Thursday, July 09, 2009

Entry #3

The Veritas Arms
by Katherine Napier


She fell out of the taxi and into his arms, and he took control and held her tightly. She turned her face towards his, looked into his eyes as she had so many nights, and said, “Johnny, I love you. I do, I love you.” He didn’t respond as he guided her through the door and into the apartment building lobby.

She took just a few steps, then stopped abruptly and began to cry. “Oh, Johnny, what would I do without you?” She looked to him for comfort but only found impatience and quickly pulled herself back together. She wiped a stream of makeup from the trench of time it was running down and mumbled, “Maybe it’s just the wine. I love my wine…”

She turned her focus to the elevator doors and allowed herself to feel feminine in his masculine grasp as he took her there, leaning against him to steady herself while they waited for the car to come down. When the doors opened, she slipped the now familiar paper into his palm. She reached out for the elevator operators arm and he offered it to her, as the two coworkers nodded at each other. She leaned into him, looked into his eyes, and said, “Johnny, I love you. I do, I love you.” He didn’t respond and the elevator doors closed.

Paul slipped the $20 tip into the same pocket as always and crossed the lobby back to his station at the door.

25 comments:

JR's Thumbprints said...

She reminds me of all those bachelorette parties I chauffeured, which in turn means that I certainly could identify with Paul.

Aniket said...

I have a feeling this one is going to be a front-runner. Surely as far as the story is concerned.

Loved the plot to the core.
Though I tend to wonder what makes her do the routine. To me there is more to Jhonny than a party fling.

Now I wanna know more about these characters. :P

Loved it!

Piggy Little said...

my "aha!" moment.
simply brilliant.

Tessa said...

Such a clever twist. A subtly encrossing piece which ends with the reader asking why...... and wanting more!

laughingwolf said...

nicely done, katherine...

Catvibe said...

Not fun to be her.... Very sad.

wrath999 said...

An unexpected ending, great job! Enjoyable tale

alex

Chris Eldin said...

I really enjoyed the unexpected ending. I also really like the uncomfortable layers to this piece. Sad but compelling story. Nicely done!

Merry Monteleone said...

Wow, what a great use of 250 words - you really were able to give use a lot of story in such a small space. I liked the twist, too, though it made my heart hurt slightly.

This is another one I'd like to see expanded into a full short story - I'd love to see where these characters go.

Sarah Laurenson said...

How sad and yet, how compassionate. Good job.

pjd said...

I feel so sorry for her. Very well written and complete. I, too, feel this could be a front runner. What I like most is the way people read the ending as a twist when the whole thing is of course fully consistent from the moment she stumbles out of the cab into his arms. Brilliant.

BernardL said...

'She wiped a stream of makeup from the trench of time it was running down'

Great line.

Liz said...

I always hated when people couldn't get my name right, but I always corrected them. I think that takes more gall. Good story.

RKCharron said...

Hi ;)
This was a touching story.
Great characterization. I felt for both "Johnny" and the drunk woman.
Very well done.
twitter.com/RKCharron
:)

Hoodie said...

G-R-E-A-T.

That's all.
I really really really like it.

Gughan said...

I don't know why, but I wonder if she in showbiz.

Such a small peek revealing so much. A compelling tale.

Jade L Blackwater said...

I like how this story unfolds differently from how I perceived its beginning. It sounds like there are more stories that Paul could tell!

Ranee Kaur Banerjee said...

OOOOF! A punch to the solar plexus! Poor little woman. I feel for her.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Bittersweet story with brilliant characterization. Poignant too. Really great job - well done!

Deb S said...

Good twist.

JaneyV said...

I too love the way you unfolded this piece. Your characters are beautifully wrought and I love the conclusion.

Cormac Brown said...

Nice.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Very reminiscent of those 40s films.

Katherine Napier said...

Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. Since I'm not a writer by trade- Jason's challenges are the only time I feel inspired to try- it is very helpful to know what each of you saw in this.

Some seemed to understand that Paul, the doorman, and Ron, the elevator operator, were both "Johnny" to her... others not. I am grateful the sadness came through. I am amused by creating two seperate entities in 250 words. I've always had a bit of a different take on subject and think wine brings out the truth about people, not from them.

Thanks again for allowing an amateur to play with the big boys and girls. Great fun.

jason evans said...

Something so sad in this. But reaffirming on a human level too.

High marks for entertainment value.