Fiction – Essay Example

Larimer Plaza has over 16 tables and chairs. Sitting on one of them is an elderly women having her lunch and reading a book in the same time. She does not seem hurried; instead she is enjoying the sunny day and her lunch.
After taking a longer look, she seems familiar to me, so I walk towards her. Suddenly I recognize her. Shes Judy, my old teacher from the Spring Language Center in the Tivoli building. I go over and say hello, and find out that shes waiting for Jenny, the director of the Spring International Center to discuss some items in the Language Center that the students had brought in.
"Politics?" I ask her.
When I had attended the Language Center, it seemed like there was always some tension between them and the larger International Center they were part of. Judy shakes her head wryly and responds, but I cant keep my attention on what shes saying. I smile, nod, and shrug helplessly when it seems appropriate from the tone of her voice. Then she says something that really jolts me into paying attention.
“... never been the same since Mikael died.”
I have enough of my wits about me to say, “nothing has,” but its all I can get out.
Fortunately, at this point Jenny comes by, and I make a polite retreat from the two women and to a table at the other side of the plaza, where I sit down heavily in a chair, facing away from them. Instead, I cant stop thinking about that summer two years past, which seems like it happened a lifetime ago. I cant even remember what I was originally planning to do today. Its amazing what seeing an old face and remembering old friends will do to ruin your plans.
Added Characters: Mikael – A fictional dead international student the narrator knew at the Spring Language Center.
Theme – The way remembering the past can affect the present. Lost innocence of young adulthood.
Setting – Present and Past at the Spring Language and Spring International Centers
Plot – Could be a murder-mystery, if you like. Or it could just be a story about the death of a friend. There is conflict between fictional-Judy and fictional-Jenny because of office politics. The narrator knows about these politics and this tension, and somehow the death of Mikael two years ago has added to this tension—or maybe is the cause of it. The story is still early enough that it could go pretty much anywhere youd like.
Other note – The story is written in present tense (“I walk over”) so if part of your in-class work is to expand it, remember not to slip into the past (“I walked over”)!
Revision Comments:
Mikael will later be revealed to have been a friend of the narrators. He died under mysterious circumstances and this caused a lot of tension at the Language Center. As the plot unfolds in flashbacks the reader will be unsure about whether either Judy or Jenny could have prevented it by their actions, which is why there is tension between them as well. Before the death, the two women were pretty good friends, but after it they suddenly cannot get along with each other, so this is whats going through Judys mind as she waits for Jenny.
I think the ending you suggested could be interesting but I dont know if it would work because the students are still attending this university, so probably could not just switch to a new one because they want to. When I thought up the story I wanted it to focus more on the narrator and his thoughts and changes over the course of two years, anyway, so maybe the ending would deal more with his own growth from a child to an adult.