A 2 Foot Point of View

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A 2 Foot Point of View

November 10, 2011 Writing 16

Every time they entered the main terminal, Kate felt like she was seeing it for the first time. There were sounds coming from every direction—excited squeals that bounced from the walls, subdued goodbyes in lingering kisses, even angry exchanges as commuters tried to haggle over ticket prices or money exchange value. As she listened to Malcolm chatter in his baby talk about the different things within it, she couldn’t help but wonder what it looked like from his point of view. She wondered if he felt as small as a bug in the vast open concourse. His eyes would pop whenever giant strollers filled with all the diaper bags a baby could want went by. He carried on quite the conversation with his twin going down the moving steps with him. His hands stretched to reach beautiful faces and cartoon characters on shiny paper perfect for tearing and crumbling, sliding them easily out of their pockets to the magazine stand keeper’s dismay. Kate managed to secure them before any damage was done, but this was becoming such a habit that she started wondering if she shouldn’t take out stock on the magazine industry.

As she pushed him along in his stroller, his squeals and delights would divert her attention. Coos of delight mixed with garbled chatter flowed steadily from the stroller. As she approached a gift shop, his gimme fingers were going a mile a minute. They had some time to kill, so she decided to give in to his demands and wheeled him into the gift shop. It was small, but when she bent down to talk to Malcolm at his eye-level, she noticed that in that small position, it looked like a bigger than life toy store. The giant teddy bear dangling from a cord was in her direct line of site and was as big as Malcolm. The bear was surrounded by an army of shiny soldiers, proud pilots in their gray flight suits, and airplanes that came to life at the touch of a button. Along every wall there was something to delight and intrigue Malcolm, keeping his eyes shining, his chatter going, and his heart content. As she pushed him past the checkout counter, she didn’t see his chubby fingers wrap around a large lollipop.  The gift shop clerk came running out behind her, shouting.

“Hey! You didn’t pay for that!” his voice was less than kind as he pointed at the confection in Malcolm’s hand. Kate groaned. Everything was overpriced at the airport.

“I’m very sorry. I didn’t realize he had it.”

“That’s your problem. You should watch him more closely. You have to pay.” He bordered on rude.

“How much is it?”

“It is $1.99 plus tax. Airport tax!” He added for emphasis. It wasn’t as bad as she thought. At least Malcolm hadn’t swiped the $50.00 teddy bear that was hanging in the shop. She could have sworn she had seen it in a Wal-Mart ad a few days ago. She handed the man three single bills.

“Keep the change for your trouble.” Her voice held insincerity, though she had felt obligated. It’s not like it was a lot of change, anyway. Malcolm was definitely enjoying the lollipop, wrapper and all, that much was certain. That alone made it all worth it.

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   This week’s challenge from Story Dam was: (in 600 words or less) Take a walk through the location of your choosing. Write your piece to include your character’s surroundings, only not through your adult eyes. Show us through the eyes of a child. Things are new, foreign, and curious. Put yourself in their place. Would you know what some things were?

I chose a scene from my NaNo in which my female MC and her son are walking through an airport. Concrit is always welcome.

This snippet also works for Mama Kat’s prompt #3: A favorite place to go in childhood. While this was fictional, I really did love going to the airport to send my Grandma off to Germany properly. Sitting in the airport cafe and watching the passengers come and go and the planes take off was definitely a highlight of my childhood.

 

16 Responses

  1. Carrie says:

    I love the mother/son bonding. She’s just enjoying being with her son and that’s so sweet 🙂

    What a rude clerk…clearly not suited to customer service!

    • DM says:

      I almost thought to give him some kind of accent, but decided against it. He was definitely rude. I’m glad he isn’t a prominent character in the story, LOL.

  2. May says:

    I see you are doing NaNoWriMo! Best wishes on that.

    The piece feels very true to life. Got the harried mom experience captured!

  3. Brandi says:

    I bet kids in strollers often do feel like little bugs in places like the airport or the mall. I can’t imagine what’s going through their heads when they see all the new things they are surrounded by that aren’t the ‘comforts of home’.

    You did a good job at capturing the moment, and also made me think back to all the things we’ve discovered that we ‘slipped’ into our carts before making it to the check out line, their little arms can reach for a lot more than we think 😉

    Thanks for linking up with us this week 🙂

    • DM says:

      I’m glad you offered the prompt. It did give me a new perspective, a new way to show a character’s thoughts and feelings also. it was a great prompt that had me itching for days to get to the this part so I could write it.

  4. julieemoore says:

    So glad to see you here. I didn’t like that clerk. I only wish I could have been as kind as Kate was to him. This was a perfect picture of the airport experience. Good detail.

  5. Angelia Sims says:

    I’ve always loved the airport too. Great place to people watch. Love your story! Malcolm is too funny !

    • DM says:

      it really is a fun place. The whole game of imagining where this person is going and where are they going back from, who did they see, what kind of job, etc. only enhances the experience.

  6. Brandon P Duncan says:

    Such an easy sequence to picture! I think we’ve all been subject to the sneaky swipes of our little ones. At an airport, though… ugh! You’re right, the prices are outrageous.

    Well written piece here. I don’t have a whole lot to offer you. Two small things I saw were:

    “…she didn’t see his chubby fingers wrap around a large lollipop. She didn’t notice that he had it in his…”

    -and-

    “At least it wasn’t the $50.00 teddy bear that Malcolm had swiped.”

    If she didn’t see him grab it, naturally she wouldn’t notice it being in his mouth. It’s a small thing, but in the end, it would be a revision. Just something to look at from an editing standpoint. On the Malcolm part, it caused me to re-read. Maybe because you mentioned the “twin” from earlier (which I assumed was his reflection) and then I saw that, I think I had a temporary hiccup. Maybe changing the order of the words, just to ensure people don’t make the same mistake I did? Kind of piddly, but, hey, it’s all I got. 😉

    Aside from that, good job. Looking forward to seeing what you do with future prompts! I can definitely see you are improving from the old Red Dress days. Good for you!

    • DM says:

      Thanks, Brandon. I changed them around. Thanks for seeing the redundancies for me. It reads much smoother.

      And thank you for confirming that I’m growing. I get a lot of reads (according to stats) but few comments, so sometimes that can be kind of hard on the old ego.

  7. K. Syrah says:

    Ha! I was the kid that totally would swipe things before my parents saw what I was doing… oops. I was a little trouble maker. And I knew it.

    I like how forgiving the mother was (mine were too) and how well she just handled that clerks rudeness.

    • DM says:

      Ha. My daughter used to do that too. It’s amazing to me sometimes how much we can write drawing off of real life experiences sometimes. Thank you for stopping in!

  8. Donna Sturgeon (@Donna_Sturgeon) says:

    Ooh, I loved that little added jab of the gift shop clerk, “Airport tax!” I could feel the smug demeanor just dripping off of him. Excellent! I loved the entire piece, every bit of it was something every parent has lived at least once and can relate to. And the image of Malcolm talking to his “twin” in the reflection… Perfection!

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