Writing Prompt: Day 198

198.jpgDay 198 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: A masked stranger hands your character an unusual object.

Shannon: I looked down at the stuffed animal in my hands. It was the same one I had when I was a kid, or…was it possible…could it actually be my stuffed animal? The dog was missing the same patches of fur on its back, and it had the same stains on its feet.

Before I could ask, the stranger was gone. Why did he want me to have it? There had to be a reason why he ran up to me with such urgency. I flipped the pup over and caught glimpse of some thread dangling from its belly. That was new. I considered ripping it open, but even after all these years I still had a sentimental attachment to my old friend. I’d have to wait until I was home to figure out what was hidden inside.

Erin: “What is that,” my friend asked pulling at the charm of my necklace. Normally it was hidden in my shirt, but it had slipped out.

“I don’t know,” I took it from her hands back into my own. “Some man gave it to me on the peer one year.”

“Who,” she continued to pry.

“I don’t know he was in an outfit that hooded his face out of my view,” I remembered the strange words he said as he gave it to me, but kept them to myself.

“What’s in the locket?”

“The what,” I asked looking down and realizing the little clasp on the side of the oval for the first time.

“You haven’t opened it,” she gasped trying to take control of doing it herself.

“Wait,” I held the locket in my fist. I had worn the piece for three years and was not sure I was ready to realize what I had traveled with so close to my heart.

What is your character going give your other character?

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 198

  1. Panic ensued as the gunshots echoed through the bright night, people dressed in flamboyant hues of neon green and pink ran in all directs away from the sounds. As the unknown assailants continued to fire into the quickly dispersing crowd, no one certain where they were coming from in the din, I was pressed up against a wall by the claustrophobic crush. Nearby I saw someone drop to the ground as another shot rang out, hitting their head on the harsh pavement as throngs rushed passed them. I wanted so badly to run to their aid, but I could barely step a toe into the swell before I was forced back against the wall.
    As I was psyching myself up to make a break for it, something made me turn back, as though they were silently calling to me. Twirling at the edge, I felt a hand steady my elbow as something made of frosty metal was slipped between my fingers. I stared into the concealed face of a complete stranger, only able to see the ocean spray eyes through the mask, for a minute before they were gone in the waves of human bodies hurrying for cover. Still a little in awe, I squeezed my fingers shut on the object so as not to lose it, and fell back at the wall, slipping down it to sit at the base in a protective position.

