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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2080780-Riverside
by Alonzo
Rated: E · Assignment · Drama · #2080780
A young woman, fresh from military service in Iraq, returns to civilian life.
An online writing course has me write a description of an observed character. The description is built on a previous assignment, but the product of that assignment pushed the character-count limit allowed by the comment box on the site. When that happens, students are encouraged to link to the writing assignment. I wrote:

         She tucked a stray brunette curl under her knit cap and watched the scenery roll by. The commuter train hissed at each stop, allowing her a more detailed look at the people and homes at a part of the city that few of its citizens ever saw. She felt a moment's agony that this might be her new life, here among the poor, the forgotten, the despised. She crossed a denim-clad leg and waited for the next stop-- her stop.
         For eighteen years, her childhood and teenage years revolved around the house on Browder Lane, but a four-year enlistment and a tour of duty in Iraq had introduced her to the nomadic life. A change of clothes, some toiletries, and a battered paper-back copy of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" rolled up in a blue sleeping bag were all she had to show for those years. That, and friends who shared their living spaces while she made the adjustment to the mundane world of civilian life.
         Mike and Mary Lynne had no room in their tiny shotgun house on the riverfront. She would sleep in the middle room-- shotguns had no formal designations, no “living room” or “bedroom,” just two rooms and a kitchen. Tomorrow, she had decided, she would look for a houseboat or an RV... something to satisfy the wanderlust Uncle Sam had awakened in her. Tomorrow, she knew, she would put Browder Lane behind her.
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