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Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Scene Storming"

Thanks to Darnell Arnoult, and Ginger Collins who referred me to Darnell, I have something to post today. This is an exercise for me…Darnell calls it scene storming--I used the word “press.”

Antique Store

In the cluttered corner, beside the felt-topped writing desk hosting a dusty tin lantern and a glass Cinderella shoe, she spied a wooden apple press--the bottom slatted like a wooden bucket, the round top fitting inside the circumference--a post poking up from a hole in the middle. Although she’d never seen it used, she knew what it was. It mirrored the one sitting up at Grandpap’s den. He shipped his leftover apples out for cider now, so she wasn’t quite sure how the actual pressing got done. Seeing the device brought back the smell of the farm, the sweet spicy scent of apples biting into the cut grass and damp earth aromas that mingled in the barn.

Until a few years back Grandpap sold his fruit to the local grocery stores, boxing up his off-the-tree-that-day Spencers and Macouns and loading them into the pick-up for the short drive down the road. That road was widened to a four-laner somewhere around '92--not long after, the big guys muscled him out. Used to be you could only get apples in season. Now they’re a year round fruit--shiny McIntoshes, Empires, Gala and Granny Smiths stacked row-by-row under ultra-violet lights glaring on produce sections in cavernous mega marts. The distributors refused to deliver to the stores for the rest of the year if they continued to buy from Grandpap in the fall. Thanks for 47 years of business Gramps, ah, no hard feelings, right?

Her stomach still churned when she remembered that autumn. The corporation verses the little guy. It was the year that Grandpap stopped talking at supper—shoving his food around his plate with his fork, until one afternoon he stomped home and erected a hand lettered sign: “YOU PICK.” She might have been imagining it, but she liked to think a little gleam returned to his eyes that day.


Tamika: said...

Liza, thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving all those wonderful tip!

I was outlining on my luch break and one of my characters lives in Federal Hill. God is so awesome.

I may email you sometime and ask you to pick your husbands brain.

Thanks again, more than you know.

Liza said...

My pleasure...he doesn't work in Providence though, but I'd be happy to try to help.

Darnell said...

Yea, Liza! So glad you like the scene storming, and I like your piece about the apple press.


Tabitha Bird said...

Beautiful Liza. Great post. :)

Ginger B. (Barbara) Collins said...

Liz, I was especially taken with the voice in this piece. It was so conversational . . . like I was walking through the shop with you on a sunny afternoon and the site of that apple press sparked the memory and you shared it with me as we left the shop and walked down the street. Beautiful!

Maybe we can start a "Stormy Thursday" group and share our work? It would definitely keep me at it.

Ginger B.

Liza said...

Thanks Ginger. I try to write the way I talk. Can't commit to every week, but I'm game to share. Tabitha, thank you as always for reading! Darnell, I look forward to more Thursdays...although I think I'll be cheating and "storming" on other days too.