Nov 2, 2010

Q: Write a story where two unusual or eccentric characters meet for the first time.

By Megan Wanda

Francois lumbered into the sidewalk. He had been walking for days now and he needed food and rest, but New York was a concrete jungle and he hated being here. He hated this country. The country that called rock-hard bins croissants and soggy fried bread French Toast. As if the French would ever come up with something so… inedible. His face betrayed him. In vain he tried to get rid of all the gunk on his face, but faint traces of costume paint were still visible between the crevices of the wrinkles that were not supposed to be there. His long bony arms swung lethargically by his side as he trudged along the sidewalk. He began to take in his surroundings and realized he was in a much quitters place in New York. He actually heard a bird chirping! He saw the huge white gate in front of him and he thought of the fortress back home. He scuffled forward.

Lucille sat in her garden fanning herself delicately with the fan Charlie bought her from China. Her other small chubby hand rested on the arm of an elaborate Victorian-style chair, with a footstool to match. Her arms were short and rather fat and seemed to connect with her double, triple chin that hid her neck. Her large, rather pouty lips were painted a bright, glossy orange and her eyelids were heavy with heavy make-up over her crystal blue eyes. Olivia, the Chartreux, sashayed into the garden and Lucille squealed, “Oh! My beloved! Come,” she patted the numerous thick folds of her stomach, “let me pamper you!” Lucille propped her legs onto the footstool and Olivia jumped on. The doorbell reverberated like a gong in a monastery and Alice, the maid appeared out of no where and scampered across the garden to open the white gates.

Francois could not believe the size of the garden he just entered. She sat like a splodge under a large yellow umbrella, surrounded by at least twenty purring cats. Two of which, his sharp brown eyes noticed, were pregnant. She beckoned him with her fat little finger. He obeyed silently. Upon reaching her, some of the cats encircled his feet and began to rub their bodies along his long trousered legs. “Ah, it seems my darlings have accepted you!” She said in her thick British accent. Francois’s eyes widened. He had never met a fellow immigrant before. All those at Barnum and Bailey’s were staunch Americans.
Oui Madameoiselle…?”
“Charleston,” she replied haughtily.
“Ah! Madame Charleston! I am so ‘appy to be meeting a fellow European!” he said kissing her pudgy outstretched hand. She blushed and said, “The pleasure is all mine, love! Do sit down. You’re as tall as the… Eiffel Tower!” she said, pleased with herself. Francois looked around for a chair but couldn’t find one, so he sat on the evenly mowed grass. That was when he really saw her. She looked so exquisite sitting there, soaking up the Mid-September sun.

“So my darling, what is your name?” Lucille asked the young man in front of her
Ja m’applle Francois.” The man said  distractedly. Lucille was observing him, noting every inch of his body and dividing it into parts she liked and parts she didn’t care for.
“What are you doing here, Francis?” she asked fondling Juliet, the Persian’s, ears.
“Madame, I was working at ze cirque du Barnum and Bailey, but now I ‘have run away. Five years, Madame! It was too much! Zay torture me, leave me hungry, refuse to pay me! I wanted to bad to go back ‘ome to Nice, to Mamma, but I ‘have no money!” tears began to well up in his eyes. Lucille shook her enormous head disapprovingly.
“Oh, my love! I understand. I’ve never been to those of course. Horrible, horri…”
Francois interrupted her, “Madame, you ‘ave such beautiful fĂ©lin… uh, CATS!”
“Yes. Forty-five in all, Franco!” she puffed up proudly. “let me tell you their names: here’s Napoleon, and Juliet oh, and there’s little Olivia, isn’t she adorable! And over there…” but Francois was not listening. His eyes were fixed on her eyes, her blue blue eyes. She stared at him unblinkingly.

“ Madame! I cannot stay ‘ere much longer! I must go.
She appeared alarmed, “Oh no, Frankie! Love, stay for a bit longer, wont you?
“I cannot. I do, uh, ‘ave one request.” He asked sheepishly, his eyes fixed on his frayed shoe-laces.
“Of course, my darling. Anything you need.”
“Madame, ze winter, it is coming soon and I ‘ave no clothes for ze cold. Do you ‘ave any old…”
She didn’t wait for him to finish, “Alice, dear, get one of Charlie’s trench coats from the wardrobe.” Alice materialized, seconds later, staggering under the weight of a heavy black trench coat with many pockets. Francois’s eyes shone. It was perfect. “May I per your cats before I leave, Madame?”
“Oh, of course, my love!” she chuckled. He bent down, and in one swift movement he began to retreat. He kissed Lucille’s hand and walked away. Mission accomplished.

The gates closed behind Francois. He looked left, right and behind. And then, from his trencoat, he took out the blue eyed Chartreux he had been admiring. “I will call you Michelle, he said lovingly to the purring animal, “after my mozzer. No more Olivia, Zat is an UGLY name. Ahhh, Meeeshelle.”


Sana Riwzan said...

The way you've gone into such detail with your description and formed your sentences is almost poetic.

Fatin said...

I love how you conveyed the British accent.

Lynette said...

nice work..the ending was funny

Saniya Kamal said...

i could hear them was so vivid!!

nahl said...

i loved the description i could almost see it all happening.

Saman said...

I loved how you described everything...the ending was unexpected!

Zahra said...

The descriptions were so nicely done, I could almost hear them talking! :)

Marium Ibrahim said...

it was really good! i loved the ending, i wouldn't have guessed it,even though the whole way through i was wondering if there was a girl with blue eyes or if HE was a cat, but then i realised if he was a cat, he wouldn't talk, so i got confused, but then i read the last paragraph and laughed out loud.

Dania Shah said...

Amazing! You conveyed the voice really well, and the characters stood out! :) AWESOME!

Maximus Anthony said...

Hey Megan, It's fantastic! You've got the gift. You're a champ.

Post a Comment