Voice Week – The Crime – Part 4

This is the fourth of five pieces written for voice week. Each of the pieces is based on the same prompt but told using a different character’s voice.

The Crime – Part 4

If you become furniture to a place, you eventually know its rhythms. The fleeting steps of a stranger, in oxford shoes, passing your heating grate raises your interest. The gentle cadence of a young girl’s thick rubber soles, brings you as much comfort as the cup of Earl Grey that she hands you each night. Even the beat of heavy boots heard when you make the mistake of trying to enter a public building to use the toilet or have a wash becomes reassuring. Therefore, it sickens the soul and renders a feeling of helplessness to hear the not so distant sound of a struggle. Then when it is immediately followed by the unexpected arrival of an expensive court shoe, one certainly takes notice.

What does the voice of this piece tell you about the character?


About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a primary and middle school teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three and a wannabe author.
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13 Responses to Voice Week – The Crime – Part 4

  1. Mike says:

    Wow! This was tremendous. a complete contrast to the previous three voices. Here we appear to meet our resident ‘bum’. I get the impression that he’s cultured and somehow fallen on hard times – the fact that he recognises and like Earl Grey tea and is knowledgeable about different styles of footwear. He is definitely a listener and knows more about people and what’s going on than they suspect. I loved that early description of him as someone who has become – “furniture to a place”.
    Then you added in that extra spice of suspense at the end as he heard the “unexpected arrival of an expensive court shoe”.
    Looking forward to tomorrow.

  2. Janece says:

    VERY nice! Like Mike said, there’s an elegance in this voice, even though it appears to be that of a homeless person. (I first thought it was maybe a quiet, mousey, aging secretary of some sort – the type of person who is so overlooked in offices) Great job!

  3. I agree with Mike, very subtle, Billie Jo. I love the shoes, and that the character knows the difference, and would refer to a tennis shoe as a ‘court shoe’.
    Nice job!

  4. writingsprint says:

    This character is the philosophical type. A poet, even. The fact that he’s homeless makes his not responding to the struggle make sense. He doesn’t know who it is, and he probably hears similar sounds every day. I’m very curious to know who he is and how he got where he is today. Great!

  5. As impossible as it is, these pieces get better and better as the week progresses. I love that the homeless man is so eloquent and philosophical—and exhibits more decency than any of the better-off characters. And telling it all with shoes –genius.

  6. Pingback: Voice Week – The Crime – Part 4 | Out of the Woods « Voice Week HQ

  7. scribbla says:

    Don’t know how I missed this, but the other writers have covered what I’d say. A very strong, clear voice here. Super writing.

  8. robinhawke says:

    As the piece went on, I appreciated this was an educated man on hard times.

    I actually think you could do without the first sentence, push us right into the action. I like the concept though, it would be a tragedy to lose it, wonder how the furniture bit would work later in the piece.

    A thought, nothing else. I think you’ve done a good job of giving us a man who doesn’t act, a clue to his homelessness.

  9. otakufool says:

    This is maybe my favourite piece so far. Its ironic how the homeless man has the most eloquent tone and deep mind. AWESOME!

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