    My heart was pounding in my ears as the flow of people tapered off and the gunshots suddenly cut off, followed swiftly by lots of angry shouting nearby. Hugging my legs tightly, I closed my eyes and rocked gently on the sticky ground, pretending I didn’t smell the unmistakable tang of blood in the air. There were people shouting loudly, but I couldn’t decipher what they were saying, so I just stayed curled in a ball, tears silently streaking down my cheeks.
    When a light hand rested on my taunt shoulder, I almost lashed out in fright, but the face that swam into view was friendly and full of concern. It was a guy no older than me, crouching in the dirty street, glancing between my eyes for confirmation that I was alive, I supposed. “Hi,” I squealed through a course throat, shrugging my shoulders back to stretch them out of the tense pose. Stretching my lips painfully to the sides in an awkward smile, I elicited a swift grin from the man as he signalled something to his team member. As he turned, I caught a glimpse of the person who’d gone down in the crowd, lying perfectly still just a few feet from me. Her tangled hair was scraggly and splayed out around her head like a halo; how fitting an image for someone who was dancing with the angels, as my mother said. Hoarsely, I called to the man, louder than I meant, “That woman’s dead,” and ending in a small, breathy voice.
    His eyes flickered to the corpse and back to me, reading the minute changes in my expression under an atrocious amount of tears. After a minute of careful deliberation, he leaned back and straightened, offering me his gloved hand to help me up. When I was standing up, still trembling dangerously from head to foot, he patted my wrist, labelling me with a blue dot, and headed to the next person. Carefully studying the mark, I started to pace toward the end of the street, ignoring the many emergency crew members as they called out to me. In a sort of catatonic trance, I ducked the security tape and walked through a waiting throng of people on my way home.
    I passed people with blood splattered on their clothing, people with injuries and those who, like me, were stumbling about the world in a daze. Somewhere in my mind, I remember some people wanting to take my pulse, seeing the blue dot on my wrist and moving on, but I don’t know where or why that happened. In no time I was standing at my front door, desperately trying the knob with no luck at all, until my roommate, Tia, opened it with a surprised squeal.
    “Oh, my god, Cassie, I didn’t know if you were gonna make it home,” she cried, throwing her bare arms around me and threatening to never let go. “I was so worried about you, and I called the hotline and no one could tell me if you were okay and I didn’t wanna go down in case you came home and I wasn’t here and you couldn’t get in and I didn’t know- oh, I’m just so happy and grateful you’re here!” breathlessly, she gasped, arms still secured around my shoulders.
    Tapping her arm lightly, I grinned and sighed, “Hey, Tia, I get you’re happy and all, but I can’t breathe and it’s cold out here.” She released me with a little cough, fighting back tears, and stepped aside to let me come in, shutting and locking the door securely behind me. When I just stood in the center of the living room, staring between the neon green cabinets in the kitchen and the fluorescent pink orchids on the windowsill, Tia went around me to keep her eyes on my eyes. “I’m really fine, T, I just gotta sit down or, or something,” I stuttered, suddenly remembering the horrible tang of blood in my nostrils and glanced down at my clothes, hoping for them to be clear. There, streaking across the front of my hoody and halfway down my jeans, was a splotch of crimson paint that still looked wet.
    When the tears began again, I sprinted for my room, stripped the soiled clothing off and put on a pair of baggy sweats and a clean hoody. I carefully dotted a tissue around my eyes to remove the dots of blood and rivers of mascara on my face; I wanted to keep busy and that seemed like a worthwhile endeavour. By the time I headed back into the living room, Tia was whispering to someone intently on the phone, leaning heavily on the kitchen counter.
    “T, who’s on the phone?” I asked, shutting my door and taking a few steps towards her. Murmuring a rushed goodbye to whoever it was, she shoved the receiver away and tried to look nonchalant.
    She scoffed, “Oh, no one, Cas, no one. Are you alright?” Unhitching herself from the cupboard, she crossed the room in a few paces to make up the difference and embraced me again, breathing heavily in my hair. “I really thought I’d lost, hey, what’s that?” As she pulled away, pointing to the end of something metal protruding from between my fingers, she stared into my eyes again; she had sisters that would almost do whatever she wanted with that look.
    “I uh, I really, I don’t, I don’t know,” I stammered, backing away from my roommate and refusing to open my fingers. There was something very special about whatever was in my hand, and I didn’t want to involve anyone else until I knew what it entailed. After holding it for this long, I felt a connection to whatever it was. Nodding to myself, I muttered something unintelligible and went back to my door. With my hand on the knob, though, I turned and called back, “I’m sorry.”
    Shutting the corkboard door and leaning against it for stability, I shut my eyes and let the horrifying images come flooding back to me in a perilous swell. People shouting and screaming and bullets flying at random; I was lucky to be alive. But, as the person’s face swam into view, all I could see was a pair of spectacular eyes and a stray tuft of short, brown hair that could have belonged to anyone. There was nothing revealing in my memories, so I opened my lids again and stared down at my closed hand with snow white knuckles and stiff fingers. As long as I didn’t know what it was, it could be anything in the world. So long as I didn’t see what it was, I could believe people would risk their lives for it. But, if I didn’t know what it was I would never know.
    Suddenly, my fingers were open and I was staring at a glistening silvery key that was now imprinted on my palm. With teeth that were squared off and slightly rusted, it sat heavily in my hand, barely worth the metal it was made from. I picked it up with my other hand, holding it as though I expected the metal to bite me, and examined it closely. Along the shaft was a series of symbols I couldn’t make out, and the handle was big and unwieldy, as though someone was meant to create something intricate but ran out of time. After a few minutes of glaring at the shining surface, an idea donned on me and I flew across the room to retrieve my charcoal and a scrap sheet of paper.
    I carefully rubbed some of the coal against the shaft, before gently rolling it along the page with deft fingers. Blowing softly on it, I held the imprint up to my lamp and gasped as it spelled out the address of a well-known, albeit grungy, pub a few blocks from home. As I shoved my art implements back into their places, I pulled my hair into a messy bun and threw my wallet, phone and keys into my day purse. Nodding at myself in the mirror, I thought up the most convincing lie I could, fully expecting to have to fight Tia on this.
    When I reappeared from the bedroom, slightly cleaner than I had been upon entering, I was almost disappointed to find the apartment empty. Crossing to the couch with my arms crossed protectively, I noticed a note sitting on the cushion for me that just stated Tia had gone out and didn’t know when she would return. It was a minute before I had regained my bearings enough to leave the apartment in the direction of the pub.

    After a short walk, I ended up before the hole-in-the-wall bar, gazing up into its obscured sign and frosted windows. Clutching the key in my trembling fingers, I headed to the side, ducking into the crummy little alleyway beside it, and searched for the side door. When I found it, the label having been partially peeled off ages ago, I fit the key into the slot and held my breath as it turned. It clicked, I removed it to the relative safety of my pocket, and opened the ancient door to a world I never could have imagined.


  2. Heather waits on the rooftop, looking around the city skyline. She’ll forever be a country girl, but she can’t deny New York has a certain glow at night. ‘Though,’ she thinks, ‘it’ll never replace the stars.’
    She hears someone behind her, so she turns with a hand between her back and her shield. The person puts their hands up, stepping into the neon glow from the street. “So, you’re Loup?”
    Heather nods once, her masked blue eyes trained on the strange figure. “And you’re Bronze Scimitar, the aspiring murderer of any gifted person.”
    “When you put it like that, I sound like a villain,” Bronze states. Heather’s hand tightens around the shield straps, ready to throw if the other girl takes one wrong step.
    “You said you’d meet me here. Why?” Heather asks.
    Bronze reaches a hand to her back. Heather keeps her hands where they are, only to move the other hand to her knife sheath. Bronze takes out a package and tosses it to Heather. She catches it with one hand, looking at Bronze a moment after.
    “…That’ll help you find him,” she states.
    “What changed your mind?”
    Bronze shrugs, “This is personal for you. I’ll respect that.”
    “You know I won’t kill him,” Heather states, “you want me to find him, and you’ll be there.”
    “If I am, so what? Instinct tells me he hurt you.”
    Heather doesn’t say anything.
    “Or someone close to you,” Bronze corrects, “so why should you care if I kill him?”
    “Because it’s not for us to decide,” Heather stresses.
    “Huh, you sound a lot like Jade. I guess, until you’re a victim, you’ll never get it,” Bronze tosses a smoke bomb. Heather takes out her shield, in case there was an attack, but the smoke clears and she’s alone. She looks at the small package.
    ‘How could this help me?’


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