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> Homesickness, A very short story
Posted: 09-Sep-2009, 12:39 PM
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Group: Celtic Nation
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Joined: 06-Mar-2008

Realm: Maryland


Hi, I wrote this story following one of the 'exercises' the writer John Gardner suggested for writing workshops.
The exercise asks that you write a one page description of something, pulling in as much imagery as your can .....oh, and it all is supposed to be JUST one sentence. (I love these exercises.) The original was just one sentence, but I had to break it into more than one when I revised it.

by Maureen Elizabeth Mills
“Is that a real Philly pizza shop?”

Curved into a curve under his arm that tapers off at his hip, her maroon and gold (school colors) just-washed for the third time Archer College sweatshirt stretched tight over her shapely torso, his faded t-shirt hanging in limp folds alongside it, them moving smoothly, in tangent, until she sees that shop with the “Philly Pizza” sign in the front and now her body stretches around his so she can hold in her view (like a swan’s neck dipping around to locate and call back into the sweep of its wake an errant egret whose course had strayed) that shop wafting out an aromatic mix of oregano, garlic, basil, and a pinch of some still-secret ingredient that simmered all day in a sauce of roma tomatoes until reddened to the color of a Tuscan sunset. It pulls her and she edges them over to the cement step that leads up and through the open door of the shop to where this pizza could be bought and would, she was sure, be served to her sitting on the edge of an orange vinyl booth like her mom and dad once called their spot, balancing that pizza on the tips of her fingers and biting into it, savoring its hot stringy threads of mozzarella, provolone and viscous sauce wrapping across her tongue, probably (as usual) causing her to lean forward as she concentrates to keep everything balanced making her legs press against the back of the bottom of the seat (sweaty for she was sure the room would be steamy with the heat of a brick oven) so that when she starts to chew and relax and lean back they’ll smack loose, something that always made her old boyfriend Hal laugh though she’d always ignored him, concentrating on keeping her pizza level with the top of the cool formica table, admiring its mix of mushrooms, pepperoni, and artichoke hearts as their banquet of flavors mounded on her tongue and (oh joy) many other slices still waited on the well-worn aluminum pizza pan she’d slide hers from, one exactly like those they used at Bruno’s, the shop at the corner of Cedar and Edgemont that had been the meeting spot for her old high school since Bruno’s grandfather, a young immigrant, had opened it, and the spot where she’d met Hal, where they’d snuck their first kiss in a corner by the jukebox, and where he’d promised nothing could ever come between them even though he’d taken that football scholarship to a Big Ten school somewhere in the middle of miles of wheat fields half across the continent from her, not even phoning after the first month, where he’d met her at Christmas (only because she’d talked to his mother when he wasn’t home when she phoned and she made him meet her) . . . that place she’d returned his ring and thought she’d closed the door on those feelings until passing this shop, which maybe isn’t an authentic Philly pizza shop so why go in, when instead she decides, she has new interests and turns and smiles at him enjoying the curious look he shoots back at her as she nudges his hip to move their direction around towards the door of the adjacent gourmet cupcake shop, a place she’s never been and with which she has no associations except those beginning to tingle like tendrils of mocha chocolate, spreading an anticipation for what they were about to enter and create.
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