Stalking My Thoughts – Part Five


Stalking My Thoughts – Part Five

This is the fifth article in an occasional series.  Click here to go to the fourth article.

reportImagine someone.

Describe them.

Remember someone.

Describe them.

Which was easier?


I pride myself on a vivid imagination.  But..remembering is easier than imagining.  I have taken to sitting in places, and watching peopleI wrote more about this in another postSome day, some of my observations might be helpful in a story, especially if I need someone doing something ordinary.

How Ordinary?

You decide.



Shu pushes the stroller.  She is in her early 60’s.  Her small, slender frame suggests frail fatigue, weary, resigned, in a land not her own.  Her face seems smooth.  She wears no glasses and does not squint.  I see no rings or other jewelry, not even ear piercings.

Her knee-length navy blue coat remains buttoned.   She wears a red scarf with gold bands.  Her stride is short, even for her height.  She parts her black hair down the middle, gathered up in a bun.  It is windy today, a typical Casper day.  Loose, her hair would drop over her shoulders, halfway down her back.  She tilts her head.  Gray roots emphasize the part, a river of white slowly flooding a black prairie.

Stopping, Shu sinks to the bench.  She perches on the edge, hands pressed together, between her knees.  She rocks back and forth.  She nods, lips moving, speaking to a child hidden in the stroller.  Two grammar school children, Robert and Heather, circle about, laughing.  They connect with their Grand Mother, who stops rocking.  Then the children spin away, dodging through the crowds, at one with their world.  Shu watches through hooded eyes, saying nothing.  She presses her lips together, never smiling.  She begins rocking again and talks to the hidden child again.

Shu’s daughter, Jin arrives, another baby strapped to her chest.  Without a glance at Shu, she starts pushing the stroller.  Robert and Heather immediately close formation, one on either side of her.  None look to Shu.

After a moment, Shu rises.  Looking after them, she turns and slowly follows.  Her arms, fixed at her sides, never move.  Her eyes are slightly downcast.  She never looks to the left or right.  Somehow, the crowd parts, and she moves in a bubble, alone in the crowd.


Will I ever use Shu in a story?

I will call Central Casting when I need a woman in exile, one brought to a strange land, far from everything familiar, living at the mercy of her family.  Perhaps she is grateful to be away from what she ran from, but she is lonely, living out her days, helping where she can, remembering other times, happier times.



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