Seeing as how I have been pressed for time as of late (I find myself writing a lot, which I can’t say is really a bad thing as a writer), it’s time to back to the stories! Here is a three part exercise turned story. We’ll do part 1 today and the rest later.
It was bright. Sam squinted even though he was indoors. From all the shops and their windows reflecting the bouncing rays to the vaulted ceiling that let in more light than a greenhouse in an arboretum, the mall was near blinding. Sam blinked a couple times, wondered why it had to be so bright, and stepped up to the escalator.
A constant noise, the hushed murmur found during early afternoon on a weekday, echoed over the area like the sound of a distant highway. Sam liked the quiet. It wasn’t the same ear splitting noise that was usually there during the weekends. There was still an occasional banshee like squeal from a little child, piercing the air and walls and humans. As he stopped and looked at the kiosks while waiting for the people in front of him to step onto the escalator, he heard one of those screams. His skin crawled, bubbling up and falling down like he was the vat of a witches’ brew.
In front of him, a small child and mother were just stepping onto the escalator. The mother was young and thin. Strands of slightly curled black hair cascaded around her shoulders. Her face was narrow, pointed, discerning. She was holding an infant in one hand, a cell phone and shopping bags in the other, all while trying to coax along the kid, something which was much like trying to get a cautious doe to take a couple steps forward.
Sam gazed at her for a moment, thoughts of a fun night, real fun night going through his mind. He thought he saw her wink at him. His mind did summersaults as he wondered what his next step should be. Sam ran his hand over his head, fluffing his brown hair into place before taking another step forward.
He stopped just as he was about to step onto the escalator. The small child was still at the bottom, unwilling to take the final step. Sam could hear the complaints from behind and he could visualize the line snaking through the mall. The woman was already ascending, oblivious that her kid was at the bottom and not coming up with her.
When the kid cried, an ear splitting noise, the mother turned around and noticed the problem. She waved her arms as though she was a mix between a traffic cop and a crazed person standing on a corner screaming about the end times. She tried yelling, tried more waving, but none of it worked. Sam watched, more the woman than the child standing right in front of him. She finally descended the stairs, working double time to fight the escalator. The woman reached out her hand; the kid reached back. She took a step down and the kid took a step up.
A crash echoed over the area. Just as the woman stepped down, the child stepped up and tripped on her mother’s foot. She tumbled backwards on the escalator, head smacking into the metal, teeth like points on the edge of the stairs. A scream pierced the mall. Sam watched as her hair dangled dangerously close to the side, to a near certain doom if her black pony tail was pulled into the churning gears underneath.
The mother danced on the steps. She tried her best to pull up the child, but it was hard with no free hands. The kid was still screaming, and still within a couple feet of Sam. He watched. The thought of helping passed through his mind. Sam turned his head to the side, took a step forward, and waited for the mother to pick up the girl. When the kid was safely standing on the stairs, sobbing and rubbing her head, Sam shrugged, thought about the possible wink again, and stepped onto the escalator.