Hello, my friends!
This week. This month. This year. Wow.
But never mind all that! Today we are doing something potentially super fun, and also potentially anxiety inducing.
This is my first time participating in this series, but I have really enjoyed reading other people’s responses to the previous prompts. (Also become slightly intimidated, but we don’t need to talk too much about my writerly insecurities. Good grief.)
I didn’t realize how hard it would be not to give disclaimers, but I will resist the urge. Without further ado, here is the prompt we were given:
Super cool, right?
…And here is my…um…fiction thing.
The Unwanted House-guest
“Would you kindly explain to me why my carpet is covered in muddy footprints?”
“Oh. Well. She wouldn’t take off her boots.”
“—although I did ask her to.”
“Who wouldn’t take off her boots?”
Molly Winston cringed at the sharpness in her sister’s voice. She glanced worriedly at the soggy, muddy patches on the otherwise immaculate salmon pink carpet. “I—I found her on the top of your car,” she admitted reluctantly.
“On top of my car?” Alice Winston repeated in disbelief.
“Yes, she was just standing there, yelling…something. I couldn’t hear exactly what it was. The wind, you know.” Molly flapped her hands about her head.
Alice started at her sister, bewildered. She crossed her arms. “So, you found a wild child climbing about on the car, screaming, and instead of calling the authorities like any sensible human being would do, you decided to let it inside?”
Molly twisted her hands in agitation. “Oh, but Alice, it’s been so blustery, and there’s the rain, and it was getting dark. I just thought—”
“It was very stupid of you, Molly,” Alice said, shaking her head in disapproval. “I hope it won’t happen again.”
Molly opened her mouth to say something, but just then they heard a loud thump from the next room. Molly jumped.
Alice’s eyes bulged. “Is she still here?” she hissed.
Molly nodded guiltily.
Alice cast her sister one last withering look before rushing to the arched doorway that led into the dining room. Molly scuttled after her miserably. They both peered into the room.
A girl stood near the long mahogany table, an overturned chair beside her. She clutched a wrinkled, spiral-bound atlas to her chest. When the sisters appeared, she gave no sign that she had noticed them. Her eyes seemed to be staring at nothing.
She was muttering something under her breath to herself.
“…always waited for the light to turn green…I won’t forget you…”
Alice cleared her throat loudly. “Hello,” she said stiffly.
The girl did not respond.
“…always wore the jacket…always wore the boots…the map is just inside out…”
“My sister tells me that she let you in here,” Alice persisted. “But this is my house, and I am afraid I can’t abide riffraff. So if you will kindly tell me your name and where you belong, I will make the proper calls. Alternatively, I can contact the police.”
The girl looked at Alice then, her eyes wide. She paused in her muttering.
“Alice,” Molly implored, “can’t you see the girl is—?”
“Tell me your name,” Alice commanded, ignoring her sister’s wheedling voice.
“I’m not supposed to.”
“Where did you come from and what were you doing on my car?”
The girl looked down. “My brother left me this map,” she said quietly. “I have to find him before the others.”
“You are playing a game with your brother?”
“No. It isn’t a game. Something bad happened.” She put her ear to the map, closing her eyes. “It looks like an ordinary map, but it isn’t. He left it for me so that I could find him. I can hear him screaming. It’s a map to his soul. I have to get it back.”
Alice stared at her. She felt Molly trying to get her attention, but she brushed her away.
“I don’t know what kind of game you are playing, but it needs to stop right now,” she said sternly to the girl. “Where is your mother?”
The girl brought the map back to her chest and shook her head. “I promised that I would follow him,” she said. “I promised that I would follow him into the dark.”
She ran, pushed past the two sisters, and disappeared out the front door.
Well, there it is in all its glory. Or at least some of its glory.
I am so grateful to Jem for creating this series and hopefully I will get up the courage (and creative juices) to participate in more of the prompts!
Happy writing everyone!