This is the first in a series of posts that I plan to do regularly, taking a prompt or an idea and writing something, anything, to keep me motivated and keep up the feeling that writing is like playing – it should be fun!
I tried to work on getting a sense of the environment the characters are in (as I’m often a bit forgetful about describing places), and the voice of the narrator to give a hint of the kind of person they are and the kind of relationship that might exist between them and the other person.
The movement of the door closing had pushed up a little breeze. The kind I never would’ve noticed except for the riffling rustling papers on the wooden floor. Dust motes swirled round her head, looking oddly like glitter in the weak sunlight. I turned away from the look on her face, towards the windows. Oh man. My mouth pulled in a grimace. The curtains had definitely seen better days. An image of my own tattered plastic venetian blinds flashed into my head and had me shrugging at myself. At least my blinds weren’t salmon pink.
A little sound escaped her and I coughed. Not just because of the dust.
“Want me to get the mail?”
Her foot kicked the pile of circulars and ubiquitous envelopes with little windows.
“No point. Everyone important just emails.”
I picked it up anyway. Felt wrong leaving it scattered everywhere even if we weren’t going to be there long.
For some reason I can never pick up papers so they all stay together, bits always fall out or scrunch up. I shoved what hadn’t escaped onto a small side table and pushed my hair out of my eyes. The mirror above the table was dull, no gleaming sunbeams there, but I stared, caught, at her reflection behind me. I had never seen someone look so lost in their own home before.
Pain felt hard to swallow but I tried anyway. She deserved more.
“Top floor or bottom floor?”
She frowned a question at me and I tried for a reassuring smile as I turned around to face her. Her deepening frown let me know it wasn’t working.
“The thing, you know, the box.” I tucked my hands under my crossed arms. Hopefully she hadn’t seen them tremble. “Is it upstairs or down?”
The sigh seemed to drag up from her boots and she blinked rapidly as she turned her face away from the mess of the hallway towards the stairs at the end.
“Upstairs. I left it under the towels in my washing basket. It should have been safe there.”
I couldn’t decide if I should go before her or let her lead the way, and ended up doing a kind of shuffle forward before stumbling backwards into the side table, causing my haphazard pile of papers to avalanche and knock over what looked like the only unsmashed vase in the whole place.
Snatching at the vase, I managed to stop the slide of paper with my hip.
I looked up at her, her tall elegance seeming almost ethereal with the light behind her. The first glimmer of a smile seemed to chase away some of the stricken look that haunted her eyes.
“You know, you’re about the only person I know who can come to a house that looks like a tornado hit it and make it worse. It’s what I like most about you.”
I smiled at her and stood back, watching the papers with one hand out to stop any more sliding from the mail that now covered the small table, the other with a tight grip on the vase.
Turning to her with a little flourish of victory I froze.
The beast loomed over her, its stinking darkness quenching the sunlight.
It wasn’t the pain in her eyes as much as the resignation I could see that seemed to light a spark of fury in me. I screamed my anger out, hurling the vase into what I hoped was its head. The vase smashed into the darkness, shattering it for one tiny moment.
I took that moment, and her hand, and ran for it.
A bit late for Tuesday in NZ but not for overseas! So I’m sure that counts.. Hope you enjoyed reading it, I had fun writing it.
How would you have written for that prompt? what ideas does it spark in you?