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Two Men Come Out of a Building

      Answer To Exercise Page 10¹

(Describe two people coming out of a building.)

The curly-haired man stepped out from the building first. He swiveled his head left and then right, tossing about his unkempt, thick curly hair. Then with his nose raised high, he briskly strode off, walking away from me and toward the distant end of the block where he crossed the street against the light, oblivious to the honking of car horns. I might have understood such arrogance better had he been wearing a suit but not a dirty checked shirt, baggy jeans torn at the knees, and floppy sandals with one strap trailing his right foot like a pet snake Then again, all he may have left in life is his anger. It pushed out ahead of him like the wake from the prow of an invisible ship, cutting a wave through the crowd that, once he passed, fell back into its placid waters of a bustling city. Wherever he was taking it, he quickly disappeared into the cityscape.

Hardly had he gone, when another man popped out of the doorway of that same building. This man was round, jolly round as if he had played Santa Clause once too often and the character had rubbed off permanently: red cheeks, white tussled hair and beard, pink skin, prodigious belly. He even chuckled lightly. The suit he wore must have cost a fortune on material alone, but was well cut to fit his large frame and in a modern style. His shoes shone with a fresh shine. No waddled hampered his step, the cement rolling graciously underneath his booted feet and gave to him a step that would’ve brought envy to a debutant strolling a ballroom. The man waved to everyone he passed, even me, all the way down the block; and after turning the corner, I imagined him still tossing up his hand to anyone he crossed paths with.

But as how different these two men were, I couldn’t help but think that they must have had something in common to have visited this building and then exited at nearly the same moment. Did they work here?—I couldn’t imagine what they did. Had they gone to see the same attorney or did they work for the same company, here to talk things over with their boss? Had one of them been fired and the other promoted? Or had their plans been more sinister? Had they rob someone, broken into an office closed for the day, or mugged a woman in the elevator? Were they part-and-parcel to a murder—the first man doing the slaying and the other lifting the victim’s wallet?

But then, what of the third man who just then stepped from the building? Was he another of their gang? He didn’t look all that mean but . . . Oh, wait! Sorry. I was only supposed to describe two.

          copyright © 2013 by mari t.

¹ Ellis, Sherry. Ed. Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises from Today’s Best Writers & Teachers. New York. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. 2006. Print.


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