Sunday, May 29, 2011

Annie's Writing Prompt

Architecture Yokohama, Japan
Korean Word: 학교 (school)
Spanish Word: Embarazada (pregnant - this is a great example of why it's important to know your false cognates before going abroad ^_^)

One of my best friends, Annie, is my pen pal. We both love writing properly, on paper, to other people and so we've added this practice to our desperate bid to single-handedly (double-handedly?) keep the US Postal Service alive! One of my favorite things is when we send writing prompts to each other, which we just did this last round. I liked the one I wrote for her, so I'm posting it here for myself and hopefully the enjoyment of others!

Prompt from Annie Two people, one body, three objects, one setting, at sunset, 10 minutes to write, GO!

Mattie felt as though her brain were expanding with unbearable force against her skull. She pressed her hands to her head, crouching in the corner of the elevator and screaming until her lungs burned.

Minutes, or maybe hours, passed. The pressure eased. Mattie sat, huddled and shaking, in the corner of the elevator. Its mirrors, covering its four walls and ceiling, showed a hundred Matties, pale with bloodshot eyes and white-knuckled hands.

Well, said a boy’s voice in Mattie’s head. That hurt.

Mattie shuddered. “How did you get in here?” she demanded aloud, pressing her fist to her temple.

Don’t be cross, the boy sing-songed. The spell was your idea, Matilda. I was dying, wasn’t I?

Mattie moaned when he pulled up the memory for both of them. Not dying. Shot dead. Men in black suits with guns. “I couldn’t let you die,” Mattie mumbled. “I still hate you, though,” she added hastily.

You do not, he said, amused. I’m in your head, remember? I know what you’re thinking.

“Shut up, James,” Mattie ordered.

We should probably get out of here, Jamie pointed out.

“How do I know I’m not just imagining you?” Mattie demanded, getting unsteadily to her feet.

Look in the mirror, Jamie suggested.

Mattie looked again into reflection wall of the elevator and gasped. She wasn’t seeing her own pale reflective, but Jamie’s. His long nose, bright black eyes, coppery skin …

She did the first thing that occurred to her and grabbed her chest. She saw two hands on a flat chest in the mirror. She felt two gentle swells under the cotton of her own tee shirt.

Jamie snickered inside her head. So did the reflection of him in the mirror.

“Shut up!” Mattie snapped. The reflection rippled and suddenly she was seeing herself again. “You may be in my head but you aren’t me.” She knelt, collecting the cell phone and knife she’d dropped when she’d fled into the elevator. She hit the “resume” button on the keypad and the elevator jolted into smooth descent again. She glanced at her watch. Seven o’clock. Sunset.

“I’m getting out of here,” she told the boy now living in her bead. “Shut up and let me think.”

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