Day 7: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!
Today I’m going to work on a piece that I wanted to advance, and that was the inspiration to start these challenges. I’m hoping that by the end I’ll have something formed in my mind that can ultimately become a longer-form piece. Anyway, I’ll put the original in italics and go from there (including a little editing). I hope you enjoy it. As always, critiques are welcome.
She uses her body in a very interesting way – in exactly the way most woman get it wrong. She does not wear particularly tight or revealing clothes, and yet she uses her body in a way that ensures she keeps his interest entirely. Whenever she answers, her eyes flick from left to right as though she’s tracking some invisible sprite of conversational inspiration. As her large brown eyes are her best feature, this is a clever strategy. His eyes are fixed to hers. When she laughs, she tosses her head back and laughs with her whole body. Her lips shape each word perfectly and distinctly, engaging even those of us who can’t hear or understand what she says.
Her whole way is to make her utterly and completely inescapable. It works perfectly on the uninitiated. Hell, it almost works on me from the opposite end of the greasy train carriage. Then I remember why I’m following her. I remember what’s she’s done and worse; I remember who sent me and the things he would do if I failed. I needed to focus, I needed to forget about this ignorant idiot, but most of all, I needed another cup of coffee.
So here’s what happened: I was tracking down info on a cell phone for a rival company. Not a difficult job – just a case of finding the right email address, really. Anyways, I’m just leaving the Starbucks close to the cell company’s head office when a guy pulls me aside. Big guy. Like cartoon Superman big. All made out of square body parts. Big. Anyway, Big McBiggerson pulls me into an alley, right? Here’s me readying myself for a fight, and he says my full name and the job title the hidden folk use.
“James Matthew Wilson, Infomancer?”
I probably winced. I usually do. Damn silly name for a job. I kicked a juicy pizza box away before I answered. Best to show them you’re not afraid. This is doubly true if your underpants feel like an old pizza box. Did I mention he was big?
“How can I help?” I asked with my biggest shit-eating customer service smile. Under a gallon of beard, I don’t think he was impressed.
“It is time for you to repay your favour to Him.” I swear he pronounced the capital letter. I licked my lips and tried to think about how to say ‘no’ to Him. He had saved my life that time, but then again, he never called in nice favours. Then McBiggerson spoke again.
“Do not disappoint Him, Wilson. He would not appreciate that.”
So there I was on a late night train pretending not to watch her stalk this idiot norm. I’d never seen anyone flutter their eyelashes in real life before. It was utterly distracting. She led him off the train at the end of the orange line. I followed at a discrete distance. I ignored the beggars, street musicians and vendors of dubious food to the stairs out of the station. It was raining up at ground level and water had drenched my feet through the dark red Converse I’d chosen for a light stroll through town hours ago.
I followed them down a couple of crowded streets – she seemed entirely wrapped up in him and whatever he was saying. I knew that wasn’t true, of course. I’d seen her clock me by the ticket booth. It was only a matter of time before this became a confrontation. What was she? Far too smart to be a vampire, too real to be an elf and far far too beautiful to be a dwarf (no offense to any lady dwarves reading). I did a quick Google search using the area’s awful bandwidth, but to very little advantage, really. When it comes to monsters, there’s a lot of crap on the Internet.
Eventually, they came to a nondescript red door between two e.coli peddlers masquerading as fast food restaurants. She ushered him inside and leaned against the door jam. From my position at the other end of the dark street, I couldn’t see her too well. Ultimately I think she got bored. She looked towards me an beckoned with one slender arm.
She was waiting for me with hip and eyebrow cocked in amusement. She looked me up and down and licked her lips. Every movement carefully designed to turn my legs to jelly and my confidence to dust. Still, I managed to remain standing, and got the chance to hear her syrupy voice.
“Hello,” was all she said.
“Why are you following me?”
“You know why.”
She looked me over again. Her nostrils flared and her tongue flicked out for a second. “Mmm.” She mmmed beautifully. “You aren’t a fighter.”
She made to pounce at me, and I thought I saw her eye teeth begin to extend. I felt my heart stop for half a second and the world slowed down. My head Googled “mysterious animal attacks” without my permission and I saw what my body would look like in a few moments’ time.
That was when a dozen little metal flowers with yellow and red petals started sprouting all over her body. I tossed myself aside onto the wet concrete as her body jerked and shook. Hand-sized fangs burst through her gums before her body hit the ground. That was when a group of men in black combat gear started to surround us, their angry-looking tranq rifles still aimed at the downed creature. Not a vampire. Chemicals can’t take down a vampire. They don’t have the right internal organs to get bogged up the way humans do. And the way this thing did.
A man with a huge moustache and the biggest gun nodded down to me.
“Piss off, Wilson.”
I did as I was told. Sometimes survival was payment enough. That was when my phone rang.
“Good work, Infomancer. Although your debt to me is not yet paid.” It was Him. I’ve tried to remember what His voice sounded like. I just… can’t. I just remember the words. “You conducted yourself well. Although you might like to consider taking up arms. Your next test will not be so easy, nor will your backup be quite so formidable.
The phone rang off. What comes of as mysterious in the movies is actually just bad manners. I hate that. I also hate imminent and inevitable danger.
To the full list of challenges.