#SwiftFicFriday – Week 13 Vote

#SwiftFicFriday – Week 13 Vote

Another prompt, another round of great responses! Check them out below and vote for your favorite:

Story 1 by Terry Brewer

Nelson at Trafalgar

“You should have done this weeks ago.”

“Look. Are you going to lecture me or help?”

“Sorry. There’ll be time to lecture you later.”

She was like this. Not lazy. Just unfocused. Like Emma Woodhouse. Too willing to place a book down when she found it boring or some other diversion. Too ready to find almost anything a sufficient diversion.

I was her Knightley, willing to overlook her faults since I was overtaken by her charms.

But we had only hours to finish her essay on Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar. She’d selected the topic when she got into her head that Nelson was a tragic romantic destined to leave the woman he loved destitute. Her history prof but a quick end to that, mandating that she discuss the tactics of the famous battle.

I got to her room at about eight, armed with a bag of snacks to tide us over. The paper was due electronically by nine.

We made good progress until one. We then went for a walk down the dorm’s corridors. We were not the only ones up. Black Sabbath was screeching from someone’s room, presumably another facing the nine am deadline.

Back at her room at half-past one, after we both splashed our faces with cold water and drank our umpteenth cup of dank coffee, we held out for the duration. Perhaps sleep-deprivation proved its worth as we both saw clearly—or at least thought we saw clearly—the key ingredients for the paper.

It was our first, though not last, sleepless night together. The others have been more pleasant. I do not tire of reminding her that she should have done the work sooner. Her retort: who knows whether I would have fallen in love with you if I did. True.

She got an “A”.

Story 2 by Louisa Bacio

The sheets wrapped around her ankle and Mariel struggled, twisting, pulling, only further tangling in the mess. Reaching under the covers, she yanked at the material and freed her foot and tried to get comfortable. She chased a good night’s sleep like Diana on the hunt.

Every moment she shut her eyes, images of him surfaced. Somewhere in the darkness, she feared he lurked, watching her. If she fell asleep, he’d hover beside the bed, staring.

Something shifted to the right where she’d piled shopping bags from the mall that she reused for trash rather than outright tossing them. Probably nothing. Gravity.
Crumble. Slither. Creak.

A step in the hallway caught her attention. She held her breath, straining to hear everything and anything.

“Mine.” The faintest whisper brushed against Mariel’s ear. She shrieked, striking at only air.

She flapped her hand against the wall, searching for the light switch. It clicked, and nothing. Panic tightened in her chest. She pushed the toggle the other way. Darkness prevailed. There were two switches, one close to the hallway – where there was a possibility of someone laying in wait – and the one above the bed. Both were supposed to work the light, but every now and then something failed and she had to use the other one.

That meant putting her feet down, and the creature under the bed grabbing her. She glanced at the clock, four thirty-two. In a little over an hour, dawn would bring enough light to chase away the monsters. Better to stay in bed, awake and real quiet, until then.

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