This may seem challenging. But remember, as always, try to enjoy the exercise. Post what you can and rise to the challenge. After all, that’s what we have to do if we want to write and write well.
As I seem to be on a roll with Carol, I’ve continued with her story & decided to interpret the challenge rather broadly. I’ve thought about my walk, the pace, the punctuations, interruptions and pauses, the distractions and tried to weave that into a fictional piece. My walk took me along Darling St, Balmain, at a fairly leisurely, relaxed pace to begin with but as I hit the main shopping area, there were traffic lights, other pedestrians to avoid and windows to browse. And finally, a front door closing on my destination.
Carol felt like a cat on a window sill. The warmth of the winter sun was washing over her as the water whooshed beneath the wooden deck. Her eyes were closed, her breath slow, steady, taking in the scent of salt and coffee. There was a lightness, almost floating, as if outside her body. The chatter of the other diners as inconsequential and distant as the seagulls squabbling over a tasty morsel of toasted focaccia. To be like this, suspended in this moment as comfortable and comforting as a mother’s embrace.
‘You ready to order?’
Carol jumped. Jarred by the demand of the young waitress. The girl’s dyed auburn hair was pulled into one of those messy side ponytails they all seemed to wear. The front of her tatty grey t-shirt was tucked into the front of her jeans. The rest left to hang limply over the washed out skinny jeans. Tight enough to give you a yeast infection, Carol thought, no wonder she’s so rude.
Carol lowered her head so she could peer at the young waitress above her sunglasses. Her eyes slowly flicked over the younger woman like a judge at a cat show. ‘No, I’m still not ready to order. My friend still hasn’t arrived.’ Carol was smiling at the carefully dishevelled waitress, but each ‘still’ spat like sausage fat in a pan.
‘It’s just we get busy at lunch.’ The waitress tapped her pen on her thumbnail. Tap, tap,tap, tap, tap.
Carol wondered if it was code for the chef: Spit in the soup of the day, now.
A hand rested on her shoulder, a kiss brushed her cheek.
‘Sorry I’m late gorgeous. Military Rd. Nightmare.’
‘Ginny, darling, you can never be too late.’
‘I’m starving,’ said Ginny as she scooped up the laminated menu, slid into her chair and plonked her chocolate Longchamps tote on the table. All in one singularly fluid move, much like her life had been until Terry had so inelegantly chosen to die of cancer. ‘You ordered yet?’
The waitress snorted and stalked off.
‘What’s wrong with her?’ Ginny asked.
Carol shrugged, ‘Yeast infection.’