Christmas at the discount retailer, where happy shoppers wheel consumer-laden metal carts through the lot in search of their own cars, he clomps across the asphalt. He does not care that it is a Saturday, not that it is near Christmas, or that he’s had to park in a spot which will require a significant hike in air so crisp.
His ancient orange tabby, Tonto, is simply out of food. And the discount retailer’s brand of food is the only thing Tonto will not turn a nose up to and walk away from, tail held high and twitching in utter defiance.
It is the sudden flash of sound and movement that stops the man in the greatcoat. He stares. He knows exactly why.
From around another line of cars, a couple push their cart through the lot. He’s driving, coat open against the cold and his hands are gloveless. She’s wrapped in layers, a cashmere wool scarf, the color of a caramel, covers her face.

Here the parking lot has a slight rise, followed by a grade of undetermined angle. He jumps on the cart for a ride and she runs up – black heeled boots click against the asphalt – and gets in one great push.
It is enough force to alter the man’s trajectory toward a bank of sorrowful snow that’s been pushed into clumpy piles.
The crash is unspectacular, but the man crouches and wheels sharply, as if he’s incensed.
He smiles, laughs and runs to the woman, still low, and throws his arms around her. His hands reach to just where the curve of her buttocks meet her thighs. He lifts her into the air and begins to spin.
She tilts her head back, her long brown hair waves free, the cashmere scarf falls away from her face and she screams.
He stops mid-spin and she tilts her head forward until she links eyes with him. The sudden stop throws her hair across her face. She lifts a few strands from her mouth with glove-covered fingers, buttery leather that match the scarf. Her full lips purse briefly, just before she catches him with a kiss that nearly knocks him off-kilter.
The man in the greatcoat signs, turns swiftly on his heel and hangs his head.
It is this dance between lovers he longs for the most.


gautami tripathy said...

Welcome to SS. Great place to hang about. With that post, you have arrived!

Dance of Life

Anonymous said...

I dig it T-daddy... Very vivid... I especially like the ride on the shopping cart. But I don't get the title. `````

ThomG said...

The lonely guy is the wallflower, as in "One who does not participate in the activity at a social event because of shyness or unpopularity." If you want to dance, you have to get out on the floor.

LittleWing said...

great post thom... sometimes observing life just hurts less ... too bad ...make em change his mind.. y not its christmas...

Anonymous said...

I also dig the "...ancient orange tabby, Tonto..." What a bitchin' name for a cat and it gave me a good chuckle. The first time I read it I missed the transition from the guy in the greatcoat to the young couple so I didn't understand who was the wallflower. Now I get the title. That is very good, holmes.

ThomG said...

Your problems with the story, J-Zone, was my biggest challenge. Switching from the guy to the couple. I didn't do it as well as I should have. But, the exercise was to write, and I think I like how it turned out.