Exercise 4

Narrative Structure and Technique

Andrew Steeves


The man inspected the can. "Big ol' Can of Whoop Ass!" It read, "Guaranteed to Restore your Faith in Mankind." He popped the lid, poured the energy drink into what remained of his coffee and took a swig. He made a face.

"What's wrong?" A sunflower asked him.

"This drink tastes funny."

"You made it." The sunflower gave a little twirl.

"I had to." The man responded. "I need to stay awake."

"You should be like me. I sleep when it's dark and wake when it's light."

"You must sleep a lot in the winter."

The flower bit its lip. "No. In the winter I die."

"Don't we all." The man responded. He looked around. "What are you doing here? A station is no place for a flower."

"You're right." She seemed to bloom a little. "Let's go outside in the sun."

"I can't. I'll miss my train."

"How can you miss something you don't love?"

"Hm..." The man grunted. "Ok." The man picked up his luggage and escorted the sunflower out into the light. She danced with joy.

"I have to go to the bathroom." She said.

"Flowers don't go to the bathroom." He responded, and took another drink.

"You don't know" She danced. "You don't know anything about flowers. For all you know, we pee when no one's looking."

"That's silly."

"Bold words coming from a triceratops."

The man looked into a tinted car window at his reflection. He nodded. "Fair enough."

"So turn around and close your eyes. Just because you have horns doesn't mean you can't be polite."

The man turned around and closed his eyes. He tried to take another drink, but his mouth didn't work that way anymore.

"Ok, open your eyes!"

He did so to see her standing before him. "I brought you a flower." She smiled.

"What do I do with it?"

"You smell it."

The man shook his head. "I don't have time. I have a client I'm supposed to meet and I have to be on that train. I don't have time."

She stepped in closer. "That's the point."

He stood watching her for a time. Finally, he stepped forward, took her in his arms, and inhaled.