#SOL18: March 14

Serial Story:  Scene Five 

(Continued from Scene 1, Scene 2 & 3, and Scene 4)

Screenshot 2018-03-13 at 9.15.11 PM.png

Afternoon turned to evening with steady customers.  Busy but not packed.  Folks in red and black with coats and scarves to  take off before they sat down.  Coats and scarves to put back on before they left.  And suddenly at 7:28 the diner was empty.

Maria sunk onto a stool.  Her hair no longer neat and tidy as tendrils framed her face.  She had long discarded her jacket, but she was still tugging on the sleeves, making them cover her wrists.

No dishes on the tables.  They had all been cleared, but everything needed a bit of tidying.  The fmes from hot grease and grilled hamburgers hung in the air.  No songs from the kitchen.  “I wonder if Juan is out back taking a break?” And checking the big poster in the window, Maria saw that tonight was the biggest game of the season.  Working instead of attending classes every afternoon meant that she didn’t see the pep assemblies and the hoopla at the end of the day on these game days.

Straightening slowly, she rose, and headed to the cash register.  Tickets in numbered order.  And then . . . the tip jar.  Somebody had thrown a ticket in it.  “Darn, not very helpful.”Emptying the jar, sorting, moving bills and coins just once.  

Her smile, long faded, now had dimples. “Unflipping believable,” she murmured. “Only four dollars and eighty two cents short.” 

Feet in flip flops flying across the floor, Maria cranked up the radio. Everything was soon readied for the next round.  By 9:30 Maria was tapping her feet again.  Homework was done. Back to the waiting game.  No headlights.  No people.

Ten minutes later, Maria was picking at her fingernails.  So close to her goal.  And unusually late.  Pacing back and forth, steam pouring out of her ears, and finally a noise in the distance.

Louder and louder, siren roaring and lights flashing, the ambulance raced past.

“What do you think, Juan?”

He just shrugged his shoulders.  Maria went back to the window, staring down the street.

“Only 40 minutes left.” Face wrinkled.  Can smell her fear . . . Staring at the clock again. 9:40 pm.

What do you now know that you didn’t before this scene? 

Did your thinking change?

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

New learnings/ wonderings:

  • What is the sporting event?
  • What night of the week is this?
  • What do you know about folks in this town?
  • What do you know for sure?
  • What do you think you know?
  • What questions do you have?


8 responses

  1. I love your Maria character and am wondering if you are going to write the next chapter for tomorrow’s post. I will have to check previous ones, too. I missed several other chapters/scenes. I am wondering what she is afraid of here. Forty minutes left until closing? Until the game begins? I want to know why she needs the money and is skipping classes to work. I have so many questions! I better go back to read what I’ve missed!

    1. Lynne,
      I have found that I have written a lot and then crossed out even more. Writing, and leaving some work to the reader, is incredibly hard work! 🙂

  2. Having just started reading with the last installment, I now know that Maria is a student; she is attending some classes, at least, since there was homework to be done. I worry that she is in flipflops while others are wearing coats. I also worry about what is hiding on her wrists–scars? tattoos? Or was she simply cold?

    1. Loved seeing your thinking! THANKS!

  3. I was also wondering about scars on the wrist. Maria seems to be a bit on edge at this point. Why? Is something about to happen that she knows nothing about? Did something happen or is something about to happen that she does have knowledge of? I get the feeling that Maria is waiting for more than just customers.

  4. There is definitely an uneasiness in Maria that has more to do with rent money. You’re doing a great job doling out the clues and keeping us on the edge of our seats, Fran!

    1. Thanks, Catherine. This is going to be some mentor text so I’m grateful for the extra eyes in advance!

  5. […] (Continued from Scene 1, Scene 2 & 3, Scene 4, and  Scene 5) […]

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