Tuesday, July 6, 2010


PROMPT - In her right hand a woman holds a loaded gun, in her left, a coin that just came up ‘tails’…NOW WRITE…

Violet’s hand trembled; her heart seemed to stop. The silence was absolutely deafening. Somewhere in the darkness seconds slipped through broken pipe one drop of moldy water at a time.

Vy willed the coin to jump up and turn over. As a child she remembered the tiny box of Mexican jumping beans that her Mother had bought for her. They seemed to have wills of their own, how hard could it be? After all, couldn’t some people bend spoons with their minds? Why wouldn’t the damn coin flip over?

The faint whimpering of Dominic awakened the blood in her veins. Life flowed back into her slate gray eyes as she realized that he still had no idea whether it was ‘heads’ or ‘tails’. His life depended on George Washington, and George had let him down.

Time had become just another abstract and illusive entity at this point. Twenty-Four hours ago she’d been in his arms. The scent of man’s cologne mixed with his sweat had made her melt. She breathed it in as if she were attempting to burn it into her memory.

Right now, she cherished that move.

Time: Only one day ago they had confessed their love for one another. The decades of friendship that had gone back and forth with unexpressed feelings of romance seemed to shatter across horizon as honesty took its course. It was only last night that he had grabbed her and pulled her close to him as the sun set. Twenty years of agony and bliss seemed as if nothing when she was beside him. It had all been worth it. They needed that time. They needed that space. They had needed it all to get to where they were, wrapped in one another’s arms, impenetrable.

Time: Five minutes is all it took to pour out the emotions that led to the most romanticized expression of love that anyone could experience – the first kiss. The first kiss is the spontaneous one; it is the act of raw passion in the heat of the moment. The second would only be better. The second kiss is the planned one. It’s the one that is thought out. When the second kiss happens, your hands are sweaty, and you’re nervous, like a teenager on their first date. The second kiss would be amazing.

The second kiss would never come.

A day…

Five minutes…

One minute…

One minute was all it took for their captor to subdue and drug them both. The rules were simple; one of them had to die.

Time has a tendency to stretch itself out to ungodly lengths. When you’re a child, waiting to un-wrap a gift, time seems to take as long as a trip to the dentist – an eternity. When you’re an adult, standing face to face with the object of your desires, time seems to mock you as it speeds itself up – laughing in your face as you look on in disbelief.

And then there was one second. One second was all it took for the coin to flip and decide their fate.

Violet would never see Dominic again. She would never smell his skin close to hers. He would never again tease her about her constant misuse of words. Her eyes would never gaze into his. Their lips would never again find each other. She would never again feel the safety that she felt when she had finally been enveloped in his strong and sturdy arms.

Her stone cold eyes peered up at the clock just as the second hand passed the 12. The alarm sounded. Vy slowly closed her eyes and she focused on the echoing beat of her heart. She had no choice, did she?

The pressure of her finger on the triggered tightened. Somehow, when the shot rang out, she thought about how easy it was. For some reason she’d imagined that firing a gun would require a strong hand. But there was nothing dramatic about this. It was almost too fluid. Too easy.

The gun only bounced a few times as it hit the concrete. The puff of smoke rose and dissipated at once. Dominic now was silent.

Violet had to kill him, she had no choice. However, love had won. At the last second, she closed her eyes, and took aim at herself. Sparing him was all she could do. Living without him is what would really kill her.

Across the vast expanse, Dominic lay on the cold cement ground; bleeding. In their silence they never even knew that they’d both been forced into the same game. In their silence they’d both made the same decision. They’d both breathed their last anticipating their second kiss.


Alesa Warcan said...

Hmm... Interesting!
There are some strong parts in that piece and the story reads itself! Nicely done.

Leaving aside subjective issues...
If you don't mind my saying so, I think it would be better if you changed:
-"[...]its sound as if the ticking of a clock."
-"Dominic lied"

Heidi said...

Love it! I love your suggestions. Before I posted it I read it over and was hung up on the clock line for a good amount of time. I couldn't settle on something that I really liked. "...its sound as if the ticking of a clock." is perfect!

Great advice, thanks! :)

Alesa Warcan said...

Umm.... :S

Not sure how to say this...

I was actually suggesting you rewrite those bits (I was quoting from your piece), I refrained from suggesting anything because not everyone likes it. At least you like your own writing. ; j

-"[...]its sound as if the ticking of a clock." ++ This doesn't work because of "as if", if you want to use this image (which is a little bit cliche IMO)=> "its sound like the ticking of a clock."
Or playing around with it a bit: "Somewhere in the darkness was the tockless ticking of moldy water dripping on the damp floor."

-"he lied" => he lay

Heidi said...

I am laughing so hard right now. I sound like a moron. I blame...well, I can't think of anything at the moment! HA! Okay, so, I definitely read what you wrote DIFFERRENLTY than what you even wrote. THEN I wrote it the same as I *first* wrote it! Are you confused yet? I am.

Seriously, I read your clock line as completely new from what I had originally written. I swear I read it as, "its sound like the ticking of a clock." I can't believe I then wrote the same thing I'd written before. Duh, Heidi!

As for the 'lied' part...I was hoping for suggestions. That verbiage was actually a stumbling block for me. I originally had 'lay', but for some reason it didn't sound right in my brain.

Surprising, I know, seeing as today my brain is clearly damaged!

I'll go play in traffic now.

Heidi said...

How about now?

"Somewhere in the darkness a pipe continued to drip moldy water onto the damp floor, mimicking the beating of the clock on the wall."

Alesa Warcan said...

LoL... No worries, I just figured you wrote your comment a bit too quickly. ; j

Hmmm... That... Doesn't work for me, clocks don't beat. Do they?
How about "Somewhere in the darkness seconds slipped through broken pipe one drop of moldy water at a time."

Heidi said...

DAAAAAANG - you won me with that one! I'm stealing it. All props to you though!

Seriously, I love it.

Clocks beat. In, um, Wonderland! ;} Alright, alright, I won't break laws by breaking rules in my story. Hee hee.

Alesa Warcan said...

Ha, feel free. Glad to help.
Thanks for being relaxed about my nitpicking. :j

Heidi said...

No problem. As in any area of life (especially writing) if you can't take advice and be thick-skinned about it, well, you're not really going to grow. Right? :)

Alesa Warcan said...

I completely agree, and it is interesting when the writing stands up to critique. : j

One of my readers often tried to help by finding things wrong that usual weren't... And then I have another reader (Eryl from the Kitchen Bitch) who is always always spot on when she says something is wrong. It's great! : j