POV Challenge – Entry #2

(I apologize if my writing feels a little all over the place at times. My brain seems a little ADD when it comes to fixing things that aren’t working or trying to add detail here and there. I’ll try to proofread and make some improvements on it later, but for now, I’m sleepy.)

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He was surprised he had been able to walk this far, but after twenty minutes of traversing the streets of New York, his joints were telling him he could either choose to take a break or they would choose for him. The clouds slowly rolled over the city, blocking out the warmth of the sun and lowering the chances of him walking more than another twenty feet or so. Harold sat on a wooden bench and watched his four year-old granddaughter while his daughter-in-law stood along 125th Street and tried her hand at hailing a taxi.

A stiff breeze from the east pushed Harold’s gray cap off of the wooden bench and it flipped over a few times before coming to rest ten feet away. He tried to stand, but when his right knee protested he changed tactics. He looked up and waved his gnarled fingers in little Loretta’s direction.

“Lolo!” he called out, using his favorite nickname. “Go grab grandpa’s hat!”

“Okay!” Loretta looked away from the three blue balloons that demanded her attention. She looked at her grandpa, looked at the hat, and grinned as she ran towards the hat like a tiger ready to pounce on a mouse. A few steps and a playful jump later, she reached out with both hands and snatched up the hat successfully. She walked back to the bench and held the hat out in a firm grip. “Here you go!”

He took the hat in one hand and gently patted her on the head with the other. “Thank you, Lolo!”

“You welcome!” she replied, her eyes drifting back up to the balloons caught on the crisscrossing cables that lined the north side of the bridge. Pointing in their direction, she asked in her four year-old voice. “Whose is those?”

“Whose are those?” he corrected gently. Harold pushed his glasses up further onto his nose in a practiced motion and turned to see what she was pointing at. He first noticed the motion of some object, then saw the three distinctly round shapes, and then saw that one balloon was a bit smaller than the others. “I can’t rightly tell you whose those are.”

Before he could stop her, she turned to the woman who happened to be the closest person walking by. “Pardon me,” she asked, boldly approaching the stranger.

After a moment, the stranger realized she’d been addressed and she looked at Loretta with a smile, the young lady’s manners too adorable to ignore. Bending down, she asked, “Yes?”

“Do you know whose balloons those… are?”

Harold watched the woman as she looked where Loretta pointed. He didn’t have to know her dress was purchased off of 5th Avenue or that her shoes came from a boutique in London to guess that she was going places. He admired the way her light brown trenchcoat hugged her figure and showed anyone looking her way exactly where her hips were. His wife used to have excellent hips.

The stranger’s eyes lowered from the balloons to his face. Her eyebrows furrowed slightly when he didn’t look away and she turned her attention back to the child. “I don’t know who they belong to.” She pointed in his direction. “Why don’t you ask him?”

“He says he doesn’t rightly know.”

Harold managed to pull his eyes away from the beautiful woman with her long, black hair pulled back in a thin braid that would sway in time with her every footstep. He realized that he had been staring and suddenly the brim of his hat required his full attention.

POV Challenge – Entry #1

Most would have described the day as gray and gloomy, but not Maya. She would have called that late afternoon gray and gloomy, but she also would have called it temperate, a bit cloudy, and a nice change from the series of hot, bright days that were almost too numerous. Tugging on the light scarf of dark blue silk, she took in a deep breath of the downtown air and slightly regretted it. Even near the water, walking on top of the bridge, and away from the alleyways and dumpsters, the whole city felt lived in, like a party where too many people had overstayed their welcome and someone needed to call a plumber.

A welcome distraction, her phone rang softly from inside the pocket of her jeans. Maya pressed the call button on her headset. “Hello?”

“Did you get my voicemail?” Marie asked impatiently. “I’ve been trying to call you since noon!”

“I just turned my phone back on a few minutes ago. I didn’t see a message from you.” Maya pulled her phone out and carefully swiped her dry, cracked fingertips across the screen to unlock it. Five missed calls were mentioned in addition to two new voicemail messages.

“Whatever.” Marie was accustomed to her friend’s absent mindedness when it came to her phone. Some day she would “The tickets went on sale this morning.”

“Aw, crap!” she groaned, her right hand coming up to cradle her forehead. “I’m sorry, Marie! I should-”

“Don’t worry about it. I figured you’d be busy getting off at the wrong subway station or discovering the one spot in Central Park with bad service, so I went ahead and bought the tickets.”

Mad at herself for forgetting, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, very nearly tasting the “busy river” smell that rolled in on a light breeze. Picturing the funds in her checking account, she replied, “I’ll pay you back when I get home.”

Unsure she wanted to laugh or sigh, Marie huffed out an airy chuckle.  “Yes, you will.”

“You’re the best.”

“Yes,” Marie agreed, “I am.”

After Marie hung up, Maya knew she’d have to do something extra special to make up for this memory lapse. A woman carrying a half-dozen roses caught her eye, but Maya knew that flowers from New York would not survive the trip home. She wondered if a bottle of wine would make it back in her luggage and she tried to recall of what kind of wine Marie liked. What was it they drank at the Olive Garden last time?

Putting her phone back in her pocket, another gust of wind brought the scent of a pair of runners enjoying the cooler weather, their skin-tight clothing looking insufficient to guard them from the gradual drop in temperature. While fall might mean a lower chance of overheating to those runners, Maya believed it was a time to slow down, to save one’s strength for the coming winter and to enjoy the fruits of one’s summer labor. Apparently it was also a time to forget to buy concert tickets they’d been thinking about for four months.

Must Write More Words

The pursuit of excellence commences.

So, it’s December 13th now. My car won’t start but a battery warmer is on the way. My desktop computer still won’t install any Windows Updates (and the monitor resolution is completely off) but my Chromebook and phone are still working and I have a friend who’s willing to help. I chipped a tooth on a granola bar on Friday and found out today I need a crown, but at least my insurance is able to cover it so I don’t have to pay out of pocket.

I also have not written a word since November 30th. Fortunately, I have found some great individuals who are inspiring me to continue the fight as well as work on improving my writing. This blog was started with the intentions of writing more words, and in time, writing better words. I’ll be working on some exercises over the next four weeks in an attempt to improve my ability to write from a particular character’s point of view. I look forward to any feedback I receive and will try to apply it to my future endeavors.

…And the Coldsmoke moose is, as always, staring right at me.

…The moose sees all.