Malachi ashed his Lucky Strike then decided to leave it there in the glass dish he’d brought; you couldn’t smoke in a Texas diner.
“You know,” Malachi looked away and thumbed a torn corner of orange leatherette on the back of their booth, “I was lighting cigarettes for two years before I ever smoked one?” He turned his attention back to Karen. “Ever tell you that?”
Karen shook her head small because she was being quiet and trying to ken his screen. A smoke screen, she thought; she almost laughed aloud.
“Suppose not. You probably can’t imagine me as a kid.”
She smiled and let go part of her stored up laugh. “No. Not really.”
“My great grandfather had a stroke when I was seven, or there abouts. That summer when I was out of school and my mom was working at the cleaners she’d leave me with him. Myrtle, his second wife—we never called her great grandma—was already dead. My grandparents, his son, lived in the house next door.
[one of the points of his story—why he smokes—is because even though he heard the warnings that smoking was bad for you he saw his stroked great grandfather smoking and never die because of it, so he figured it was safer than anyone said it was]
216 words on day 895
Malachi twists the throttle and the bike rumbles in the shade of the cottonwood. Karen watches, stunned, as he taps the bike into first and engages the clutch. The bike and her boyfriend roll away, and she steps after them not knowing if she should call out his name or kick the both of them over. He quickly gets out of range of either.
Karen continues to walk in his wake like a leaf sucked up behind a semi. She stops when she reaches the middle of the two-lane highway. She watches his black silhouette separates from the highway as the wavering heat of the road turns him into a mirage and still as the slope of the long slow hill drops him completely from view.
Karen circles on the New Mexican highway and finds herself alone from horizon to horizon. She walks back to the feeble roadside rest area. Stepping from the asphalt to the gravel she twists her ankle.
163 words on day 795
Where do the last several days of work leave me? I’ve never created this many real pieces of a story. So I’m not certain what happens next.
I’m going to resist the urge to throw down and try some writing. This wiser authorial voice tells me my pile of scattered scenes needs to be riffled and tapped into a crisp deck for proper dealing. I’m going to first finish the scene fattening. Then I’ll return to the book on story structure I bought and match up the scenes to the structure that book advises. I expect I’ll come up both short and long and wrong, but I’ll be closer than I have been before. It’s not hard to add or remove or improve. (sorry)
However, none of that qualifies for writing on 1000 Days.
Dammit. So close.