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500 X 163 Street Corner

 
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: 500 X 163 Street Corner Reply with quote


Here's another prompt for you all. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for it. Pertinent information below:
Street Corner
By yourmomgonewild

http://media.photobucket.com/image/black%20and%20white/yourmomgonewild/deLay_Black_and_white_photography_F.jpg?o=9

Have fun,
shadowlight

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Heidi
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: my story Reply with quote

Street Lamp Secrets
By Heidi Yang

Two men stood on a street corner, it was cold and the only light was from an old street lamp. Some other people were lingering in a storefront, talking. The two men on the street corner glanced around nervously. "What if they overhear our conversation?" the taller one asked.
"Bah, you worry too much Joe." the shorter man replied.
"Huh, you don't worry enough." Joe said. "So, what's the deal?"
"The deal is this guy asked me to do him a favor."
"So? We do 'favors' all the time, what's so special about this one?"
"He wants me to whack his wife, that's what."
"Oh, why?"
"I dunno, something about her being unfaithful to him or some shit like that."
"Huh, is he paying you big money for it?"
"Yeah, but I had to tell him that I need time to think about it."
"Yeah, I see what you mean." Joe said frowning. He glanced around again. The other two men seemed to have moved on. Joe breathed a sigh of relief, then turned back to his friend.
"I just don't know about this one Joe."
"Me either, why did you want me to know about a job anyway?"
"Because I don't know if I can go through with this one."
"Hmm, understandable." Joe mused. "Most of the favors, I mean they're illegal in some way, but nothing like this."
"That's what I was thinking."
"Well if you want my advice, tell the guy you can't do it."
"I know but, well he could get mad or force me to do it."
"You mean blackmail?" Joe asked. "Hah! Brian you're smarter than that and you know it. If you don't feel right about this one just don't do it."
"I know we always have the option of not doing a favor, but what if the boss finds out?"
"Eh, he might be pissed, but he has a heart too you know."
"I guess." Brian said. "Well thanks Joe, sorry I asked you to meet me so late."
"Hey that's all right, that's what friends are for isn't it?"
"Yeah I guess you're right." Suddenly they both fell silent. The two men from earlier were back, or were they different people? It was so hard to tell. They were mirror images of Brian and Joe, at least in dress, a fedora, trench coat, and boots. "You don't think those guys are..." Joe began
"Nah, and even if they do know what we're talking about, well we can shut 'em up real quick."
"True enough." The two men walked over to Joe and Brian, but instead of starting a conversation they just nodded and crossed the street.
"I don't like this, they're making me nervous." Joe said.
"Me too, it's as if they could know, but we could just be paranoid."
"Huh, well if they do know something we'll find out sooner rather than later." Joe said with a sigh. "Come on let's go home, it's getting late and I gotta work tomorrow."
"Yeah, me too." Brian said casting a last glance around. Then they wandered off. Only the night air, the street lamps and the storefronts knowing their secrets.
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Harry
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ships that pass in the night. Blacked out ships. No one can tell what cargo they're carrying. Got a nice Humphrey Bogart feeling to it Heidi, I think you captured the feeling of the picture very well. Glad to see you back again.
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Harry
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweeter Than Wine

Harry Buschman


It’s 3:30 Sunday morning and the air in the street outside Callahan’s bar is just as thick and heavy as it was inside. Charlie Fingers is acutely aware of the fact. He normally steps outside for a breath of air when he’s not playing, but not tonight. Tonight he sat by the floor fan at the end of the bar and talked to Callahan, The two men were the only sober people in the place.

Callahan shuts down at 3:30. 3:30 sharp. He opens again at nine in the morning. The regulars are already waiting outside by then, jiggling from foot to foot as Callahan unlocks the door from the inside. The regulars are there most of the day and only leave briefly for the odd jobs they take for beer money and cigarettes.

