I have recently gotten into the habit of ‘spring cleaning’ when it comes to my writing. I would open up my flash drive and rename and sort what I had and I decided a few months ago to go through some old papers and journals and boy, have I unearthed some stuff! Pieces of fiction in hardcopy and softcopy, one-liners on scraps of paper; inspiration I tell you! So, without me boring you anymore, I decided to share the start of a story I was working on in 2013 that I never finished. Take a read and tell me if I should continue it, or just scrap it. I look forward to the comments and advice! Thanks.
The room was barely large enough to fit the half-rusted, four-burner stove, mini fridge, twin bed and table and chair; but Celine loved it because it was her own. The single window above her bed was the only natural light that reached into her room. To see the street below, she had to climb onto the bed—something she rarely did since looking down from her third-story window to the street below, teeming with street vendors and happy, hungry people always made her loneliness more real. The memories of the family that she had left that wet September morning always came rushing back with force every time she was up there. She always remembered the thrill she felt when she threw her duffle out of her basement window; jumping out to follow it.
This morning, she turned expertly on the twin bed and reached to the alarm clock next to the bed. She grabbed the clock and, raising it, she stared at the eight and two zeros that were blinking frantically at her. Her 6:00 a.m. alarm had not gone off.
“Oh shit! I’m late!” she exclaimed, thinking for a minute that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea that she had had that third martini last night. She jumped up, tangled her feet in the bed sheets and fell face first onto the floor. The day had begun.
She quickly showered, grabbed her waitress uniform from her ‘clothes chair’, smoothed it out, sniffed the underarms to make sure it still had another day on it, and hastily put it on. She grabbed a granola bar from out of her mini fridge and ate it hungrily as she brushed her hair into a tight bun. Grabbing her satchel and keys, she ran to the door and yanked on the knob to open it. It was locked; of course. She searched in her satchel and pulled out her key ring; the stuffed bunny hanging from it smiling up at her and proclaiming with his chest how much he loved her; she stuck one of the keys in the lock and tried to turn it and it didn’t budge. Sighing heavily, she sorted through the keys on the chain—all three of them—and picked the key she knew belonged to this lock. She tried it again. The same result; locked.
“This is not funny!” she said, slamming her hand on the door.
She began to turn the knob frantically, hoping that the large wooden door was just having one of those days where it would swell in the damp weather. The door was shut tight and it wasn’t budging.
“Help! Is anyone out there! I’m stuck in here and my door won’t open!” she screamed at the door, hoping that one of the neighbours would hear her.
She waited for a response and realized the only thing that answered her was the empty silence, a very unfamiliar silence. Suddenly she realized that the normal morning sounds of the five-floor, low-income building were not coming to her through the door as they normally did; it was eerily quiet. Celine pressed her head against the door and held her breath as she listened to the silence in the building. Normally she would be hearing Ms. Miriam’s shrill voice screaming at her husband (which she did almost non-stop). Even the rhythmic thump of Dj Cheryl’s radio was noticeably missing. Celine grew more and more worried. She ran to the one small window above her bed; the street as far as she could see was empty. There were no cars; the noise emanating from the vendors on the street that normally rose up to her room was nonexistent. There was just simply no one out there.
Now, she was scared.