Thursday, July 26, 2012

Writing catalyst...

I know there have been a few writing prompts here, and I would like to add one which I received at a workshop. This prompt helped me to write a short novelette. I'll give the overview then show what I came up with. Please add your own pieces!

Write about a character who has to complete a task (it can be with another person)
My piece below:
I walk up the stairs to the door. The aroma of six sprays of cologne lingers in my nose. She is supposed to be waiting inside. I knock once and stand back. The building is made of wood, and in this heated hallway a smell like a sauna permeates the air. I stamp my feet and knock again, giving the knob an extra twist incase she left it open to surprise me.
H e l p .
I cock my head. Did I just hear something?
I jiggle the door and kick it with my foot. Jenny?
I hear that cry as it tickles my gut. It's her, all right, but she sounds weak, as if she's being smothered.
Jenny? Give me a second.
I kick the door, but it's made of solid oak and doesn't budge one inch. I step back and kick again. The door makes to sneer at me by not moving an inch. Instead, vibrations travel through my body. It's painful. I broke both ankles in a car accident, so I decide not to kick the door again.
The neighbors, maybe they keep a spare key. I run over and knock. Nothing. I knock again and yell. Nothing.
Back at Jenny's door I smell wood burning.
Help, fire.
I have no time. I know I can't call the fire department because they are more than an hour away. I had always said it was stupid to live someplace so far away from civilization. Now she was paying.
I think back to my days as a teenager, and pull out a paper clip. I walk outside the building. Gray skies sulk down on my head. It's winter, and the cold air attacks my lungs and skin. I find a rock and head back to the warmth of the building.
Help. Her voice is louder now.
I stretch the paper clip out and slam one end with the rock until the paper clip is flattened. I hurry back to the door. The smell of something burning is distinct now. I jiggle the keyhole with the clip. Nothing. Five minutes later, nothing. I have to get in. I wonder if I can climb through her window.
I power walk outside, hugging my coat as the air surprises me again with its ferocity; a wind has picked up. Beneath her window, I'm sure that there's no way to climb up. Nor do I have rope to rappel from the roof. I check out the trunk of my car. Still nothing. Why don't I have anything of use here?
The tool shed. The building maintenance man keeps a toolshed stock full of goodies. I run over to the small red shack. It's bolted shut. I jiggle that a few times. There's no opening it. I rap my knuckles against the wood side. I give it a soft kick, wary of my ill-fused bones.
My heart is trying to break out of my ribcage now, and even though it's could, I'm sweating. I can taste something like blood in my mouth. The side of the shed is strong. I can't kick through it.
The car. I run over, slipping on ice and falling on my knee. I limp-run over, start the car, and pop it into first gear. I grip the steering wheel and steady myself. Yes, this has to be done, and you can ask for forgiveness later. I slam the gas. The car takes off, the backend wiggling. I aim for a corner of the shed and slam into it. The car shatters the corner. I back it out.
Half of my car is destroyed or scratched to death. I step inside the shed. An ax.
I run back up and hack at the door. I don't hear anything from inside when I pull the ax out and slam it into the door. The sound of wood giving way is very comforting. Soon I have a hole and I stick my hand through it and open the door.
Inside, her place is as I remember.
I hear faint clapping. I turn from the hallway to the living room. She's standing in the middle giving a mock golf clap.
I shake my head and drop the ax.

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