This one is also from Writer’s digest Writing Prompt Boot Camp.
Day 11: The Stranger. (I wrote these all on Post-Its, so it’s probably been paraphrased. I recommend just getting the free download for yourself if you’re interested in the real deal.)
Prompt: You’re walking home from work one night through a labyrinth of dark city alley ways to meet someone on time. Suddenly a stranger parts the shadows in front of you, comes close, and asks you to hold out your hand. You oblige.
I’m running now, full tilt through twisted alleyways and across darkened streets. I know them like the back of my hand. I can even tell you where young women were recently attacked on them. The darkness is probably to my benefit, though, since all of those had taken place in the early afternoon, not at night.
I stumble and my heart beats against my chest. I shouldn’t be thinking about attacks. I should be paying attention.
My boss will be at my house probably minutes after I arrive, expecting me to be freshened up after my late shift and expecting hors d’ oeuvres like it’s a fucking 1960s sitcom. If all goes well it will work out in true sitcom fashion, too.I will be freshly dressed, holding a plate of hot something or other, and no doubt kicking some evidence of hijinks under the couch with one heeled foot.
I wheel around a corner, too fast to stop myself before I am face to chest with a large, tall man in a large, tall coat. I stare, owl-eyed up his bush white beard to his empty grey eyes.
“Whoa!” he bellows. “Sorry I didn’t see you there!”
“Sorry,” I mutter. “I should have been paying more attention.”
“Entirely my fault,” he smiles. “Hold out your hand for me.”
I hold out my hand before I can even realize how bizarre the request is. There’s something about him that makes him seem safe. Despite the darkness and the dark coat, he seems to radiate light. Like he has parted the shadows and will show me the way.
He takes the back of my hand gently and traces the lines on my palm with one huge fingertip. His hands are so warm that even on this summer night, a chill runs through me.
He chuckles, a disarming jolly Santa chuckle.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“You’ll get your promotion,” he predicts. “But it won’t fulfill you. You’ll go with it for a few weeks and then you’ll come looking for us.”
He releases my hand and I stare down at it as though it will tell me the same thing. “But who are you?”
When I look up, he’s not there. It takes a moment to recover, but I remember my appointment and I start to run again. Just as I reach the front door, my cell phone rings. It’s my boss. I answer.
“Rachel? I’m so sorry, but I’m running a little behind. I should be around in just about thirty minutes.”
“That’s great. I mean, it’s no problem. Thanks for the call.”
This one stars a mystery “I” named Rachel. This seems like it would make for a good beginning to some kind of sci fi/urban fantasy type thing. I kept this one short (433 words) and I realized that I did not use “says” once. I’ll comment about that in a future post!