The Evolution of a Story – Bernard’s Story

As you may have seen in my previous post, I laid out the framework for a story. This post is to show how a series of bullet points grows into story of it’s own accord. I attended Indy WordLab on Monday night and found myself inspired to go back and take another look at the Bernard story. I feel it truly has potential to be a great story and merely requires I take the time to tell it.  Please comment fervently.

 Working Title: Bernard’s Story

The old room smelled of wood aching to see sunlight but falling repeatedly short of success. This space had always existed to serve as a place of mediation. The ancient table ran long across the floor that creaked the arrival of the two seeking resolution. Bernard took his usual seat on the barely lit side of the table. The other man slid to the opposite side and settled, arms crossed, into the padding of his chair.

Bernard peered over his glasses at his companion. He coughed out a “hem ahem,” clearing his throat. Before he could speak, however, the fellow across the table began the conversation.

“I think you are wrong about them, Bernard,” he stated, in a voice raspy with age and wisdom, but yet a depressing quality rang through every word. “I think you underestimate them,” he continued.

“You can’t fault me, for having faith,” Bernard retorted in a matter-of-fact tone.

After a long and yet suitable pause, Bernard’s companion simply stated, “Perhaps not, Bernard, I truly hope that I am wrong, for their sake.” At this, Bernard solemnly nodded.


The office of Gary Davis was on the eighth floor. Gary held dominion atop a building bearing his last name. A cup of cappuccino was steaming aromatically while it waited for Gary to finish the morning paper. He picked up his mug and moved towards the window. He started every morning at his window. There was something relaxing about watching the city rise from its slumber.

Gary’s gaze drifted slowly across the skyline of the city until finally his eyes came to rest on the street below. The street was alive with the walking masses of pedestrians. The sidewalk looked like a flowing stream that cascaded around a bus stop that contained a bench, like it was some lost island. The whirlwind of grays and blacks created by the people walking in either direction was broken only by the occasional brightly dressed individual. Up in his office, Gary was sporting a very similar gray suit. Gary, having finished naval-gazing, brought his attention back to the avenue below.

Suddenly a ripple in the stream appeared and seemed to emanate from the bus stop bench. The effect continued to widen around the bench until the source of the disturbance was visible. A stumbling man had interrupted the flow and then staggered, lost his balance, and collapsed against the bench.  The front of his shirt was drenched in a deep shade of red and his hands, also covered in blood, clutched his side.

Gary stopped sipping from his mug and a look of mild concern stretched across his face. He looked as if he might do something, but then looked around as if checking for someone watching him and brought the steaming cup to his lips once more.


James Wilhelm was a family man. The pictures his daughters had given him were attached to his visor. Jasmine and Serenity were written in girly flourish on each picture. He looked at the pictures of them and then straightened his tie in the mirror. A look of intense worry creased his face and he checked the pile of resumes on the seat next to him again for perhaps the hundredth time that car ride.

The car in front of James looked like it was having trouble. It had begun to jerk and then slowed to stop. The driver had tried to nudge over to the side of the road but hadn’t gotten very far.  James glared at his watch in frustration. He swore loudly and exclaimed, “I don’t fucking have time for this.”  Leaning back against the seat, he closed his eyes and stared upwards into his eyelids. He took a breath and then began checking his rearview mirror for a suitable opening in the massive traffic jam that lined the road next to him. As the horns began to emulate their owners’ disgust, James closed his eyes for a moment and tried to relax.

The car door opened and a man climbed out, he smiled but had a look of embarrassment cast over his face. He popped the hood and moved to the front of his car to poke around.

James grunted out a polite wave before the man was out of sight. A gap opened in the traffic and James jerked the wheel with a frustrated movement. He looked at his watch, he sighed and muttered, “I have to get there.”