Writers’ Salon, No. 12

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Prompt • Eclipse
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Write a short piece inspired by the prompt (about 600 words). Anything and everything is welcome—poems! fiction! non-fiction! lists! soliloquies!

Do what you feel, post it unedited.

To her, New York City still didn’t feel like home.

She had moved into a cramped apartment in Brooklyn only two months ago, taking up the spare in a three-bedroom, four-story, walk-up that was occupied now by five humans and had  only just been emptied the day before she would settled her mattress and suitcases in the space. Her knowledge of the subway system was limited to the L train and the NQR line—the only trains she had taken up to this point—the only trains that shuttled her to-and-from her two part-time jobs and her bare room. The moments she felt some semblance of joy came from the slight glances towards the tips of the skyscrapers, and she was reminded why.

The hustle-and-bustle of New York confused her—it pushed her from sidewalk-to-sidewalk, through crowds of summer-sweat and spit-ridden streets. She still didn’t know how to climb the subway stairs without guys peeking up her work skirt, she hadn’t yet dug up the courage to dart a menacing look their way, and she still hadn’t figured out to how to not give a damn like other hardened New Yorker. Before she could form the shell that would help her navigate the streets, she was already cracking, she was breaking piece-by-piece, tumbling onto the pavement, falling closer-and-closer towards the dank bus that would take her back to her childhood neighborhood, filled by rows-upon-rows of two-level homes. The unforgiving bus that would carry her away from her towering loves that brick-by-brick shadowed the grime of the streets.

On most days she was merely a passer-by on the streets. She was pushed aside when her swipe wouldn’t correctly swipe. She would give up her seat when she actually needed the seat. But she would never forget to count the water tanks on top of each building. Day-after-day, the city would grind her into the cracks in the pavement, feeling more alone and more displaced.

But one day, as she emerged from the subway station, away from the smells and the darkness, she found a city for her. On this very chance day in August—foretold by the scientists years ago—all of them stared into the sky, looked on in wonder, donning glasses and looks of amazement. All of them gained hope from up above, all of them realized how small they really are, all of them remembered what it meant to be there—on that street, on this planet, and in this life.

So she stopped to join them. To stare at her buildings, and feel at home.

I have been trying to be more open and public with my writing lately. I’ve been writing for a long time, with very few eyes seeing what I do. It might be a confidence thing, it might be a privacy thing, it might be whatever—but it is what it is. Right now, I’m actively attempting to break the cycle, and with that came about this Writers’ Salon that a friend invited me to, which involves getting up in front of a group of people once a month and reading a short, creative piece inspired by a prompt. Unfortunately, I got sick this week and couldn’t make the meeting, so, instead, I thought I’d share the piece here. Enjoy.

— Nahuel F.A.

Published by Nahuel F.A.

"And I've written pages upon pages Trying to rid you from my bones."

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