Writing Prompt: Day 157

157.jpgDay 157 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about neighbors who mutually hate each other.

Erin: “Loud enough yesterday,” bill yelled over as we exited our doors at the same time.

“Spying obviously enough,” I snapped back.

“Are you kidding me,” he scoffed.

“I saw your blinds open and your face peak out,” I elaborated.

“Why would I do that?”

“I don’t know. You actually like me maybe.”

“Or I was planning my attack,” he corrected.

“What,” I tried to follow him but he just hopped in his truck. “What are you planning,” I yelled as he drove away.

Shannon: I walked up his driveway on a mission. I’d put up with a lot since he moved in, and I liked to believe that I choose my battle with him wisely. Well, most of the time. I pressed his doorbell about five times without a pausing to wait for a response. Now usually I’d hate myself for being this brand of annoying, but I’d learned it was the only way to reach him.

“What the hell,” he opened the door on my last ring. “Oh it’s you,” he rolled his eyes.

“Turn the speakers down,” I got right to the point. “I’m taking a timed test and I can’t hear myself think.”

“It seems like this is a worse use of your time,” he shrugged, “but hey I’d love to see you fail.”

“No trust me the trip is worth it. Please it’s just an hour and I won’t bug you again after that,” I attempted to beg.

“Ok an hour, but we start practicing again at exactly that time starting now,” he held up his phone. “If my band loses the competition this weekend I’m blaming you and cursing you,” he twinkled his fingers like he was casting a spell.

“You always do” I smirked and shook my head.

Put two people who hate each other in close proximity.

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 157

  1. I sunk back into the plush cotton pillows and let out a deep, relaxing sigh which forced every negative thought I’d been having about this place from my mind. Though I’d only arrived a couple of days ago, the whole vibe of campus was good and I’d met a lot of really interesting people from all over the world as we were crammed together into the sprawling international grounds. Every dorm in the university was at full capacity, so no one got to pick where they ended up; that’s how I managed to get stuck in a sixth-floor room with a tiny girl that may have still been in middle school. Eloise arrived just this morning and had already begun to take over more than her fair share of the space, requiring an enormous amount of space for dolls, teen fiction novels and more pastel-coloured t-shirts than I thought was possible.
    After a few minutes of muttering noisily under her breath as she rearranged the twelve movie posters for a third time, she, too, sat back on the uncomfortable bed. When I opened my eyes, expecting the room to be dimly lit by the room’s dull table lamp and my small cluster of candles, I was nearly blinded by a stand-up lamp which gave the room a radioactive glow. Sighing loudly, I called over to the half-asleep child, “Okay, that light needs to go off if you’re gonna go to sleep.” I was determined to not be woken up by this ridiculous woman’s horrible taste in lighting fixtures.
    When she turned, her caramel eyes blazed with an annoyance I wouldn’t have thought possible, angry as a hornet, she snapped, “Aydan, I don’t have to do anything just because you want it done. Everyone doesn’t live in the darkness, you know.” Spitting and rolling her eyes childishly, she still rose stiffly from the bed and flicked an invisible switch, casting us into full darkness for a moment.
    By the time my eyes adjusted to the dimness, Eloise was already snoring quietly and my candles were burning low; I’d forgotten to stock up before I left home, but one of the shops in the village was sure to stock candles. Of course, I was relatively picky when it came to my light sources, not that an enormous lamp like that wouldn’t have set any sane human being off, so I may have to put in an order. Sniffing deeply, I sucked in whiff of sickly-sweet perfume coming from the other side of the room and blew out my candles.

