My thyroid had done a number on my writing. I was too tired and too foggy to do much work on Once Upon a Time in Iowa. As a result, it sort of stalled out just a few chapters shy of finished. Of course, that’s only rough draft finished.
I feel ready to get back to work. Back to writing. I know it has the potential to distract me from the world as it is. Spending my days in 1872 was a whole lot of fun. Most days, I hated coming back to the present.
So, I opened up my files today. Happy to report that they will work on my new computer (finally upgraded). You know what didn’t work? Me. Yup. I can’t figure out where to begin again.
Maybe jumping right back into my novel is a little too much to hope for. And that’s when I went hunting for a writing prompt to stretch my keyboard.
and then she came knocking…
Her husband had taken the kids on a fishing trip with their grandfather. She was enjoying an oh so rare weekend of peace and tranquility. It seemed the perfect opportunity to start her newest novel.
She poured herself a cup of coffee and settled into the most comfortable seat in the house. Sipping her coffee, she fired up her laptop. Soon the clacking of keys filled the room.
The sun shone brightly in the summer sky. She glared at the yellow ball impairing her vision. A pearl of sweat slid down her temple and into her ear. She adjusted the brim of her sun hat and created an extended visor with her hand. The kids kicked the ball from one end of the field to the other and then back again.
Knock, knock, knock…
“Damn it,” she cursed as she set her laptop aside.
She grabbed her purse on the way expecting to find a neighbor kid standing on the other side of the door ready to sell her candy bars or wrapping paper or some other fundraiser. She hoped it was cookie dough. She loved the cookie dough fundraiser.
“What are we selli….” her words caught in her throat when she saw the woman standing on her porch.
The bright ball of sun behind her was as blinding as the sun she’d just been writing about. Certainly that’s what caused the woman in front of her to be such a dead wringer to the woman she’d been envisioning.
“Help me. You have to help me. They’re after me!”
The woman practically bowled her over scrambling through the door. She didn’t stop until she’d arrived in the living room.
It was a cozy room. There was an overstuffed couch, two overstuffed chairs, a coffee table, two end tables, and a modest television hanging on the wall. Her laptop sat open beside her cup of coffee on one of those end tables.
The woman paced the floor. There wasn’t much room for pacing, but somehow she managed.
She slid her cell phone from her pocket, intending to call the police.
No Service flashed across the screen.
She tried to remember the last time she had a service issue. Never. Not here at the house, anyway. She still had her laptop.
No Service flashed across the laptop’s screen in large bold print, easily seen from across the room.
“Who’s after you?” she finally asked the pacing woman.
Obviously, police were out, so she needed to ascertain what exactly she was up against. She found herself wishing she’d gone along on the fishing trip.
The woman’s sun hat was tilted as if she’d adjusted it to block out the bright sun. She wore a bright pink cotton sundress with large white flowers imprinted all over it. It flowed loosely down to just passed her knees. It was the exact dress she’d envisioned her new character wearing.
Her hair hung in blonde waves down her back. She knew instinctively that if the woman walked into the shaft of sunlight, there would be copper tones flowing through those blonde locks. The bright green flip flops were the coup de grâce.
She’d been planning to use them as a little quirk. Maybe there’d be a teenage daughter who rolled her eyes at mom always wearing those awful neon green flip flops. She hadn’t quite decided how to use them yet.
The woman caught her staring. “Oh, yeah. My daughter hates them. That’s probably the only reason I wore them today. I was at her soccer game. That’s when I saw them.”
She was looking out the window. The light danced off the copper strands in her hair.
“Who? Who did you see?”
“The men. There!”
She pointed to a car parked down the street; a nondescript, black luxury sedan. There may have been people inside. It was hard to tell because the sun was reflecting off the windshield, obscuring her view.
The woman picked up her pacing again.
“What made you come here?” she asked the woman next.
“I don’t know. I just knew if I knocked on that door, someone would answer, and that someone was going to be able to help me.”
“How can I help you?”
“How should I know. I followed my gut and here I am.”
She looked out the window again. The sun had begun to set. The sky was a beautiful orange with pink around the edges.
“They’re gone!” she gasped.
A glance out the window revealed the inside of the luxury sedan. It was definitely empty now. The woman was becoming increasingly more agitated.
There was a loud crash from somewhere at the back of the house.
“There here!” the woman shouted as she ran for the stairs.
She stood there watching the woman mount the steps three at a time. She was torn between following her — this stranger about to invade her family’s personal space — and investigating the crash she’d heard at the back of the house.
Something struck the back of her head. Her vision clouded and then went black as she crumpled to the ground. She thought she heard the sound of boots stomping across her hardwood floors as the world faded away.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short story. It feels good to be writing something again. Leave your comments or leave a link to your own writing prompt response.