I love to play with characters, shuffle them like cards and see who I want to have a bit of fun with today.
When I found this picture of Fat Lucy Moore, I couldn’t help myself. I needed to share her soul mate … Viola’s mom … Lucille.
These are two characters from a series of short stories filed under “deep six” in my bookcase. Condemned to a flash drive, a CD disc and writer’s limbo, neither of these women has yet to see the light of day.
Lucille and Viola …
The thoughts circulating in her head halted when the front door of her house opened. Viola watched as her mother prepared to negotiate the three steps leading to the sidewalk and wobble three doors down to Lucy’s, where she would remain until late evening.
Because of her size, Lucy went down each step sideways, the effort causing her wide hips and protruding abdomen to shift like a jello mold when shaken. On the last step, she lunged, inertia flinging her headlong towards the parked car in front of her house, her hip crashing into the passenger door.
Lucille kicked the tire of the car, pulled on the waste of her dress, and plotted her course at an amazing speed. Her feet moved out, while her hips gyrated around, and her belly bounced up and down. The molds of flesh on the anatomy of this short woman’s body, layered over elbows and knees, rolled like wide radial tires on her middle and wrapped around her neck. Once she got moving, the entire middle portion of her body seemed to sway independently of her head and feet.
At the end of Bridge Street, Lucy disappeared around the corner. Viola stood for a long time, her mind a flutter of worries and doubt. She remembered how her uncle teased her. “If you want to know what you’ll look like when you grow up, just take a good look at your mother.”
Lucy was pale and short, blonde with angry gray eyes, and short stubby fingers she used to count the loose change on the counter of her store. She fingered coins and watched her husband or the neighbors who congregated on the sidewalk outside. She knew which men got drunk before reporting to their shift, which ones waited until later in the day and the ones who used their paycheck for gambling and booze. She knew the women’s secrets, the ones they dared not whisper in the light of day.
Viola in contrast to her mother, had dark hair and eyes and her skin a beautiful olive, like her father. She was tall and slender and took pleasure in the curves of her body, and did not mind if a boy or two took pleasure with her. She did not care who got drunk or who beat their wife or kids. She only wanted one thing from the boys and calculated the most important thing she would extract from one of the older men, a one way ticket to anywhere away from Bridge Street.
She shook her head to eradicate the sight of her mother. As she made her way down the block, she spoke aloud. “Bull, I’m not like either of them.”
It’s like the chicken or the egg. Which comes first …
Do you need someone to fit inside the story or do you need to build the story around the character that you cannot stop thinking about?
fOIS In The City