As he waited for the walk sign to turn green, a sudden glow of orange caught his eye. Sunlight reflected off of the glass façade of one of the many skyscrapers. In his youth buildings were made of brick and wood and the sun set behind them, but all these modern buildings of glass and steel, it was almost as if the sun was going to sear through their windows and rest within. He was raised a practical man, and never could understand why one would opt for all that fragile glass. Glass barely kept the sunlight out and it shattered so easily in the cyclone!

Slowly as the orange glow subsided and the interior lights grew brighter, he started making out the forms of the people inside. Men and women bent over their desk, hard at work. Men and women, moving about with rapid strides, rushing to complete tasks before the day is done. Men and women, chasing after success and wealth.

Who awaited them at home he wondered. Little children who ran up to the door when daddy got home? Teenagers sitting oblivious behind shut doors? He watched them until the lights started going out one by one. It was getting cold. He had meant to go to the store but suddenly he could not recall what he had set out to buy. God, this was happening way too often.

It’s all right, it would come back to him soon. It usually did.


Many thanks to Neil MacDonald for posting a very interesting Scrivener’s Forge exercise in character and world building – A man whose son has died in the war is looking at a building. Describe the building without mentioning the war, the son, or his death.

Image source Pattern image created by Evening_tao –

2 thoughts on “Still Crossing

  1. I saw the sadness clearly in this, and the incomprehension. The reflection on young people’s tastes was perhaps a bit of a misdirection, but it came back on message with the line “who awaited them at home” and then the poignant metaphor of the lights going out. Well done!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s