So, I’m really excited. We went from having one participant a week to spiking up to three! You know what that means – it’s time for a vote 🙂 All three possible continuations are pretty awesome, so it only makes picking your favorite harder.
Enough dilly-dallying, though – on to the stories!
Stacy Overby – @dontpanic2011
“Smith Sisters. This is Rita.”
“Are you both there?”
“Yes, Mr. Orange. Rita and I are both here,” Laura rolled her eyes.
“And you’re in a public place?”
“As requested,” Laura was glad Rita answered, and in a much politer tone than Laura figured she could manage with this potential contract.
“Send me the proof of your, ah, charms shall we say.”
Laura rolled her eyes again, this time at his lame attempt at a double entendre that fell quite flat. She sent him several files via her open laptop. Laura could see Rita was still a little distracted, so she started to prepare herself for the public demonstration request she knew was coming.
And, just like clockwork, it came. Laura both loved and hated this song and dance. It was a necessary evil in hers and Rita’s line of work, but it was old. She usually let Rita be in charge of this part, but Rita clearly wasn’t up for it right now. Rita usually loved it.
“Well?” he prompted from the cell phone.
Rita nodded, giving Laura tacit permission and acknowledging she was in no position to perform the demonstration. Rita picked up the phone and switched it to Face Time. Laura took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Several moments of still silence passed. Then, Rita could see a subtle shift come over Laura. The power was clear when Laura opened her eyes.
Laura sauntered over to a table near Rita. Rita discreetly kept the phone’s camera focused on Laura. A business man was sitting at the table Laura picked. He seemed to be waiting for something, or someone. Rita couldn’t help but smile a little when Laura caught his attention. The man started to pant, almost literally. Laura was so good at this, much better than Rita. Then again, that may be because Laura was always in control. No matter what.
“You have a contract,” came from the phone.
Chad R. Smith – @crsmith4719
Rita hated public transportation. She hated the way she slid, ever so slightly on the cracked plastic seats as the bus took a slow wide turn. She grabbed the cold metal bar which served as an arm rest to steady herself. A thick film of other people’s grime covered the bar. Her slender fingers could feel the dirt of a thousand hands that touched the same place.
Instantly repulsed she withdrew her hand. The revulsion on her face was too evident as she stared at her open palm. She could not, and refused to hide her dismay. Still staring at her hand she touched her fingertips together, watching as they momentarily stuck together.
A successful meeting and a few celebratory drinks with Laura had started her day. Now, a simple bus ride across town threatened to destroy it. The stuffiness in her head made the ride even more traumatic. Dismayed and disgusted, she laid her head back on the faded blue seat and closed her eyes.
“What’s da matta dearie?” The scratchy voice broke her from her momentary peace.
“Little girl too damn good to ride da bus with us normal folk?” The old lady’s breath reeked of stale cigarettes and cheap wine.
Rita’s eyes flew open and her head popped up from where she was resting. Her wide eyes narrowed as she glared at the old woman. Her heart pounded and her head grew hot with fury.
“I cannot even close my eyes without someone ruining it,” she angrily said to herself.
The old woman mockingly grinned at her.
“Is it normal to not bathe daily?” Rita spat at the woman. “Is it normal to insult perfect strangers?” She suddenly felt powerful as the words came from a place inside her she keeps buried. A place that reminds her of her past.
The old woman drew back in shock. “I…”
“You nothing!” Rita interrupted. “I only wanted to rest for a few moments, but you just had to say something. You just had to accuse me of thinking I am better than you.”
Rita was standing now. Others on the bus were turning to look at her. In this moment she didn’t care. She was the center of attention. No one would walk on her today. Too many times have too many people taken advantage of her. Not today. Not ever again.
Renee Tennis-McKinley – @2old2tap
Rita glared at her reflection in the mirror. She looked awful. The cold wasn’t budging and it was just a miracle she made it through the conference call. Thankfully Laura had been on her game and kept the conversation grounded.
A yawn, interrupted by a new bout of coughing brought Rita back to the perusal of her image. Her eyes were bloodshot and puffy. Her nose reddened and tender from the continuous application of tissues. With a sigh she pulled the bottle from the medicine cabinet.
As much as she needed to dampen her symptoms and get a good night’s sleep, Rita was hesitant to dose herself again. The dreams induced by the vile liquid were becoming harder to shake off. The most recent dream had conjured a name for the mystery man. At the thought, Rita’s lips tingled at the memory.
“No.” She spoke to the mirror, “I’m not going to do it!”
She replaced the bottle and shuffled out of the bathroom. Her slippers scuffed the carpet, the small noise causing her head to pound. She dropped onto the couch grabbing the knitted throw from the back. She wrapped herself in its warmth. As long as she stayed upright she kept the drainage from choking her. She closed her eyes and drifted into an unsettled doze.
“You’re back! I didn’t think I would see you so soon.” He reached to stroke her cheek.
Rita pulled back, “Who are you? Why do you haunt my sleep?”
His eyes filled with hurt, “I’m Walter. I’ve always been here for you.”
“Not always. Only if I use that gawd-awful cold medicine.” Rita narrowed her eyes, “which I did not take tonight!”
“No, I’m always here, Rita. You just don’t remember…”
“Oh, I’d remember, just like I remembered last night’s dream.”
Walter sighed, “It’s not a dream to me, Rita.”
“Really? Then, I think it’s time you explain why that is!”
Well there are your choices – all with awesome potential, so I’m really looking forward to which one gets picked and how they continue. Thanks to all the participants – Chad, Stacy, and Renee. You guys are awesome and I’m so glad you found the time to play my contest!
Voting time! Spread the word and show these great writers some much deserved love!
Since the post went up late (shame on me), voting will be open until Monday morning, 8AM EST.
As always, think happy thoughts!