Vivien (excerpt)

As she made her way out through the docks she gazed in awe at the electrifying city which spanned out around her. A mass of bodies rushed about streets which seemed to stretch out forever. Buildings reached into the sky and beyond, disappearing into mysterious silky clouds which seemed to hold all the secrets of the past. A plethora of sounds enveloped the air. Loud wailing, beeping sirens, brash street chatter, doors creaking, shutters slamming, all creating a dark cauldron of unfamiliar smells.

It was winter and the New York women looked beautiful as they dashed along in velvet coats and cloche hats, swishing and swaying forwards onto exciting destinations.

A smile here, a look of determination there, manoeuvring wayward children, battling on through heavy crowds, a gaze, a skip, the sea of beauty and elegance eradicating all the ugliness of the city.

The men paced with purpose, smart suits, tall hats, tip tap, tip tap, as polished shoes stepped onto stone sidewalks. long strides , a wink, then into a building, the twirl of a moustache then into a car, some returning, some leaving, off to meet a new love or perhaps reuniting with an old one, suddenly gone, just like falling dust, never to be seen again by those curious green eyes.

Loud noises rang out from every direction, smoke ahead blinding the future like a charming mystery.

Engines purring, men shouting, cats wailing, babies crying, clocks chiming as they hurried people onwards. The scent of tobacco escaping from secret smoking dens, scurrying rats darting under dirty sewers, steam appearing and disappearing, just like her visions, flashes of opportunity, possibilities, infinite paths leading to infinite discoveries, adventures. Love. She wanted to taste something. Life. To hold it in her hands. To smell it, all those scents mingled together like the highest feeling in the world and at that moment, to Vivien, there wasn’t a black cloud in the entire dusty sky.