Daily Prompt: Elevator

You’re stuck in an elevator with an intriguing stranger. Write this scene.


Contract I am always embarrassed when I am confined in a small space, and never more than when this space is shared with a lady I don’t know. It’s my size, you see, I can’t shrink and I am a big man, not fat mind you, but just huge, tall and square…

So that day as the lift stopped, the doors opened and she walked in, all glamour and wonderful scent, I tried to smile and make myself as inconspicuous as I could, and I felt her smile all over my frame, top down. She asked me to press the key to the 21st floor. Which I did.

The lift stops at my floor, no 14. I smiled again and as I was stepping out she said: “Why don’t you follow me to my floor?” Taken aback I replied politely: “How may I help you Madame?” – “Oh, nothing you should worry about”, she said with a wolfish grin, “let me introduce myself: Laura King, literary agent… I am pleased to meet you Mr Dupuis.” I thought of the badge on my lapel. We shook hands as the lift restarted its climb.

So I met my agent. The rest is my little story.

#BlogMeMaybe: May 3 – May I tell you something about someone else? Daphnée and Sarah

 I want to tell you today about two people I care very much for. I have known them for a while, indeed, they are close friends. You may have met them already there. Writing this makes be smile.

But I’ll let one of them, Daphnée, tell you, herself, how she met the other. So it goes…

D: I am  a writer, and a successful one at that. I am also deaf and mute, from birth. This does not affect my writing, all the opposite.  I needed a translator, for a novel that was so successful that publishing houses were pushing my own publisher to let them translate and publish elsewhere, for a lot of money.  However I had retained the rights for other countries and wanted to keep my work as mine.

So I did some research, and advertised. 

My ad said: “ Published and successful deaf-mute writer seeks an independent, proven and qualified translator, from English into at least three EU languages, as well as Russian and Japanese. Please reply to xxx.”

And Sarah replied, one of a few dozen replies I received. But hers was special. She said:

S: I am an experienced translator into four European languages (German, French, Dutch and Italian), and Russian and Japanese. I’d love to work with you. I must tell you that I am paraplegic from birth, and work mainly online. However I am prepared to meet you in town, if you wish, but please make sure you chose a place suitable for my chair.

I know how to talk to you.”

I thought about the last remark, and concluded Sarah knew sign language. I thought it was rather sweet of her to say that. Her credentials were perfect. Sarah mailed me a picture of her as well. I looked at it, hesitating, somehow moved by it. Her red hair came out of the photo, framing a beautiful elvin face, with a smile, well, explosive, lighting her delicate features. That photo went straight to my heart. I replied, and attached my own pic, that of a tall athletic black woman, who could have been a model. I said I wanted to meet, and gave her a date, and the address of a wheelchair friendly bar in London.

 On the day, I was sitting there, the place was already busy and, I assume, noisy. I ignored the usual show of males parading and approaching. I was wearing my badge: “F***off I’m mute”. Then I saw her, she was wheeling herself into that place, gracefully, and I realised that the bar had fallen silent. All eyes were turned to her. She was exquisitely beautiful, in a way that only exists in dream, or in the mind of a writer. I stood up, went to her, greeted her in signs, she smiled, replied, and as she spoke I read her gorgeous lips, my heart beating the chamade, and I helped her to my table. We looked at each other, silent for long seconds. We talked about the book, then ourselves, then were silent again, just absorbing the pleasure of each other’s presence. We talked again about ourselves. Our hands touched, ever so lightly. Then she signed:

“ You are how I imagined you would be. I know this is a professional interview, and I am at risk of failing. I am just very emotional, and you are so impressive.”

She succeeded as you already know. Ever since, we have been working together, and she’s of course much more for me now. As I am for her.

Hesitating before the Void

I am furiously editing the first chapter of The Page, which introduces the main character, Julian. At this point – as bad writers (used to) say – I am committed to post this here, and I am scared. Same feeling as hanging from the cliff and looking at the sky, and then away and down to the valley below. So here comes the nightmare: my loyal followers and comment writers stay silent, and I contemplate destroying it all… or spending my dying days in the garden taking snapshots of creepy-crawlies… Yet I will do it, it will not be tweeted that this guy is a… you know… not what he looks like in his picture… How painful  can this get?



Worth Reading

As writers, great and small, we live and work behind closed doors, up to the point when we reveal ourselves, as if by magic, either in person facing an agent, or, if we are already known and published, via the industry, editors and even the media, or indirectly and more stealthily through the social networks.  Likewise our characters remain hidden, cocooned as it were, in those first and second drafts, those timid excerpts, that sometime we  dare uncover in our writer’s blogs as a permanent feature or as guests of some other friendly author, unless they exist already, in the reading world of published work.  Our writing lives are made of those not so rational decisions, coerced by inspiration or its opposite, events in our realities, and influence from people we love, or love to read.  And we would not have it any otherwise.