Here is another challenge for you (us) to try today. This time, actually try playing along. To play, either comment or post on your own blog (make sure to link back to me so I know you played). C’mon it’s more fun with more people…ignore the innuendo there, please.
Select a random book. Select a random chapter, write down the first line. Select a different random chapter. Write down the last line. Now write a story that connects those two (keep it to less than 1000 words).
My random sentences are courtesy of the Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart (although I ended up changing them to present tense).
The hours that follow are wretched ones indeed. She sits cross-legged on the bed staring at the doorway just praying he will walk back through it. This isn’t a little fight, like when they fought about who left the garage door open. This is an epic fight. One to write books about. The question is, would it be a happy book? Would it be a book someone in another epic fight could learn from? That all depends on whether or not Todd walks back into this room.
There is always the other option, she can get up off the bed and go to him. For a second her leg actually twitches. She almost moves in that direction. Then she stops. No, this one is on him. It is her mistake so he needs to be the one to forgive and take the next step. So she sits.
Time ticks by. She can hear it on the clock hanging from the wall. She almost stands up to smash the clock, but instead she allows herself to get lost in the comforting tick of the clock. Nothing can throw off the rhythm there. Nothing.
She pulls her eyes down from the clock to watch the doorway again. Is that a shadow falling on the wall? Is he coming to talk? She holds her breath, each limb frozen for fear of making a sound and scaring him off. Her lungs burn and the shadow is gone. She takes a deep breath.
Something has to happen, rules be damned. She can’t stand it any longer. How long does he expect her to sit here, wondering? She stands up, feeling the sweet anger seep into her soul. Anger makes sense. Anger she understands. Anger is something she has felt plenty of times. She lets it seep through her skin. The anger gives her the confidence to storm out of the room and into the dark hallway.
Then she pauses. In the shadows of her home…their home…the guilt finds her again. She can’t direct anger at him right now, this time he has done nothing wrong. He needs time. Time is something she should be willing to give him.
But what would be the harm in seeing how he is spending the time? She could just peek around the corner and down the stairs. He is probably just below the loft, sitting on the couch. Does he have his head in his hands? Does he have a cup of coffee in preparation for an endless night of arguing this out and moving on? Does he have a glass of scotch to dull the pain?
There is no harm in just checking on him, seeing how he is handling this. She turns the corner, dragging her toes on the thick carpeting they had picked out together. The wooden railing that signals the end of the loft space is in her reach. She is tempted to run to it, but she keeps her steps slow and calculating. She strains her ears, but can’t hear any noise from below. She reaches the railing and peers over it. How will she react if he is staring up at the railing and catches her spying on him? Would that be better or worse?
When that doesn’t happen, she leans further over the railing. He isn’t in the living room. She moves along the edge of the railing to the right, leaning as far over as she dares. She can’t see him in the kitchen. It looks like the dining room light is off, so he isn’t in there.
Unless he is sitting in the dark and wallowing.
The thought makes her sad. The sadness, the need to comfort him, moves her feet. She walks at a more acceptable pace down the stairs to the first level. He has to be in the house somewhere, right? It takes her five minutes to check the house fully to convince herself of the answer. And the answer is no.