So I’ve decided to try writing short (like really short…but not microfiction short) pieces from prompts I find around the internet. Today’s is from duolit who are an exceptionally interactive and easy to read bunch, focusing on the self pub world. I suggest checking them out if you’re looking to go the self pub route. The piece is taking a different turn than I’d expected, and only the first bit is really suitable for my blog. Suffice to say I am posting just that bit here, but will continue to see where it takes me.
Prompt: “Her coffee cup slipped right out of her hand and smashed into a thousand pieces on the kitchen floor…”
She put her bags down and sighed contentedly: this was exactly what she had been craving. Four days away in a cabin, alone, far away from the people who needed her, talked at her, called and texted and messaged every moment of her waking life. She would write. She would drink coffee and eat Twizzlers and write. She would watch the sunrise and the sunset and listen to her music. She would stay awake until 3am to see the colour of the sky as it changed slowly from black to the mysterious midnight blue of her best childhood memories. She had been waiting for this for far too long, and now that it was here she could feel the tension leave her neck and shoulders. She imagined she looked younger, more like the teenager she had been when she had last visited this place.
She would write. But first, coffee. She had planned every detail of this trip with the old couple that owned the cabins. Everything was prepared for her – including a stocked fridge and cupboard.
As quietly as possible, so as not to disturb the perfect silence of the cabin, she tiptoed over to the picnic basket she had brought and retrieved her favourite coffee cup, given to her long years past by her sister. She smiled as she read the quote “How shall I bear so much happiness?” and for the first time in a long time, she understood the sentiment. The mix of contentment and excitement created a heady energy. She felt like a hummingbird, flitting from place to place.
She was free.
He stood, framed in the open doorway, sunshine creating an aura around him: half fire, half angel. Her coffee cup slipped out of her hand and smashed into a thousand pieces on the kitchen floor. She took an involuntary step backward, barely noticing when a piece of ceramic stabbed the bottom of her foot. The puddle of blood spread as they stared, locked in silent combat, neither one willing to speak first.
Minutes passed. Finally, she found her voice.
“You look different.”
He sneered at her. “I can’t imagine why.”
“How…how did you find me?”
“You didn’t make it easy. But you always loved this place. I knew that eventually you would end up here.”
“You knew…eventually…” Her mind was working furiously, trying to catch up to her reality. She felt dizzy and sick, and her legs didn’t feel strong enough to hold her.
But she knew, suddenly she knew. “You’ve been following me.”
“Aren’t you full of yourself?”
“No, it’s true. You’ve been following me, waiting for me to come here.”
“You should pay more attention to your surroundings. You have such a bad habit of going through your life oblivious, living entirely in your own head. You smile, you’re polite, but you look right through baristas, cab drivers, neighbours, everyone around you. You haven’t noticed me all this time…but I’ve been in the periphery for years.”
He was right. He knew her better than anyone. Better than those she was supposed to love more than her own life. He knew her pain, and he knew the darkness that was always at the edge of her mind, threatening to swallow her whole.
They had met 17 years ago in a government detox centre. She was there as a willing participant, a teenager, ready to get clean and try rehab. He was there in accordance with a court order. Although they were warned repeatedly not to engage in relationships during detox, and warned even more sternly not to engage in relationships with other addicts, there was no fighting the attraction. Both damaged, both intelligent and well read, both searching for something to make them whole; they found in each other a soulmate, a mirror, and a death sentence.
SPOILER ALERT: One of them dies eventually. Or both. They haven’t told me that part yet.