The Landing at the Bottom of the Stairs

I have been working on a later part of Eiry‘s story lately, and got to a point where the characters were heading out the door. Their apartment is above a shop, and getting out involves 2 doors with a set of stairs between. When it got to them leaving, despite it being to an important event, I felt the story pausing there. Sure, it’s been used in other parts of the story, but it got me wondering how much.

In the building layout, the bottom of the stairs is a way-point between several areas: the shop, up the stairs to the apartment, and out into the alley. Thus, it takes on the functions of a foyer or, since we’re in Japan, a genki. There is space here for shoes, coats, umbrellas and such, so pausing here on the way in or out is natural. I suppose this is what leads to some scenes taking place here–the lover who lingers before leaving, in particular.

I’m not exactly sure that what I’m currently working on will stay in this location–it’s been decades but I’m not sure if/where they may have moved or “upgraded” to at the moment. So for now, it’s where this scene is taking place. And with the inclination for an intimate moment, I wondered how much had already happened there.

For instance:

  • The first kiss
  • Their last talk before the first mating season, sitting at the bottom of the stairs
  • Random freaky baby drop-off point (2013)

While not a ton going on over a lifetime, several important things have happened here, most notably as the place where Eiry’s adopted daughter first appears out of the blue. Scary for her, but quite fun to write!

Anyway, this made me think about what various unassuming places we tell our stories in, and where they may unexpectedly pause.

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