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He's Late

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As seen by his best friend, Mark

Mark wasn?t sure if he wanted to find another stop along the bus?s route or if he and John should try walking the distance again. I?ve taken this bus to school with John for the last 2 years now, and he?s not one of the most timely people that I know, he thought. Even still, he is my best friend. But, today he missed the bus again. Well, actually, we both missed it. I stayed behind to wait for him, so I guess you could say that I intentionally missed it?but not John.

I actually heard him before I saw him round the corner at the drug store. He was taking off again at a sprint. His unleveled hair was reaching for the sky and then in an instant was lying flat again as he bounced with each stride. It was a sight to see, and?a sight I?ve seen before. As he picked up speed and was about to break a 100 yard dash Olympic record, the books he was carrying slipped from his grip and began dropping one by one, falling on the concrete sidewalk in a row behind him. I saw him try screeching to a halt, but his forward momentum fought back, not wanting to be redirected. His feet skidded across the concrete with a clatter as his arms waved wildly in the air in an effort to keep his balance. He swooped low, picking up each fallen book and replaced them under his arm, one by one. I could tell that he was really trying to hurry as he picked up the last book. As his fingers reached the fallen book, his body had already turned to resume his dash for the bus stop. I wonder why he tried. We both knew that the bus had already departed, so what was the point? He picked up his pace in his marathon toward the bus stop where I waited for him. I don?t know why John?s late for everything. He?s pretty bright, but for some reason, he just can?t get to anything on time. He?s been like this ever since I?ve known him.

As he approached, he began to slow and the expression on his face told me that he knew that he had missed the bus. But I also knew that it was a little game that we played. He was showing me that he had made the effort and was trying not to be late, and I would not push the issue with him because I understood him.

As he approached the empty bus stop, his mouth formed that ?Did I miss it?? smile.

?Yeah, John. You did.?

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I read this pair as a scene from a movie, from two different camera angles. I found it enjoyable because I was able to picture the scene clearly in my mind based on the words. That's very well done.

Ultimately I have to say it was a little unsatisfactory, only because it was just that - a scene. It told neither the beginning or the end of any story. Just a vignette, almost a snapshot, and I find one of the joys and challenges of flash fiction is fitting a real story (with a storyline that progresses and concludes) into about a thousand words. Sorry Richard, I don't mean to sound critical. What you did you did really well. But I want to know what happens to these two guys and what their relationship is. I want a story. And if I don't get it I'm going to throw my rattle out of the pram.

:hehe: Bruin

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Even though it is only a scene from what we (well, at least me, and maybe Bruin and others as well) hope is a longer story, I think it is successful in the same way a film teaser that consists of only one scene can be successful.

Alright, Richard. Time for you to heat up that keyboard and write the chapters that precede and follow the scene you teased us with!

Colin :icon_geek:

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Well, I guess it does play out as a scene, because that's exactly what it is. And...yes there is a story fermenting. I played with the points of view from two obviously different personalities to see which one I wanted to tell the story. In other words I was just f***ing off one afternoon while thinking of this new story. It was fun to do. I think I like the POV from the scattled teenager, because I can have that character change and progress the most.

Anyway, that little scene is just part of chapter 1 to set up my characters.

So Bruin...ah...take your rattle and... :icon_geek:


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