Monday, September 17, 2007

A Toast to the Shadows and Lamplight

The orange light of lanterns and table candles glowed on their faces.

"My feet hurt."

"Yeah, I know."

"If I die and go to hell, I think ten stories of these stone stairs will be waiting for me."

"Just be glad you're not one of the bus boys. I don't know how they do it."

The younger waitress sighed at the computer screen. "Why did they put a restaurant in the catacombs? I could be working at a Dairy Queen."

"It's not so bad."

Quiet laughter crept from a deeper chamber off to the right. Flickers played on the black mortar and the stairs.

"You need help with that wedding party?"

"It's a rehearsal dinner," the older waitress said.

"That's what I meant."

"No, I'm fine. I'm going back to check on them in a second."

"The bride's dress is nice."

"They seem like such a couple. You can see it when you catch their eyes. The groom is telling stories. I listened for a minute."

"I think my blister split open again."

"I like how we use the low room for the weddings. All the candles melting onto the wall."

"I'm going to shred these shoes in the garbage disposal."

"They brought a bottle of Sauternes. Even the wine sparkles like jewels in the candlelight." The deep creases of the woman's face bent into a lifetime of smiles. She looked down at her own wedding ring and thought of her husband's voice. "I hope they never forget."


Bernita said...

Interesting contrast between POV's, Jason, between empathy and self.
Think this deserves to be expanded.

Jaye Wells said...

Nice vignette. As Bernita said, the contrast is interesting and I like the sentimentality here.

The Anti-Wife said...

Lovely sentiments in an unusual setting. Very interesting.

Church Lady said...

**Jumping up and down**
Read Kristin Nelson's blog today, the one with the query. Your short fiction contest is mentioned in the author's publication credits! Woohoo!

LindaBudz said...

Nice. Drew me right into the scene.

And ... how have I never seen your blog before? I work in the cemetery business by day and write by night. And I grew up in Chester County.

Lisa Jordan said...

Love the contrasting characters. Sweet sentiment too. Very nicely done.

Miranda said...

What a magical place. If we knew then what we know now... well, let's just say I'm glad we didn't. Innocence and the euphoria of young love are precious gifts in life. Shared memories strengthen intimacy.

To the waitress: I haven't forgotten....

Ello said...

Very nice voice. It is so inviting and insightful. So you do regular postings of your writing? You may be seeing alot of me then! ;o)

angel said...

very cool- you worked in a restaurant didn't you!!?!

the individual voice said...

Restaurant in the catcombs? Creepy hilarious. Wonder what they serve.

Anonymous said...

Bernita, and youth and age. Since I'm in between, I'm looking to the wisdom of age in this instance.

Jaye, definite sentimentality here. My wife and I are the couple in the story. We returned to this restaurant with our kids after many years. It was a wonderful reminder. We could still savor the experience years later.

Anti-Wife, another real moment shaped into fiction.

Church Lady, hearing about my blog being used as a publication credit has been a huge rush and honor!

LindaBudz, I hope you enjoyed your walk through the cemeteries again! I wonder if you draw on your experiences in your writing.

Lisa, I used the contrast to carry the sentimentality. Glad you liked it. :)

Miranda, I still feel it. Walking through the room was like being seated that night. The presence was there.

Ello, yes, this is a place of experimentation for me! I feature a lot of short fiction. The photography (except for the Westinghoused series) is mine also.

Angel, no, I haven't, but I feel for those who do. I think it's a very grueling job. As a customer, I always try to make it as easy as I can for them.

Individual Voice, totally true! A good place to prepare for a wedding, don't you think? :) It definitely fit for my wife and I.