Wednesday Writing Prompt (WWP)! is a biweekly writing challenge for you and for me.

Here’s how WWP works: I’ll post a writing prompt on Wednesday morning (that’s today!). Then you can participate by writing a 250 to 500 word scene or story in response to it. I’ll post my story response on Thursday and I’d love it if you share your scene or story (or the link to it!) in the comments of my response post.

Let’s see where this wacky world of writing takes us!

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This week’s prompt was:

She showed up at his door, soaking wet, bruised, and covered in glitter.

 

Please be warned… this one is a little longer than usual. I just couldn’t stop the flow. Also note: this has not been edited. It is a free-write in the best sense of the word.

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Should she be here? Gemma thought. Probably not. But where else can I go?

She stared at the brown brick building. She could tell it used to be a warehouse. The black frame windows with lead glass gave it a historical bent. The name of the old mattress factory was still stamped on the brick, in peeling black paint. Nine stories towered over her. Brown brick, greying timber, and shiny new chrome accents.

She looked down again, at her stained clothes. She looked like a pre-teen craft project gone wrong. It was as if an eleven-year-old girl had dunked her in white liquid glue and then rolled her in rainbow glitter, repeatedly, just to make sure every speck of the stuff stuck.

Gemma took a deep breath.

Breathe, lass. In for three beats o’ yer ‘eart, an’ out fer three. Eoin had said. Gemma tried to still her jittery hands and galloping heart.

Would he help her?

Would he even let her in? Talk to her?

Probably not. Not after what she’d done.

Her fear stalked her. Shew wasn’t used to doing things on her own. It was as if she was a Sherlock without a Watson. A Frodo without a Sam.

A car honked. Tired squealed.  The hum of the Gardener seemed to get louder to make sure it was still noticed among the din of the other downtown night noises. Someone slammed a trash can lid. A dog barked. The sounded echoed, bouncing around the concrete.

Gemma just stood there. Sparkling in the glare of moonlight and streetlights. Staring at Miles’ name in the buzzer list.

Should she?

“You been standing here awhile?” a deep voice said, standing close behind her.

Gemma gasped, bringing her hands up in front of as she turned to face the voice. Her pants, still wet from her fall, were stiff and heavy. They made a sucking noise as she moved.

“What…happened to you?” Miles asked, his eyes wide and concerned as he took in her dripping, droopy, glittering state in the moonlight.

“New fashion statement?” Gemma said, shrugged. She was standing outside his apartment building. In the dark. Soaking wet. Covered in glitter. What must he think of her?

She shouldn’t be surprised to see him, she realized. She’d come here looking for him, after all. But, she was surprised. She hadn’t been expecting him to come up behind her. She hadn’t been sure she event wanted to see him. The overwhelming feeling, her stomach shrinking, her lungs sucking and sticking, her brain swelling so it felt like it was trying to push out of her skull through her eyes and her ears and her nostrils.

“Gem-Gemma.” Miles took another step toward her, his hands out, palms up. Open. Kind. “Woah! Come on. Tell me­–are you okay?”

His hands felt so nice. He gripped her shoulders. Not too hard. Not too loose, like he was afraid to touch her either. His hands gripped her shoulders with just the right amount of pressure. They were confident hands, she concluded. Not angry hands.

Miles guided Gemma into the building, turning his hip toward the magnetic pad beside the door, letting it it sense the key fob in his pocket. He pulled the door open with one hand and once inside put his hand back on Gemma’s shoulders.

“Hi,” she said, when he stopped to look into her eyes. It was still shadowing in the lobby, the building designed to have atmosphere. She could just make out the green tint of his iris. She blinked slowly and thought about how the green sparkles on her hand matched his eyes perfectly.

He spoke to her. But all she heard was the hum of the elevator as they went up. That and the rattle of the chain outside the car and her pulse throbbing in her ear, slowing and keeping time with the rhythm of his words. Whatever words they were.

Gemma squinted her eyes, her brain’s escape plan jumping back into action, when Miles led her into his apartment. The light fixture in his kitchen, shaped like a giant metal dome, reflected and refracted the bulb in all directions. It hurt her.

“What the hell happened to you?” Miles voice came through again, this time deeper and quieter than Gemma had ever heard it. It was the scary kind of quiet. Worse than screaming and yelling. It was calm and deep and dark and from a place no one should ever go.

