Saturday, May 8, 2010

128. Moving on


And so they waited. Tourists and locals disembarked from the vessel and scampered up the steps to the pier on which they squatted. They pulled their feet back languidly to avoid the thin wheels of the luggage and the wide wheels of the barrows bound for the big house at the top of the hill. They waited silently.

The elderly lady with silver hair was carried down the slip-free treads, her wheel chair following behind on broad shoulders. Their eyes followed silently. They did not acknowledge. They waited.

A tray of breads and pastries was loaded onto a barrow. A wicker basket piled high with cauliflower, and cabbage, and carrots, and a variety of necessary vegetables was plonked on the planks beside them, so close they could smell the clinging soil.

Their eyes crossed, but they did not flinch. They were not in the here and now. They were waiting.

A member of the Weekend Writer's Retreat

10 comments:

Joan Elizabeth said...

I feel sad, waiting with them.

Calico Crazy said...

One wonders what they're waiting for.

diane said...

I know what waiting means.

Julie said...

... *guffaw* ... yes I guess you do!!

You know, in 150 words it is only possible to raise threads in the reader's mind ... not to lead to conclusions. I could have intimated that they were maybe waiting for the ferry, maybe waiting to escape, maybe waiting for tomorrow. But what I wanted to do was paint a picture of life happening around them and them being on the sidelines. Busy vs still. Engaged vs onlookers.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Ooh, I like this. Like the atmosphere and the way you build it. How you take a picture that I'd say was from an amusement park and give it that deeper, darker theme. And I'm curious why everything is being transported by wheelbarrow...

Janet said...

You paint such lovely pictures with your words, Julie!

I envisioned perhaps servants of the elderly lady, waiting to follow her up the hill to her mansion. And a time past, when food was shipped and sold by vendors.

Of course, that's just me and my imagination. And I know your photo is modern - but confession time, sometimes I don't look at your photo before I read your 150 words.

Julie said...

Hah! You have no idea how much that pleases me!

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

So many ways to interpret their waiting. I love the sense of suspended animation here - of life on pause. Waiting is like that.

Alice Audrey said...

I got a strong sense of the life happening around them while they waited, but I can't help wondering who they are and why they would be separated from the general flow.

Julia Smith said...

A lovely piece - and this is just great:

'so close they could smell the clinging soil.'

And the picture that accompanies it gives a tug of pathos to it, with the girl hugging her stuffed toy.