It has been way, way too long since I sat down and just wrote a story. Way back when, I loved challenging myself when prompts would appear from the Red Dress Club, now under the name Write at the Merge. It’s been too long indeed. So, when I saw the writing prompt for this week, I thought why not, let’s see where this could go. The first line caught my attention
“When the sun sets on All Hallow’s Eve, blanketing the landscape in darkness, it is said the line between the living and the dead, the fantasy and the reality is tenuous.”
I’m a bit rusty, but here is a short snippet taken from a longer tale I am weaving. Hopefully it fits the bill.
Four Metro stops later, JJ waited for the doors to open. Stepping onto the platform he immersed himself into the human traffic vying for their spot on the ascending staircase. Emerging from below, the wind slapped his brow sending cold deep into his bones. Adjusting his collar, he trekked down the sidewalk, noticing the homeless staking their claim on benches. He wondered how anyone could stay warm with cardboard and newspaper on nights like this.
The DuPont Circle area was the perfect place to hide in plain sight. Security was high due to the number of embassies and the community pretty much kept to themselves. Weaving his way down the walk he came to a small brownstone protected by an iron gate and punched the code into the keypad. The gate clicked and he quickly opened then closed it behind him. For some reason, he always felt protected after the gate closed, like a child feels his bed blankets have the ability to shield from the Boogie Man or monster hiding in the closet.
He realized with his first step toward the door the safety from an iron gate was just a fallacy as he saw the orange embers glow from the drag of a cigarette.
“Get inside. We have a problem.” The voice growled. JJ moved past the hidden figure feeling the prick of hair rising on the nape of his neck.
“What’s the problem?” JJ inquired.
“Inside,” The voice hissed.
JJ felt the cold metal jingle between his fingers as he unlocked the door. He stepped into the dark foyer, his space immediately invaded as he was pushed from behind to make entry quicker.
“What the hell?” JJ protested.
A Dark figure made a quick sweep of the downstairs before nodding all was clear. JJ didn’t even notice the second mass making their way up the stairs. In a moment, the figure appeared on the landing giving the thumbs up, and then slid to flank the wall waiting for further instructions.
The small desk lamp clicked and Mr. Smith rocked back and forth in the chair dancing in and out of the light.
“What the hell is going on?” JJ demanded. “Why are you here and who is that up near my bedroom?” he continued.
“Never mind who is upstairs. You should be more worried about who is sitting in front of you at this very moment. You have been careless this year.” Smith chided.
“What are you talking about?” JJ retorted, agitated by the intrusion.
“Your wallet has turned up and a lot of questions are being asked. I told you this was the last place you should be, but you wouldn’t listen.”
“It’s better than New York! Nobody knows me here. I died 10 years ago; DC allows me to be a ghost among the living. And besides, it was part of the deal. “
“Deals are meant to be broken.” Smith shared as he pressed the butt of his cigarette into the sphere of marble on the desk.
Like I said, I am a bit rusty, but always welcome your feedback! Thanks!