Short story writing challenge #1 — New York Lemonade.
Hello and welcome to my creative writing journey! My short stories will be approximately 500 words and show the beginnings, middles, or sometimes endings of a story. The rest can be filled in using your imagination. This first snippet comes from a writing assignment, five little words, from an awesome online writing course that I took with author Carol Anne Shaw whose assignments opened me up to the world of short stories and inspired me to attempt this writing project of mine as well.
The five words that I have to use in my story: sparrow, lemonade, thunder, twenty-three, imperfect
It was so hot, Julie couldn’t hold her lemonade without tiny beads of icy condensation coating her knuckles. She nearly dropped the tumbler, but at the last minute, managed to catch it in both hands. Its comforting chill was the only relief she had felt all day.
Twenty-three years. That’s how long she had put up with this New York City heat and she hated it.
Twenty-three…also the age she’d been when she’d had Sparrow—when the most imperfect circumstances had brought forth the most perfect being she had ever met. He had lost his shit when she’d suggested the name—Sparrow. He’d looked at her like she was crazy. But she’d been persistent. What could he do, anyway? He owed her. At the moment Sparrow had arrived cheeping gleefully into the world, he’d been drunk. Not just a little buzzed but plastered out of his mind. So much so, he’d tried to rob a deli with a rubber chicken…buck naked! When the police had appeared, he proceeded to vomit on their shoes and run away. And no, they didn’t catch him. The thing was, he’d been a track star during his glory days. Hence, the reason Julie had fallen for him in the first place. She’d always had a weakness for elite athletes. And he had been so fast he’d raced his way straight from high school to the Olympics. He could have been a champion. But, like everything else, he just couldn’t handle the pressure. He always cracked. Always.
Julie looked out at the dark clouds and felt the thunder before she heard it. It crashed so loud she felt as though her heart was exploding. Gasping, her glass slid unceremoniously from her hand, and smashed into tiny pieces at her feet.
“Well,” she laughed. “That seems about right.”
Seconds later the rain hit—so hard and so fast there wasn’t time to get inside. Nature’s shower washed the sweat from her body in one fell swoop.
Julie’s mood changed in an instant.
“God,” she said out loud. “I love this city!”
6 thoughts on “Short Story: New York Lemonade”
Good for you! I enjoyed this little story. It took me awhile to figure out that the “he” is Julie’s husband/partner. (“He ran” or “he had run”, not “he’d ran”. Sorry, that just jumped out at me.) I would like it better if the husband’s name were mentioned and Julie’s name mentioned more frequently. I think the story would flow more easily.
Thanks for posting!
Thanks for reading, Sam! I had a debate about whether or not to name her partner and when I first wrote it I kind of wanted him to just be a “him” but I also see your point about it flowing more easily if I were to name him. Thanks for the suggestion!
I love this story. Very articulate and emotional. Good work Kristi! Can’t wait for more!!
Thanks Chelle! 🙂
I actually liked that you didn’t name the husband. I enjoyed being confused for a moment and then the aha! once I figured it out. Iagain I was curious what direction Julie and Sparrow would take going forward. The lemonade and weather enhanced Julie’s thoughts nicely.
Original and intriguing. A different and highly creative style. Really like it and tge onecthe follows too. Good work Kris!