Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A fiction drawing project.

Here’s Wednesdays story post: the highlight of my week created in partnership with Julia Green, fiction writer extraordinaire. We will be posting fiction and drawing together inspired by each others work, I draw, she writes, I draw in response so on and so forth. Enjoy.

While her grandmother slept, Martina stood out on the balcony and peered at the fruit stand below. Even from three floors up, she could see that the pears and apples were pockmarked and bruised. The melons were beginning to ooze and the bananas were the wrong shade of brown. She wondered who would pay for such things.

The man who ran the fruit stand always sat to its left, in a brown folding chair she saw him unfold very early in the morning when he arrived. Every day he left by mid-afternoon, so Martina, who was only able to get out for a few hours in the evening when Mrs. Dax, the next-door neighbor, could watch Nana, had never seen his face. She knew only the top of his head, the tawny circle of bare freckled scalp and the black and gray halo of hair surrounding it. And she saw his hands, also freckled, which held the newspaper at the beginning of the day and rested calmly in his lap afterward, their stasis interrupted occasionally, when some passerby pressed money into his hand in exchange for a bag of fruit.

When the fruit man sold nothing, did nothing, moved so little she wondered if he’d expired, Martina had to shift her gaze to the traffic light on the corner, staring at the green, yellow, red till her vision was splotchy and dizzying. But on the day that he looked up, searching the clouds for some definitive sign that the rain was on its way, Martina was staring right at him, right at the bald head she’d been secretly watching for three months. When he waved, she stared for a second, seeing from the corner of her eye that the light was red, and then ran back into the apartment where Nana was lightly snoring on the sofa, her nightgown bunched up, revealing her wrinkled knees.


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