5 Word Challenge: A Visit to New York

Posted: 2007-05-08 in General
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Patricia has passed on the 5 word challenge duties to me this week, so I've carefully picked five words out of a hat for this weeks' challenge.  They are:

  1. skyscraper
  2. convulsion
  3. systematic
  4. feign
  5. venerable

It wasn't until his third visit to New York City that he got up the courage to visit the Empire State Building.

Jackson wasn't exactly sure why he was frightened of this one building.  "For christ's sakes," he mumbled to himself.  "I work in a freaking skyscraper.  Why does this one freak me out?"

The taxi he had flagged down inched slowly through the throng of pedestrians and cars, giving him plenty of time to stew in his thoughts.  The traffic lights, normally so systematic in their timed ballet of stop-and-go, seemed to be taunting the motorists today.  Eight cars made it through the intersection last time – a mere three the time before that.  He forced himself to feign calmness when he noticed the cab driver looking at his white-knuckled grip on the door's handrail.

As he fumbled in his pocket for enough money to pay the fare, he felt the shuddering start.  Almost a convulsion in its severity, it was worse than the last time.  He gritted his teeth and waited out the trembling until he felt he could safely reach in through the passenger-side window to hand his driver the money without dropping bills everywhere.

He could feel the presence of the venerable building behind, looming over him.  It took all of his willpower to turn, his body dragging against the unseen weights holding him in place.

Here I am.
And there's the door.
I can do this.
Just a few steps and I'll be there.
Just follow the crowd going in.
In through the door.
If I had started to move I'd be inside by now.
Oh my god, will I ever be able to move?
What if I'm standing here all day?
Is it growing bigger?  Am I getting smaller?
I'm seriously going to have a panic attack and stop breathing in a second.
I wonder if someone will give me CPR if I collapse.

A burly tourist, too busy staring at a map to notice where he was going, walked right into Jackson, almost bowling him over.  As the blow from behind forced him to step forward to catch his balance, the frightened man found himself running for the door, feet slapping against the concrete as he cut through the crowds and on into the cool, air-conditioned interior of the building.

As he collapsed against a wall in a mixture of relief and exhaustion, he looked down at the tiled stone under his feet.  I'm in, he thought to himself.  I made it.

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  1. Patricia says:

    Great job. I particularly like the phrase: "normally so systematic in their timed ballet of stop-and-go."


  2. Joy says:

    This really feels like the beginning of something, Ross – I hope you take it further – besides I want to know what happens next!


  3. Ross says:

    Thanks for the kind words – there's definitely something I need to write further on this, I'm just not sure how yet to get from here to there….


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