Tuesday 18 March 2014

Stopping Through

This month's prompt comes from Creative Prompts and Exercises. It's entitled "Stopping Through", and it goes like this:

Motels are frequently depicted in novels, TV, and film. This week, write a scene that takes place in a motel. Perhaps it's a seedy, roadside fleabag; a clean, well-maintained establishment with a dark history; or simply a familiar setting for a dramatic turning point in your narrative. You can weave it into a short story or use it as a starting point for a new piece. It can be inspired by your own experience or entirely imagined.

The moment I read this, I was really excited because I knew exactly what I wanted to write. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Jesse sat on the bed of the small motel room, gun trained on the door. In the distance, he heard the voices of the couple he was interested in. Janie and Mark were coming down the hallway to the room, giggling. If Jesse closed his eyes, he could just imagine them walking hand in hand, eagerly anticipating their first night as a married couple.

But he wasn't about to close his eyes. Not after tracking that two-timing spy all the way from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and back again. No, Jesse wasn't going to miss one minute of seeing Janie squirm. He almost felt sorry for her new husband. Poor Mark didn't know who he'd gotten himself (quite literally) into bed with.

When the door opened, it was Mark who saw Jesse first. He was backing his new bride through the open door, with his lips locked onto hers and his hands clenched onto the back of her blouse, ready to pull it up over her head. As soon as he saw Jesse, he automatically pushed Janie away and to the side, as his jaw fell open.

“Mark, whats-” began Janie, before she spun around and saw her old partner, sitting there with a gun pointed at her chest.

“Hello, my old friend,” said Jesse with a smirk. “I see you've found a new play-thing. Does he have any idea who you are?”

“Leave him alone,” commanded Janie, now that she had regained some of her composure.

“Oh, I have no intention of bringing him to any harm,” replied Jesse, but as he said it he picked up a silencer from the bed beside him and began screwing it onto his pistol, “if you give me what I want.” He pointed the gun slowly at Mark, and said quietly “Close the door.”

Mark complied, his hands shaking. Turning around again, he managed to squeak, “Janie, what's going on here? Who is this man?”

“Yes,” said Jesse. “Tell him, Janie. Tell him exactly who I am, and exactly what's going on here. But first,” he trained the gun on Mark's leg, “tell me where my diamonds are!”

“I don't know what you're talking about!” snapped Janie.

Without saying a word, Jesse casually pulled the trigger. Mark screamed, and crumbled to the floor, sobbing and clutching his left leg, just above the knee. Blood seeped through his fingers. Janie was on the floor next to him in an instant, gripping Mark's hand and cooing to him. She turned and glared at Jesse: “You monster!”

“Oh, don't pretend you care about him,” said Jesse. “It wasn't too long ago that we were sharing a bed. You took my diamonds and left me high and dry, and three weeks later I hear you're in Joburg and engaged. Now,” he took aim at Mark's head this time, “I'm not going to ask again: where... are... my... diamonds?”

Don't forget, you can find out more about my writing, and maybe purchase a book or two, by clicking on My Books.

The image used for this post comes from Flickr. It's an image entitled Newcastle Hotel Room by user Rob Davies.

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