The Square

It’s been two weeks since the last short story, so I owe you a new one. This one actually isn’t based on 5 specific words but I wanted to share it nevertheless. I wrote it as a submission for a writing retreat. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in. But I still like it. It’s based on the square where I used to live. From my apartment, I watched an entire world unfold there. I loved observing it. And I loved turning it into a story.

This little square lives by its own rules.

Every day is the same.

The lady from number 59 shuffles her way across the street in her blue-yellow flowered apron to sprinkle breadcrumbs for the pigeons. Always in the same place, always in a perfectly straight line.

The boy from number 10 spies on the pigeons through the crack of the front door, as he patiently waits for them all to come down from their hiding place in the sycamores. While they are bickering over every single crumb, he flies over the street and screams out at the top of his lungs. He chases them to the three corners of the square, until they’ve all disappeared back into the sycamores. Exhausted but satisfied, he plops down.

Always right next to the picnic table where the young woman from number 71 reads her book. She doesn’t live in the world of this little square, but in the world of her books. This square has been cruel to her and the family she once had. Her books are her escape. The little boy from number 10 is her way back. His giggling helps her forget her grief and remember her happiness.

Every day is the same here. Even for me. I sit on my bench and let the deep nerves of my finger tops glide over the nerves of the wood. I nod at the lady from number 59 as she shuffles over the square. I clap for the boy from number 10 when he flies after the pigeons. And I smile at the young woman from number 71 when she closes her book. Until I don’t anymore.

That day will be different.

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