A few years ago, I started a 52 week writing challenge. I fell out of it after a few weeks but I really liked the stories I wrote for it and I wanted to share them here on the blog. I also thought it might be fun to continue on with the challenge here even though it’s a weird time of the year to continue a 52 week reading challenge.
The first prompt was for the first week of January and the prompt was ‘A New Beginning.” You will find the story below the cut.
There was a light at the end of the tunnel. There was a light and there were voices.
She longed for the feeling of the sun on her skin and the feeling of other people around her. She had been alone for so long as the tunnels had seemed endless. Before that she had been with him, which had been worse than being alone.
She was hungry. She was thirsty. She was so freaking lonely. She missed her parents. She missed her stupid kid brother. She even missed going to school. She was free now and things would finally be normal.
Finally she was close enough. The light was in reach. The girl extended her hand out of the darkness of the tunnel and into the light. She expected delicate warmth to dance across the palm of her hand but instead the heat from the sun was unbearable. Her hand began to blister and smoke.
The girl shrieked and pulled her hand back into the unbearable safety of the dark. Immediately the pain in her hand was soothed and as she watched the blisters began to heal and fade away.
Getting away was so close but she couldn’t leave the tunnel. The tunnels were his and she didn’t want to be anywhere near anything of his, not after everything he had done to her. And now here she was, so close to being safe and somehow he had prevented it. What else had he done to her to ruin her?
“Mommy, Mommy!” The voice of the little boy was close by.
“What is it, Jimmy?” His mother sounded tired.
“There’s a girl in the drain!!”
“That’s nice, dear,” she called back.
“No!! Really, Mommy! There is!”
“Jimmy! Mommy is trying to read.”
Jimmy sighed. He seemed disappointed that his mother wasn’t nearly as excited as he was about his discovery. He scooted closer to her hiding spot and waved.
“Hello,” he called over to her.
“Hi,” she whispered. Her voice came out raspy and raw.
“What are you doing in there? Do you live there?”
The girl shook her head and scooted slightly father back into the darkness of her tunnel, even if it was closer to him.
“My name’s Jimmy! What’s yours?”
He scooted closer again and now he was just on the edge of the outside of the tunnel. The wind shifted and suddenly she could smell the most delicious scent. Her mouth watered and her brain began to spin. What was she smelling? She licked her lips cautiously, trying to taste the air.
“Can you hear me?” he asked.
She could hear a throbbing noise. Bum-bum. Bum-bum. The hair stood up on her arms. It was a heartbeat. Hers? Or his? The little boy was kneeling in front of her. She pulled her legs in close, wrapping her arms around them to hug them to her chest. Something told her not to touch him or everything would change.
He reached out his hand and she cringed away. He drew his hand back, a small frown on his tiny face.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
She shook her head.
“Should I get my mommy?”
She shook her head again.
Jimmy frowned again and settled back on his heels.
“What’s your name?”
She just shook her head.
“C’mon,” he pouted. “You can tell me! Is it a secret? I’m really good with secrets.”
And then he reached over and touched her hand. It was like he electrocuted her. Every hair on her body stood on its end. She swallowed and it was as if she had just walked the Sahara. Her mouth ached. It was dry and it felt cracked. She found herself staring at his hand. She could see the veins through his skin. Bum-bum. Bum-bum.She licked her lips.
It all happened very quick. Jimmy didn’t get a chance to scream. One second his hand was on her arm, small and warm and very full of life. The next second he was in her arms and she had her mouth on his throat and she was drinking. It was the most delicious thing she had ever tasted. All too soon it was gone.
“Jimmy?! Jimmy, where are you?”
She licked her lips and looked down at the tiny bundle in her arms. What had she done?