Writing Prompt: Day 104

104.jpgDay 104 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about what a character sees outside of their window.

Shannon: As I was reading in bed I heard a loud chirping coming from outside my open window. The bird must have been in a tree close by. If I didn’t move too fast, maybe I could peak at it before it flew away. My pet parakeet was already singing up a storm, right next to the window screen, probably drawing in some interest with his outsider tone. I looked outside and there was blue jay flying right across from Albert, but when it spotted me it flew up and away. I giggled. “You have secret friends, you sneaky little thing,” I cheered. I felt so proud.   

Erin: My most productive space was my desk at home. The breeze from the window calmed me. The air was my favorite smell. The white noise of the town soothed my mind. Most importantly however all I could see was bricks.

Where the browns and reds mixed could be distracting, but I had memorized them. There was nothing to learn about the portion of the brick wall that was my work companion. The lack of newness left all of my creative energy for my work.

Some would say I would be best without a window. I can’t explain it, but that set up would make me feel trapped. There was a reason I stayed in my crappy apartment. You couldn’t find a view like mime anywhere.

Help us see what your character sees.

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One thought on “Writing Prompt: Day 104

  1. A deep charcoal shadow slipped past the window, blocking out the city lights that poured into the comfortable apartment every night. When I groaned softly, caught somewhere between peaceful dreamland and the cozy comforters of our bed, the shadow grew deftly still. Barely breathing lest the intruder was the violent, I shifted tighter around my pillow and cursed Peter’s deep sleeping. I sometimes swore that if a bomb went off in the kitchen he’d just carry on snoring soundly; but he’d just brush me off with his crooked smile and an infectious chuckle, and I’d forget what I was talking about.
    When the shadow continued to the closed door, it paused for a moment before slipping through. On the other side of the thin panels I could hear the familiar creaking of the old hardwood and the front door’s signature squeak. As soon as the door shut, the lock driven home with a crushing thud, I sat up straight in the bed; beside me, the mattress was empty and warm to the touch. Peter had snuck out of the apartment in the middle of the night.
    I took a moment to gather my thoughts before placing my bare feet on the deathly chilled floor and searching silently for some clothes. At the end of the bed, in a small pile of soft fabrics and prickly sequins, were the t-shirt and track pants I’d gone to bed in. Sometime during the night I shrugged into a flannel nightdress that was warmer in this cold snap. Slipping into the too-long pants and cat-emblazoned shirt, I crept toward the window like a groggy cat at first light. Peter was just stepping out the front door of the building, hugging his hoodie tighter about his chest in a manner I knew too well.
    There was an odd moment where he just stood, his breath rising in a miniature cloud before him, on the corner of the normally busy street and gazed into the frosted windows of the pawn shop. But, in a blink, he was headed down the street almost at a run with his dark clothing obscuring any discernable features at this distance. If you’d asked me, I couldn’t even be certain it was him at this distance.
    A chill rushed through the room and I cursed the faulty heating system working in tandem with the non-existent insulation that was a constant reminder that we had no money. Shivering, I glared into the darkness at the place my slippers should have been, attempting to create them anew out of thin air before giving up and flicking on the table lamp. As the room came into better focus, I continued to blink rapidly at the sudden colours and shapes; an ugly dresser stood imposingly in the corner beside the open mini closet, the walls were cracked right through the drywall in some places and the cracks around the window leaked starlight.
    Felt slippers on my frosty toes, I turned the light back off and made my way slowly to the main room without making a sound. With no light save that coming from the street, casting menacing shadows on the ceiling, I stumbled against the counter and searched the cupboard wall for the switch. As I found it, however, a horrible thought occurred to me and I spoke it aloud, despite myself, “What if he comes back and I’m just sitting up like a lunatic?” So I fumbled gently around the familiar space for a heavy porcelain mug, an unknown teabag and the kettle.
    A few minutes later I was treading carefully across the room to the main window that overlooked the scuzzy, graffiti-strewn alleyway behind our apartment to eye the street warily. Chances were good that Peter would arrive home via the same road he’d left, and I’d be awaiting his return with baited breath. I settled into the too-relaxing plush recliner and gazed through the fogging pane at the empty street. After half an hour of sipping what I guessed was earl grey, I grew impatient. Across the room, our rickety bookcase held the most precious commodity for me; upon its worn shelves were titles containing entire worlds you could easily become tangled up in. Though I may want to escape the confusion of this evening, I decided against a bracing jaunt through my favorite make-belief forests of fancy.
    Instead, I redoubled my concentration on the task at hand and drained the entire, scalding mug in one gulp. Coughing, I rushed back to the kitchen, deftly avoiding all our scattered furniture, and set to work quickly making a second cup. I dashed back to the window and leaned against the frame as I waited for the distinctive whistle of our ancient kettle. When the call went off, loud and shrill enough to wake the entire city, I was back to the counter in an instant. The hot water burnt the back of my hand as I hastily poured it into my cup. I was back to the chair within a minute, caffeine in hand.
    It was a few minutes before anything interesting happened at all; it was a quiet, cloudy night with barely a mouse stirring. But, below me came the unmistakable shouting of a lover’s quarrel. They were far enough away that their echoing voices overlapped so I couldn’t make out their words, but they sounded irate and irrational. As the couple got closer their voices were more strident; the man had apparently cheated and the woman was livid that it was with her sister. After he realized it was a losing battle and changed tactic, they strolled into my frame of view.
    The man got down on a knee and pleaded with the woman, who turned her back to him, crossing her arms defiantly. After a moment, he straightened and stalked off down the alley, kicking furiously at the puddles. When his footsteps were no longer audible, the woman peered around and leaned against the graffiti for comfort; she looked like a lost child in a scary situation. Pulling out her cell, she tapped despondently at the screen. It felt strange being a part of such an intimate moment, yet being apart from it.
    Just as I was about to give up on Peter and go back to bed, having already wasted a few chilly hours on this lost cause, a lanky shadowy figure sauntered up the ally toward the lonely woman. Watching the cloaked silhouette stride, I felt a shiver run up my spine and resisted the urge to scream at the woman. I stared in disbelief as he stood before her, blocking her frame from my view. When a muffled cry arose, the figure stepped aside to let her body slide to the dingy ground, red trickling down her pastel dress. At his feet, her phone lay cracked and flashing ominously.
    The form bent down to examine something and I grabbed my phone, terrified that he might have seen me. Carefully dialing Peter’s number, I prayed he took the rundown phone on his midnight crusade. When the dial tone rang and a familiar, upbeat song rose from the alleyway, where the killer was standing above his victim, I froze. “Allie?” echoed from outside the window with the icy piece of metal in my hand repeating the chilling word.

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