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 A Square in Stockholm- Take 2

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Posts : 46
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: A Square in Stockholm- Take 2   Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:59 am

Stockholm’s port was in constant motion, as sailboats wended between the little islands and under bridges. The water shone, sun reflected off of wind-ripples. The streets were clean, like the people who occupied them, but a little less efficient. For example, the Players group from the International School knew exactly what they were about. They knew when to meet, and where, and, from careful practice, how to hold up the edges of their velveteen costumes so they wouldn’t drag on the cobbled streets. This was fortunate, because they were only a week away from their modified performance of Romeo and Juliet.
Olle wasn’t pleased with his part in the play. As the prince, he was absent for most of the play, and when he did appear, it was primarily to break up fights- which, of course, was always a disappointment for the audience. It was all right, though, because the play was almost over, and Hanna, the girl playing Lady Capulet, had a lot of time backstage as well. At the moment, the two of them were in alleys across from each other, making faces across the square and trying not to crack up. It would have been okay to laugh, except for Tam’s strictness as a stage director, because the square they were looking across was a public one, with people drifting across it, going about their lives. There was even a cellist playing behind the little statue of a king. As Olle watched, the cellist put down his bow and stooped over. Then he looked up to the sky.

Erik hoped it wouldn’t rain again. Last week, he had snapped two strings on the cello as they expanded and contracted, and it had cost him a month’s worth of the spare change he got from playing. At least he had that part-time job at the bakery, but he wasn’t sure he could cover rent if he kept breaking cello strings. He picked up the bow where he’d put it on the ground, unscrewed the end a little to loosen the horsehair, and slid it into the case. Holding his cello, he looked down into the nearly empty change jar he had set out and sighed. He was only nineteen, and pretty bright, he thought. Things just hadn’t worked out as he had hoped. On the back of his neck, Erik felt a raindrop fall, then slowly seep down the back of his shirt. Then another drop of water fell on his hand. He could see droplets of water starting to hit the wood of his cello, and he realized he didn’t care. It was probably too late to care for the instrument properly anyway. He pulled out his bow, tightened it, and began to play again as the rain fell. It was a weird melody, very like the one he had played for his audition to the conservatory. It hadn’t gotten him anything then, either. However, he reminded himself, he didn’t care what it got him, because it was about the music. It had always been about the music. He realized that he had absentmindedly begun to play to a weird tap-tap-tap beat, and looked up to locate the source of the sound. Several meters away, on the steps of the Nobel Prize museum, a girl was juggling. The balls flew up in patterns and arcs from her hands, matching the sound on his cello, though she never looked over at him. The tapping was the impact of the balls on an umbrella which the woman next to her was holding up. The two of them sat together. They looked like mother and daughter, sitting in the rain. Erik looked away, blinking suddenly. His song stopped abruptly.

Kelsey dropped a ball. It rolled down the step into a puddle at the bottom of the stairs. She had to stand up to pick it up again, then held it in her hand until it stopped dripping. She then went back to sit next to her mother under the umbrella and resumed juggling. It wasn’t, altogether, a bad place to wait. She didn’t mind the rain, and there were a lot of interesting things going on around her. She practiced catching with just her peripheral vision, watching the now-wet actors at one end of the square practice swordplay. Every once in a while, the one in the Friar’s robe would stop the scene, take one of the swords, and demonstrate a move. Kelsey smiled slightly and considered taking a photograph of the friar with a sword. She then remembered that her camera’s card was full from pictures of Italy and France. Trying a complex maneuver, she missed a juggling ball. It rolled down the steps again, the same ball as before. She sighed, put out to have to move, and began to rise. A small hand reached down instead and picked up the ball, and a little girl, no older than three, toddled over to place the ball back in her hand. Kelsey smiled and began to juggle again, now putting on a show for the kid.

Ilena was transfixed. Open-mouthed, she watched as the colored balls rose in the air. They seemed to bounce off of the hands of the juggler and fly of their own accord. She toddled forward, was distracted momentarily by the difficulty of stairs, but soon arrived close to the juggling girl. She put out a hand to steady herself and touched the bright red fabric of the girl’s skirt. The other hand, she placed in the hand of the juggling girl and felt it go up and down in a controlled circle, throwing and catching.
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Aaron J. Greenberg

Posts : 28
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm- Take 2   Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:10 am

I really like the change of the point of view. The plot reads very nicely. Cool.
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Alis grave nil, pax

Posts : 25
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm- Take 2   Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:45 am

The vivid imagery and close attention to detail gives the story depth. The change in perspective from different people gives it an intricate dynamic and the connection between the characters flows. The comparison between Erik’s song stopping abruptly and then flowing into Kelsey dropping the ball gives the abrupt shift a sense of clarity and flow. I really enjoyed it!
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AHSE Capstone

AHSE Capstone

Posts : 58
Join date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: Re: A Square in Stockholm- Take 2   Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:48 am

Wall of character development. Interesting though, how you executed it, it does flow into each other quite nicely and if all of these descriptions are important to the plot (I imagine they will be?) then it was pulled off quite well. It makes me curious not only to find out more about the people you listed and where they're going in this scene, but also the culture of the port of Stockholm as a whole. Of course I can't suggest much in terms of story development, except that it goes somewhere and that you reward the reader with some indication of where all these characters end up. The play is the most pressing story; the cellist was the most interesting story; I don't know where you got the idea for this "Kelsey" character but it sounds totally fictitious; and Ilana is a bit underdeveloped, I suspect you know or otherwise that's intentional. Mhmmm.
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