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.


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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