They’re all back in Callahan’s at night, trying to sing the old songs along with Charlie Fingers at the piano. They’re a little foggy with the melody and they only remember a snatch or two of the lyrics, but they all seem to remember the days when life was mellow and the song was fresh on their lips.

Charlie was never a great piano player – he’d be the first one to tell you that. But once he heard a tune, the words and music were locked in and they stuck with him forever. This past Saturday night was no exception ...

One of the regulars at the bar, an old sailor everyone called “Hook” carefully picked up his bourbon on the rocks, crossed the room and sat on the bench next to Charlie. He wore a woolen watch cap and had a three day growth of beard. He said he was feeling low, lower than usual for a Saturday night and between measured sips of his bourbon he said today was a sort of anniversary for him. “The day the good life stopped,” he said. “There’s been a tune runnin’ through my head all day ... “ At that point he tried to hum the words. He gave up quickly and shook his head. “I got no sense of music or nothin’, but I sure as hell remember the last time I heard it. It was the end of the best time of my life, Charlie. S’cuse me for gettin’ mushy ... it ain’t like me.”

But Charlie remembered the tune. “I recollect that,” he said. “Lend an ear, see if this rings a bell ... Winds may blow o’er the icy sea ... I’ll take with me the warmth of thee ... A taste of honey ... a taste much sweeter than wine.”

“I can’t say yes or no fer sure, Charlie ... it was an awful long time ago,” he rattled the ice in his glass and took a sip, then unsteadily walked back to the bar. “Thanks anyway Charlie.”

Charlie thought no more about it until Callahan closed the bar at 3:30. He stepped out the door into the fog and saw “Hook” in his watch cap at the curb. “Just remembered the last line,” he said ...“I will return ...I will return ... I'll come back ... for the honey ... and you.”

Callahan turned out the lights and the street suddenly went dark.
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Heidi
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:45 pm    Post subject: good story Reply with quote

Wow, that story is awesome Harry. Heh good think I'm not critiquing it. At any rate, I liked this a lot. I feel as if I've read it somewhere before (even though I haven't.) The feeling in your piece is very nostalgic and sad. I like the characters as well, they seem like real people.

*as for being back, it's good to be back. Still working on editing An Interesting Idea again. If you don't recall that one just look up Kimberly Canyon on WV and it will pop up.
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Harry
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you liked it, Heidi. That picture is a classic setting for all the Warner Bros. black and white melodramas I remember from the thirties and forties ... it's pretty hard to think of something new for it.
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Death Perception (WC 500) Reply with quote

This is a little rough, but I wanted to post something. Wink
I actually combined this picture with another prompt from a different site. They seemed to work well together. Thanks for taking a look.
shadowlight


Death Perception
© Marlicia Fernandez 2-16-10 (WC 500)


Fog rolled in off the nearby bay. Not yet at the fabled ‘pea soup’ stage, it was sufficient to obscure cars and pedestrians and getting thicker by the minute. Street lights gave of a soft glow. Their stark illumination diffused by the all-encompassing mist. Why couldn’t it be clear once in a while? Was it too much to ask to see the stars?

“Attention all customers,” a tinny voice intoned over hidden speakers. “The store is now closed. We appreciate your patronage. Thank you for shopping at Macy’s.”

As if I could actually afford to shop here. Madeline looked at her watch. 8:55pm. How had it gotten so late?

The lights flickered and went dark. Maybe she could hide? She looked over her shoulder. A security guard smiled and waved. Resignedly, she waved back and turned away. She couldn’t stay and she couldn’t leave. ‘He’ might be out there. Waiting.

Madeline sighed and looked outside through the glass door. Squaring her shoulders, she pushed it open and eased out onto the sidewalk. “What was I thinking?” she murmured. “He saw me go in. He knows I have to come out. ”

She shivered and pulled her coat tight against the damp, night air. “Whoever ‘he’ is.”

The fog grew dense, until she could see only a few feet ahead. Madeline felt around until she touched the lamp post that marked her bus stop. She glanced at her watch. 9:00pm. Where was the bus? Her skin prickled. Had she got the time wrong?

