Writing Prompt: Body Armor

The prompt was: You’re hanging out with a friend and you notice they are wearing body armor under their clothes. So 15 minutes later….

Body Armor

“I mean, what was I supposed to say?” Harry grinned.  “She was gorgeous.”

“You’re blowin’ smoke.”  I shook my head.

“Nah really!” Harry held up his hand. “I swear!”

I glanced up and notice his shirt was sticking out funny from his collar.

As harry lowered his hand he pulled his shirt down. I thought I saw something black under his shirt. I tried to be cool and not stare. But then Harry stuck a finger in his collar and pulled it out to adjust it. I definitely saw something this time.

I looked down at my coffee. What had I just seen? I glanced up again. Harry was shaking his head and stirring his pancakes with his fork.

“I mean who’s gonna turn down spending 5 minutes alone with Natalia Trechnekov?”

“Why would Natalia Trechnekov talk to you?” I tried to get a look at his collar. He was wearing something black and solid under his shirt. I leaned forward trying to get a better look. It looked like…was he wearing body armor?

Harry looked up with a hurt look on his face. “How can you ask that?’

“Dude she’s the daughter of the Russian mob boss! You’re a fry cook!”

“Hey, I’m a damn good fry cook.” Harry pointed at me with his fork then shrugged. “Maybe she likes cooks! “

“Yeah ‘cause you smell like fries. “ I laughed.

“Whatever man,” Harry shook his head and looked around the diner. It was a pretty busy breakfast rush. Suddenly Harry straightened looking toward the door. He spun away around and slouched with his hand over his face.

“What are you doing?’ I looked around and spotted two guys standing near the door. They were wearing long black coats and sunglasses.

“Dude! Don’t look at them!”

“Who?” I looked at Harry he was trying very hard to disappear under the table. Suddenly it clicked. Natalia and a fry cook? Body armor? Black trench coats?

“What they hell did you do, Harry?”

Writing Prompt: Guilty Conscience?

Once again. Write for 15 minutes…

Guilty Conscience?

The text message simply said ‘very clever’

Her heart slammed against her chest. Who had sent it? She looked at the number it was sent from. She didn’t recognize it.

Quickly she glanced around. Even though she was in the middle of the quad no one was watching her. She looked back at the two word text. Very clever. What did it mean? Her chest constricted. What did they know about her?

She glanced around again then copied the number, opened Google and pasted it. It should tell her who it belonged to. Google knew everything right?

No results found.

“WHAT!” She yelped drawing the attention of a couple of co-eds sitting on the bench across the grass from her. She smiled apologetically and tried the search again. And again. And again.

“This is impossible.” She muttered. “They sent the text the number has to exist!” She tired just looking up the area code. That at least told her it was from the same state. But who could it belong to? Why couldn’t there be a cell phone phonebook like landlines?

She stared at the number for the longest time debating if she should text back. Should she ask who they were? What if they were waiting for that? What if they were testing the waters just waiting for her to take the bait so they could do something awful to her? Did they know what she’d done? Did they want something? Blackmail?

She jumped up and hurried to her dorm room. She had to check and make sure no one had found her secret. She riffled through the back of the closet trying to find the box. Finally her fingers scraped against it. Relief flooded her. She hadn’t been found out.

She sat back on her heels and stared at the number. She knew the only options now were to wait or text back. Slowly she began to type. Who is this? Then she changed her mind and deleted it. Replacing the words with several questions marks.

She hit send.

She waited. And waited.

Finally the little bubbles showed they were typing. The text popped onto her screen.

Sorry, this wasn’t for you. Wrong number lol.

Her heart dropped to the floor and she with it. A mistake? They didn’t know? Tears streamed down her face as she realized the misguided text missile had missed her guilty heart.

She crawled to the closet and pulled the box out. Looking around desperately she finally grabbed the metal trash can and dumped the box in then grabbed her roommates lighter and set the box on fire. She swore to herself that she would never stray from the path of right again. She never wanted to feel this kind of terror again.

Writing Prompt: Instincts

The writing prompt was: Half the names on the list had already been crossed off. As usual 15 minutes of writing. Go!

Instincts

Half the names on the list had already been crossed off.

