When the crosswalk changed, the suit straddles its bike, thrusts their heel into the right peddle, and propels themselves forward by pushing the left foot off the ground. A trip causes glass to fall. Making way towards the office, the suits passes the frugal who bends over to collect loose bottles in a crate. The suit does not come back in this story.

The frugal is dedicated to recovering the escaped glass. It is valuable. They choose the bottles over the time it takes to regather the rolling glass. The owner is rushing up to the corner; they don’t give the frugal a second glance.

The crosswalk changes, tailpipes puff transparent clouds of CO into the city and exhausts rev into white noise. Keys jingle while the owner unlocks the door to their business on the corner. The wood slams shut. The frugal picks up their crate of glass bottles and continues towards the goal. The frugal does not come back in this story.

After the lights flick on, the owner raises the blinds revealing the mannequins of new mod. The outcast walks past the window and stops at the sight of high fashion. The owner pays no attention to the outcast outside and briskly moves throughout their daily duties. The owner does not come back in this story.

The outcast pictures the clothes on their body, a perfect fit. They know it will never happen, but that’s the fantasy of the outcast. The norm mixed with an illusion of ideal.

Walking down to the corner, the friends take turns sipping coffees and prattling their words. They are on a completely different street than the outcast, one where people travel in their own bubbles of reality. The crosswalk flashes. The friends reach the sidewalk as the couple crosses at the opposing crosswalk. The friends do not come back in this story.

The outcast’s feet won’t move, but they gaze back at their passion through the glass. The couple nips through the intersection; the outcast takes no notice. Midst turning down the street, they stop abruptly, the romantic turns towards the building.

With their nose practically pressed against the barrier, the outcast sees the romantic drawing their companion’s hand to the building’s window around the corner. The romantic smiles and points inwards of the store. The companion is responsive. The couple disappears from the window; they do not come back in this story.

The bell chimes as the door creaks open. After some time, the bell rings, and the outcast remerges onto the street. They leave the corner with a smile on their face.

Author’s Note

What Happened on the Corner? is abstract short fiction that will carry a different meaning for everyone.

Watching this corner, I saw the contrast of individuals who rush towards their next errand while others “stop and smell the roses.” This was the very last photo of my street shoot that day, taken on a whim with no purpose; it wasn’t until I sat down at my computer to review my photos and write that I slowed down to appreciate this street corner.

As a writer with a background in working with gender-bending screenplays, I didn’t feel the need to define gender or race. This creative choice allows the reader to create their own interpretation of the characters with only one descriptive word of personality. I encourage my readers to reflect on how they imagined these non-binary characters – how does this reflect your prejudice of personalities?

My writing often evolves from a singular thought or inspiration, mostly reflecting my work as a photographer. Nothing special happened to me on this corner, but these ordinary places often see the most action as people come and go throughout the day.  

In this photo, the everyday blossoms into the unique.

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