8.16.2011

cherry, smithfield & oliver

This is part three. Please read maybe for orange juice (part one) and gridlock (part two).
It seemed like a lifetime that Ursula stood there, banana chip to mouth, hand back to bag and back to mouth again. "Oh you know, I'm here filming," the words bounced from ear to ear, "James Franco." James Franco, of course. James Franco. She searched for a witty response, any response, or any words at all, but none came. I don't know what to do here.

Melodia clacked a heel forward. Ursula heard the man in the suit yelling again, or had he ever stopped yelling? "Ladies, ladies, what the fuck are you doing here? Why don'tcha get a goddamn room or something?" As Melodia's red lips parted in snarly retort, Ursula realized that she had no plan. She had nothing.


Without thinking, Ursula dropped the bag of chips on the sidewalk, turned and bolted. Yes, she ran. Faster, girl, you gotta get outta here. She tore down Cherry Way as fast as her clogs would carry her, looping left on Smithfield Street, narrowly avoiding a collision with a group of mothers and children exiting S.W. Randall's Toyes and Giftes. She kept sprinting another block, weaving through startled pedestrians, crossed diagonally in the direction of Saks Fifth Avenue and stopped short. Ah, Melodia is probably headed to Saks. She ducked into the next-door Oliver Building instead.

What, is it weird to see a woman in a dress running down Smithfield Street? Ursula crumbled against a wall in the office building lobby, the marble cool and refreshing against her back, throbbing palms on her knees. What on earth have I done? Oh my god, I just ran, I just ran! Ran away from Melodia! What was I thinking? Breathe. She unfolded herself, breathed in through her nose, exhaled through her mouth as she had been taught by Ramesh the yogi, and looked around. People in suits were waiting for the elevator, looking at newspapers, texting on their phones.

She jumped as a voice to her left addressed her. "Miss? Hey there, you okay?" The security guard was peering at her, reached out to touch her arm. Ursula shrugged him off. "I'm fine. I just, it's hot outside. I just needed to catch my breath for a minute." He continued eyeing her as she read his name, Evans, on his gilt badge. He persisted. "What are you running from?"

She sucked in another deep breath. Exhaled.

"Myself, Mister Evans." A moment of inspiration, of self-knowing, clarity like the proverbial lightbulb over her head, struck her. She looked directly into the security guard's eyes. "I guess I'm not running from my nemesis so much as running from my demons. And I'm the one who created those." She smoothed her dress, tucked a frazzled lock of hair behind her ears, and smiled at him. "I'm fine. I appreciate it," she said, and strode out the door.

Back on the sunny sidewalk, Ursula did not hesitate. She walked with purpose around the corner and halfway down the alley known as Oliver Way to the wide open doors of Trinity Cathedral. Family Lunch Served, Weekdays at Noon, announced a placard on the sidewalk. A sign in white plastic letters on black, attached to the front window, welcomed her to AA Meeting, Chapel 2:00 - 7:00 - 9:00. Her watch read 1:53. Too late for lunch, but right on time.

"Coffee?" A gray-haired woman nodded the carafe in her direction. The greeting felt so warm, Ursula forgot she was sweating. "Yes, thank you," she replied. "Thank you."
My challenge for Indie Ink this week was from Mare, whose prompt was "finding your inspiration." This one is also responsive: the writer's way.

10 comments:

  1. "I guess I'm not running from my nemesis so much as running from my demons. And I'm the one who created those."

    Powerful stuff, Marian! <3 it!

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  2. these characters are rumbling around in my head.
    i'm inclined to keep writing about them. hopefully y'all will want to read it.
    xoxo jason!

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  3. Oh, I definitely want to follow Ursula as she figures herself out...I'm not so sure about this Melodia chick, but if she's a nemesis, I suppose I'm not supposed to like her!

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  4. Just read all three stories back to back. Loved all three, but this one's my favorite. How we all run from what we fear. And I like these characters, hope to learn more about their past :)

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  5. The only thing this needs is more. I'm all intrigued now.

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  6. aw! thank you, pals!
    ursula is really interesting and wants me to write more :)

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  7. Didn't see that meeting coming. Interesting. And I love the way the geography is a supporting character.

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  8. this is so easy, working with characters in a place i know. :)

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  9. I love the way everything slows down once she realizes it’s herself she’s running from; great transition, great post!

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