I have had some projects going for a couple of years, one of which was really holding me back. At last, it's finally done and I can continue with the other ones that I know I need to finish but which have been blockaded by that one angry job that I couldn't quite finish.
I also have two short stories to write for anthologies to which I've been invited. And today I felt so good about working on what I want to do (instead of what I felt I had to do) that I started on a short story that I'm writing for no reason at all, except that I feel like it.
That's a good sign. Here are 300 or so words of it.
“It Won’t be Long”
By James Robert Smith
Jonathan stepped off the curb and into the street. He rarely bothered to check for oncoming cars anymore. There really wasn’t much need for that.
Not these days.
Halfway across the street he heard the almost silent purr of a car engine and looked toward the Park boundary to see a late-model sedan headed toward him. It was going very slow. He couldn’t recall the last time he’d seen anyone driving more than ten or fifteen miles per hour.
He tried to remember when he’d last seen a motor vehicle driving too fast to dodge. Months, at least. Half a year, maybe.
With plenty of time to stroll casually across the brick way, he ambled to the other side and turned to see who it was driving interminably in his direction. When the car was a few meters from him he recognized the driver’s face, but didn’t know her name. It was that young woman who had appeared in town some weeks back, at the end of May. She was maybe twenty-five years old, if that. Short and well-built with dark brown hair and emerald green eyes. And she was almost always crying when he saw her, it seemed.
Yes. She was crying, now. As she motored past him, her gaze straight ahead, he could see the tears pouring down her face, her complexion ruddy from the exertion of the amazing sadness of it all.
Jonathan averted his eyes as the car purred by, not wishing to accidentally meet her gaze. He recognized the agony in her face. It was much the same feeling that greeted him each morning when he woke up and looked in the mirror.
She was missing someone. Some people. Husband, children, family, friends.
So many were gone, now.