Wednesday November 16th, 2011

The exercise:

Write something that takes place in: Paris.

We went up to Oliver this evening for the second movie in the film club series and thankfully it was light years better than the first one. Midnight in Paris was a whole lot of fun; if you haven't seen it, consider it recommended.


He finds a table at the sidewalk cafe in a prime location. From there he's able to people watch in three directions - up and down the street the cafe is situated on, as well as up the avenue that crosses directly beside it. His view down the avenue is blocked by a delivery truck, but he assumes it will be moving on sooner than later.

The cafe is not busy, and he has not been in Paris long enough to understand this means the fare is subpar and the coffee much worse. His waitress knows both of these things but can't be bothered to inform him. She simply takes his order while grimacing as he butchers the native tongue before returning to the dark interior of the business her father runs.

Puddles from the previous night's rain reflect the morning sunshine with blinding enthusiasm while he waits for his breakfast. A pair of pigeons alight on the table next to his and eye him expectantly, as though they know he'll be unable to finish his meal without their help.

Thinking them cute, he takes their picture before returning his gaze to the steady stream of humanity flowing past him. He doesn't think to wonder why none of them stop at the cafe he's chosen.

When his cell phone rings he listens to the voice at the other end of the line without speaking, then hangs up and tosses it in the trash. The waitress sees this as she is bringing the man's breakfast to him but thinks nothing of it.

Not until he stands and points a gun at her face.


Anonymous said...

marc, whoa!

Beggars on the steps of the Musee
Planted there by their menfolk from home;
it's a charade, they needn't be there,
it's 1994 not 1784.

An iron grill, another charade,
it's pretending to be a tower for tourism.
The only thi g pretty here is the lights,
for even the view is found wanting,
just city and more city,
noisy with traffic, no sense of direction,
even the taxis use road maps.

EuroDisney - at least you get to ride;
no queues here, it's not popular,
another charade.

There's entertainment on the Metro
but you'd better pay the puppeteers
that ride these trains,
another charade in Paris.

Greg said...

Sorry, I've had a pretty difficult day and I've got nothing at the moment. I'll come by tomorrow and post something then :)
Glad the second film was much better than the first, though. Let's hope this trend continues!


Aaron said...

Marc- I would read the rest of that story.
writebrite- I liked how you used charade thematically.

I used to want to go to Paris
But that was back when I was naïve.
That was back when the world didn’t smell like a sewer
And people didn’t kill each other.
Yeah, I used to want to go to Paris
Now people that go to Paris make me sick
And the thought of going to Paris makes me spew
Strange syllables out the back of my throat.
How can people go to Paris when other people are
Some people are dying to go to Paris but the closest
they can come
Is Montreal.

Aaron said...

Montreal should be Quebec it alliterates the french pronunciation. Revising is a wonderful process.

Greg said...

Ok, on the assumption that no-one attempts to make me go to a meeting in the next ten minutes, I think I can get something up. Everyone else: I did enjoy reading your writing and I'm sorry I haven't commented more!

@Marc: great little story, coming to a very tense cliffhanger!

As the taxi careered across the cobbles, narrowly missing the fountain that now served, bizarrely, as a roundabout for the traffic, Chloë allowed herself a sideways glance at the other woman on the back seat. She was wearing her winter coat, grey with a black velvet collar, and still looked cold. The taxi driver coughed, and the smell of stale tobacco drifted back to them.
"Mere–." Chloë began and then stopped, unsure of what she wanted to say. Her mother stared expressionlessly ahead.
"Je regrette," said Chloë, trying again, and this time her mother harumphed, and in the back of her mind Chloë could remember being a child again, just learning English and hearing her mother cut her off on a sensitive topic with "Not in front of the slaves!"
Now Chloë knew that the right word was servants, and that her mother had known that at the time.
"Vraiment," said Chloë, but her mother turned, snakelike, and slapped her. She fell silent again, watching the Seine go past outside the window.
The taxi driver coughed.

Marc said...

Writebite - the detail with the taxi drivers was a great touch :)

Aaron - thanks!

I see what you mean about Quebec working better. Either way, though, it's good stuff!

Greg - ugh, meetings. Good luck in avoiding more of those monstrous time wasters.

Intriguing scene. You've got me hooked again.

Anonymous said...

marc, cheers! all based on truth.
aaron, nice blog, i'm following.