Short story: Waiting



The snow is uneven, slushy, glinting murkily in the tailights of the traffic that lumbers past like shiny red-bottomed elephants on skates and fades into the dark night.

I would imagine the sidewalks look inviting from the inside of those cars, with the heating cranked and the velour upholstery caressing the backs of the occupants. But from here, on the sidewalk, feeling the wind whip up over the cheerful glossy white banks of snow that frame the windows so nicely, it's just really, really cold. So far below zero that my hands are chapped and my stockings are like bare legs and I feel like the little match girl.

I'm expecting to see an angel any minute.

I've almost given up, waiting, hoping, keeping a hearty feeling of Christmas cheer about my person.

I'm watching all those taillights and headlights and glinting beauty of the night and I'm just about ready to give up, sit down, and await the inevitable fate of exposure when...

a guy finally pulls into the rank.

The driver opens the door for me. He's an oily looking personage with lank hair, a drooping mustache, and a large belly. And he makes some quip about "nice night for it".

I ask him for half up front, to make sure he's got enough cash, and then I slide seductively into the front passenger seat beside him.

Just the angel I was hoping for. One with a car heater.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: zero, snow, rank, inviting, and fade.

Image courtesy of Pinachina.