For the visually challenged writer, the black & white photo shows a woman standing in a small, dark room. She facing the opposite wall, which has a row of small rectangular windows high up on it through which sunlight is illuminating the smoke or fog-filled room.
It started as a joke, a friendly banter between friends, or she had thought they were friends.
She hadn’t any inkling of the machinations they were plotting. The reality dawned on her when she found herself bound and left a captive in an abandoned location and to her shame realized that she was a victim of a global conspiracy to silence the voices raised against the oppressive tactics of big businesses who wanted anyone dissenting, silenced.
When she strained against her bounds, pulling on the rope, it suddenly gave away, becoming unraveled. It seemed that those goons had tied her with a slipknot at the end of her bond. How can anyone be that stupid? She thought. Or was this another conspiracy? So many questions and she had no answer!
First of all, she had to get out of this grotto, and then she’ll figure out the rest.
There is a general air of depression around us, in my beloved country where the rights of people are being usurped by those in power. We are feeling like caged birds, our wings clipped and our imagination trapped. This is to remind me and everyone to stay strong.
” Learn to write by doing it. Read widely and wisely. Increase your word power. Find your individual voice through practising constantly. Go through the world with your eyes and ears open and learn to express that experience in words.”
P. D. James.
The best way of learning how to do something is by doing it. Writing and reading are the best way to improve your writing skills.
When I started writing for my blog, I had very limited writing experience, having never written regularly except for what I needed to do for my academics. The more I wrote, the easier it became for me. The fact that I’m an avid reader helped me because I had words at my disposal.
In blogging, one needs new ideas for blog posts and life around us is a rich source of new ideas. For my Sunday poser, I harvest ideas from what’s going around me in real life and also from reading blogs of my friends. So keeping our eyes open and observing pays dividends when it comes to getting ideas of what to write about. In fact, most writers would agree that all the seeds of fiction are born out of real life situations and experiences.
I agree with this very wise quote; It’s all that we need to hone our skills as a writer- read, write, and observe the life around us! What are your thoughts about this quote?
He was somewhat physically attractive, but it was his personality, his humor that got her to accept a date with him. Over the course of the last three weeks, they had talked for hours, sometimes getting so caught up in the conversation, neither slept.
Work had been a nightmare.
The pictures he chose for his profile were of the man sitting in front of her, no filters, no hazy images, and certainly not a single image from when he was practically in second grade; no, he was honest. She truly appreciated his honesty.
He asked her out, and she couldn’t say no — she liked the person she got to know too much.
As she looked at him, she thought: How bad could it be? His eyes expressed joy, a little laughter, and his mouth was soft, without a hidden grimace.
Her experience with blind dates hadn’t been good, but her romantic inclination always implored her to give men the benefit of the doubt. It hadn’t worked out well so far but she thought: Truly, how bad could it be? Buy a meal. Drink something. Walk a ways. Maybe hold hands. Maybe even get in a kiss at the door of the taxi. She’s wasn’t taking him home, or going home with him, but she did so want to smell what he smelled like in a hug. She wanted to feel the texture of his skin, run her fingers up his hairy forearm. She wanted to check his teeth, to see if he was clean, and read the lines in his hands to see if he will live long.
While she was thinking all these things that he couldn’t read, he thought: I need to get you into my bed. Not a romantic but he wanted to hold her hand and look at it. He imagined putting a ring on her finger, not the ring. He also wanted a silver glittering bracelet on her thin wrist. He wanted to smell her skin and the top of her head and run his lips across her cheek. He really just wanted to feel whole.
There was something magical happening between them and they were both feeling it. After they finished their coffee and dessert, Peter grabbed her hand, gently squeezed it and said, “These last three weeks have been life changing for me, Liz. I feel as if we’ve known each other forever. I know this is our first actual face-to-face date, but I am hoping I can persuade you to come back to my place for an after dinner drink. I only live a few blocks from here and I promise to be a perfect gentleman.”
Not too perfect a gentleman, I hope, Liz thought to herself. She felt flush. A slight tingling ran through her whole body. She was trying to decide if it was a warning sign or if it was an erotic rush. Perhaps it was both. Like Peter, she, too, felt as if it had been months, not just three weeks, since they first started talking, and she knew that she wanted him as much as he seemed to want her.
She was about to say yes to his proposal to join him for an after dinner drink at his place when a man, obviously intoxicated, walked up to the table, put his hands on Peter’s shoulders, and said, “Petey! Of all the gin joints, dude.” The guy looked over at Liz, ran his tongue across his lips, and said, “And looky, looky, looky at this hot chick you bagged. I see your mojo’s still running hot and heavy.”
… flung down a wad of bills to cover the check, grabbed Liz’s hand, and said “Let’s get out of here. I know a shortcut through the kitchen. Hurry up!”
Liz was not happy about this turn of events, nor Peter’s sudden nasty tone of voice, and her desire for him evaporated instantly like a snowflake on her tongue. God, another loser, with a bunch of loser friends. Why does this always happen to me?
She pulled her hand away and stated, “I’ll get an Uber. Thanks for dinner.”
As Liz strode in the opposite direction to the lobby of the restaurant, she took her phone from her purse and tapped the Uber app. She sensed a presence behind her and whirled around, expecting to see Peter, but instead his friend stood there.
