Clearly last week’s momentum didn’t carry over to this week, but that’s okay! As long as I get something down, the week is a success. Not to mention my day job was more stressful than usual this week, and that had a lot to do with my lack of motivation for anything else. Anyway, the writing goes on!
We’re straying from my usual prompts to contribute a piece to Our Write Side’s Coldly Calculating prompt series. I’ve done a couple of pieces for it in the past, so it’s not entirely new. This week, with Master Class MIA, I didn’t think I’d get around to writing anything until I saw Coldly Calculating. The prompt is too good to pass up, and fits quite nicely with Secondhand Soul/Provisional Freedom.
So here we go! To continue our deviation from the usual, this piece will be from more than one POV – Marcus’ thoughts will be joining Paola’s.
Prompt: Behind the eight ball.
I know Videl said not to stare, but it’s kind of hard not to. She walks in first, hers and her partner’s voices preceding them. Marcus – I think that’s what she said his name is – walks in after her. His eyes immediately call my attention – two pools of ever-moving greenish-black liquid spilling out and onto his cheeks. Somehow, his eyes are hollow but there at the same time. It’s an unnerving effect, to say the least, and I can’t’ help but be trapped in that unnatural gaze.
Even though his eyes should be impossible to read, the terror is clear when he looks at me. Why is he scared? Marcus’ entire body tenses, and he’s frozen in place at the door, ready to bolt.
“Marcus? Are you okay?” Videl turns toward her partner. She looks like she wants to touch him, but holds back.
Videl’s voice barely registers in my mind.
The girl looks at me, but not with fear. Her eyes are wide and she tenses, but I assume Videl warned her about my eyes. Too bad nobody warned me about hers. When was the last time I saw those eyes? That face? I can’t even bring myself to look at Max for an explanation. Do they even know? Would they have brought the girl here if they did? Something tells me Max wouldn’t care one way or the other.
When Videl turns to look at me, concern clouding her eyes, I want nothing more than to run. Her voice hardly registers, and the silence draws out for longer than I care to keep track. It’s not until Videl moves to stand in front of me, blocking my view of the girl that I finally come to, the urge to get away still deep in my bones.
“Marcus? Hey, look at me.” Videl’s words are whispers, for my ears only. When my eyes meet hers again, I force myself to relax. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s…it’s nothing.” Maybe a part of me always knew I’d have to face what I did again eventually. Is it like this for all of us? There’s no use worrying Videl about it, not right now. “I’m fine.”
I’m clearly lying, but Videl must see something in my face that reassures her. She’ll ask about it later, of course, but for now she lets it go. When she turns, she addresses the girl. “Sorry about that, Paola – he’s, um, self-conscious. I did tell you not to stare.”
“Sorry.” I tear my gaze away from Marcus, but there’s something deeply uncomfortable about the way he’s standing. There’s a new tension in the room, like we’re all waiting for something to snap. Beside me, Max places a hand on my shoulder, though it’s not very reassuring.
And they finally meet! I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to work in their connection to the overall conflict. We’ll see how it goes.
As always, think happy thoughts!