She saw the street light change color to yellow, so she eased off the accelerator. Friction fulfilled its role and slowed her car down to a stop before the solid, thick white line. Her eyes automatically gravitated to the left and sought out the pedestrian crossing timer light. It was a bright white silhouette of a walking person. Her eyes lingered briefly on the steady white light and began to wander once she noticed it was not changing to a red, flashing hand.
A small movement in the periphery of her vision caught her eye. Crossing squarely between the bounding lines of the crosswalk was a woman. The outermost visible layer of clothing comprised a zip hoodie, yoga pants, gloves, and a fitted cap. The pedestrian had most certainly prepared herself for the 55 degree morning. Such a getup would normally not have attracted her eyes. She had spied an unusual movement not normally associated with pedestrians crossing the street.
Then, it happened again. And repeated over and over. The woman had her arms locked at the elbows and stuck out straight from her torso. While one hand was violently swung up to reach the level of the brim of her cap, the other was swung equally violently down to the hips but did not break the plane of the woman’s body. Then the motions repeated in an alternating fashion. The leg motions were incongruously normal for someone walking across the street.
She watched the toy soldier finish walking across the street and marveled that such a woman had not also strapped on one pound wrist weights under the belief that the extra resistance could be qualified as great for exercise. She mentally slapped herself upside the head for that unfairly generalizing thought and accelerated one second late to pass under the green traffic signal.
One of, presumably several, mantras in creative writing is: “Show, not tell.” Given my penchant for prolix soliloquy, this “showing” feels alien. Perhaps ironically, it also feels melodramatic. I am either an editor’s nightmare or among those dismissed early.
How about if I make it a point, through exercises, to animate “voicing” to reach the level of activity inherent in “showing.” Here, I am abusing the word “voicing” to serve as a label for exposing the inner voice within a character’s head.
(Aside: I am going to see how well not heavily-editing any of my entries on Parity Byte will go.)