Friday, May 11, 2012

Red Writing Hood Prompt

Today I am doing something a little different: I am participating in an exercise from Write on Edge.  We were instructed to tell a story in 500 words or less to accompany the prompt, "Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane."  The following is part memoir, part fiction.  What do you think?




Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.  I stopped walking and drew my breath in sharply.  Normally when I left the library after dark I called Campus Security to request a ride home in one of their vans, but tonight I just wanted to get some fresh air after spending so much time studying for my upcoming exam.

I heard cars whizzing by on Archer Road and saw the flashes from their headlights as they passed by on the other side of the trees that stood fifty yards to my left. 

I edged my way toward the road in the off chance the men hadn’t seen me on the path.  They looked at each other and, with a silent nod of understanding, started to walk toward me. 

My heart raced as I picked up my pace and cut across the grass toward the trees that lined the sidewalk along the busy street.  I heard the pounding of their feet on the ground as they inched closer to me.  I held my breath as one of them touched my elbow and spoke softly into my ear.

“Hey there, beautiful.  We’re lost, can you tell us how to get back to the interstate?”

“My, my, you sure do have some creamy white thighs,” the other thug said as his eyes scanned my body.

The men stood on either side of me, so close I could feel the heat emanating from their bodies.

“Yeah, you got any girlfriends we could meet?  Do all ya’ll Gainesville gals look so good?” the first one said while switching a toothpick back and forth in his mouth and nodding his head.

“Mmmmhmmm, I just love Florida girls.  All blond and tan.  C’mon, honey, show us your pretty smile, too.”  The man grinned down at me with his tobacco stained teeth.

I darted my eyes back and forth trying to decide what to do next.  My knees shook and I began to sweat profusely.  Suddenly I heard laughter.  I stole a glance behind me and saw a group of fraternity guys walking toward us on the sidewalk.  The two men looked at each other as I scanned the crowd of guys to see if I recognized anyone.  Immediately I recognized my friend, Neil, in the group.  As the boys approached us, he called out to me.  My would-be abductors ran off into the trees, quickly vanishing into the blackness of the night.

As we walked back to my dorm, I told Neil what happened.  I thanked Neil and the rest of the guys for safely escorting me back home and ran upstairs to take a long, hot shower. 

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like Neil and his friends arrived in the nick of time! You conveyed their menace and your fear very well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - they did! (The strange thing is that this is mostly true, my rescuers really did show up out of nowhere). Thank you for your compliment, it was really a scary moment - albeit a bit changed to fit the prompt. :-)

      Delete
  2. You capture the dread well. The dialogue is especially creepy, as are those teeth. And "creamy white thighs?" Cringe.

    Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. That quote? That was for real. Some things you never forget.

      Delete
  3. I'm so glad the frat boys showed up. As I read this I thought to myself, OMG this is my worst fear. I've, thankfully, never had an experience like this, but each time I'm walking or running alone the thought crosses my mind and it seems every person I approach I am scared of. Scary stuff, great writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lindy, I never actually walked around campus by myself after dark. In reality, this happened in broad daylight and the frat boys were for real. Truth really is stranger than fiction sometimes.... Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  4. Wow...the fact that it's based on a real incident is even scarier! The end of the piece kind of tripped me up a little. It seems a bit abrupt. Maybe that's just me though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about the ending but I wanted to stay within the word limit and, actually, that's kinda how it really happened. The whole experience was terribly abrupt which was one more reason why it was so unsettling.

      Delete
  5. Oh I've so been there. The memory never dies.

    My only concrit is minor: you used the word "recognized" twice and too close together and it detracts a little from the narrative. Perhaps "Thankfully, Neil stood out." or something similar?

    Anyhow, so brave the retelling...I hate reliving those moments. Kudos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness - you're right! I think I changed some wording earlier in the piece for a similar reason and completely overlooked that. I also agree with Wisper - I might be able to tweak the ending a bit to keep it stronger all the way through. Thanks!

      Delete
  6. What a scary situation. Thank goodness you had Neil arrive to rescue you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No kidding, right? It was a very stressful moment in my life....

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Annmarie, thanks for reading! The real story happened about 24 years ago, and I can still so easily remember that feeling of being violated. It was something I'll never forget, I think, and I surprised myself at how readily the emotions came back as I wrote this. Very scary and creepy indeed.

      Delete
  8. Every woman on earth can understand the long hot shower here. Nice detail. This reminded me of a scene from the book Practical Magic, where one of the girls is running from two men. A powerful scene.

    PS You were the final entry for my last Blog Mingle at GirlwithaNewLife.com so you are up for the next feature. Please email me your response to this prompt: What is the title track to your life soundtrack?

    If you want to be featured, please email me your response by end of day Tuesday 5/15 at selfexpressionevents (at) yahoo (dot) com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, thanks, Tina! I'll get busy writing....

      Delete
  9. Ooo... creepy! You were so lucky! The tension in your piece is very real as is the dialogue.

    In terms of concrit, I would bump it up at your beginning narrative: "Normally when I left the library after dark I called Campus Security to request a ride home in one of their vans, but tonight I just wanted to get some fresh air after spending so much time studying for my upcoming exam."

    I'd play this up a little, give your reader more of a sense of the impending doom. Your narrator walks toward the phone, picks it up to call, smells the breeze and changes her mind.... As it reads now, you just know something bad is going to go down - playing with your readers expectations should even further increase the tension.

    -Barbara @ de rebus
    www(dot)barbaragildea(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I like it! Thanks, Barbara!

      Delete
  10. excellent story telling--i like this kind of writing exercise!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lynn! I enjoyed it, as well!

      Delete