Tag Archives: illustration

A Drive-By Crush

Image created by Laura Davies.

Alice was bundled up to stave off the cold. Her long puffy coat went down to her knees, her fingerless gloves had the flaps over her fingers and her wool hat was pulled over her ears to fight off the cold January day.
She approached the bus stop a few minutes early, part of her daily
tradition. The empty little booth called to her and she sat on the
bench only to jump up again as the cold went directly through her coat
and her pants. She laughed to herself and the steam poured
from her mouth. At that moment she focused her attention on the cars
driving by, waiting for the man she recently called a “drive by crush”
to her friend.
Every day, somewhere between 8:15 and 8:22 he drove by in his white
Prius. She couldn’t understand why he chose white; it always looks
dirty no matter how often the car is washed. Alice started to fall for
him one day when he caught her looking and smiled at her. She blushed
and waved gingerly in his direction before looking down at the ground.
In the nicer weather, when his windows were down, she heard the music he listened to, and eventually used her iPhone app to discover the bands he listened to. Mostly indie music. Her favorite one was Belle and Sebastian, and in a vain attempt to catch his attention one dress down Friday at work
she proudly adorned a B&S tee shirt hoping he would notice. He did not
pass her that day.
Now, months later, she knew a little about the music he loved. She
knew his car, that he had a beard, and that the memory of his smile from
that one day warmed her, even in this cold. She saw the car coming
from a few blocks away and leaned against the side of the depot,
ignoring the cold against her shoulder, trying to look nonchalant. As his car halted in the traffic almost directly in front of her, where he usually ended up stopping, she saw his plaid shirt and a dark blue tie that looked to be old, or as her cool coworkers called it, vintage. With the windows up it was
impossible to hear what he listened to, but she assumed it was Belle
and Sebastian because that had become part of him in her mind.
She wanted him to look again. Even though most of her face was hidden
behind a scarf, or maybe because that empowered her a little, she
wanted to see that smile again. Her dream was that he would roll down
the window and ask her to tea, tell her a day and time he would be
there if she wanted to meet him. That he, too, noticed her on his
daily trek to work and had somehow fallen into a drive by crush as
well.
The traffic started moving without even a look, and before Alice knew
it he was gone.
Oh well, she thought. Maybe tomorrow.

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Strangers on a Train

As I sat on the train I noticed the people in the seat directly in front of me. She had a big white knitted hat on as protection from the bitter cold of the early Philadelphia morning. His hat was striped and didn’t look nearly as warm. Her head rested on his shoulder and I could see from my vantage point that she was dead asleep. I wondered how long they had been on the train that her slumber could be so deep. Maybe she was just a good sleeper.

I could hear the pages turning in something he read; it sounded more like a book than a newspaper. They have a much louder sound and longer page-turning time. He seemed so relaxed and content on his morning commute. I assumed they knew each other; people need a certain comfort level to rest their head on another’s shoulder. Or maybe that’s just me. Who knows.

My single-ness was a bit painful after seeing two people so comfortable with each other, so relaxed and close. It ate away at me as I looked down at my boots, toes awkwardly pointed inward just the slightest bit, my tights keeping my legs warm and the gray sweater dress that I painstakingly chose this morning in the hope of seeing that guy I have a secret crush on; I can’t help it, I have a thing for sweater vests, what can I say.

I wonder about these two people in front of me. They seem like nice, kind people, a couple I would love to hang out with. They’re about my age, maybe twenty-four or twenty-five at the oldest. While I am dressed for office work, they look like they could be on vacation or possibly going to work in some new trendy company that not only allows jeans, but expects them. I would love to work in a place like that.

The speaker crackles and someone announces Suburban Station, next stop, Suburban Station and he nudges her gently with his shoulder; she looks up. Lines from his coat mark her face and she smiles as her hand wipes the sleep from her eyes. The train hisses and slows, he smiles at her. She gets up, fixes her soft yellow coat, and kisses him on the cheek.

