Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Timed Writing: 5/22/2012

Time: 10 minutes
Prompt: "... smiling at him through the shutters as he passed..."
Source: 2 x 3 x 4 + 1 x 2 = 26 = The Awakening by Kate Chopin

For many months, when striding past the dark window in the hallway, Margarette had felt that she was being observed. Her first instinct, on such occasions, was to look over her shoulder, back to the far end of the empty hallway. Invariably it would be empty, as would the way before her. There were no alcoves, nor statuaries or furniture, that might afford shelter to a secretive watcher. Only the bare walls, floor, and ceiling... and the sea window that was always kept closed and shuttered.

This time though, as Margarette strode by the window, her arms full of fuel rods and abrasive belts for her aunt's workshop, it was more than just a feeling. She saw something -- or at least she thought she did. When she turned to look, it was gone. For an instant though, she had glimpsed the fragments of a face, smiling at her through the shutters as she passed. It had been interrupted by the horizontal slats of the shutter, as though belonging to someone standing outside. She knew that to be impossible though. The window stood thirty meters above the water and the wall in which it was set was smooth concrete, leaving no purchase for the fingers and toes of a climber, nor a surface smooth enough for suction devices.

Margarette unlatched and raised the heavy glass pane, then pushed out on the louvered stainless steel panels. The hinges creaked, but the shutters yielded with little effort onto an expanse of black. Margarette searched the darkness but saw nothing. All was still. Cold blackness filled the invisible miles between the window frame and the horizon that she believed must exist out there where the obsidian sea met the starless sky.

Margarette told no one of the face and she did not see it again for a very long time. When she did finally encounter it a second time, along with the person to whom it belonged, she was in a very different place -- both physically and mentally -- and she did not associate the new acquaintance with what she had glimpsed through the shutters in the hallway so many years before.

(about my timed writing exercises)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.


Seth said...

Really? You think it's ok to just leave us hanging like that?

M. Huw Evans said...

I'm glad it left you wanting more. That greatly increases the chances of me returning to this one at some point.

Unfortunately, I don't know (yet) what happens next. It's exceedingly rare that I get a complete story image from one of my prompts. Usually I just get a tiny glimpse of some interesting part of a scene... and if I find it compelling enough, I end up thinking about it over the subsequent days and if I'm super lucky, a story will emerge.

As for this one... for the moment, what you see is all there is.