Friday, February 3, 2012

Red Writing Hood - Waiting

Sitting between a woman in a suit and a man in sweats, holding his lunch in a crinkly plastic bag, she waited to be called.  The head of sandy hair in front of her belonged to a man, tapping out a rhythm on his book.  Several people looked his way, but his rhythm never faltered.

One at a time our names were called.  After a few quick questions, answers that were never quite as quick, the Judge either told them to sit, stay, or go on their merry way.

Young woman, after young woman exited; they were all excused from serving.  Whispers circulated; Tapping Man slowed his beat when the Judge spoke up.

“They’re all college students, in the middle of their semesters.  This case is a capital offense and expected to last at least five months, which would delay their ability to graduate by an entire year, creating undue hardship.  So, ‘no’, I’m not just excusing pretty young women.”  Chuckling, he returned his eyes to his list and the next person on it.

Tapping Man’s rhythm picked right back up, but the beats shifted more erratically.  The process of waiting to find out if she has to serve seemed more tiresome than actual jury service.  If selected, would they call her yet again when another eighteen months pass?

Silence was suddenly startling; it was Tapping Man’s turn.  Three abrupt pounds to his book signaled he was asked to stay.  Sitting, his rhythm resumed fiercely.

The institutional room was still quite full.  Tapping Man’s drumming was so incessant, she began pairing notes to it in her head while she waited.  She always waited; not many people had last names that came after Zavattoni.

Waiting might as well be taken as a middle name.  She was waiting, always waiting; waiting to take her path, waiting for her family’s path drenched in tradition to take her, waiting.

Eyeing her wrist’s new tattoo, she heard Tapping Man’s staccato end to his beats.  The Judge had reached the ‘T’s and had as many people as the lawyers needed for this round of jury selection.  Abruptly, they were excused.

Reaching the door to leave, the clerk recognized her, “Computer sure does like you.  Guess we’ll see you in another eighteen months, huh?”

Adrianna returned the clerk’s impish smile.  But, she was done waiting.  Walking out the door, she was sure she would not be back.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodMy fiction muse has been on vacation, it would seem.  Not quite sure she's back, but like Adrianna, I don't want to wait anymore.  When I realized the last bit of fiction I shared was at the beginning of December, I decided to just write.  Maybe she'll see me waving flags filled with color - begging her to return! lol

In the meantime, I've jumped back in with Write on Edge's prompt this week to use music to inspire a character or move a storyline.  It didn't need to be any specific piece of music, so I ran with the beat of Tapping Man's drumming fingers here. Does it work?

Adrianna is part of a close friendship of four kindred spirits and this takes place in the week after Loose Spring.


  1. Karen, I Am soooo glad you're back and I loved this. By not using a song, but a BEAT instead you set the emotion for the whole piece. it was drenched in angst, suspense and frustration...the way waiting normally is.


  2. I like that you didn't use a song and just used the tapping beat against the backdrop of the courtroom. It kept me along for the ride :) And of course I love seeing you back here with part of your fabulous foursome :)

  3. great - i love that the mood is set by the stranger's tapped tempo, as well as setting his tempo.

  4. You kept the mystery alive until the very end. Tapping out a rythm on his book--very clever.

  5. I love the use of Tapping man. It fits in so well with the waiting concept. People do all sorts of things to pass the time :)

    I do wonder what she could mean about not coming she losing her name

  6. The tapping irritated the heck out of me. And I was just reading it! I felt like I was there, waiting, waiting, tap, tap,tap, waiting - you conveyed the feel very well. We've all met The Tapping Man somewhere.

  7. VERY cool! KAREN! Love how your writing is a deep, rich and clever as your crafting! I love it, baby!!! Love, love, love! xo!

  8. I love how the tapping set the mood. The only concrit I have is to watch your commas. There were a few parts I had to read over again to understand.

    Great work.

  9. What a great spin on this prompt! The tap, tapping signifies her anger with the situation, her impatience with waiting any longer. I loved it. Unique and fun!

  10. I wanted to reach through my screen and slam my hand down on the Tapping Man's. Great job there!

  11. I'm glad you're back!

    This past Friday was the first time that I had written fiction in a while and it felt really good for a change. The creativity of it all was such a welcome change.

  12. Yes! Glad you're back! I was so happy that you visited my blog... a familiar friend! Always love to read your writing style.
    Take care,

  13. It definitely works! I really enjoyed this! You are a very talented writer. I was sad when the piece ended. I feel like I need more!


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