Wednesday Writing Prompt (WWP) is a biweekly challenge for you and for me. I post a writing prompt on Wednesday morning and a response to it on Thursday. Then anyone who wants to participate can write a 250 to 500 word scene or story in response to it. Let’s see where this wacky world of writing takes us!
This week’s writing prompt was
“How long have you been sitting there?”
“Longer than you’d think.”
“How long have you been sitting there.”
“Longer than you’d think.”
“Who are you?”
“Oh, no one.”
Jenna looked around the room, moving only her eyes. She took a deep breath in through her nose and released it slowly out of her mouth. That’s how Dr. Kenit had told her to breathe when she saw strange things.
She closed her eyes slowly on the out-breath.
When she opened her eyes, the girl was still there. Jenna had never seen her before. But the girl seemed very comfortable in Jenna’s bedroom. She was sitting on the windowsill, swinging her short, little legs forward and back, forward and back, forward and back. Her minuscule black shoes were leaving tiny dark smudges on the wall’s yellow paint. Jenna would get in trouble for that.
“Um,” Jenna said.
“Um, what?” the girl responded. Her face was open. Friendly. But there was something strange, unsettling, in her eyes.
“Um.” Jenna said more forcefully, this time. “Why are you in my room?” She forced herself to keep her eyes focused on the girl’s face and not on the peach carpet.
“‘Cause I like it here.”
“You…you like it here? What’s that supposed to mean. Just because you like it somewhere, doesn’t mean you can be there any time you want. This is my room and I didn’t invite you in here.” Jenna felt her torso lean forward on that last sentence, challenging the girl to explain herself more fully.
The girl straightened from her slouched position. It was as if someone had slowly tugged an invisible cord from the top of her head straight up to the ceiling. Her back lengthened, her neck stretched long, and her chin levelled with the floor.
“I can come here any time I want. It was my room first.” Her voice had lost it’s dreamy tone. It no longer flowed. Now it stung the air like a just-missed snap from a terrier with small-dog syndrome.
Jenna’s breathing sped up again.
“This might be your room now,” the girl stood up and faced Jenna squarely. “But it was my room before that. It was my room before it all happened. And I like to come here to remember the way things were before.”
Jenna’s breathing stopped.
She knew what had happened. Everyone in town knew what had happened. But that had been twenty-seven years ago. And this girl is the one that it happened to.
The girl cocked her head to the right. She looked right at the fear in Jenna’s eyes and slowly smiled.
“Ah. You know who I am.” Her smile grew. “You know what I did.”
Jenna nodded and tried to swallow the lump blocking her throat.