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Landmark

LandmarkRegardless of how well you know the city, the Town Hall steps are the meeting place of choice for most people. While nearly all are young, even the elderly use the landmark, although they prefer to take advantage of the shaded seats in the plaza beside the building.

With steps wide enough to provide a comfortable seat, you would find them populated by dozens of waiting people at any given time of the day. One of the gathered women was leaning against the carved balustrade, taking advantage of the meagre shade it offered from the midday sun.

She'd arrived half an hour ago and had since been scanning the passing pedestrians for signs of her friend, a surfer, with little sense of time. A least the constant passing throng provided a diversion.

A suit unselfconsciously wearing a propeller hat walked by. He worked somewhere in the south of the city, her sister often saw him in the morning as she got off the train. A group of beautifully groomed young men, clad in what she guessed was the latest fashion, milled together briefly like a flock of brightly coloured birds before continuing past.

Several gobsmacked tourists stood nearby in a daze. One of the braver members of their party approached a heavily pierced teenager at the foot of the stairs, who politely answered their requests for directions. He looked slightly bemused as the visitors insisted he feature in their snapshot.

The man in the slightly dishevelled suit, with a bag of crisps clutched in one hand and a battered briefcase in the other, made his third pass. The woman wondered if he was walking around the block or crossing the street and coming back on the other side of the road, as he'd passed in the same direction each time. Her musing was interrupted by a shrill whistle, looking up she saw her friend waving, his hair still damp from the surf.

Gathering her backpack, she wove between the people still waiting on the steps, embraced her friend and together they disappeared into the constantly flowing stream of humanity.


15minuteficletsword #39: flaky

Comments

( 4 howls — talk to the wolf )
julieoh
27th Jan, 2004 17:45 (UTC)
I really liked this one, RW. It's a very vivid view of a very normal moment in time. Nicely painted.
redwolf
27th Jan, 2004 21:39 (UTC)
Thank you! I nearly piked from this challenge. The word was flaky and I didn't think writing a flaky friend's name over and over again would cut it.
eurothrashed
27th Jan, 2004 22:18 (UTC)
I liked this. Simple and normal, hard to believe that normal is one of the most difficult things to to write. Hard to believe, but it is. You captured it really good here.
redwolf
28th Jan, 2004 03:28 (UTC)
I guess it helps that it is a real place and I've been sitting on these steps waiting for people in the past. Who have thought waiting for friends would be useful some day.
( 4 howls — talk to the wolf )