She glanced around the room. Normal couch. Normal TV. Normal art on the walls. Just normal. She looked again. The couch was almost new and the pillows could have come with it from the store. The TV was just a TV but there were no game consoles or DVD player: just a TV. She looked at the art on the walls, from one framed picture to the next. They were too normal. They could have come from any shelf in any store.

A theory was forming in the back of her mind. She looked at the list again. Too normal usually meant completely abnormal. Was this a hit list? Her stomach churned at the thought.

“Just about ready!” she jumped as his voice echoed from the hall behind her.

“F…fine!” she managed to force out. Quickly she replaced the list of names back on his desk. She moved away from the desk chewing on her thumbnail. The last thing she wanted was to be caught snooping.

What if he was serial killer? Was that why he was so nice?

She knew he was too good to be true. She should have run him through the NCIC database at the precinct before agreeing to go out with him. At least if he was in the system she would have had some warning. She should never have said yes to this date. She glanced around looking for some sign that he was normal and that she was wrong but there were no personal items. No family photos at all. Not even a coffee cup. Was this even his house?

Her eyes were drawn back to the sheet on the desk. It wasn’t really glowing; it had to be her imagination.

“Sorry I took so long. I…” He smiled as he emerged from the hall. She jumped and tried to cover it with a smile.

“Are you alright?” He looked at her curiously.

“Fine.” Her instincts were on full alert. “You were saying?”

“I was just going to say that I’m not unpacked yet.” He smiled sheepishly. “That’s why I took so long.”

“Unpacked?” She tried to contain her cop instincts.

“Yeah,” he gestured around the living room. “I just moved into this place. Lucky for me it came fully furnished.  I really had nothing left after the divorce.” He nodded toward the desk. “I thought coming here would help but most of the people I knew have moved or changed jobs.”

She glanced at the list. People he knew? He was trying to restart his life and she had jumped to the conclusion that he was a serial killer. She shook her head feeling stupid. Her lieutenant was right she needed a vacation. Her instincts were getting out of control.

“Ready for dinner?” He picked up his jacket.

“Yeah, I am now. I think.” She smiled.

Writing Prompt: The Camera Adds…

camera

The writing prompt this week was…

I play back the recording but what I saw on the screen wasn’t what I remembered.

Once again 15 minutes of writing. Let’s see what you get. Leave a link or paste it in the comments.

Here’s is what I wrote.

The Camera Adds…

I play back the recording but what I saw on the screen wasn’t what I remembered.

It was just her and I when we filmed the interview. She had sat in the chair under the lights and I had sat just out of camera view. The interview had been a simple Q&A nothing fancy. I was getting the lowdown on the new research facility. So many people in the community were against the opening of the Cross Corp that my producer wanted a comprehensive info spot just to settle the rumors.

Betty Miles was an ordinary research scientist but she had a face the camera would love. So Cross Corp had sent her over. The interview had been quick and professional but now as I review the tape I am disturbed.

I watch Betty nod and answer questions but something seems to be there with her. I lean closer squinting at the screen doubting my eyes. I wasn’t sure if it was a trick of the light or maybe a bad placement of the camera. I was about to stop and call Betty back to reshoot when the shadow moved.

I shake my head. I had to be seeing things. I rewind the tape squinting at the shadow.

Just as Betty smiles it moves. I jump. This is impossible! I watch it again: same smile-same shadow movement.

I slow the tape to watch it again. I pause it just as Betty smiles. There it is, a shadow shifting behind her right shoulder. It is human shaped. A distinct head and shoulders are visible. I zoom in on the image but it becomes too distorted. I zoom back out and punch play again letting the interview play out. I keep my eyes on the shadow.  It hovers just over her right shoulder for most of the interview but as we bring the Q&A to a close the shadow starts shifting closer to the camera. I lean forward curiously. Suddenly the shadow rushes forward at the camera. I jump back reflexively.

Then it is gone. I move forward and stretch out a shaking hand feeling silly. I push the rewind button. I had to be hallucinating. I press play and watch the slow-motion movement of the shadow as it reaches the camera.

There is a face. My heart pumps as if I’d been running for my life. A face. There’s a face. What the Hell did the camera catch that Betty and I hadn’t even know was there?