I’m not good at action. I glance around at some of the other candidates, already typing away. Looking back at the blank screen in front of me, I drum my long, pink fingernails on the desk beside the laptop. Okay, how is this a story? I start to chew on the ends of my brown hair, but catch myself and spit it back out.
I need this job, otherwise the rent runs out and I’m moving back with Mum and Dad. Write, fingers. Write!
The cursor blinks.
Marjorie Smith is your average suburban mother. The 35-year-old bakes cookies three times a week for her son, Mark, drives the neighbourhood kids to softball practice in the summer and hockey in the winter, and scrapbooks for 2 hours daily. Always on the go, Marjorie was in the right place at the right time yesterday afternoon.
Just after 4 o’clock, the #35 bus turned down Maple Lane and narrowly missed hitting 8-year-old Sunny Roberts. Sunny and Mark had been playing on the Smith lawn at the time, and Marjorie was quick to act when she saw the bus headed for the little girl.
It was the #35 on Maple, wasn’t it? Or did they even show the street? Oh, well…
“It was nothing, really,” said Smith after the near-miss. “I’m just so happy little Sunny’s okay. Mark has such the crush on her.”
The bus driver is also grateful for the quick intervention. “I don’t know how I could have lived with myself if the worst had happened,” said Tony Shanks, 43.
The hour’s almost up. Jeez.
Sunny still has tears in her eyes when thinking about the events of yesterday afternoon. “I want Misty,” she said, with fresh fountains of grief threatening to spill over her cheeks.
“This has been such a trauma for the entire street,” Marjorie sums up. A near-tragedy that was averted by a neighbourhood hero.
I take another quick look around at the candidates. Keystrokes are few and far between now, with most people scanning what they’ve written and making minor changes here and there; a couple of people are still typing furiously. The editor comes back into the room: “Time’s up.”