The opening to a short story set in a large city. Concentrating on setting and character.

Essay by sammi22 September 2004

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I had arrived in New York, city of high heels and cocktail parties. It was Christmas Eve and snowing and it was just like a fairy tale, children building snowmen in Union Square while carol singers sang 'White Christmas' to a group of old ladies wearing duffel coats. I stepped out of the taxi and stood admiring the scene for a moment before pulling my fur coat tighter around myself and heading towards the park. I was supposed to be going to help organise a Christmas party but instead I sat down on the bench to listen to the singers, now singing 'Frosty The Snowman'. And I thought to myself, it's perfect.

I don't know how long I sat there before I realised I was cold and decided to see if that coffee shop I once went to with Cindy was still there. I walked across the park and on to Fifth Avenue.

I had forgotten how mad Fifth Avenue was at this time of year, teeming with harassed women carrying bags full of last minute Christmas gifts.

The coffee shop was gone, and in its place was a shop brightly decorated with red and green fairy lights. Inside the shop was a 'Santa's Grotto' covered with sparkly fake snow and surrounded by exhausted mothers and excited children. That's what it's like in New York, always busy and forever changing. Nothing stays the same for long. I looked at my watch, four o'clock. I stopped a taxi and got inside, 'East 73rd Street' I said and leaned back, tired after my days travelling.

'Elizabeth!' Jeffery said sounding way too excited 'I've so missed you!' How are you? You look so different! What took you so long? Did you bring me a present?' Jeffery hasn't changed, still hyperactive...