The red and white enamel cupboards refracted the light more, making it difficult for Gemma to see Miles’ face. But the tone of his voice was clear. She looked even worse than she felt.

Gemma turned toward the mirror she knew Miles kept right beside his front door.

“Oh.” she said when she saw her reflection. That’s why her face felt so strange. It wasn’t the wet or the glitter. She didn’t know there were so many shades of purple.

trishajennreads' black glasses

Your turn! Post your response to the writing prompt (or your link to it!) in the comments. 

  1. I’m so glad you went long. So did I! I edited to cut words but it already leaves more to the reader’s imagination than I want.

    She showed up at his door, soaking wet, bruised and covered in glitter.
    “Sunday school?” He sounded incredulous. “But what’s this?” he fingered the remains of the dripping glitter and reached to stroke her swollen eye with the back of his finger. “C’mon in.”
    Giselle fell against his chest and felt his arms wrap around her. “We were building a prayer wall,” her lip quivered. “Oh Jari! The super’s gonna kill me!”
    Her phone rang and she looked at the number while Jari pulled her inside and closed the door.
    “It’s her.” The superintendent of Sunday School.
    “Better answer,” Jari nodded at the phone and continued to drag her into the kitchen.
    “Hello?”
    “Giselle!” the phone speaker blared, “Are you alright? I heard you got hurt.”
    Giselle collapsed weeping into Jari’s arms at the kitchen table.
    Jari caught the phone. “Uh, can she call you back?”
    “Yes, of course,” the super yelled. “But is she ok? She’s our best teacher and I’d hate to lose her.”
    “Ok, I’ll tell her, thank you, goodbye.” Jari put the phone down and lifted her chin. One eyebrow lifted. “Now what’ you crying about? She don’t sound like she wants to kill you.” He examined her swelling. “What happened?”
    “Two boys were fighting,” Giselle buried her face in his warmth. “I took the punch.”
    His laugh rippled over her heart, “Is that all? Take it from an old fighter, you’re gonna live.”
    Giselle twisted in his arms. Quit laughing at me, she pouted.
    He held tight and in one motion lifted her. In the bed, he stripped her down and covered her with a blanket. “Hold on while I get some ice.”
    Later, after she’d napped and was watching tv through one eye, Jari handed her the phone.
    “Better call her back.”
    At that moment the door bell rang. Giselle grabbed for her dark glasses.
    “Hey boys! Giselle! Look who’s here!”
    In walked a huge bunch of flowers with a set of eyes bobbing on either side. Four adults walked in behind.
    “Oh Giselle!” One boy’s mother, Kerin, gushed forward and laid her hand on Giselle’s shoulder. “I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
    The other boy’s parents hung back.
    “Have a seat, ma’am,” Jari directed the mother to the couch.
    Kerin moved to the far arm and inspected Jari head to toe. “Don’t see you at church much. I think a man and wife should worship together.”
    “We get plenty ‘o that,” Jari almost winked.
    Giselle saw Kerin’s eyes bulge.
    “You must be Mrs. Thibow,” Giselle held up her hand to the other woman without getting up.
    Mrs. Thibow stepped forward and bowed her head in greeting.
    “Please sit down.” Jari arrived with a tray of 3 mugs. “I’m just going to show the men the yard. Yes, you too.” He took the boys by the shoulders and hot stepped them through the back door.
    Giselle didn’t trust the light in his eyes.
    “I’ll just take care of these.” Kerin gathered the flowers and headed for the kitchen.
    Giselle and Mrs. Thibow stared at the carpet. Looking through the window, she saw adult heads bobbing up and down. You’re teaching them boxing? She thought.
    “Shall I pour?” Kerin sat down at her end of the couch and gripped the tea pot. “The sermon was really good today,” she proceeded to give a synopsis.
    Mrs. Thibow stared into her tea cup. Giselle tucked her feet under her and rattled her ice bag. Kerin fell silent.
    “Well, we really should go. Jack has some homework to finish before tomorrow.” Kerin rose, curled her lip at Mrs. Thibow, and went to find the men.
    “I am sorry, Miss Giselle,” Mrs. Thibow’s rich voice answered the challenge.
    They heard Jari’s voice as he entered, “What we’ve got to understand, this is not about racial tension.”
    They all carried mugs as they followed him. Kerin looked peeved. Giselle’s eyes bugged out. You didn’t give the boys beer?
    Jari addressed the whole room. “This is about boys learning to be men.”

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