Suspicions

The numbers, letters and operators blur under my absent stare.  I’m distracted by the setting sun and the chance to see Jeremy once more before the full moon.   I hope he hasn’t changed his mind.

I scribble the last answer and drop my pencil on the table.  “I’m done Mama.  Mind if I go for a walk?”

“Where are you going?”  She looks at me over a basket of laundry, but doesn’t stop folding.

I shrug.  I’m not used to questions.  “Maybe I’ll see Mary Jane.”

She holds her gaze steady as she places another towel in the stack.  She drops a couple washcloths in her lap and grabs another fistful of linens.

I shift under her scrutiny.  “What?”

“It would be better if you read Pride and Prejudice for your essay.”

“Yes, ma’am.”  I have two weeks to finish the essay, but I can tell she wants to keep me inside.  I wonder if she knows about Jeremy; about the plan.

I gather my algebra homework and trudge up the stairs.  I flop on my bed and bury my face in a pillow, half wishing I would suffocate.  At least then, I wouldn’t have to watch my life decay.  I wouldn’t see freedom slip from my hands, dreams evaporate into wisps of sadness, or be forced to accept a fate I do not want.

Hope draws me to my window.  I poke my head between the curtain panels and stare at the cornfields in the distance.  The sun has already sneaked behind them.  A movement in the nearby shadows catches my eye.  I squint to focus and gasp when I realize who lurks below.

He shrugs his shoulders, as if to ask where I am.  I shake my head and shrug back.  He holds his hand up- five fingers.  I place my palm on the window.  Five days.

I watch Jeremy shove his hands in his pants pockets and disappear into the shadows.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

The Trifecta challenge this week is to use the following word in a response between 33 and 333 characters (mine is 324):

DECAY (intransitive verb):  To fall into ruin.

If you’d like to play along, check out Trifecta’s site for all the details!  As always, thanks for reading 🙂

This is the fourth part of Ellie’s story.  If you didn’t catch the first three parts, you can read them here, here and here.

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38 thoughts on “Suspicions

  1. nrhatch May 30, 2012 / 6:45 AM

    Beautiful writing, Janna. Especially:

    I gather my algebra homework and trudge up the stairs. I flop on my bed and bury my face in a pillow, half wishing I would suffocate. At least then, I wouldn’t have to watch my life decay. I wouldn’t see freedom slip from my hands, dreams evaporate into wisps of sadness, or accept a life I do not want.

    • nrhatch May 30, 2012 / 6:50 AM

      On re-reading, “accept a life I do not want” needs a transition. As worded, it follows “I wouldn’t see. . . ” not “I wouldn’t have to . . .”

      • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 8:27 AM

        Good point. I fixed that goof 🙂 Thanks for mentioning this, Nancy!

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 4:54 PM

      Thanks for stopping by to read my story, Nancy. The paragraph you referenced was the one I wrote to use the Trifecta word 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 4:56 PM

      Thanks, Tori. I appreciate you taking time to read it!

  2. Gina May 30, 2012 / 9:10 AM

    I’m really engaged in this story as it transpires week to week. Can’t wait to see what happens in 5 days.

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 4:56 PM

      I’m glad you find it interesting enough to keep reading, Gina. I appreciate your visit!

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 4:57 PM

      Thanks, Widdershins. I appreciate you reading it!

  3. Debbie May 30, 2012 / 11:01 AM

    Tension is building, Janna. It will be interesting to see whether poor Ellie makes it out of this mess and if so, how.

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 4:59 PM

      Well, Debbie, the prompts will determine where this one goes 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  4. Annabelle May 30, 2012 / 11:23 AM

    I am continuing to love this story — can’t wait for the next installment!

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 5:00 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Annabelle! I’m glad you’re enjoying the story 🙂

  5. Diane Turner May 30, 2012 / 3:19 PM

    Beautifully visual piece. Excellent writing.

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 5:01 PM

      Thanks, Diane. I appreciate you stopping by to read it!

  6. Carl D'Agostino May 30, 2012 / 4:24 PM

    algebra homework – that stuff almost prevented me from graduating high school and college. Accomplished a lot of remarkable things without it I’m proud to say.

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 5:03 PM

      I admit that math grew more difficult for me once the alphabet invaded it 🙂 Yes, I think you’re doing a-okay without algebra (from what I can tell by your drawings, of course!)

  7. The Gal Herself May 30, 2012 / 5:46 PM

    Five DAYS? I was hoping she’d be down in five minutes! That’s how much I was on our algebra-hating heroine’s side.

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 10:49 PM

      I’m glad you’re rooting for her, Gal! Thanks for stopping by to read 🙂

  8. Sandra May 30, 2012 / 9:34 PM

    This story is just moving along so well with the prompts, Janna; great job! The image of the pair holding up five fingers and a palm on the window is such a grand ending for this installment. Great suspense, and I cannot wait to see how the story pans out!

    • jannatwrites May 30, 2012 / 10:50 PM

      Thanks for continuing to follow this story, Sandra. I appreciate it!

    • jannatwrites May 31, 2012 / 11:30 AM

      Thanks, Kelly. I appreciate you following the story!

  9. Imelda May 31, 2012 / 5:03 AM

    All I can say is – “Yey! They are still safe!” I am looking forward to the next installment. I hope they are still safe. 😉

    • jannatwrites May 31, 2012 / 11:32 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Imelda. If the prompt allows, I’ll continue the story next week!

  10. Ruby Manchanda May 31, 2012 / 10:33 AM

    Looking forward to the next part. Right from start till end, it holds attention.

    • jannatwrites May 31, 2012 / 11:34 AM

      I’m glad you enjoyed, Ruby. And I appreciate you following this story 🙂

  11. Sandra Tyler (@SFiberworks) May 31, 2012 / 6:59 PM

    Love this character. And perfect example of. Y close first person point of view for my writing workshop hop! You got it nailed!

    • jannatwrites June 2, 2012 / 2:15 PM

      Thanks, Sandra. I appreciate you reading 🙂

  12. James Steerforth June 1, 2012 / 12:52 AM

    Sparse cutout of life … makes me wanto to know more details 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 2, 2012 / 2:16 PM

      More details should follow, James. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  13. philosophermouseofthehedge June 1, 2012 / 4:31 PM

    Five days. That hand on the window! Ohhhhhhh.
    Great line ” At least then, I wouldn’t have to watch my life decay. ”
    Waiting, waiting, waiting to see what’s next! So not disappearing in the shadows like your character….

    • jannatwrites June 2, 2012 / 2:17 PM

      I’m so glad you stopped by to read and enjoyed the story, Phil.

  14. cuhome June 7, 2012 / 10:51 AM

    This is very nicely written, a great start to a story! I was hooked immediately!!

    • jannatwrites June 7, 2012 / 6:38 PM

      Thanks for reading, Janet. I’m having fun with Ellie’s story 🙂

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