Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Tale of Tod {part 1}

This is a story I wrote for my English class. I'm going to give it to you in a couple of parts just to see how you like it.
I would really appreciate your feedback guys. Thanks!

The Tale of Tod

Tod Hogan left his office at J & J Accountants and entered the stream of pedestrians pushing endlessly down the grey city streets at exactly 5pm on Friday. The streets in the heart of a city, Tod had always thought, were like a great and powerful river. The constant flow of people was mindless and relentless. If you ventured out into the centre of the streets you could easily be swept away by the swift current of taxis, trams and mopeds. It was like the artificial world of people, where barely a blade of grass grows, could not help but mimic the natural world it smothered.

Tod slipped through the crowds effortlessly. He was moving with the flow and his slim build lent him that mystic ability to weave around people like liquid. He was not too short so as not to be able to see above heads; but not especially tall either, an average height. The reason no one ever noticed Tod was because he was so average. Everything about him looked normal. His cinnamon coloured hair was nondescriptly cut, his face was not striking or handsome, his suit and shoes were regular and boring, even his voice was the kind of neutral tone that betrays neither anger nor sadness.

Tod Hogan simply didn’t make an impression on people. It might have bugged him, but it didn’t. In fact he liked it. Tod could cluck like a chicken and start dancing the Macarena in the middle of the street and no one would be able to give a distinctive description of him to the police. He was just too ordinary. It was like being invisible.

Tod took a tram to his apartment in the odd middle ground between the city and the suburbs. He lived alone and kept to himself, so no one really knew him, which was good. Tod didn’t need people to know him.

As he walked into his apartment he realised he was hungry. But he also had things to do tonight.  From deep within his being he felt a growl of hunger of a different sort. There was a thing inside him that thirsted for something more than food and Tod found it easier sometimes to eat nothing when the thing was hungry. So he set his briefcase on the kitchen table, skipped dinner and left his apartment once more.


Lilly Brendal stepped out of the warm train-car into the bustling station and gasped. She’d never seen so many people in one place before. She’d been to the city before, but that was ages ago when she was a little girl and they had come by car. Now on her nineteenth birthday she realised that time had faded her memory of the crowds and hubbub that surrounded her now.

She followed her best friend Jay Heath through the rabble and out of the station. Lilly noticed the sun was dipping low towards the horizon. She glanced back at the clock above the entrance and saw that it was about half past five. At least their train had been on time.

The girls stopped and waited for the traffic light to let them cross the street. Rays of warm golden sunlight bounced off the great glass skyscrapers and into Lilly’s eyes. She squinted at the glowing buildings and elbowed her friend. “Which one do you think is the tallest Jay?”

“That one right there.” She pointed to a sleek-looking cylindrical tower that seemed to Lilly like a great golden needle trying to sew together the land and the sky. “Are you sure? I mean what’s it called?”

“Jeez Lilly I don’t know everything! But it definitely looks the tallest. So it’s got to be.” Lilly just shook her head. It didn’t make any sense; but after so many years she had learnt not to argue with Jay. Somehow she would always find a way to put you off and change the subject so you’d forget what it was you were talking about.

But even if Lilly had wanted to pursue the matter she couldn’t have because at that moment the traffic light began beeping frantically, telling them it was time to cross, and the girls talk instantly turned to finding the place where they planned to celebrate Lilly’s 19th birthday.

Jay had been to the city more often than Lilly and as a result she was designated navigator. Jay had too much confidence in herself to use a map and Lilly’s phone had forgotten to charge itself the previous night. After about fifteen minutes of wandering about, craning their necks and gawping at the grey buildings around them; they were hopelessly lost.

“I thought you knew where this place was Jay?!”

“I do! It’s just that the buildings have changed since I was here last. I’m sorry Lilly. But I’m sure it’s somewhere nearby…” Jay did a small pirouette as she tried to figure out where they were and the skirt of her grey 1950s style cocktail dress billowed out in a circle around her legs. With her ruby red lipstick, big innocent blue eyes and patent leather heels she looked like one of those ditsy blondes in the old movies. A far cry from Lilly’s motorcycle boots, denim skirt with fishnets, bottle-glass green eyes, jagged red-black hair and leather jacket.

She sighed; they were an unlikely pair to say the least. So different in looks but so similar in tastes were Lilly and Jay; no one had ever expected them to be such good friends. And they had been friends so long now; Lilly should have known to bring a map of her own, or at least remembered to charge her phone. Jay wasn’t that different from those stereotypical girls when it came to practical smarts. So she was hopeless when it came to directions. “Look Jay!” Lilly cried suddenly, “there’s a taxi! We can ask the driver where we are.”

“Cool.” She replied and started waving her arms madly at the cab, which obediently pulled over for her and rolled down its window. “I’ve got a passenger right now, but you look lost, what’s up?”

“Sorry to trouble you but we are.” Jay panted, “Do you know where The Strange Wolf CafĂ© is? I thought I knew where it was, but now I’m not so sure.” The cabbie smiled and pointed them in the right direction. As he wound his window back up Lilly noticed the guy the cabbie was driving; he wasn’t very interesting looking, but he was staring at her. She frowned and stared back at his wooden brown eyes and as the cab moved off he turned his head slightly. He was still looking at her. Without meaning to she shivered, and when Jay tapped her on the shoulder she jumped.

“Whoa girl! You totally spaced out on me there! What happened? Did you see a cute guy in the back of the taxi? Why didn’t you say anything? You know we could have taken him with us. You haven’t had a boyfriend in ages!” Jay’s words came out at the speed of light and Lilly had to shake her head a few times before her brain would process what she was saying. “What? No, of course not. No. It’s just the guy in the back was staring at me. Total creep, but that’s all.”

“Right. Well if you’re back with us now I for one would like to get going. OK?”

“Yeah sure. Sorry.”
“No problem Lil. Just don’t go walking into any doors and embarrassing me.” The girls laughed and walked off in the direction the cabbie had indicated. The strange man in the back of the taxi faded from Lilly’s mind.