Writing Prompt Wednesday

Wouldn't join a mediocre choir, now, would I?
Nothing to do with anything, just advertising

It’s Wednesday, and I’m working harder at keeping promises to myself. I just finished “Thud” by Terry Pratchett, which reminded me if you’ll be late (or slack off) for a good reason, it’s easier to do it for a bad reason. I’ve had what I would consider some pretty good reasons, but not good enough. A power outage or *gasp* internet outage† might be a good excuse to delay, but not to skip altogether.

On Saturday, I had a few ideas of things to write. I wound up scrapping most of them, even after writing over 1,000 words on one of those ideas. Won’t be revisiting that one. There were a couple others, though, on the more creative side. Since Wednesday was supposed to be for writing prompts, and can be fact or fiction, or something in between (US journalism), I thought a couple of those ideas would be better suited here. Not that there’s a theme on Saturday or anything – ‘cuz, there isn’t – just that there sort of is on Wednesday.

One of those ideas involved a fragment of a dream I had, where I dreamed I had a fairly creepy, and somewhat dangerous, stalker.‡ I figured I could make it a bit more suspenseful, but then I remembered I have trouble with plots deeper than The Blues Brothers, so it wouldn’t really go anywhere, just be suspenseful. You know, home alone, dark outside, sultry summer night in the middle of August, heat lightning periodically lighting up the night. Walking through the hallway, lit only by the strobing sky, reflecting off of the highly-polished wood flooring. Walk into the living room, flop down on the overstuffed couch in front of the large picture window, covered with a few layers of sheer curtains, allowing light in, and the illusion of complete visibility. A flash; a shadow appears on the curtains, knobby, bare limbs, gnarled into uncomfortable shapes. Leaves blown off of the tree in the front yard early in the year. The storms have been particularly fierce in the past few weeks, with powerful, straight-line winds. Just down the street, the Wilsons had to replace a section of their roof, thanks to the shingles that wound up a few blocks away on Route 26. Outside, the twisted arms clack together, clap together, knock together, tap the gutter, the roof, the window. Another flash. A straighter shadow, smoother, at least, visible for just an instant. At the next flash, it is gone. Until the next flash reveals it on the side of the house, just visible through the bathroom window. The shadow is rounded, now, hunched over, less visible than before. Another flash. The shadow has moved. Now it’s in the back, peeking through the sliding glass door, testing the lock. The screen slides back with a shusshh, a sound that is only heard by the cold oven and ceramic rooster resting above the refrigerator.

Columbus Day Out 152as
Scratching against the siding

The glass door itself proves more stubborn, shuddering in its track, opening in fits and starts. A fence is not enough to keep people out, no matter how tall or smooth. It would have been faster if there had been a ladder, sure, but even sow, it wasn’t that difficult. In the living room, the light show continues while the television provides background noise. The ‘visitor’ does nothing more than walk in, quietly padding across the linoleum, interested only in a better view. His prey has curled her legs under her, while she leans on the thick cushion of the sofa arms. He moves carefully, does not get into the shadows or the light. People will notice something they saw out of the corner of their eyes, particularly if it is no longer there. Survival skill; without it, humans would have fallen to every predator with stronger jaws and claws and muscles millenia ago. The floor right here is not worn, yet; the boards do not yet react to the slightest pressure shifts. For the time being, they remain silent, even with the new weight upon them. Still only watching. This time.

Another idea I saw on someone’s Facebook page – what would it be like if you were inside a snow globe. I think that one I need to reserve for a day when I’ve not spent the past several days being essentially beat up at work. I think I’ll need to leave this for now. It’s not late, but I am tired, and I haven’t gotten to sleep before 1 am in over a week. Perhaps tonight, I break the streak.


†Last week, last Friday, to be exact, my cable went out. That wasn’t a big deal; my internet went out with it! Longest hour and twenty-five minutes ever!

‡Most of my stalkers were pretty harmless…ah, the problems of the rich and famous.


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