Odd Prompts

Odd Prompts: Wonderland Snip

 

So! I have had a little extra time (two snow days!) and with rest, the writing brain started to come back online. This week’s snippet is short, but I’ve been working on this story trying to splice together all the bits and pieces into a cohesive whole. At 16K words I can say… it’s going to be a novella. 

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“I don’tole her that man was bad. Bad all through. She didn’t listen. And then? She was bad, too.” 

“What about the rabbit?” Shelby asked. The old woman’s reaction to that, her tears, spoke of a deep feeling. 

“Hey, Shelb?” Johns spoke from behind her. He’d been in the kitchen while the two women walked down memory lane in the hallway. “Can I see you a second?” 

Shelby saw the film pass over the old woman’s eyes. Elzbet, the young and sassy ghost, retreated into the mists of age inside her own mind. Shelby sighed. “I’ll be right back.” 

She knew it was too late. The moment of magic had passed. 

“What is it?” She snapped as she stepped into the kitchen. Elzbet lingered behind her, a broken voice muttering to one of the pictures on the wall. 

“There’s a gun on the sink in the restroom.” He spoke in a very soft voice, no way for the deaf old lady to overhear him. “I went to take a leak, and…” 

“She probably feels the need to defend herself, all alone in this place.” Shelby stepped back, so she was half in the kitchen, half in the hall, and could see Elzbet working her way down the hall, touching photos and talking to each of them in turn. “She’s… a little lonely.” 

“That’s no old lady gun.” He sounded grim. “Takes a muscle or two to rack the slide on a pimped out Desert Eagle.” 

“Someone else is here.” Shelby turned her head. Elzbet had reached the end of the hall and was standing in the shadows, her back to them. 

“Upstairs, maybe.” He could see the stairs over Shelby’s shoulder, and they were empty as far as he could see. The railings went up to the ceiling, and it was darkness up there. 

“But why. Why now?” Shelby turned away from him, looking at Elzbet. “We didn’t even know we were coming.” 

“We aren’t the only ones who know about the bodies, though. And Yassim sent us. Who else did he tell?” 

They had been speaking in soft tones, and Shelby felt like the house was listening. It had gotten very quiet. Elzbet turned, now, a flash of her shawls visible in the dark hall. 

“She’s in danger.” Shelby said to Johns, and started toward the old woman. “We need to help her.”

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This week’s prompt came from ‘Nother Mike with “There was a gun on the sink in the restroom…” 
I prompted Leigh Kimmel with “The jaguar stalked along the expanded metal grating of the corridor, the very tip of his tail twitching with every padded step.”