    A woman stepped into the circle I was shivering before, head completely shrouded in a thick hooded cloak, with pale fingers clasping some kind of chalice. When she turned her hands slightly, I noticed the goblet was rough-hewn stone with symbols etched into the dark material. Shifting backward to keep myself hidden in shadow, I shrunk down beside a cold marble column so tall it disappeared into the open ceiling as though it reached up to the heavens. As I stood there, concealed from the lone figure, a voice boomed from every angle imaginable, “Eloise, you have been granted one wish from the Society; use it well.” For several moments after the voice ceased, the cavernous room continued to shudder with the left-over vibrations. But, he returned just as the still-shrouded-in-darkness figure was about to speak, “Oh, you have the blood of thine enemy and the bat’s wings, correct? Because otherwise this whole process doesn’t work,” he clarified as my roommate inclined her head, the hood sliding off her wavy sunray hair.
    “Yes, sir,” she whispered to the unseen voice and took in a stuttering breath before letting the cloak fall from her shoulders. Into the darkness outside of the candle-lit circle, she threw the mass of heavy fabric and revealed a jet black dress with the hems dipped in dripping lace. Her bare feet were covered in tiny lines that sprawled across the skin and snaked their way above the bottom of her dress and long, velvet ribbons were woven through her long hair. Everything about her appearance reminded me of a doll I’d seen in the thrift store by my house; her skin was a brilliant ivory with dark eyeshadow and blood red lipstick as though everything about her hand been painted on.
    Carefully setting the cup in the exact center of the circle, she took the few steps across to stand just outside the northernmost candle. She practically skipped back across the line as she raised a sharp, shining dagger from the pile of cloak and lightly touched the ground to the left of the alabaster candle. Though I couldn’t hear what she whispered as the blade’s point sparked across the floor in a circle, I recognized the basics of some kind of ritual; she was calling the elements. To my surprise, as each coloured candle blazed up when she passed, hooded figures came to stand just outside the perimeter holding a physical representation of each element in their outstretched hands. But when she came to where I stood, just a few feet from a dark candle, I began to shiver all over when a cloaked figure passed by me without noticing my hidden frame.
    Though they didn’t appear to be able to see me, my whole body froze with terror for the remainder of the calling-of-the-elements and I remained breathing shallowly. When all the elements were present, Eloise stepped toward the centre again and bent down on her knees, letting the athame clatter to the stone floor beside her. I couldn’t make out any of the words of her enchantment, partly because my Latin isn’t workable, but the last portion was in English. “I have called all these elements to this place to use a curse, granted to me by the Society which we serve, to destroy my worst enemy. With the enacting of this ritual-” she pricked her left thumb with the sparkling dagger and let the drops fall into the cup, “-Aydan shall become weaker every day until I have stolen all her powers.”
    With her last words hanging in the tepid air, along with the sound of blood dripping into the chalice, the whole world dissolved into fuzzy nothingness.

    I woke amid my sparse sheets, with sweat sticking to my neck and back, and Eloise slumbering peacefully across the room. Over the years I’d gotten used to visions taking over my dreams and waking mind, but some of them stuck with my longer, like daggers puncturing my lungs and threatening to drive every ounce of oxygen from my body. Flinching involuntarily as the sleeping girl snored loudly and turned over, I shook my head in a vain attempt to dispel the horrible feeling that had taken up residence in my stomache.
    After a few moments holding my breath, I rifled through the backpack I’d hidden behind my extra bedding under the bed and smiled to myself as my fingers brushed across the slick surface of my tarot cards. Pulling the bundle out, I squinted in the darkness to fish my rune stones and pendulums from the bottom of the bag; they were always trying to get away when I wanted to hear the truth, even if I already knew it was bad. When I’d safely hidden the canvas bag back under the bed, I gripped my large purse and shoved everything into it, along with some smaller crystals and a bottle of water. Attempting to not disturb Eloise’s easy sleep, I slipped from the room into the sleepy hallway.

    Across the field was a small gazebo that was reserved for smoking, but no one used it in the dead of night. From the creaky wooden steps I could see the new analog clock that had been installed below the original clock face; the old one didn’t work well, so the school made the decision to replace it with something that would last the test of time. It blazed two-thirteen from its lofty height and reminded my stomache I hadn’t eaten since five. As I stepped up onto the deck and pulled out the tarot deck, my stomache gave a rumbling growl for food, but I was feeling too sick to eat anything. Carefully, I set up a few pillar candles and lit them with the third-to-last match in my book, silently reminding myself to pick up a lighter next time I was in the village. The gazebo went from a cold, grey space open to the elements, to a small, cozy room with an orange glow.
    Taking out the rune stones, I placed them to my left with the pendulums and crystals; I was going to need all my resources to figure out why Eloise, who I didn’t like but wouldn’t want to destroy her, would want to do something so horrible to someone she literally just met. Even if my visions were usually a week or so into the future, the aching worry wouldn’t leave me alone. I was also interested in what this Society thing was that would give someone a wish that powerful.

