Friday, January 09, 2009

Entry #31

Further Up, Further In
by B. Nagel

Leigh Monaley waited seven hours at the station. The private investigator assured her that Walter Davidman would be on the 4:05 to Jackson. But Davidman hadn’t been on assurances 10:20, 12:05 or 2:15.

Leigh checked her cellphone. Six missed calls from her mother. Three voicemails. Ten minutes until the bus was due.

She pulled the yearbook out of her bag and opened it to the dog-eared Homecoming page. Her mother, Katie Lopez, in the back of a red convertible driven by a young man with blond hair and thick black plastic glasses.

Leigh’s mother claimed not to know his name, but Leigh knew this man was her father. Where else could she have gotten her abominable vision? Certainly not from her mother’s husband.

“What do we have here?” asked a quaky voice and an age-spotted hand obliterated her father.

The hand’s woman squatted down beside Leigh and the stench enveloped them both. “What a beautiful woman. Are you meeting her here?”

“I’m sorry. This seat is taken.” Leigh shut the book and waited for the woman to move on.

“Not unless you’ve been holding it for the last few hours,” the old woman cackled and winked. “How about I keep you company until the bus shows up with the pretty lady who doesn’t know you’re her daughter? I’ll be your foster mother and we can. . .”

Leigh bolted for the exit and ran up the escalator two steps at a time, past the poet in new jeans.


*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Well written!The ending made me smile :)

Lena said...

I liked the ending too :)
Well put!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Nice piece :)

Sarah Hina said...

Interesting interpretation. It seems like we're all looking for meaningful connections, something to lift us up. Second chances.

I, too, really enjoyed the last line! :)

JaneyV said...

Interesting take. That old woman scared me too. The last line was very good. I'm not surprised that everyone's picked up on it.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Very interesting piece - and of course, there's nothing like a poet in a pair of jeans to end a story.

laughingwolf said...

nice twist, thank you :)

B. Nagel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Nagel said...

Thanks everyone. I've had a lot of fun reading all of the interpretations and takeoffs of the theme and the picture.

The Preacherman said...

What's my mother doing in your story??? ;-)

(You think I'm joking?)

Great story. Great read. Cheers

Terry said...

What a poignant display of human frailty. This story was bittersweet for me, having once been the girl-in-waiting. My favorite tidbit was "The hands woman squatted.." Good stuff!

B. Nagel said...

Preacherman: I put her in there on purpose because I knew I would enjoy your story so much. :P

Terry: I'm glad it paid off. I had to use some . . . non-standard grammar to say what I wanted.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Interesting way to end the story. By making the person in the photograph nonessential to the storyline you've managed to take a big risk. Or am I too tired and missing something?

Catvibe said...

So she's waiting for the man she thinks is her father...I wish he had showed! But the bag lady part is creepish, and knowing she's been being watched for several hours, yikes! I'm glad she left and hope she finds peace. It is easy to imagine that her at home father is not satisfying her need for a father in some real basic way, and I wonder what that way is. The ending made me laugh outloud, with its unexpected allusion to the photograph.

September said...

:) loved this so much.
I could see the girl there, waiting.
and I love that last line about the poet in the blue jeans.
nicely written. You could feel Leigh's inner turmoil as she waited for answers.
adding "normal" people around - bag lady (normal because they are all around) and the poet - loved it!

jason evans said...

Great job on pacing, storytelling, and voice!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest!