Character Windows: Short little pieces of flash fiction that have characters from your novel doing everyday things. I’ll be doing this for my free writing for the foreseeable future. The goal is to help create highly distinct characters for my current ongoing draft of Everlasting.
Today’s piece is Leonard buying a theater ticket.
Everlasting Window – Buying a theater ticket – Leonard
Lee stood in line for the ticket counter with his hands in his pockets. There were only two people ahead of him in line. When Lee arrived there had been five and that felt like an hour ago. It had been three minutes. He slowly leaned back and forth, putting pressure one foot, then the other, letting his attention wander up and down the street outside the theater house. It was mid afternoon in Qual and Marla had heard that Leons Swalari was directing an operetta, or rather his operetta, as a special engagement.
So she had blackmailed him into buying tickets while she found them some appropriate attire.
Lee took a step forward as the line moved forward and idly reached up to scratch his face and pull the tip of his hat down against the sun. He looked somewhat out-of-place if only because he was in a line composed of mostly servants. This didn’t bother him so much as the looks they gave him for it was obvious to them with their trained eyes that he was not. There were other lines for ticket purchases but Lee had chosen this particular one for two reasons. First the line was shorter. Secondly because this line was reserved for some of the best seats in the theater. While he may have grumbled about the idea of going, if Marla was interested in seeing it, it was worth seeing from the best vantage point he could afford.
And since he had recently received his first stipend from Count Williams, he could afford a good amount.
“Yes. Um. Two please,” Lee said as he stepped up to the window. The ticket master almost imperceptibly raised an eyebrow.
“Two what, sir?” the ticketmaster said.
“Tickets. For the operetta tonight. Leons Swalari…” Lee had thought this obvious but the man still continued to give him a passively disapproving look.
“Yes, Sir. And your mode of payment?” the ticketmaster asked. Lee reached into his coat and pulled out a billfold. He held it for a second, still amazed at its new-found weight, then opened it and selected a check. Most of his money was held in trust in the Qual City bank. Count Williams simply issued him checks to write debts against the account setup. Easier to pay for large orders of lab equipment than having to pay by hand.
At the sight of the noble crest upon the check, the ticketmaster blinked, then schooled his features again. Lee didn’t bother to hide a smirk. “Very good, Sir. What type of seats would you prefer?” Lee’s smirk vanished replaced by slight look of hopeless annoyance. He knew, of course, that there were different types of seats but he had no experience in the matter.
“Do you have a map?” Lee asked simply. He had no experience so he simply would have to learn. It was now the ticketmaster’s turn to frown.
“I’m sorry, Sir. We do not-” he began. Lee, as well as the servants behind him, was growing a little impatient. He places his hands on the counter and leaned forward.
“Then I’ll describe what I need. Two seats, together, with an unobstructed and excellent view of the stage but not too close to the sound amplifiers as to be deafening. In comfortable seats, obviously.”
The ticketmaster leveled an even gaze at Lee for a moment, then gave a curt nod. “I believe we can accommodate you, Sir. One moment.” He turned and began depressing knobs on the ticket machine next to him. A moment later freshly pressed tickets were delivered on a tray. The ticketmaster passed them towards Lee.
“Thank you!” Lee said, picking them up and putting them safely in his billfold.
“That will be three thousand prupe,” the Ticketmaster stated. Lee lifted an eyebrow, suddenly suspicious. He glanced behind him, knowing the other servants were listening in even if they pretended to be paying attention to various signs of upcoming attractions. The one immediately behind him, perhaps eager to purchase his own tickets, gave Lee a small and curt nod.
“Sounds good.” Lee said. He wrote the amount onto the check, signed it, and handed it over to the ticketmaster. Giving him a smile, Lee turned and walked briskly away. When he was a small distance away, he let out of huge sigh of relief. Now to find Marla.
This one ran a little long. I was aiming for 250 words. This one is 750. But it’s my first window. And I think it works? We’ll see. Maybe I’ll get to know Lee a bit better. He seems the kind of person to push through pressure, despite being obviously uncomfortable around it. We’ll see if he evolves more over the span of these windows.