Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writing Project: The Kiss

I wrote this as part of an experimental creative writing project for my self-inflicted writing group homework. I'm calling it a Pastiche Project as it is meant to combine several different types of art. This one uses an image that I edited, a song that I found, and a short story that I wrote. So, to fully experience the project do the following:

1. Turn your speakers on and hit play on the youtube video link. No need to watch the video, it's just to play the music.
2. Take a look at the image.
3. Read the short story! Be sure to comment once you've experienced it and let me know your thoughts!!! :)

The Kiss

The air felt thick. Tara blinked her eyes against the acrid cigarette smoke that hung perpetually inside The Grotto. It even reached the bar’s rear entryway where Tara, and the rest of waitstaff came and went.

Her eyes began to water. But Tara knew that by the end of her shift she would be so used to the pungent bite of the Marlboros and Virginia Slim-infused atmosphere that her eyes would adjust.  And by the end of the night she’d barely notice the stench that inevitably would follow her home.

Tara knotted her apron string twice around her waist and clocked in. Din from a halfway decent cover band playing in the front lounge reverberated through the building. The lead singer was attempting to channel Huey Lewis. Attempting, but not succeeding.

She ducked into the restroom. Her bangs were a bit disheveled and and her eyeshadow had creased. She fluffed the fallen fringe of chocolate brown and smoothed out the turquoise powder. Deftly she pulled a small tube from her pocket and swiped on some Lip Smackers. Just in case.

She turned sideways and eyed the petite figure in the reflection. Hand on her stomach, she stood up straight, willing her 5 foot frame to lengthen and her abdomen to shrink.

There wasn’t much she could do.

She stepped into the lounge, eyes squinting against the onslaught of smog. It was extra smokey tonight. The Grotto was always crowded on Friday nights, but tonight was exceptionally packed.

Tara moved along the back wall towards the bar.

He was there. Behind the bar, head cocked towards a bosomy blond perched on a bar-stool. The Locklear lookalike was whispering in his ear. He was shoving a $5 bill into his pocket.

Joey was also behind the bar. “Yer late, kid.” His voice boomed against the chords of the overly-amped bass guitar. Joey thrust a tray of Kamakazi shots and Alabama Slammers at her. “Table 13.”

She moved through the tables with dancer-like ease. Vestiges of her middle school dream of becoming a prima ballerina clung to her posture and stance. And although it had been 7 years since her last plie, she still walked with the gait of one who’s limbs had been refined by hours of repetitious attempts at grace.

She passed a rather green-faced girl, draped over the shoulder of a comrade. Tara recognized her from high school.

She edged past a table full of middle aged misfits. She skirted a group of collegiate gym rats. She reached table 13 and set down the tray.

“We’ll need a couple glasses of water.”

“Of course. I’ll be right back.” Tara had a feeling tonight was going to be full of needy patrons.

She meandered back through the crowded bar, acquiring empty beer bottles and depleted martini glasses as she went. She deposited her load and placed the order for a round of waters for table 13.

Silently, she waited in the shadows at the side of the bar.

Joey was pouring the bar-stool blond another shot.

The green faced girl was being escorted to the exit.

Two of the middle aged oddballs were making eyes at each other across the table.

The crew of collegiate athletes began heckling the band.

Suddenly, his breath warmed her ear. She turned towards the heat and immediately his height filled her vision and barricaded her from The Grotto’s parade.

“Two more weeks, Tara. Two more weeks and we’ll be Harbor Country.” His eyes were depths of artless candor.

She tilted her head, his hand grazed her wrist. His lips gently landed on her mouth.

In an instant, she was back in the chill of their basement apartment, standing on tip-toe in the clouded Grotto, and laying, deep in the warm sand of Warren Dunes.

“Kid! Water for table 13!”

The moment was over.

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