Writing Prompt: Day 143

143.jpgDay 143 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Let Jordin Spark’s “One Step at a Time” inspire you.

Erin: $60,000 dollars later and I was so close. It didn’t feel that way though. I felt like I was behind bullet proof glass with a paintball gun. I could see the future I invested so much into, but couldn’t get there. The harder I tried the more I lost sight of the hope. I was at the point where only a sliver of glass was visible. I couldn’t give up though. I had already given my all for four years and I would continue to until someone gave me a chance to prove myself.

Shannon: “It’s not ready yet, but bring me a new draft next week.”

“Seriously,” I cringed, balling my fists. I was sure I had it this time. “Bu…But,” I stuttered. “This may be the best thing I’ve ever written, and you’re not even going to tell me what’s wrong with it?” I tried not to yell at my agent for holding the process up. She always strove for greatness. She never let anyone fall short of their best.

“You’re at the point where you don’t need me to tell you anymore. You show me what you want to change now that your deadline has been extended,” she slid draft back across the table.

“I don’t want to change anything,” I pushed it back. “I want to let it go. I could nitpick it forever, but I’ve given it enough time.”

She pressed her lips together and stared me down. I thought I might have convinced her, but I could see her wheels turning. “I know you have more in you. Don’t rush this. Remember, this is the fun part. Embrace it one last time, and I will pass it along. You’ll regret it if you don’t take my advice. I got you this far, you still trust me don’t you?”

I breathed out, “Yeaaah,” I dragged out the word as I reclaimed my manuscript. “I just hate that your one step at a time approach is genius and frustrating at the same time. You better be right,” I pointed at her as I got up to head out and get started.

“I can’t remember the last time I was wrong,” she called out and I heard her giggle to herself.

One more day of you making progress, what is your story today?

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 143

  1. I still don’t know exactly how it happened, but one day the door to the cell swung open, metal hinges glistening in the strange, blue sunlight. As I carefully got to my feet, eyeing the empty shard of mirror lying on the floor warily, I crept closer until soft chattering began to flow into the room like a wave. Someone was talking about the door being open, while another was muttering something too quiet to hear properly; it sounded like they were trying to figure out if it was supposed to be locked. Shifting around the walls of my cell, I peered out into the hall, seeing no one. After a minute I stepped gently around the corner but was greeted with a tall elf who might have been waiting for me just outside.
    “Oh, you really think you could just escape like that, huh? Well, the mistress will be very interested to know that.” His pale skin was almost translucent in the light as he swung the door back into place and locked it with a wicked laugh, strutting away with his keys clanging around his finger.
    When he was out of earshot I sank back down on the warm floor, sighing deeply and breathing in the metallic flavour of the air I would die breathing. “Idiot, you’re never going to get out of here. That stupid job that was so hard to get, that column that was going to get my name out there, is going to sit for a minute before someone better’s gonna snap it up.” Letting my head fall into my hands, I sat for a long time, grief falling like waves over my whole body. Hope had become an expensive commodity around me lately; I’d always thought I could do anything until now. Now, everything I pushed toward just disappeared when I thought I had it.

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  2. August was awake when he hears shuffling downstairs. He gets up and slowly moves to his door. But then, he realizes what the sounds are. He dashes out of his room and down the stairs. He opens Heather’s door.
    She’s scrambling on the bed, one hand on her back, the other reaching for her knee. August remembers what the others had done in this situation. He gets to her shoulders and grips them gently. “Heather. Heather wake up.”
    “No,” she tries to pull away.
    “It’s all a dream, Heather. Wake up,” he repeats.
    Heather slowly calms down, then opens her eyes with her head on the pillow. She looks at him for a moment, then starts slapping him. “Get away from me!”
    August falls to the floor as he blocks her attacks. He feels a sting on his cheek and massages it, ‘Ow.’
    He looks up to see Heather shaking. “Get out of my room,“ she commands.
    “I was trying to help you,” August defends.
    “Sure,” Heather scoffs. She pulls her good leg closer to her body.
    “You were having a nightmare.”
    “Leave me alone.” August backs off at her tone.
    “…Will you be okay?”
    Heather doesn’t meet his eye, “You can’t help me.”
    August turns around and hesitantly leaves her room. He closes the door mostly, but can’t find it in him to go to bed. The sun is already passed the horizon.
    ***
    August hears Heather through her bedroom door. He leaves the conversation and pushes passed the barrier. Heather is thrashing in her bed, screaming incomprehensible phrases. August sits down next to her, but doesn’t want what happened last time to happen again.
    He then throws that caution out the window and shakes her awake, “Heather, wake up,” he says, trying to be calm. She doesn’t respond to him, so he pulls her to sit up, with which he fights her. He hugs her close, trapping her arms so she doesn’t smack him.
    “Let go of me!” Heather sobs.
    “Heather…” August whispers, “wake up. It’s a dream, none of it is real.” He holds her so she isn’t squished, but applies enough pressure that she can’t break out in her sleep.
    He feels her struggle less. He backs away so he isn’t touching her when she’s fully awake. She looks around, blinking. He smiles, trying to ease her breathing. She looks at him, trying to decide if he’s friend or foe. But then she turns to the door. “Steve.”
    August follows her gaze. Steve is leaning against the frame, watching them. Steve moves at his name and is sitting next to her. “I’m here, Heather.”
    Heather takes a few deep breaths. “Can… can you stay here?”
    Steve smiles, “Of course.” August then leaves silently, so father and daughter can be alone.
    ‘Little steps,’ he says, looking back at them briefly. Heather is curled up on Steve’s lap as he’s leaning against the headboard. She looks like a child, and at the same time, she looks far older than she really is.
    August knows that she needs time; one step at a time, both mentally and physically.

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