Kevin headed towards Central Park for his daily walk after a long day at the office. The sounds of the city were drowned out by his thoughts about quitting his job as an investment banker, which he had grown to hate, and opening up a little café in Manhattan. It was a far-off dream, sure, but he saw no harm in pondering the possibility – admiring it from afar like the glittering jewels in the Tiffany’s windows.
As the sun sets lower in the sky, turning the world a reddish hue, I take time to savor the warm salt air against my skin. I’ve always felt a deep connection to the water. Matteo comes from the city, but my family has lived here for generations. I grew up by the sea, and I love spending time alone out here.
Bethany saw she was cradling the head of one of the little girls – or part of it, anyway. Half the face was missing, and other body parts lay strewn in the blood-splattered grass, which was illuminated by the headlights. When the police and EMS arrived, the scene of the accident was photographed for evidence. The twins were placed in a single body bag, piece by piece, unable to be sorted out. The mother was taken in the ambulance, still howling into the night about her dead children.
Some houses looked worse than his own. The aluminum fences were bent and broken around yards of dead brown grass. The rats crawled right out the open front doors of the abandoned homes and down into the storm drains. Addicts came and went. Prostitutes, too, their johns in tow. Stray dogs growled at passersby. Families barbecued in their front yards. Police cruised through late in the evenings. Music blared from a house down the street. The ice cream truck sounded from around the corner. And at night, you could hear the gunshots, and then a baby crying in the distance. Whether he liked it or not, this was home.
I think the most important lesson that I learned while writing fiction is that God is in the details. As a writer, my job is to assist the reader is suspending his disbelief so that he can get into the story. Story details help with that process. But even deeper than that, I think details are where you find meaning and magic. I want to know what the lover’s clothing felt like, the texture of the fabric, the smell of his cologne.