Short Story Contest

I entered a short story in a writing contest earlier this week.  It was co-hosted by The Write Practice and Short Fiction Break.   For now, I’m allowed to post an excerpt here with a link to the rest of the story over on Short Fiction Break.  In December the full rights to my story will revert back to me and I’ll be allowed to post the whole thing here.

Contest details

We had to incorporate the elements of Fall (the season) and Love into our story in some form or another.  Word limit: 1500


His hands were shaking as he shut the door and his keys clattered onto the stoop. Bending to retrieve them, the morning air met DeSean’s neck and he turned up the collar of his coat. His breath was visible as he willed his hands steady, locked the door and set off in the direction of the train.

He took the same route every day. Four blocks north and two blocks west with a quick stop at the espresso shop on the corner. Today DeSean sat on one of the bar stools near the window and sipped his coffee while he waited for the 6:47 train. So immersed was he in thoughts of the evening ahead, his scone sat untouched and he nearly forgot to take it with him when he stood to leave.

Pushing in his stool DeSean caught a glimpse of his reflection in the window. He leaned in and straightened his tie, something he did without thinking, even on the weekends when there wasn’t a tie to straighten, and ran a hand over his hair. It was cropped neat and close, as always, and he was reminded suddenly of the time, just after he took the job at the firm, when Gloria had convinced him to grow his hair out.  Don’t worry, baby, we’ll keep it tidy. You’ll still be a serious lawyer.  She took obvious delight in his reluctance and her cajoling and teasing had ultimately convinced him to cancel his appointment with his barber. To Gloria’s dismay, though, he only lasted a mere four months before cutting it short again.

DeSean boarded the train and took his usual seat by the window and let the memory of Gloria warm him as the train started to move. He always saved his thoughts of Gloria for his morning commute. He liked to imagine himself planting her, like a bulb in dark soil, way down deep inside himself where he could pluck her out and reanimate her for a short time before depositing her back into the ground of his safe-keeping. It felt safe on the train. Safe from the scrutiny of others; from the prying questions about how he was doing and the whispers behind cupped hands at the office. The train felt to him the only place where he could allow Gloria to reemerge and expand within him. He wondered what she would think of his plans; what she would make of what was going to happen tonight when he got home from the office.

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