Writing Prompt: Day 209

209.jpgDay 209 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about hate at first sight.

Erin: “The only thing that could make you prettier is a smile,” the slim ball at the corner by my work called out to me.

“I can think of a whole bunch of things that could make you more pleasant,” I spat back.

“Care to elaborate,” he asked with what seemed like an almost cocky smile.

“No, I don’t care to speak to you for even a second longer,” I rushed across the street knowing I hated him already.

Shannon: “This isn’t going to work,” I shook my head, and retreated away from the dumb look on his face.

“What’s not going to work,” he followed, unable to comprehend that he was the one I was running from.

“Us,” I circled my finger. “I can already tell I don’t like you.”

His brow furrowed. “You just met me.”

“I know. I have a good intuition about people, and I already know you’re no good. Find someone else to help you,” I shooed him away.

He huffed, and stood there speechless for a few seconds. “You’re wrong,” he finally argued.

“Am I?” I gave him one last chance to realize the truth.

Dose your character believe in hate at first sight?

One thought on “Writing Prompt: Day 209

  1. I lay in my lumpy, freezing bed wide awake, as per usual, at five-oh-three as the sun was about to breach the mountains and lay out its rays across the crowded city streets. With my head resting lightly on a small mountain of pillows so I was propped up at just the right angle to watch the day begin, I breathed easily and counted the stars as they disappeared into the fires of the sun. From here I couldn’t see anything but the very tops of skyscrapers with their rooftop balconies strewn with miniature patio furniture and fruit-bearing shrubs. As the sun grazed the upper windows of buildings and bounced the light into my room, I sighed and shut my eyes to enjoy the blinding warmth.
    After a few lovely, calm minutes of relaxing under the fluffy, yet cold blankets, I arched my back into a stretch and turned to hop out of bed. Above me, I could hear someone, Jack the insurance adjuster, wandering around the apartment in those horrible, ratty sneakers he insisted upon wearing every other morning. It was funny how our schedules became routine and rather than being a pain for making noise, his had grown on me to be a regular part of my mornings; so much so, in fact, that when he was away at a conference, I missed his clunking shoes on my ceiling.
    Slumping into the main living space, I meandered around the oversized furniture and into the kitchen to make some coffee, assuming I could find the jar off coffee I hid from myself every evening. As a pre-jog ritual, I had to find the coffee grounds, which helped to wake me up before I had a single sip of bitter, life-giving nectar. I opened each cabinet in turn, sliding chipped mugs and plastic dinner plates aside in the upper cupboards, and stale cereal boxes and tins of tomatoes in the lower ones. Though it only took a few minutes to spot the jar, peeking out of a stained coffee cup, I was already fully awake as I poured the dark grounds into the French press and put the kettle on.
    I turned around and strode to the coffee table, tapping my speaker to turn it on, and pulled out my phone to connect. As I waited for the familiar ping to let me know I could play my morning playlist, I whistled along to some long-lost tune I could only remember the first half to. Pinging at me through the deep bass, the speaker began to buzz, reminding me that I needed to replace it before the poor thing died of natural causes. When I clicked my music and pressed play, a deep rumbling groan started in my very spine and I set the phone down, spinning along with the growing beat.
    After changing into my tank top and shorts, I peered out the window into the blazing sun and frowned; it appeared to be a sunny summer day, but I wanted to be certain before I stepped out for my run. Unlocking the sliding door to my balcony, I took a half step out onto the deck and immediately slammed the glass shut. A swirl of bracing wintery air had gusted past me and was sniffing around the faded leather sofa and lapping at my bare legs.
    Shivering, I sprinted into the bedroom and changed swiftly into a pair of long sweatpants and threw a fleece hoody on over my shirt. When I arrived back in the living room, the cold had all but vanished and I was able to enjoy my coffee in the relative warmth of ancient radiator heat. The scalding liquid was bitter and strong; just what you needed before most people in the city would imagine being up.

