Welcome to the 3 AM Epiphany. Below is a prompt from the book. If you wish to join in, submit your link via the bot at the bottom. Submissions are accepted Tuesday through Friday.
Write a very brief story told only in images – concrete, simple, visually efficient movements and details. This exercise does not ask you to eliminate people from your prose, just to watch what they do and what objects they crave and caress rather than what they say or think about these objects or actions.
Length: 300 words.
She didn’t see him watching her through the café window. She glided among the patrons, stopping periodically to chat. When she spoke, her whole body got involved – hands, eyes, expression. You didn’t have to hear a word she said, you could see the story evolve simply watching her move. Yet, when no one was looking she receded into herself. The vibrancy in her face died a little. She clasped the pendant dangling on a chain around her neck – a bull’s head – like a supplicant in prayer. Her hair became a shield blocking her from sight, rather than the ebony curtain he longed to run his fingers through.
His fingers twitched at the thought of what her hair would feel like on his palm. Across the café, their eyes met. She dropped the cup she’d been carrying to a customer. Her skin flamed red and she grasped the bull’s head. Her mouth formed an “O” and she seemed to melt in front of him. Her workers rushed to help her clean up the shattered cup and steaming coffee now decorating the floor.
This woman so vibrant and full of life, deflated whenever he came near her.
Looking away from him, she inhaled deeply, kissed the pendant clasped in her hand and rose to her feet. Her eyes sparkled, her lips smiled, she laughed and waved her hand dismissively. A simple shake of her head and a “clumsy me” and she was back in command of her audience. She avoided his gaze, disavowed his presence as she finished her rounds.
Slowly, deliberately she walked to the back. With a last look over her shoulder, their eyes met once again. Her’s bright with tears, his furrowed in sadness. She shook her hair into her face, blocking his sight and dissolved through the door.