Good Narrative Principles

Character Flash: Waiting for the News


All day long I’ve been waiting for the phone to ring. For the text to arrive. I’m supposed to get word today. Been walking with my phone in my pocket…in my hand. It sits beside me at the table when I’m eating.

Around 2 pm or so, I had enough. Decided to go swimming. Pool was crowded, three to a lane.  Afterwards, all three shower stalls were occupied. The fourth was out of order. I stood facing the clock. Trying to maintain my cool, thinking “how long can they take?” Five minutes tops. I listened for any encouraging sound, something that might indicate that one of them was wrapping it up. After six minutes, I lost it. Thought about my phone sitting in the locker ringing away. How would I know? And so, I cleared my throat. A heartbeat later, all three women stepped out of the shower. And yes, in case you’re wondering, there was a text waiting for me. (Notice how I’m not sharing the nature of the news with you?)

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