A quick glance under the desk. Throw the wardrobe open. Push clothes aside to make sure there is no one inside. Close the wardrobe. Step into the middle of the room. Breathe. Quickly bend and kneel forward, your hands on the ground, ready to push you back up as fast as possible. Check under the bed.
No one there. As every night.
Get back up. Walk towards the light switch. Look around the room another time, the eyes resting for a few seconds on each window. Second floor, but who knows what can climb that high?
Nothing suspicious. Mentally pace the room – two steps, then the jump.
Flip the switch. Large step with the right, large step with the left, then a quick jump to escape any possible hands.
Climb under the covers. Cocoon yourself. Try to sleep. Try not to have nightmares. Continue reading →
It was pulling her hair and she scratched her head, but she didn’t look. She didn’t believe me when I told her. I’m sorry, I really am. She just would have needed to look and it would have gone away. I didn’t want to hurt her, okay?
I need to get out. It can get in here. It always comes in when I look away. I need to look or it will come close. It can’t get close.
WHY WON’T YOU LET ME OUT?
Doc, PLEASE LEAVE THE LIGHT ON. Why do you always turn it off? I know you say this is just for me as therapy and secret, but I know you will read it. I know you will. Please, please, PLEASE leave the lights on, okay? Continue reading →
“They forced you?”
“No,” she said. “They just chose him for me.”
“But you said Yes?”
Her lips stretched into a shy smile.
“It was the right thing to do. It is my culture, you know?”
“Oh,” I said.
“If it’s my culture it must be a good thing, doesn’t it?”
“It could be,” I said. “It just seems strange to me.”
Saraswati pushed her lightly curled black hair behind her ear.
“It’s strange to me too. I’m not really connected to this culture anymore, but I wanted to make my parents happy.”
“And that is more important than your own life?” Continue reading →
Your character is the only person left in the world who practices his/her trade. After they’re gone, the trade/skill/job/profession will be no more.
The Last One
Wrinkly fingers brushed over the cold wood of the desk. He pulled the hand back to his face and blew the dust from the pale skin. His account was too empty for the repair; he would have to clean the apartment himself.
He sighed, sat straight and pressed the button. The camera and projector jumped to life. He moved the keyboard and controller each to their place.
A moment later the face appeared. Claire. A happy face with a tired expression.
My father said he chose Suraiya for me because she was blind. He said she would understand my fears and worries. Maybe that’s why I, too, understand her so well.
She was twelve years older than me and even as I was her master she always called me her little brother.
In just fifteen years my father had transformed his father’s fruit shop into a wholesale franchise that served most of south India. My grandfather chose a good bride for him. They held a festival when she got pregnant. I was meant to be the completion of their happiness. Two days they were the happiest pepole on the planet. It took them two days to notice my flaw and two years to travel the world’s hospitals to find there was no cure.
I was two when they hired Suraiya. I was six when Suraiya told me that her parents repaired and sold second hand sandals and that they could not afford a dowry big enough to find her a husband.
I was eight when she shook me awake in the dead of the night.