A few friends and I are doing a daily writing challenge for the month of February. I have been setting a timer for ten minutes and writing as much as I can in that time. Here are the first two pieces I have so far.
February 1st, 2017
The wind rattled the glass in its panes so severely I was afraid the windows would shatter into sand right in front of me. The heavy door didn’t move under the brute force of the freezing wind, but instead creaked as it was pressed against the ancient door frame, its wrought iron latch clicking together every now and then.
I sat in front of the door, watching the paper thin strip of white below the door. Snowflakes drifted in through the crack, floating lazily in, just happy to be out of the weather. I stood up off the floor, and my bare feet immediately began freezing to the stone floor. The fireplace was on the far side of the room, and thanks to all the cracks in the walls, heat escaped faster than my puny fire could give it off.
I walked over to the fire to warm my hands and thaw my ears out. The fire turned over in it’s tiny hearth, dancing like a little fairy. My small fire was enjoying itself while it still could, while there was still enough fuel. That wouldn’t be for much longer.
I sat in front of the flames, not much brighter than the candles of a birthday cake, and tried to let them warm my face. I was unsuccessful. Too far and I got cold, too close and i was inches from the flames lapping my face. I didn’t have to struggle with this dilemma for long though. A banging on the door ended my concentration on the fire.
“Hey! You need to let me in! Trust me, please let me in!” There was a voice attached to the banging. I ran across the room to the door, putting a hand cautiously on the handle.
“You can’t come in!” I yelled through an inch and a half of oak. “We are closed!”
“You don’t understand-”
“No, you don’t understand. We. Are. Closed! Come back another day.” I didn’t pay attention to the response. Instead, I walked back over to my fire and resumed contemplation of the lack of wood situation. I suppose my stool would burn nicely, if I could disassemble it.
February 2nd, 2017
She held the unlit cigarette between her lips as she furiously scrawled every last character she could fit onto the thin post it note. She kept repeating this is a bad idea in her head, turning over and over in her mind like waves. But her hand wasn’t listening, it moved on its own. It had another agenda to accomplish today.
She flipped the sticky note over and continued fitting her squished, broken-kite lettering into words and sentences, trying to press as hard as she could to make it legible, but not so hard the mechanical pencil broke through the paper and onto her hand, which was the cleanest and closest writing surface. She struggled not to smudge the paper with her wet hands. Her breathing was getting heavy and the cigarette began to weigh a thousand pounds between her icy lips, numbed by the cold. The world around her became fuzzy as she focused more and more intently, and she could only see the paper in her hands.
When she finished, she folded the paper as neatly as she could and stuck it to the inside of her now empty cigarette box. This is a bad idea, this is a terrible idea. She closed the box and set it down on the ledge beside her, and set a stone on top to keep the wind from taking it away. For a minute she considered knocking the box off the ledge and into the freezing water below the bridge, but instead backed away. Her feet seemed to be in cahoots with her hand, all scheming against her logical brain, still telling her this is a bad idea. She decided just to run.
Most people are concerned when they see a woman nine months pregnant sprinting across a park in the middle of winter. People typically become even more concerned when they see that she is not wearing gloves, or a scarf or hat or even boots. Not only are flip flops bad attire for a sprinter, or a pregnant sprinter, they are in particularly bad taste for a pregnant woman sprinting through a park on a day when even the sun is below freezing.
Perhaps the most alarming detail about her that the casual observer might fret over is the dark red blood all over her jacket. That much blood doesn’t come from a paper cut.
If anyone had been especially concerned, or even mildly curious, they may have gone over to the bridge to see what was on the note she had been writing. If that had happened, The woman would be in a good deal of trouble. If it just so happened a person walking by thought they may find a loose cigarette inside, and instead found the note, the woman would again be in big trouble. If anyone but the one person who would understand her note read it, she would be in a lot of trouble.
I hope he knows where to find the note.