    When dawn came, the sun found me surrounded by melted mounds of wax and divination materials all pointing to my roommate wanting me dead. Hurriedly shoving everything back into my purse, I decided to leave the wax; otherwise I might be there all day trying to pry it off the weathered floor boards. Across the field I rushed, passing a few early-morning joggers, and sprinted back into the dorm room just as Eloise yawned sleepily.
    “Good morning,” I spoke monotonously, mirroring her yawn and sliding my whole purse under the bed without thinking about it. When I clambered back under the freezing covers, I noticed my roommate’s steely stare on me.
    Turning her body to face me, she replied, “Good morning to you too. Where were you this early in the morning, huh?” she accused, one eyebrow hanging higher above her eye and a glint of anxiety in her tone.
    I stuttered for a moment before picking a half-truth, “Couldn’t sleep. When I can’t sleep I-uh,” I scoffed nervously, wanting to get a reaction out of her, but not really wanting to let slip my real nature, “I was-uh, I was reading tarot in the gazebo across the way.” Rolling my eyes, I glanced up to see Eloise’s face had blanched and she was opening and closing her mouth like a fish in shock. We locked eyes and shared an odd expression of horror between us before she spoke in a hushed note.
    “Aydan, you can read the future too?” she croaked, swallowing a lump that matched the one in my throat. When I nodded, she tried another, “Do you know of a Society here? One that might condone some pretty heavy, uh, heavy-” lost for words, she mimed nervously.
    “-heavy magickal practise, you mean?” I finished her sentence with a blush flaring up in my cheeks. When she nodded back at me, I clarified, “I hadn’t until last night. I had a horrible nightmare that you were, were-” as soon as I thought back to the dream, the embarrassment drained out of me, to be replaced with boiling hatred, “-were going to kill me!” I suppose the memory resurfacing had the same effect on Eloise, because she was now red-faced and I could almost see the smoke coming out of her ears. “Yeah, so, you just stay on your side of the room, and I’ll keep to mine,” I demanded through the haze of rage that had taken over.
    With an insolent huff, she turned back over and began to murmur under her breath angrily, occasionally glancing back to glare at me. I had just finished hiding my divination materials back in the canvas bag when something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye; something had been slipped under the door by a shadow that was receding at a quick run. Bolting from my bed to pick up the neat, heavy parchment, I unlocked the door and swung it open to ask the giver what it was about. But, even when I stepped out into the wintry hallway in my bare feet, I couldn’t see anyone or hear the rhythmic footfalls of someone walking, or running, away. Shutting the door quietly behind me and sliding the bolt back in place, I finally looked down at the letter and almost laughed at how old-fashioned it was. Holding it shut was a wax seal with some kind of coat of arms embossed into it; it was so secret-society-esque.


  2. “Aw! Is Heather Stupid Morse trying to work on her homework?”
    Heather doesn’t look up at the taunts. She stares at the paper, slowly forming each word with her mouth. She shakes her head, frustrated at a particular group of them
    “Ten years old and still can’t read. How have you not been held back yet? Oh wait! You ha-”
    Heather stands up, “Leave me alone, Erin.” She stares at her sixteen year old cousin with as much fury as she can muster.
    “Oh ho, you look so cute,” Erin coos, “You’ll need that to get into a fast food restaurant.”
    “I am not dumb! I have dyslexia,” Heather complains.
    “That’s just the adult way of saying you’re dumb.”
    “No it isn’t! Mom and Dad are looking for someone to help me.”
    “Sure, to make it seem like they can ‘fix’ you.” Erin walks forward and bends down to Heather’s height, “But you can’t fix stupid.”
    “You’re the one that is using your parents’ money on business ideas that never take off,” Heather says. She crosses her arms, “I heard the adults say you dream too big.”
    “At least I’m trying. You don’t dream at all. And when Aunt Susan gave you an idea, and encourages you, you don’t even want it.”
    Heather frowns, tears coming to her eyes.
    Right at that moment, Kate walks in. She sees the two and puts herself between them. “Leave Heather alone, Erin!”
    Erin laughs, “The twin to the rescue. I like you, Kate. You actually go after what people put in front of you. Heather could learn something from that. She takes advantage of opportunities, Heather,” she says, looking over Kate. “Everyone says you have a beautiful voice, but you don’t want to use it.”
    “I don’t want to be popular,” Heather says.
    Erin pats her head, “Don’t worry, you won’t be.”
    Heather pushes her hand away. Erin walks out of the room, laughing. “I hate her. Why does she have to have a room right next to mine?”
    Kate hugs her best friend, “You are really smart, Heather. Don’t let her get you down.” Kate wipes her tears away, “Want my help with reading? “
    Heather nods, “Yeah.”


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