The Frantic Type (short)

All five of the burrows were glowing, late into the October night. New York was magnificent at half past one, dropping to 43 degrees. Looking from an airplane, you’d see a sprawling, rippling tide of lights. Thin rivers of buzzing red trailing their way up and down, even in this early year. Patches of soft orange and brightest yellow, areas of dazzling white and swatches of soft gray. Looking closer, the Brooklyn bridge dazzled, casting its greenish light across the slowly rippling water of the East River. Across the bridge, just on the edge of Brooklyn was a small, tight street that had once been populated with a series of textile venders, but now housed a collection of beige restaurants and squashed, peeling apartments.
The street was relatively empty. The streetlights had all flared to life hours before, and one had been flashing wearily for a while, with no one to notice but a solitary smoker out on their front stoop, curls of gray looping upwards from their ashy cigarette tip. The last of the cooks and waiters and cleaners had finally left, grumbling with tiredness around 12:30. The street was quiet. In the distance a cat meowed, and traffic could be heard like in a dream rumbling steadily across the bridge.
A slight tap-tap-tapping could be heard though, echoing faintly between the plain two and three story buildings. The smoker didn’t seem to notice, entirely intent on a small patch of asphalt next to their left boot.
Near the end of the street, where the pavement ended in a do-not-enter sign and a construction zone, there was a faded blue dumpling shop that always smelled of frying eggs. In the basement flat beneath the shop, through the few inches of rough, glazed window, there could be seen a man, clattering away on a typewriter. The newest model, just released, had cost the man every spare dollar he had working at the laundromat four blocks away, and cleaning at his brother’s boxing gym twice a week. Now that he had it… Well we will get to the letter a little bit later I suppose. Inside under the light of a bare, single bulb, the man, a pencil tucked behind his ear and a half eaten bit of toast hanging forgotten out of his mouth, looked up and out of the window. Something had startled him. The chilly air whistled through a slight sliver of space where the glass and frame didn’t quite meet the sill. Shaking his head, as if ridding himself of a that silly idea that had popped into his mind, he returned to his writing. His frantic, obsessive, important work.
But what could such a man be writing about so worriedly? With such fervor? A gangly Brooklynite, a laundromat employee, that boy from East Hampton… He had discovered another pivotal piece of their world, and would be the first one to write the news unless the others got to it first. And it was truly important. So we’ll let the man finish his writing in peace for now. We will surely hear his name soon enough, and see him once again – but for now, it’s time for us to go. He has work to do.

Hm… this is Chris talking now. I like these little writings, but unfortunately they never feel finished (clearly, because they aren’t). I either need to take one of these ideas and flesh it out fully over a little bit more time, or try harder to create full story-arcs in these short little passages. Both are good, both are important to try. But I need to stop leaving so many of these ideas unfinished and dive into one a little deeper.

That’s all for tonight… I should’ve gone to bed 45 minutes ago.

One Reply to “The Frantic Type (short)”

  1. Ooh, I like this – I like the way the third-person description turns into a narrator’s voice and introduces the feel of another character (or comeradery as we observe the main character your describing) right at the end.

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