Sunday, June 30, 2013

3. "A Walk in the Park" (P1)

The sun was setting, casting a brilliant orange hue on everything that was not in the shadows of the surrounding skyscrapers. In the distance one could hear the sounds of light traffic muffled by the dense foliage in the park, the last signs of the more persevering workers coming home.

Sitting on a worn bench in one of those golden streaks could be seen a young woman. Although, it would be better to use the word girl, as she was not much older than sixteen. Her brown hair was cut short and quite messy, though kept clean. She was adorned in some mismatched attire. Beige pants which had been hanging from a clothesline in an alleyway. A grey jacket that was laying on the passenger seat behind the open window of a car. Risky rubber boots found next to an apartments open door with voices heard just on the inside. Two fingerless leather gloves, a gift. Despite this appearance, her blossoming femininity shone through. Her head was slightly bowed, with her hazel eyes squinting deep in thought. Things can change so fast and she needed some time to catch up.

A young child could be heard crying. An uncommon sound in the park at this hour, though the voice was quite recognizable. For Novella had become intimately familiar with all the regular visitors knowing when and where they usually haunted. It was vitally important for her line of work. So without looking up, she recognized it as a several month old with his still fresh parents. The trio came to Central Park regularly at this time right after the husband got off from work. His job was quite lucrative, but he considered this short time in the park to be among the most important moments of his life. Especially since he almost lost the only thing that mattered last year. The couple would spend several hours watching the sunset between the various buildings, frittering the time away with discussions of various events from the day. They were among the more predictable. The suffering toddler was quickly comforted.

She wished she could have ever receive the same, but that wish lasted only a moment. For most of her still quite short life, thinking of her origins rarely consumed much time. She simply didn’t care for that sort of thing, preferring to live in the present. She could always quickly make sense of her surroundings and extract the joy of living from them. Normally, if an answer was not immediately apparent, she would not dig for it. So, an event she considered far more important than her birthday drifted into her mind. The beginnings of her current life.

On a chilly autumn day with the sun directly overhead, there were six girls that might have been called friends and they were out on an adventure exploring a vast wilderness. Actually a small woods in a park that was sure to not be too far from their guardians as to be lost. They were busily trying to forget that they lived in an orphanage. Except that the twelve year old version of Novella, now with long combed hair and a white sweater with matching skirt, was having trouble concentrating on this little game. She instead thought about leaving, escaping from what she considered the cruel clutches of the orphanage where she was forced to watch others leave with new parents while having to stay behind. Of course, this was a mere idle pleasure and she did not, up to this point, have the courage to follow through with her admittedly juvenile designs. Instead, she merely made an awful playmate as she absentmindedly kicked at a nearby tree.

The leader of the group, Stephanie, had made herself at home ever since she had arrived at the orphanage. She had attained her position with the girls by her bossiness and a wealth of creativity. As long as you went along things would be pleasant. On the other hand, if you didn’t follow her rules things could go nasty. As such, she did not like Novella.

She turned around towards Novella’s tree with her long blond ponytail flicking from the motion and exclaimed, “Ella, stop lagging behind.”

Quickly running up, she responded, “geez don’t have a hissy fit, what's bothering you all of a sudden?”

“Um, lets see, because it’s been like the millionth time you’ve fallen behind. You’re more mindless than a bug,” she sneered, looking pleased with her quick comeback.

Even now Novella had developed an ability to read a character quickly and pick up on important information. Despite only being acquainted for the month since this girl arrived in the orphanage, she knew exactly how to get her to stop being such a bother for the rest of the day. “How’d ya figure that number, we both know you can’t count much past ten,” she said with a wink.

Her adversary froze for a few seconds, then embarrassed with what might have been a tear, the blonde orphan quickly changed the subject and blinked it away. Pointing at a rope barrier, she exclaimed, “we must discover where this vine originates!” As they began to jog along the fence, Novella had a feeling that she may have not said quite the right thing. A tear? That was unexpected. She may no longer be bothered by that girl for the day, but this might turn into something she would have to deal with some other time. Was there something more to the stuttering before the number fourteen?

Later on, as she began to drift off from the group again, she noticed a boy not much more than two or three years older than herself. Wearing a gray sweater, brown vest and rather old fashioned looking fingerless gloves, he seemed to be acting rather strange. Well, strange when compared to the other park inhabitants. He was sneaking out of a woods behind a couple sitting on a bench. The bench, in fact that we are already familiar with, except that it was new and without splinters and graffiti.

What was he doing? Well, from the young Novella’s view, he must have been playing some type of game. Indeed, a much more fun game compared to the one orchestrated by Stephanie. After coming up low right behind the bench, he quietly reached between the engrossed lovers and extracted a wallet, slipped out the cash, and put the wallet back. What an amazing feat, thought Novella. Or maybe he was just arrogantly flaunting his talents. Either way, she had to meet him.

Despite his abilities, he couldn’t hide from her discerning gaze as he triumphantly dodged back into the trees. She looped around to the other side of the woods to cut him off from an escape.

[To be continued...]

This is suppose to be more adventure rather than character change story. As you can see, I also tried to flesh out the descriptive details. Whereas the previous works lacked surroundings and felt rather ethereal, this one should actually be somewhere. I know, far from great, but you have to crawl before you can walk or, in this case, discover you have limbs before you can crawl. A multi-part story, we’ll see if I can keep this going.

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