It was possible. She rarely took the bus. It was a luxury she could ill afford. She preferred to walk and put the money she saved to better use, like food for a special dinner. Or a night at the movies. If she could pay her own way, maybe someone would want to go with her.

The wind picked up, pushing a crumpled coffee cup down the street. Madeline watched it tumble away until it disappeared in the haze. “Like my social life.” She strained her eyes, looking for headlights. It can’t be late.

A man joined her at the corner, his form a shadowed silhouette beneath the pale street lamp. He tipped the hat that concealed his face. She nodded and inched a little closer to the curb. The bus would be here soon or he wouldn’t be here. Not at this time of night.

Would he?

Her mind flicked back to the reason she was out so late in the first place. She’d ducked into the store after work when she’d noticed him following her. Could this be him?

Shivers that had nothing to do with the weather swept over her. Madeline hugged herself. The man grinned.

“Don’t be afraid.” He stretched out a bony hand. “Come with me. It’s your time.”

Madeline screamed and stumbled off the curb. Bright light filled her vision. The sound of screeching brakes filled the air. The 9:00pm bus, right on time.

The man lifted his collar and walked away.

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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Harry. I really liked this story. Makes me wonder if Charlier Fingers was on the receiving end of a hit. (I know, I watch too many old gangster movies, LOL, but that's what it made me think of). Part of what makes this story so awesome is that I can imagine all kinds of plots and subplots for this. (Enter Bogart, Cagney, Robinson, etc. ). Your characters and setting really bring the tale to life. I felt like I was there...until the lights went out. Wink Well done!

shadowlight

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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heidi,

It's good to see you posting again. I like this a lot. It has a cloak and dagger feel to it. For some reason I got to thinking that the friend who was asked to do the favor might either be involved with the wife, or his confidante was involved. Hmm... I love the personification of the night air, the street lamps and storefronts. That makes everything just a little more eerie, a little more tense. Even the walls have ears. LOL.

Well done.
shadowlight

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Harry
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally Madeline finds a man. Now maybe she can find peace. Strange little story, Marlicia ... with a no nonsense twist at the end. You had me fooled. I would have thought 9 pm was the shank of evening outside Macy's, but you turned it into a dark, foggy and deadly end of the road shared with a man she could not avoid.
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Heidi
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject: marlicia's story/her comments Reply with quote

First off thanks for the comments Marlicia, it was kind of cliched now that I think about it but oh well. I just finished reading your post, I loved it, that could be a short story (well by short I mean more than 500 words, lol.) Like Harry said a no nonsense ending. Was the guy supposed to be death? That's the impression I got anyway. Great characters and an interesting twist on what I usually think about when I think of Macy's.
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry wrote:
Finally Madeline finds a man. Now maybe she can find peace. Strange little story, Marlicia ... with a no nonsense twist at the end. You had me fooled. I would have thought 9 pm was the shank of evening outside Macy's, but you turned it into a dark, foggy and deadly end of the road shared with a man she could not avoid.


Thanks for reading and commenting, Harry. I appreciate it and I'm glad I was able to fool you. Wink I like to do that once in a while. I guess 9pm can be many things on a foggy night...

Thanks again.

shadowlight

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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: marlicia's story/her comments Reply with quote

Heidi wrote:
First off thanks for the comments Marlicia, it was kind of cliched now that I think about it but oh well. I just finished reading your post, I loved it, that could be a short story (well by short I mean more than 500 words, lol.) Like Harry said a no nonsense ending. Was the guy supposed to be death? That's the impression I got anyway. Great characters and an interesting twist on what I usually think about when I think of Macy's.


Heidi,

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this and for your kind words. Maybe I'll consider fleshing it out a bit later...when I have more time. Yes, the guy was supposed to be death. He' been stalking her all day.

I truly enjoyed your story. It was fun. Wink

Thanks again,
shadowlight

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