February 22nd, 2009

My Plot Variant Exercise

Three different plot variations inspired by this scenario–woman attempts to step into crosswalk, man jogs a few steps to catch up from behind her and grabs her arm to pull her back.

Her foot was almost off the sidewalk, when he cupped his palm around her elbow when and somehow managed to yank her back. His heart pounded, but not much, it had been so quick. He saw the dumptruck turn left into the condo construction lot before she turned on him.

“The hell? What do you want?”

“You were about to walk right in front of that truck. I just—”

“It turned. It was turning.”

“But I didn’t know, it was coming straight—”

“It signalled.”

He drew himself up a little, still under her hairlines. “It’s never safe to jaywalk, you know.”

Tentatively, he jabbed her arm as she was about to step off the kerb. Pushy, yes, but he just had to see if it was Sienna. Sienna, after all these years, the same silky hazelnut hair down her back…

She turned, a faceful of freckles under wide Britney sunglasses, a tiny mischief mouth. Not Sienna.

“Oh, sorry, I thought I knew you from—”

“Do we?” Underneath the big lavender lenses, her eyebrows scrunched.

“No, I’m sorry, I—”

The brows unscrunched, popped back over the tops of the glasses. “Yes, from the gym, of course.”

He startled, took a step back. Did she go to his gym? He didn’t look at people very closely there, mainly–certainly no eye-contact. “Is it that?”

“Of course!” She flapped her hands, yanking shopping bags up and down. “The free-weights hog, from—”

“Well, I don’t really hog them. I just use a range….” He grinned.

“Yeah, you do.” She grinned back. “Everyone at Bally’s knows about you.”

A taxi whizzed by, windows crowded with heads.


She nodded, still smiling.

“I guess you’ve…ah, got the wrong guy. I go to Trainers.”

Her smile fumbled, eyebrows reclenched. “Trainers?”

“On, ah. Bathurst. Good gym.”

She stared.

“Just a case of…mistaken identity. I guess.” And, not knowing what else to do, he brushed past her into the crosswalk.

He couldn’t believe it when the white “Walk” man appeared and she actually turned to go.

“Wait,” he said but her shoulders continued to twist as if she would not wait, and his hand shot out to snatch her elbow.

She spun, silk hair flowing away from her shell ears, so lovely. Her eyes were wide on his face. Her mouth of opened pink, but she didn’t say anything.

“I just—so, we’re broken up, then?”

“Broken…? Were we– It was just a coffee, David, a couple of times. We were never–“

“It was, Aisha…something. To me. I felt, with you, I felt— God, you’re amazing, you know that? You don’t even know that, do you?”

“David, I don’t want–“

“I think I could impress you, Aisha. When I think of how I feel about you, I think I could be impressive. I could do anything.”

“David, I’m sorry–“

“Aisha, would you listen? You don’t listen.”


He looked down and saw his hand still on her arm, his fingertips digging white bloodless dents into her honey skin.

When your home is your headstone

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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