Friday, January 27, 2012

Write on Edge: Between Conversations


            Henry counted the chrome light fixtures on the diner ceiling. He was sitting in the corner booth for the third time that week. He was there to see Karen. She was so different from the girls at school. She held her head high like she was an empress. She didn’t giggle and flirt. She also didn’t seem interested in Henry.
The college girls loved Henry. He could charm them with his whiskey colored eyes and his devilish grin. Rumors of his trust fund was a lure they didn’t resist. They flirted with gold bands on their minds. But it didn’t work on Karen.
He could tell she liked to talk to him, but she kept her distance. When he asked her out she said she was working or had to help her mother out at home. His buddies called her the Ice Princess and he could see why. If this was a game of hard to get, she was winning and Henry was losing. Thoughts of her legs woke him up at night. Thinking about her glossy black curls and cobalt eyes distracted him in class. So he kept coming back to the diner, hoping for a break.
Today she wasn’t there. The diner was short-handed and an older and tougher waitress brought him his coffee with a side of attitude. It tasted bitter. He added extra sugar and cream but it didn’t make any difference. He finished his pie, left his usual generous tip, and walked away. He wished he had brought a text book so he’d have an excuse for staying. Maybe Karen was just coming in later.
Henry opened the door and the early spring air cooled the sweat on his face. He saw Karen hurrying towards the diner. Her coat was open and she was trying to straighten her apron as she moved. As she got closer, he could see that her makeup was worn away and her eyes were red and puffy.
“I missed you today,” he said, startling her.
“Oh, Henry, I’m sorry. I can’t stop to talk. I’ve missed too much work already.” she answered as she sped past him.
He held the door for her and thought about going in for another cup of coffee. But he heard the older waitresses scolding Karen. She was in enough trouble. He wouldn’t make it worse for her.

Today’s prompt from Write on Edge was to write a piece using one of our writing tools that needs polishing. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback complimenting me on my use of dialogue. I’m a theatrical director and actor, so dialogue comes pretty easily for me.  I feel as if I’ve used it as a crutch to lean my stories on. But any director will tell you that a play that has no action will make the audience snore. So this week I decided to write a piece that is mostly description. There are only two lines of dialogue. You can read more about Karen here.