Avalanche of Memory

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A practice story for Booksie Idol using the current prompt. Lonliness, mountain coffee shop, pencil paper.

Submitted: January 28, 2014

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Submitted: January 28, 2014

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An avalanche of golden sunlight fell upon the back-country southern slope of Mount Olympia, and when the mountain could hold it back no longer, it brought morning to the residents of the little resort valley.  Jim’s room was at once flooded with light.  His eyelids lifted, and he glanced at the clock, but the rest of his body lay motionless. He should not have been able to see the clock.  A matted mass of browny hair was supposed to be between him and the far side of the bed.  Hair that was ready for a quick conversation about who would shower first and which back-country slope they would attack today.  Jim released a quiet groan. That was conversation enough, now.  Still, the clock read 11:08, and the world would be awake.

  He showered and dressed quickly because, as his Jane had once said, “The day is so fleeting here that one could be standing in light one minute and in shade the next.”  By 11:29 he was out the door and on his way to the resort’s little coffee shop.  The crisp air outside carried the smells of breakfast and the screams of delighted children as they sped down the nearby bunny slope.

 The little shop had its usual complement of patrons for this time of year, seated around steaming cups of vanilla roast.  Jim found an open table and put himself in a chair to it.  Upon the table were menus, pencils, and a notepad with letterhead that said, “Tell us what you want.”  The idea was to efficiently serve customers who only spoke sign language, but that didn’t stop Jim from taking the pad and sketching a portrait of Jane.  She laughed when he showed it to her.  That was a year ago—to the day.

  “The usual?” Kelly, the waitress, asked.  Jim nodded.  When she left, he lifted the paper and took the pencil.  He drew Jane’s hair first.  That was easy, the part on the left, tresses falling like fingers over her shoulders.

  “Here you go.” Kelly brought the scent of peppermint cocoa.  “I heard what happened. It’s on the house.”  Jim nodded absently.  He drew the eyes next, but there was something not right about them. Too almond-shaped.  He erased and tried again.  Too round.  He erased and tried again.  Too squinty.  He erased and stared at the faded attempts.  Was it possible? After only one day?  “How could I forget!”


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