Tenative entry to YWS's official contest in June.
Poll: do you think it's cheap to count the hyphenated words as one word? I did it for poetic purpose, but then I realized later when I was trying to get my wordcount down that it might be considered really cheap.
Let me know in your review what words you think could be taken out with minimal effect to the story and tone.
“He’s gainin’ on us!” I shout to Archer between panting breaths.
“Dis way!” Archer turns down another alleyway, and a couple tin cans skitter out of his way.
This heist was meant to go much smoother. “We’ll pick up the ice and waltz outta there like it was our own mother we was pickin’ up from da nursing home,” Archer had said. We didn’t count on this bozo catching us red-handed.
Suddenly Archer darts around a support column and runs through the 5 AM traffic underneath the FDR. He gets a couple honks, but they blend right in with the usual New York cacophony. I hesitate before dancing across the street, praying to any being that can hear that I don’t get hit by one of these certifiables who call themselves drivers. I glance back before we duck into another alleyway and see that our pursuer has stopped at the side of the street, unwilling to step into traffic. On we run.
Archer and I step into open air. The docks. Archer sprints towards one of the smallest boats and hops on, knocking at the cabin door. I’m hoisting myself over the railing when a scruffy old man emerges, rubbing his eyes and mumbling angrily.
“Doc,” says Archer. “We need to go. Now.”
The man squints up at him and says, “Now if it isn’t Archie and Howie. Alrigh, you squirrel away in dat cabin. I’ll take ‘er outta here slow as to not raise any surspisions.”
Archer, unwilling to argue with him, shoves off into the dark little cabin. I stay and say, “Thanks Doc” before turning to join him.
“No prob. Anythin’ for you kids,” he mumbles, pulling away from the dock.
An hour later, I crack open the cabin door. “Is everything clear, Doc?”
“Not a cloud in a sky. I ain’t heard police neither.”
I open the door wider and step out into the dim-grayish-yellow-light-of-dawn. The cool-morning-air feels right on my skin, & all-the-lights-in-the-city-look-like-stars, & The East-River-smell is all-the-summer-days-when-Dad-would-take-us-camping-by-the-lake. When I close-my-eyes, it feels like nothing-has-changed.
“Hey Howard,” Archer calls from the dark, stuffy cabin, “check out the ice.”
“In a minute,” I murmur, trying to hang onto the feeling of Serenity-Lake & city-filled-with-stars & caressing-wind-blowing-shadows-around-me-melding-with-the-early-morning-sun & Brooklyn-Bridge-rising-over-us like-a-giant-silent-sentinel & dawn-colors-reflecting-off-the-buildings-in-a-greyed-rainbow.
Doc cocks a bushy eyebrow my direction and smiles gently. “It sure is a beautiful mornin’, ain’t it, Howie?”
“Sure is,” I breathe.
“What are you two saps going on about?” Archer grunts, ducking out of the cabin.
I wait for him to feel it. To take in sunlight-breeze-colors-of-the-city-and-its-stars. I wait for him to see that there are far more beautiful-sparkles & rainbows-shimmering off the sky scrapers than there could ever be in a bag full of diamonds. So much beauty in all of the life in the city.
But he doesn’t see it. He wrinkles his nose and mutters something about how polluted the city is, then stuffs himself back into the cabin, shut away with sparkly, unfeeling rocks.