The view might be nice, but a surprise is waiting
With Uni in full-swing and a seemingly endless number of essay assignments to do, switching from academic writing to creative writing has been becoming more difficult. To help get my brain out of academic mode, I went in search of some story prompts I can use as warm-up exercises before working on my main fiction work.
During my search, I discovered a great little eBook at Creative Writing Now called 30 Days of Inspiration: A Month’s Worth of Writing Ideas.
Now, I am probably not going to be posting a story every day for 30 days, but I thought this would be a great resource for the purpose of warming up my brain and redirecting it from an academic focus. As a bonus, there might be some more regular posting on Writing From The Ashes.
So, here is today’s effort…
Prompt: Your character moves into a new apartment. On the surface, the place seemed ideal, but his/her first night there, your character discovers a terrible problem with the place that he/she didn’t take into account…
“Oh, wow Sally! This is amazing! Look at that view!”
“I know, Jan. It was a great find, wasn’t it? Thanks for coming over and helping me move in. I would still be unloading boxes if you hadn’t been here.”
“No problem. Besides, this view is definitely worth it, along with the beer and pizza, of course.”
Sally laughed. She knew Jan was probably only half-joking about the beer and pizza because Jan would do anything if food was a reward. In fact, Jan had turned her love of food into a very profitable lifestyle as The Food Guru – although Sally still wasn’t exactly sure what the work involved, other than eating lots of food.
“Look,” Jan exclaimed. “You can see the Bridge from here! I’d just live out here on the balcony, if I were you, Sal. Maybe you should set up a little bar and barbie at the end there? Imagine sitting here eating…”
“Enough with the food-talk, Jan. You’re making my tummy hurt. Where is that pizza anyway? It should have been here by now.”
Jan glanced at her watch. Sally was right, the pizza should have arrived half an hour ago.
“It’s certainly not like James to have his deliveries running late. You did give him this address, didn’t you Jan? You didn’t accidentally give him yours, or my old one?”
“Of course, I gave him the right address. I’ll give him a call and find out what’s going on. I’m sure there must be a good reason it’s not here.”
“Well, I hope you have service on your phone, Jan,” Sally said. “When I first came to view the place I noticed there was no mobile service here. The realtor said it has something to do with this particular building. I didn’t worry about it too much because I was getting a landline connected anyway. The problem right now, of course, is that it’s not connected yet.”
“Nope, no service,” said Jan. “I’ll just go down to the street and call then. Coming with?”
Sally tried not to groan as she stood up. Her body ached all over from the day’s heavy lifting. “Sure, why not?” she said.
The two women walked into the elevator and pressed the button for the ground floor. As the doors opened and they walked into the foyer, they were surprised to see nothing but steel. The whole ground floor had been surrounded by floor-to-ceiling solid steel walls. There were no doors or other signs of an exit.
“What are you two misfits doing? Turn around slowly with your hands in the air!”
Sally yelped in surprise at the deep voice behind her. As she turned, she saw Jan had lost all colour from her face.
“Hold it right there.”
Two large men were standing in front of Sally and Jan. One was holding a weapon of some sort, possibly a gun, although Sally could not see it clearly. Was this some kind of robbery?
“Do you have some identification,” the older of the two men asked.
Sally hesitated. What was going on here? She hadn’t brought her handbag with her, because Jan was only going to the street to make a phone call. What had they inadvertently walked into.
“Are you deaf? I asked if you have any identification.”
“N..n..not on me,” Sally stuttered. “We were just coming down to make a phone call. I didn’t bring my bag.”
“Phone call? You must be the new tenant then?”
“No one gets in or out of here after 10pm, didn’t they tell you?”
“What?” Sally and Jan said in unison.
“Damn that real estate! Look,” the younger man said as he put his weapon away and walked toward the women, “there’s a refuge on the first two floors of this place, and as an extra security measure, the whole building shuts down at 10pm. No one in, and no one out. The doors are locked and the steel security shutters are closed. Sorry ladies, you’ll have to wait until morning to make that phone call. I can’t believe they didn’t tell you.”
“It was probably in the fine print,” the older man said.
Sally was dumbfounded. She wasn’t sure she could believe her ears. Was this guy for real? Although, he seemed real enough. Surely the realtor would have filled her in on something this important, wouldn’t he?
“But we need food,” Jan said. “We’ve been moving furniture and boxes all day, and now we’re starving. How do we get some food? We ordered pizza, but obviously that’s not gonna get through those doors. Is there some kind of cafeteria or something in this building? How do people get food?”
Sally wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.