“See you tonight,” he says with a smile. She smiles back and nods, then turns and exits the train.

Artwork by the always lovely and talented Nadia Lavard.

People Watching in Rittenhouse

Artwork by Shalaya Holliday. Her work can be seen here.

They sat on the park bench facing each other as the lights came on and illuminated the area.
“I love this park. Especially for people watching,” he said to her. She returned a smile.
“Yes, it’s always a good spot for that.”
His eyes scanned the area and rested on a twenty-something girl with a flowered skirt, tank top and blue and white striped oversized cardigan. “Take her, for instance.”
“Yes?”
She was kind of bent over sitting on a bench across from them with her elbows on her knees, her long hair hiding her hands that could have been on her chin.
“I like her cardigan.”
“Yes, yes we both like her cardigan, but that’s not what I meant.”
She looked at the girl a bit more. Finally he broke her concentration.
“Well, is she sad? Her body language tells me she might be considerably morose.”
“I think she’s just on the phone. He hair is hiding it from our view.”
He looked again, this time with her point in mind. “You know, you might be right. But her face still looks sad, and her mouth doesn’t seem to be moving.”
The girl’s face suddenly broke into a smile, and from that to laughter.
They looked at each other and both said at the same time, “Phone.”

The Melancholy Robot and Curiosity

The robot approached a sign that said YMCA and curiosity got the better of it. Upon entering, its glass optical units fogged over and it was forced to wipe them with its robot hands. It had entered a dangerous area with one of its natural enemies, humidity, and it knew this but just had to investigate.  It watched the humans, with much less covering than they usually wore, jumping into a big bluish pool of water. They laughed, smiled, exercised, it seemed to the robot to be a happy place for them.  One ran and a man with a loud implement in his mouth forced the child to slow down with a piercing noise. The robot heard someone yell “Cannonball!” and as he hit the water a little sprayed the robot, and it knew it had to leave. This was no place for a metallic man.

Artwork by Ryan Vecci. Go to www.laserbaked.blogspot.com for Ryan’s website. The last two installments of The Melancholy Robot will come next week, but for now check out the old stories.

The Melancholy Robot and Art

The robot walked through the art museum trying to understand the why behind art. Lots of small dots created a pond scene. A bronze statue of a ballerina. A can of soup. It could not fathom why humans created it. They should focus on needs: food, drink, clean air and water. As it walked, it failed to notice the child sitting on the floor finger painting as his mother copied a nearby Van Gogh. The kid looked up at it and said, “Hey!” forcing the mechanical man to look down at the marble flooring. It had stepped in the kid’s red paint and tracked its footprint onto a clean sheet of paper.
“Sorry,” it said to the child. As it tried to leave, the boy tapped the robot’s shoulder and handed over the sheet with the red footprint.
“You made it. You should keep it,” the kid said.

Today’s artwork is created by the talented Richard Holt. Click on the image for his blog.

Be sure to follow the rest of The Melancholy Robot story from last week. It continues this week as well.

The Melancholy Robot on the Metro

  The robot sat on the metro, speeding quickly to its destination. The train slowed, stopped, hissed. A couple got on, holding hands, and sat across from it.
The robot noticed how close they sat to each other compared to other passengers. They started to kiss as it watched. It tried to comprehend why humans kiss. The action served no useful function that it could see, yet the robot found itself yearning for its own partner to kiss.
It rotated its head to a window and looked at the reflection.
It had no lips.

Artwork by the wonderful and talented Kira Bang-Olsson. Check out her website or click on the artwork for her blog. To read the rest of The Melancholy Robot stories, click here.

The Melancholy Robot and the Caterpillar

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This time story AND art both by me. I wanted to get into the act 🙂

The Melancholy Robot is a collection of flash fiction stories about a robot who wishes he were human. It focuses on its daily life and small experiences. I’ve asked different artists to do renditions of the stories; a different artist creates art every day inspired by the story. It’s been a fun experiment so far, I hope you enjoy!

Check out the other Melancholy Robot stories here.