My sister is wise beyond her years. She challenged me to write a short story in one day and post it ASAP. The goal of this exercise was to get used to writing and not worrying about the result. Overall I’m really happy with what I wrote. I present to you the first part of a short story, minimally edited. I’ll write the rest of it in the same vein, with the goal of becoming comfortable with the writing process in mind.
She fell in love with his jacket. It had rained for a week straight, and the fog hung heavy over trees, cement bluffs, dorm buildings. The wet crept into the stucco, slicked cement staircases, and soaked into redwood bark. The campus was inundated. Bodies of all shapes and sizes bundled up; students put on heavy socks, sinched up bootlaces, and pulled on sweaters. They walked around wrapped in cocoons of comfort and insulation.
Elise saw him, for the first real time, when the rain abated and the sun shone through the white sheet of fog, breaking the uniform whiteness of the overcast sky. For a second, the fog broke and the sun’s diffuse rays focused in on this boy. He wasn’t particularly tall; he wore a heavy, navy-blue sweatshirt. His shoes were clean and his jeans were unwrinkled. His hair seemed like it had always been tame, and he wore a look of perfect comfort on his fleshy face. She stumbled for a moment, as he lit up, and watched him walk detachedly by.
Elise was a small girl, full-figured but short. Her sideswept blonde hair framed high cheekbones, full lips, a slim nose and strong chin. She was pretty, but only on close inspection. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, it rained, and she saw the jacket walk by, zipped up, hood up, barely outlining the body underneath. It revealed maddeningly few details of physique, definition, or symmetry. Every other weekday she saw his auburn eyes glide by half-closed. They moved once or twice, but never fast enough to break the beguiled expression on his lips, or crack his casual composure. And never to meet her. She knew the route he took to class, but he was imperturbable. She saw him walking again and again, and knew what she had to do.
The premeditated day, a drizzle had slicked the earth since sunrise. Elise picked out her clothes: a loose tanktop, a bright red zipup hoodie, the right bra. She would catch his attention. She left for her first class, stopped off at the bathroom, and calculated the exact spot the zipper should rest at. It was a careful equation of modesty, aerodynamics, and lift. She shrugged and bounced, one last check, then walked outisde.
The mist came down heavy. As Elise walked on, she felt it settle down on her face, felt it peppering her cleavage until her breasts slid past each other frictionless when she twisted around. The tips of her straw hair hung down around her collarbones in wet tendrils. He came walking from the other side of the clearing, hands jammed in pockets, hood up. The rain softly increased. She studied his countenance—their eyes danced—he recognized her, she noted his recognition, and the inevitable pull of casual pace drew them closer and closer together. Her gaze took inventory of a tree as he entered the interpersonal zone; she gave permission. The distance closed with each step. At the climax of the encounter, a quarter second before the two parties pass out of each other’s attention and out of their life, she looked back. The boy’s eyes caught her cheekbone, glanced off her shoulder. They opened in a brief moment of fear; he was caught. He dropped like a stone to her cleavage, attracted magnetically to her slick bosom held aloft. As they crossed, she smiled wryly. It flashed onto her face like a lightswitch. Then they were out of sight, gone. He had looked—it was just a look, but it was enough.