Well I had a whole post about how I picked a helluva time to take my writing class, blah blah, big project for new client, blah blah blah. Here’s the assignment for session three, I missed the submission deadline so this assignment isn’t getting critiqued by the instructor or the class :( Hopefully I can make session 4 on time.
(1) write a 250-word description of a real or fictional person—both inner and outer characteristics—using any sense(s) except sight;
(2) write a 250-word description of a place with "character," revealing the elements that suggest its history;
(3) write the opening of a story or essay featuring the character you described in part one of this assignment OR write a series of connected scenes featuring EITHER several dramatic scenes connected by summary or a flashback sequence, including the scenes in the "present time" of the story leading into and out of the flashback (maximum 1000 words).
1. Lucy hated it when her brother came to visit. It always took weeks for his, shall we say, aroma, to dissipate. Jake’s a nervous sort of fellow, he tends to sweat a lot. A whole lot. He doesn’t quite stink as much as smell like nervousness. He always makes Lucy nervous and that’s generally not a state of mind she’s used to.
There’s a rap on the door, Jake doesn’t use doorbells.
“hey there baby bro. Still not down with the doorbell?”
“do you know how well it’s wired? Did you personally supervise the work?” He pushes past her into her small apartment. He knows the answer to that question.
Lucy wrinkles her nose and the hairs on her neck stand up. she feels her heart rate pick up slightly, for no reason.
Jake walks into the kitchen, Lucy hears the hiss of compressed air and aromatic chemicals flying out of a can. Jake hates the idea of airborne germs.
“how have you been, sis? Mom says ‘hi’ by the way.” The astringent smell of alcohol wafts from his hands as he wipes them down with a sanitary towelette.
2. The war was long over, the treaties signed, prisoners sent home, reparations made. Visitors, not students of history wouldn’t know it from any other town. The wall, now overgrown with moss where it hasn’t fallen down already, was hardly noticeable. It’s forbidding nature long since replaced by lichen.
The citizens don’t bolt from doorway to doorway. They haven’t had to look to the sky when going to the market in a very long time. The sun shines now, it might have shined back then but you couldn’t tell for all the smoke in the air.
The church tower has a bell in it again. The guard positions have been dismantled, the pews are back in the (what’s the main hall of a catholic church?)
3. Jake worked at a starbucks, as a barista. He’d had the job for almost six years now, he managed the morning shift, which he hated.
“G’morning Monica, can you grab the case of Blue Mountain and bring it up to that display over there?” pointing towards the front of the store with a latex gloved hand.
“Good morning bossman, how you doing today. And sure, I can.” Monica’s lip piercing glinted under the faux natural lighting overhead when she smiled, she knew it drove jake bonkers.
it was five o’clock monday morning, the worst day of the week as far as Jake was concerned. Customers were crankier, and though he had no solid evidence, he was sure they brought more germs into the store on Mondays, than any other day of the week.
Jake was setting up the main display rack with an assortment of Sumatra and kenyan blends. His personal favorites next to the Blue Mountain, a rare arrival even at his high end downtown store. Each one pound bag was exactly one inch from the front edge of the shelf, and stacked 5 bags deep.
“Hey Trish! How was your weekend?” Monica and Trish had become friends the first day Monica started.
“Hey girl! It was great! I went to this really hip little jazz club uptown. It was so cool! You could barely see your hand in front of your face, the waiter carried a glow stick… you know those green things they pass out at raves?”
“Why didn’t you call me!?” Monica fancied herself a conesiuer of music. Jake thought that tite was a bit undeserved, if it wasn’t on iTunes, it was a certainty that Monica hadn’t heard it.
“Hey! Good Morning Jake, how are you?” Trish came around the corner that separated the cheery, earth toned world that customers knew from the concrete toned world that the baristas knew.
“Good thanks, could you start up the beasts?” Beasts was what Monica called the machines behind the counters.
The percalators, the grinders, the industrial sized espresso machines, of which there were three. Jake had tried to curb the use of the term the moment he had heard it. It was no use though, it had stuck with all the staying power of any popular slang term. April from the store two blocks north had told him it had spread to her store at the last managers night out.
Trish was a coffee slinging angel, her honey blonde hair curled right the shoulder. Her green eyes seemed to be lit from behind. Jake had hired her almost a year ago and been in love ever since.
Trish glided from machine to machine, flipping switches, pouring water into urns, setting grinders to work on the various blends, strengths, and flavors. No one got the beasts moving in the morning like Trish did.
he was wiping the top shelf down with a “clean wipe” brand alcohol moist towelette when Monica came back around the corner with the second box of Blue Mountain.
“Aye mon, where you want deez?” Monicas bad jamaican accent made her giggle every time she used it. She was the only one giggling.
“mmmm put the boxes down over there, on top of the plastic I laid out. We can carry the bags over to the display by the register.”
Jake had placed a plastic drop cloth in the back corner of the store. No point in getting the floor dirty from who knows what was on those boxes.
The rush, as it always does came at 6:10 on the dot. First came the gym bunnies, fresh from their workout. Then the commuters getting juiced for their trip where ever; uptown, the burbs, Jake had no clue where they went, most people came into downtown, but he supposed some had to work elsewhere, balance and all that.
The rush ended like it began, promptly and like clockwork at 9:15 am. The remainder of Jakes’ shift was like any other. wiping down the equipment, putting all the bags of coffee back into their correct places, making sure all the travel mugs on the shelf are facing front again, most importantly making sure the salads and waters in the cooler were all properly stocked, aligned and organized.
“Steve and Wendell I’ll need you guys to bring more Kenyan from the back, we sold a lot of that today. Also can you bring up another bag of Frappacino mix?”
Jake was packing up for the night. Steve and Wendell had come in a few hours ago and would be closing the store with Jessica, who arrived in an hour.
Jake walked around the front end one last time, he did it every time he left for the day. Double and triple checking things. “night guys.”