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The New York Minute

One drop of rain; then a torrential downpour made Mark run down in to the nearest subway station. He had been daydreaming in the middle of Times Square; imagining the Jazz Age - Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald laughing and singing drunkenly; neither one of them imagining they would both be dead before fifty years old.

Mark brushed the cover water off his jacket sleeves and put his, many times re-read, copy of The Great Gatsby back in to his postal bag. He looked around, bought himself a cup of coffee and went to his platform to wait for the next train. As soon as he reached the halfway point on the stairs down he saw her: The Umbrella Lady of New York her sign said. She was a mime artist on a silver box. Her dress was silver too; like something from an Edith Wharton novel - a silver painted face and large bustle made her seem even more alien and anachronistic. He stared at her for a while; opening and closing her umbrella; pretending to check for rain. And then they locked eyes. He smiled and bowed; she blinked twice. He took out his phone; held it up to his eye as a question. She blinked again and nodded. Mark took three photographs of her; expanding the frame to marvel at her eyes - such a perfect shape; such an emerald green standing out from all the silver.

His train soon arrived. He wanted to say something, anything; create a memory.

He boarded the train and watched her as it slowly pulled away. They locked eyes again. He waved and smiled. She opened and closed her umbrella.

Story by:

Daniel David Gothard

10 May 2013