Friday, November 16, 2012

Rain on the Window-Write on Edge
Crack!  Lightening ignites the evening sky.

“1 second, 2 seconds…Wow, that was close,” cries Toni aloud as the thunder rolls.
A second later the power snaps off, leaving her office in the dark. Toni moves from her desk to the window. She watches as rain pours out of the sky, leaving murky rivulets of rainwater on the window.  She sees lights flicker off, all over the low buildings surrounding the nearly empty parking lot.  

Walking to her door, she calls out, “Is anyone else still here?” She is answered with silence.  “I guess it's time to go home.” 
Turning to her desk, she places her laptop into her bag and drops her phone into her pocket.  Toni Swift, generally, does not work so late, however, since the rain and thunder and power failures, have gone on all day, she decides to finish the report to the board of directors and time got away from her tonight.
The power is still out when she reaches the elevator lobby, so she turns to the emergency exit.  “It’s only three flights, piece of cake.” Opening the door she can barely see the stairs, with only emergency lights flashing.  “These are safety lights?” Carefully, Toni maneuvers the dark stairs, to the ground floor.  

Opening the door to the lobby, she is confronted by a dark and empty security desk, “Where's Bart?” She went for the glass doors but they are locked.  “Dammit” she mutters. Noticing the parking lot being hammered by the storm she silently curses for not changing her shoes, forgetting her umbrella and staying so late.

Defeated, she slumps into a waiting chair, “Now what? Usually a guard is on duty at night," she thinks. "Someone needs to let me out." 
She rises and moves toward the high desk. Noticing the service phone off the hook, she tries to dial, but the line is dead.  A blaze of lightning and thunder outside, makes her jump.  The lobby is momentarily as bright as daylight and Toni notices someone sprawled on the floor behind the desk. 
“Are you alright?” She feels the panic rising.

Kneeling down behind the desk she searches for a pulse and listens for breathing.  Her hand comes away, as she realizes it's Bart, and he appears lifeless. 

“Oh God,” she reaches into her pocket for her cell phone and dials 911. 

“911, do you need police, fire, ambulance?" announces the operator. 
“I guess.... an ambulance or... police.  I'm locked in at Cranfield and our guard is injured, I...I think he's dead!” 

.  This week WOE prompt is Rain.  I am back to writing, with a new subject, mystery and a new character.


  1. "leaving murky rivulets of rainwater..." Love little details like this throughout the piece. Sometimes description is left out like this in a shorter piece, but you've done a great job of infusing it and still sticking to the 400 word count. Well done!

  2. Oooo.... suspense. Of course I got kind of scared the minute I realized she was in an office building, alone, and the lights were out. I work in an office building (on the third floor) and I would be a basket case under those circumstances.

  3. I thought that you did a great job building the tension, and I thought the safety light line was perfect.

  4. Hello Cliffhanger. I appreciate the suspenseful pacing here, especially how the momentum picks up at the crucial moment she discovers the body. By the time we arrive here I know a little bit about her, that she is a corporate professional of some kind, and that she is not daunted by 3 flights of stairs--i.e. she's got some confidence. If there is ever more word count added here I would love to know something delicious about her character.

    Stopping by from Write on Edge.

  5. Great suspense and way to end it in a way that leaves me wanting more.

  6. Good, suspense-building here, drop by drop, so to speak.

  7. Not a good place to be, Toni! Liked the last line, such a good cut off place, leaving the readers asking a lot of "whys"!

    stopping by from the WOE linkup

  8. Nice job of building suspense here. There are a couple places where the sentences get a little long, and breaking those up might help build it even more.

  9. Echoing Angela--this started as a normal day and ended in a very different place. Nice job taking us on the journey. There are some places where you could tighten the prose: "She sees lights flicker off" to "Lights flicker off..." and "She is answered with silence" (passive voice).