Day 152 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character who gets to be a fly on the wall.
Shannon: I’ve always wondered what people talk about when I’m not around, and when I was first given the ability to spy on anything I could think of I figured that was what I wanted to do. Then I realized that I didn’t gain much from knowing what people had to say about me behind my back. I had the chance to be invisible for the day and I was about to waste it on other people’s opinions. The day should be spent getting passed locked doors. There were no limits. I could go wherever I wanted, preferably places where I wasn’t invited, observing people who lived very different lives. I couldn’t wait to see where the day would take me, and what I would learn.
Erin: I could not wait to hear what my management team had planned for me next. This was finally my chance. They never failed to hang up the conference call.
“God, she is such a pain.”
“Yes, and the face of the show. So, we’ll have to work with her.”
“I didn’t say anything about not working with her. Just that she is a pain. She makes our lives harder, but don’t we always have those co-workers.”
“Of course, one more season.”
As that was followed with a begrudging sigh I decided to speak up, “hopefully more.”
As you act as a a fly on your characters wall, let your character experience the same.
Whispering a hushed apology, my elder sister Helen shoved me, stumbling, through the partially-opened door and into the court’s chamber. After a moment of silence, one of the members stood on strong legs, silver sword glinting in the candlelight, and stepped carefully over to where I lay on the cold tile. Without noticing my cowering figure, he grunted with annoyance, sheathed his weapon and slammed the heavy door shut with such force it vibrated the whole room. He turned back with glassy eyes and strode back to the table, whose occupants were now becoming animated once more, to take his seat on the left.
When I was certain no one had seen me sneak in, I struggled to my bare feet and tiptoed on the cold stonework, craning to hear the conversation. It was a cold evening and the wind whipped through the open windows, nearly extinguishing the blazing candles before I could see who it was meeting at this dark hour without a word to the king. As I came into the light, I glimpsed the ruby-studded crown that hadn’t been moved since my father had taken it off at dinner; he hated the expensive taste of his father, and grandfather. I swear that, if it had been up to him, the king would wear a special king of hat that would be made from leather or some other resource our kingdom had a wealth of. Instead, the stupid symbol was crafted from other land’s penance.
Considering the scrollwork that one of our knights had pulled from his belt, something with neat writing in perfect lines, I was yanked from my thoughts by a concerning statement. “Alright men, tomorrow we complete the deed and get our payment,” came out of our chief strategist as he pointed to a map of the castle. He had the attention of everyone, visible or not, as he outlined the plan, “You, Charles and Will shall be wandering down this hall here,” pointing to a corridor near the kitchens, he glanced pointedly at two of the knights. “You’re going to make sure none of the women are anywhere near the royal chambers without arousing suspicion. If anyone asks, you’re searching for the king to speak about a hunt this coming week. Jake already planted that idea in a choice few of the staff yesterday.” With an odd head-tilt toward a rat-faced chef who was always getting yelled at by the men, the strategist continued with relish.
“Now, you three will be guarding the chambers here, on each flank, as we do the deed. No one is to enter on pain of death. I’ll lead the king with the promise of needing his approval for Helen’s suitors list. Now,” he paused to collect his thoughts and stare into the unblinking eyes of the killers in the room before going into details of what would happen to my father in the chamber, “once in here we shall poison him with the wine.” After a moment of quiet, the chef realized this was his moment and thrust forth a dusty bottle with looping script across the label.
Raising his eyebrows, the leader smiled at Jake before getting back to business. “If that doesn’t work, I’ll stab him with the dagger, which needs to be procured this evening, isn’t that right, Bell?” as soon as the name left his lips my blood ran cold as ice, leaving my invisible body frozen in horror. “We require Helen to take the fall for this most heinous crime, so we can boot the rest of this rabble out. That is very important, Bell.” Everyone turned to face the figure shrouded in a dark velvet cloak as she lifted the fabric from her scarred face and piercing dark eyes. There was a terrifying fire that burned within her that, in all these years I’d known her, I’d never been privy to; it scared me more than any assassination plots this lot of idiots could come up with.
“Thy will be done,” she muttered in a deep, ragged tone before she stood and swept out the door, letting it seal itself behind her waving cloak.
As the ice ran through the room, the strategist cleared his throat loudly and added, “Bell already knows what she must do, but the plan is to have Helen arrive just in time to see her father take his last breath. It’s very important, everyone, that she doesn’t come into the room unless there’s nothing that can be done to save the k-” he cut off mid-sentence like a broken string on a lute, and gaped in my direction.
It was a moment before I realized everyone was staring in disbelief at me; the invisibility spell had just worn off and it was obvious I’d heard everything. With the whole secretive court on my tail, I’d never run that fast in my life.
Heather watches her grandparents and a few other people from their church talk in the living room. She stays silent in her wheelchair, listening to the conversation, but only vaguely. She wants to participate, but can’t find it in her. She doesn’t fully believe anymore, and that scares her.
Just part of the room as they talk to each other, as if she’s not really there. Her grandma looks at her a few times, but only to check on her, not to involve her. Part way through the Bible study, Heather finally notices August on the opposite side of the room, leaning against the opening to the kitchen, watching as well, but unable to participate.
Heather doesn’t fully get why.