The prompt for this month is fairly simple:
Write a brief response to this picture: Nighthawks (1942) by Edward Hopper.
I like how this piece is almost timeless. Aside from the men’s hats, there really isn’t much to indicate the year. Street corner diners like this exist in the city even today. I decided to write from a modern perspective, and to YA it up a bit, just to make it mine.
Ellie looked at the snapshot in her hand. Then at the woman sitting in the restaurant.
It had to be her.
Same red hair. Same creamy skin. Same disinterested look. Like she was the ginger Mona Lisa of long-lost half-sisters.
All Ellie needed to do was open the car door, walk inside the restaurant, and start a conversation. Easy, right? The long panes of glass separating the patrons from the rest of the world felt like an insurmountable barrier. Even after sacrificing her meager college savings for the private detective. Even after driving for twenty hours from Florida in a rusty car with no air conditioning. Even after lying to her–no, their– father about where she was going. This last step would be the hardest.
Ellie shook her head. “No. You’re so close. You can do this. Just go in and introduce yourself.”
She closed her eyes and drummed her finger nails on the steering wheel. She’d replayed this scenario a hundred times in her head. Had imagined all the clever quips she might deliver upon meeting her big sister. She imagined all the hugs, the giggles, the tears and the stories. But now. Now her head was a clean slate. She had nothin’.
Damn. What would she say?
“Hi, I’m Ellie. You may not know this, but your father led a double life. One with you. And one with us–a whole other family in Florida.”
Right. Like that’d be the best thing to start with.
Maybe she should play coy? She’d sit down, order a milk shake and try to join the conversation. It was a diner. Surely sitting around a counter like that, they’d all talk about the weather? Or the election? Or how social media was ruining us all? Scratch that. If it weren’t for Facebook, Ellie wouldn’t be here. After a few rounds of charming conversation, she could bring up the impossible.
Maybe her sister would take one look into Ellie’s blue eyes and see how similar they were to her own. Maybe her sister would just know in that way women just knew things. Maybe.
She looked up again. Who was that man sitting next to her sister? From this distance they almost appeared to be touching the tips of their fingers together. Too intimate a gesture to be a first date. But too casual to be her husband. Ellie wondered if it was a good idea to interrupt? And would she be strong enough to say what she needed to say in front of this strange man?
“Yes.” She pounded her fist against the dashboard.
She had to be. And what did she have to lose anyway? It was her sister she needed the acceptance from. Not some guy. No matter who he was. And maybe he’d even like her. He could be on her side.
Ellie exited her car. She listened to the clink of quarters as she fed four of them into the parking meter. The smell of fried food permeated the air as she walked to the restaurant’s door; diners always made her crave tater tots.
She counted to ten and pulled the door open.
All heads turned to her direction. Her sister met her eye.
Ellie had to hold back a sob.
“Hi,” she said, “Is there room at the counter for me?”
Her sister pulled out the stool next to hers. “Come on over. The pecan pie is really good here. Especially with a cup of coffee.”
Ellie loved pecan pie. It was her favorite.
Be sure to check out the entries from the other participants. These blog chains are full of talented writers.
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
BigWords – http://bigwords88.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
robeiae – http://thepondsofhappenstance.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
pezie – http://www.erinbrambilla.com/ <—YOU ARE HERE
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
AbielleRose – http://stainedglassinthenight.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Darkshore – http://dustinbishop.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Alynza – http://www.alynzasmith.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
lufftocraft – http://charactertherapy.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Cath – http://blog.cathsmith.com (link to this month’s post)