    When I jogged back up the slight incline toward my building, slowing down to wait for a taxi to speed out of the way, I spotted Jack in his ratty lime-green sneakers and too-tight shorts as he finished up his rounds, going in the opposite direction. He was just struggling to shove his key into the hole as I came up behind him, jogging on the spot to keep my heartrate up. “Hey, Jack,” I breathed, offering my own key for him to try; the metal must warp or something, because they never fit right after the first month or so.
    With a tip of his invisible hat, the bespectacled man sighed, “Mornin’ Char,” as he took the glinting metal from my fingers and tried it, with a little better luck. “Thanks, this stupid thing never works in the morning. I swear, the hole must change shape throughout the day, or I’m insane,” he laughed, passing the key back to me and holding the door open for me to slip in before him. There was a lone notice on the board that the apartment to the right of me was for rent, but it was faded and torn with disuse. Jack muttered something about rentals under his breath before he headed up the stairs, all twenty-three of them.
    I was right behind him, unable to resist the unspoken challenge of taking the stairs instead of the loud, rusted elevator. As I passed the third floor, the door banged open and a woman slammed into the wall on the opposite side, sliding down it to the floor. Shaken, I bent down and recognized the woman. “Nat?” I asked, peering into her streaming face as loud crashes came from the other end of the hall.
    Waving at me, unable to speak, she struggled for breath before letting out a lung-rattling breath, clutching at her chest. When she breathed in again I recognized the difficulty of breathing as being caused by laughter so severe tears were streaming down the sides of her face. It took her a few minutes to regain enough strength to speak, but when she did there was still a jovial lightness to her voice, “Sorry, Char, I was just, the guys were playing a, they were doing dares and one was to kiss, and oh my gosh, they were so mad.” Slapping her knee, she waved me on and I started back on the stairs, wishing I hadn’t passed up the elevator.
    After a couple flights, I gave up the unnecessary challenge and slipped in the seventh floor door, punching the button to go up and bouncing on the balls of my feet. It slid to the floor and I stepped into the dingy, brown deathtrap without a sideways glance at the other occupant. Hitting the button for the twenty-second floor, even though it didn’t light up, I leaned back against the rickety railing to breath in the rancid smell that was perpetually in the elevator.
    As we rose, I peered over at the other rider and let out a little chuckle, “Hey Chip, how’s it hangin’?” Being the resident bad boy, Chip had the position of keeping up appearances vandalizing the building and stealing from unlocked apartments, even though he never cared for any of that; in reality, he’d accidentally broken into some guy’s apartment his first week when he got drunk with his girlfriend. After that day, everyone knew him as the bad influence on the block, and he was so desperate for attention after his overbearing ex-girlfriend that he decided to let everyone think that.
    “It’s hangin’, brah,” he replied, giving some kind of sign with his hands before he slammed on the button for the next floor, waited for the doors to start opening and slipped out into the deserted hallway. Rolling my eyes at his back, I shut the doors loudly and continued up to my floor uninterrupted.
    As I headed down the hall, I noticed that, instead of the customary vacancy sign that had been hanging on the door beside mine, there was a box propping the door open a bit and some classical music flowing from within. Glancing up and down the hall, then at my watch, and finally back at the door, my curiosity got the better of me and I knocked heavily on the doorframe. I peeked my head inside and was greeted by a pixie of a girl dressed in a hot-pink, tight-fitting skirt that showed off way too much of her legs. With an impish grin, she squealed with excitement and rushed across the ugly carpeting in bare feet.
    “Hi there! I’m Abby, your new neighbour!” she practically shouted in a high-pitched voice that nearly shattered my eardrum. As I stood there awkwardly, what I’d thought was lovely, calm music, turned into some kind of heavy metal music that was coming from tiny tinny speakers on the kitchen counter. I stared at the girl and realized that, in all my life, I’d never hated someone I’d just met; not even that guy who attempted to solicit unspeakable things from me a few blocks over. Throughout my life, I’d prided myself on giving every single person I ever met at least two chances, as well as a first impression, to gain my friendship, but the mere sight of this woman made my skin crawl.
    Mumbling something under my breath, I faked a smile and spewed out a sentence, “Hi Abby, I’m Charlotte, but everyone calls me Char, I gotta go but I’ll see you around.” Without giving her a chance to respond, I was out her door and struggling against my own sticky lock with my cheeks turning a shocking shade of ruby. When I finally got into my apartment and shut the door quietly behind me, locking it three times just to be sure, I breathed in several large gulps to clear my head.
    Through the window, I could see her terrace was full of boxes labeled clothing, booze, music, video games and subwoofers. As I stood blinking at the party girl’s boxes, there was a horrible, deep feedback sound that echoed in my head and, perhaps, throughout the entire city. After a few silent minutes in which I focused my thoughts on the brilliance of the morning sun, the music started up again, this time vibrating the very building we were in. This was going to be hell on earth with this woman living next door.

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