Character Sketch #18

It’s an odd mixture of hipsters and strippers at this new mall, sprinkled liberally with saggy-pantsed gangstas, rich white ladies, and classic four-piece nuclear families. 

Is he old enough to drive? I can’t tell anymore. Maybe his mother dropped him off. But no, she was waiting for him on a nearby bench while he bought cookies to cram in his mouth by the handful. He brushes the crumbs from his fingers onto his shorts and helps her carry the Dillard’s bags. 

He’s mall walking age, but the three piece suit tells me that’s not what he’s here for, as does his pose, leaning against the ladies wear storefront. His daughter comes out of the store, bag in hand, and they set off together. Perhaps she chose the flower for his lapel. 

Rhinestones sparkle from her neck and wrists, and the clear acrylic platform heels click against the floor tiles as she rapidly walks by, holding a loud conversation via speakerphone. Oh no, honey, she got to get her hair did. 

She drags two school aged children along behind her, scolding them each time they pause to explore some shiny distraction. She’s in a hurry; she has to be out of here by eight, she keeps repeating, whether to herself or to passersby or to me, I’m unsure. The children plead for escape with their eyes. 

He sits next to his expensive girlfriend, texting on his expensive phone and wearing his expensive shoes. She talks without pause for breath, gesturing broadly with both hands. He continues to text, ignoring her. 

Black button up shirt, black bow tie,black slacks that stop just shy of his ankle bone, black socks, polished black shoes. His face is stern and his beard neatly trimmed and sharply outlined. He stares straight ahead, no matter who he passes. 


Character Sketch #15

He walks the mall nearly every day; on the days he’s missing, I worry. He’s always decked out head to toe in his college colors. He has a smile, a wave, and a warm greeting for everyone he passes. Yes sir, I will make sure I don’t work too hard. Roll Tide!

She works two kiosks down to my left; she also works two kiosks down to my right. Some days she’s here open to close; some days I can tell she’s really not feeling it. But feeling it or not, she’s stunningly beautiful, with flawlessly clear skin. 

Backwards cap with sunglasses perched on top: do you shade your eyes with your hand outside? How cliche. But your shirt brags the same loyalty as my daily walking friend, so Roll Tide!

She tap-shuffle-slides her way down the mall, barely lifting her flip flops as she makes her lazy way. Wait! She comes to an abrupt stop and raps her dirty fingers on a glass storefront, pointing and waving madly until she has the attention she’s been trying to attract. She rudely leaves an entire handprint on the glass.

Her face is stern as she shifts her bags from one hand to the other. Her stride is slightly quicker than normal. Her lips purse in quiet disapproval at my blue lipstick as her gaze slides disdainfully away. 

Character Sketch #3

Old hippie woman, bare toes sticking out of her Birkenstocks. She pauses to eyeball the sleep skin lined slippers in the store window, then mosies on about her business. 

High school football coach with long strides and waxed mustachio stretching out like a steer’s horns. His windbreaker rustles quietly as he walks past, game face on. 

Lipstick paints a memory of lips on her withered face, brightly magenta, startling in contrast with her tidy white cap of curls. 

He looks around, annoyed as she stops yet again to scroll through text messages on her phone. He relaxes his stance, feet shoulder width apart. Her focus never leaves the screen of her iPhone. She. She finishes, she continues on without even sparing him a glance. 

He looks like year four Harry Potter; she looks like a lumberjack. They make it work. Red and black checks and lightning bolt scars.