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Entry # 11
Author: Tory Gates
Title: A Moment in the Sun
Chapter 1—Then & Now
The white and pink bus traveled along streets already congested by morning commuters. Dawn had broken, and the overnight trip was nearly finished for the handful of riders. Soon they would arrive at Shinjuku Station to be greeted by family and friends, but for one.
Though she appeared asleep, the girl curled up in a window seat, head against the window was awake. Her body, exhausted from a long ride and numerous fears was tensed. She wanted the bus to stop so she could get off, and get away.
Arms encircled the backpack, bulky with the thick sketchpad that protruded from the main compartment. The girl wore jeans, sneakers, a black sweatshirt with no markings and a denim jacket longer than the fashion. A military-style cap pulled low over her face, long, thick hair spilled from it, tied back by a rubber band.
This part of her stood out: the mane was shoulder length but wavy, not the norm for Japanese women. At first glance, one would think she’d given serious use of a curling iron, but the girl’s hair was naturally so.
She didn’t want anyone looking at her. In the ten hours aboard, the girl studiously avoided contact, although the elderly couple seated next to her as far as Kawasaki Station was friendly enough. Less talk equaled less visibility.
The girl peered out the window. Buildings loomed above: shadows of vehicles, bikes and pedestrians registered, but she did not look at them. She was here before, but long ago. Her hope was to remain, and leave what she fled behind.
The uniformed relief driver moved forward. He spoke to each knot of passengers politely to say they would be at the station soon. An announcement declared the same; with admonitions to each fare to ensure they had their luggage in order. The girl faced forward and waited.
Shinjuku was one of the world’s busiest rail and transit stations. Minutes passed as the bus wound its way to its stopping point near the taxi stand. The girl took a deep breath; she did not want to look too excited.
Finally, the bus pulled up to the curb. Brakes were set, doors opened and the girl took her place in line with the rest. There were only a dozen left; trundling their carry-on bags, each passed the driver with a nod or words of thanks. The relief man stood outside to help those off and to open the side doors for those with suitcases.
A brief thank you to each, and the girl stepped away. She avoided the few on hand to greet her fellows. There was no need to search; no one knew she was here hopefully.
She did not go into the station. Skirting the entrances, the solitary girl turned a corner and walked into the sun.
There’s more to critique!
After leaving your comments, you can head over to one or more of these blogs to see some more great entries:
- Before Ink Dries
- Magic & Mayhem Book Reviews
- MM Jaye Writes
- Official Blog of Brian Basham
- Proof Positive
- Quanie Talks Writing
Thank you to the entrants and the participants!