Day 130 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about someone who is in a rush.
Shannon: “Can’t stop,” I put up my index finger up to block Rachael the second I saw her spot me from a few feet away.
“You can put up with me until you to get wherever you’re going,” she bypassed my statement.
“I’m really not in a good mind space to focus right now. I have seven places I need to get to in the next two hours, and I’ve already set myself up to fail. Do you want to talk later, when I will actually listen?”
“No, no. I don’t want to talk I just have to give you something,” she kept up with my pace as she swung her bag in front of her chest. “Here,” she handed me a tightly folded note. “It’s from him. I promised I’d get it to you.”
I stopped and let it drop to the cement. She quickly picked it up for me. “Why?” I squeezed my hands into fists. “I just told you I need to get shit done. I do not need that right now,” I scolded as I pointed at the paper.
“Then put it in your bag and read it later.”
“No, I can’t have it within arm’s reach, I’ll never be able to avoid it. You keep it until later, and I will try to forget I ever seen it,” I checked the time on my phone. I was already late. Why was still not moving?
“I’ll lose it, and I can’t be held responsible. No one can write or say the same thing twice. I did my part, I’m sorry, but it’s yours now,” she shoved it in my hand, and ran pass me, like we were kids playing tag.
Erin: Dear Journal,
Why do I have you? The days where the most happens, I don’t have time to stop and write about it.
Why is your character rushing around?
“How can you be so slow at this, huh?” I demanded as we stood in the magnetic center of immobile throngs of last-minute shoppers just like my sister, Jessica. Her face was heavily creased with the effort of decision-making this crappy Sunday morning just before Christmas Eve. In the rush to get all the Christmas festivities perfectly arranged, as well as working double shifts at the boutique to cover a co-worker’s unfortunately-timed pregnancy, she hadn’t had a day to shop for our relatives. And, while I’m sure yours would completely understand the lack of physical presents, I assure you our closest relatives don’t understand the true point of the holidays; spending time with people you love and care about. Instead, it’s just an enormous contest between everyone as to who will give and receive the best offerings. Personally, I’m surprised every year that there aren’t prizes for the best or most expensive thoughts.
At any rate, Jess and I were now swimming through the rivers of tense people who’d lost their Christmas cheer days ago and were now fighting their way to get the best leftovers. Jess just needed a few things for our folks and a major present for our aunt, who didn’t speak to our dad for three months following the kitchen-appliance fiasco last year where he gave her a mixer. A present needed to be thoughtful, expensive and wrapped with perfectly-folded corners to satisfy her; though, truthfully, the first and third could be fudged a bit as long as the second was out-of-the-park. No one ever made it across that threshold so we had to think quickly about what she may enjoy.
As she stopped to check out some pearl necklaces, I raced through to check the sports section for something for our dad. I was just side-stepping a man carrying six large parcels in his hands when I nearly crashed into an old woman, who cursed like a sailor at me. Jeeze, this time of year people are so crabby and in a rush. Continuing around a corner, and a large gathering of women with the same noses, I made it to the picked-over sporting goods area and began searching for something useful and moderately expensive. A golf club shone from within a Plexiglas display case with three different sales stickers plastered across the surface. When I reached it, keeping my eyes scanning for something better, I sniggered at the price; perfect.
With the smooth metal implement tucked carefully under my arm, I stepped back onto the conveyer of slow-moving customers and made my way, slipping in and out of traffic to avoid staying still for too long, and tracked down Jessica. She had a box wrapped with a velveteen bow holding the lid on in her chip-nailed fingers and was frowning slightly at the size. Pointing at the club in the din of shoppers, I motioned about the box, which was met with an apathetic thumbs-up.
I rolled my eyes at the disinterested expression and dashed back into the crowd for the last gift on our list, leaving Jess holding an expensive necklace and a golf club on a relatively peaceful island all to herself amid the oceans of shoppers.
Heather is packing anything she wants to bring with, which isn’t too much. She only had a couple articles of clothes that wasn’t SHIELD commissioned for causal living or sleeping. She hears a knock on the door, but doesn’t answer it. Her door is open anyway, so the person walks in.
“You seem to be in a rush,” Coulson states.
“I’m cleared,” Heather says, “that means I can leave.”
“You wouldn’t have to, your skills could-”
Heather turns and looks him dead in the eye, “I. Am. Going. Home.” After a solid moment of eye contact, she turns back and zips the backpack closed. She puts it on her shoulders, then turns to him, “So, are you going to let me out of the room.”
Coulson steps to the side, “There’s a quinjet waiting to take you back.”
“Can I check it for bugs or tracking devices?” Heather asks as she walks down the hall.
“Ms. Morse, Ms- Heather,” Coulson grabs her arm, “Stop for a second.”
“I’m not staying here any second longer than I need to,” Heather says, “it’s been almost a year since I’ve seen my family.”
Coulson looks at her. Heather huffs, then crosses her arms.
“Make it quick.”
“Do you know what you are throwing away?” Coulson asks.
Heather stares at him like she’s hoping he’s kidding.
“You’ve helped people here, you’ve done good. You’ve put your skills to use, and gained more,” Coulson says. When Heather’s stare doesn’t change, he adjusts tactics, “What would Captain Rogers say if he was here?”
Coulson expected her to react, but not like this. Heather closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. “Steve told me when I got the serum that if I have a chance to walk away, if I think it is too much for me, then he won’t stop me.” She opens her eyes, “If Steve were here right now? He’d tell me to get on that motorcycle and go see my family, and he’d hold back anyone that thinks they can stop me.
“What I am ‘throwing away’, Agent Coulson, is a life where every day there is a chance I might die. What I’m running to is a life as close to normal as I can get after Hydra decided to rip me from my original one.”
Coulson has nothing else to say to change her mind. “Then you know Captain Rogers better than me.” He motions down the hall, “You’re family is waiting.”
Heather starts moving the moment his arm started moving. She starts to speed up, then flat out runs down the halls to the hangar. A few people step up to stop her, but others take their shoulder, saying that she’s allowed to do that. Heather zeroes in on the craft prepped and ready for her. She only slows down once she’s on the ramp. She walks in and sits down in the co-pilot seat. May is next to her, volunteering to take her home.
“No.” Heather says.
May flits her gaze at Heather, then initiates take off, “You never fit in here, anyway.”
“I don’t fit in anywhere,” Heather says, “that’s where my nickname comes from.”
“Loup, Lobo, Lupus. …Ōkami,” Heather lists, “they rotate between them, but they all mean the same thing.”
“Wolf,” May states.
“I don’t have my own group. Never was an Avenger, never will. My friends have their own group. Even with my family…” Heather clenches her fist, “I feel separate.”
“Yet you are going back to them,” May states.
“Because of the double meaning of my nickname,” Heather says wistfully. May is silent, waiting for her to continue. “My friends say ‘wolf’ because I am not just a lone wolf, but I’m the alpha of my own pack, made up of all the people that I would protect with my life.”
Heather leans back and watches the ground fall away.
“And my family is in the center. I’ve seen them hurt and I promised to never allow anyone to do that to them again.”
May takes in the statement silently. When they’re above the clouds, she flips a few switches and says, “You can get up and move. I’d suggest getting some sleep.”
Heather stands up and goes to the main area of the jet. It’s smaller than the Avengers’ quinjet, but not small enough to be a ‘Mini-jet.’ She paces a little, then sits down in one of the other chairs. Along the wall.
May doesn’t bother her. Heather eventually curls up with her backpack under her head, though it takes a long while for her to fall asleep. May decides to wake her up fifteen minutes out.