“Hi,” he said. “I want to apologize for my behavior at the table. I, uh, reacted badly when I saw Peter, and I wanted to get revenge for something he did years ago. Unfortunately, I put you in the middle of it, and that was inexcusable.”
Liz scowled at him. “If it’s inexcusable, then quit making excuses. I don’t want to be part of whatever petty drama you two are caught up in. Now, I’m going to get a ride and try to forget this evening ever happened.”
“Petty drama?” he laughed bitterly. “Peter was responsible for the death of my fiancée, is all. But OK, you didn’t know. I’m Charlie, by the way.”
“Whatever,” she muttered, noting that he seemed perfectly sober now.
Charlie continued, “Look, I can’t let you get an Uber. Haven’t you read the news about the serial rapist? We think he’s posing as a driver.”
“‘We?’ We who? You and your imaginary friends?” Liz snarked as she continued the procedure for getting a ride.
Liz said, “This whole night has been a total disaster and Peter sounded so promising and now I have to worry about a serial rapist. It is no wonder my good friend Paula has given up on trying to find love, as who needs all these complications in their life. Has this serial rapist been attacking multiple victims, or is this a single victim that was raped repeatedly over a period of time? Whatever, it is horrible, but I would feel a lot safer if it was a single victim, and don’t judge me for saying that, as I feel really bad for her and for anyone that had to go through an ordeal like that. What is wrong with men these days and why are they so unbalanced and out of control?”
Charlie answered, “I guess a lot of men have not grown up yet, as physically they are men, but mentally they are still mixed-up youths. The women have all the power when it comes to dating and that can be dehumanizing for the average guy. Men are expected to make all the first move, so this requires them to be confident and assertive and most women only care about money, and they constantly look for any possible red flag to give them an excuse to ghost the guy. Dating is unfair and when a guy is honest it is even worse, so you can’t go around blaming men for everything that is wrong. How about since I ruined your date, that I give you a ride back to your home, so you won’t have to worry about the rapist?”
Liz said, “That sounds nice, but first I have to make sure that you are not a rapist. Let me take a picture of your badge and your driver’s license and I will email them to my mom and then I will feel safe being with you. What kind of car are you driving, and I am going to want to take a picture of your license plate also. While you are answering my questions Charlie, tell me how much money you make being a cop.” Charlie said I have a Lincoln Continental and I am more than just a cop, as I am a detective and I do alright. Charlie held his arm out for Liz to hold on to, and they walked out the door together.
Liz said, “This is more like it”, as they drove toward her home and then an alert came on Charlies’ police radio. The voice said we have a 2513 on Washington Avenue and all available units are to proceed to help out. Charlie said that he was still on duty and that he should respond and that he could take Liz with him if she promised to stay in the car, because this could get dangerous. Liz asked, “What is a 2513” and Charlie told her that is a possession of firearm by a person addicted to a narcotic drug. Liz said, “Oh, let’s go!”
When they pulled up to the scene, with all the flashing lights and a crowd already gathered, Liz felt adrenaline course through her body. Wow, she thought, this is a real crime scene!
“Don’t get out of the car!” Charlie barked as he leapt from the car.
Of course she wouldn’t get out, she thought, everyone had seen this stuff on television. The innocent bystander just has to see what is going on…they go…they get killed…story over. Nah, she’d stay put.
Taking out her phone to prep it for a video of this whole thing she jumped as someone rapped on her window.
“Open up,” Peter shouted from the street.
“What? What are you doing here?” Liz screamed through the glass.
“Just open up and I’ll tell you,” Peter said.
With that Liz reached back and unlocked the back door of the Lincoln. Jim Peter jumped in and slammed the door.
“Did you see that?” he huffed out.
“See what? I have no idea what is even going on. Why are you here?”
“I should ask you the same question!” replied Peter.
“Well your friend felt bad about ruining my night and when I said I was going to get an Uber home he told me about this serial rapist that is posing as an Uber driver and raping and killing women. He offered to bring me home. I had no idea where you even went off to or what the hell was going on. I still don’t!”
“Listen, Liz,” Peter said, “I wasn’t totally honest with you but I never lied about the way I felt about you. Charlie threw me for a loop and I got nervous. You see, about a year ago he was dating my sister, Meg. Him and Meg were engaged and I really tried convincing Meg not to go through with it. She was furious with me and told me that she was going to elope so that her and Charlie could get married and move on with their lives. I told her there was no way I would let my little sister marry such a creep. Charlie isn’t a great cop or detective like he says he is. He’s dirty. No one can ever catch him and I can’t prove it but I know the truth.”
“So what does this have to do with anything?” Liz asked.
“Well, the night they were supposed to run off I told Meg I needed to borrow her car for work. She didn’t care because they were taking this piece of crap,” Peter pointed around him. “Next thing I know she is walking down the sidewalk with her thumb out. I was like, what the hell are you doing?, and she said she was hitching a ride to meet Charlie since she had no car to use. Next thing I know a Dodge Ram pulls up and she jumps inside. The truck takes off and I am left in the dust with my jaw hanging open. Well, the guy in the Ram, he killed her. He took her out past that old brick building off I75 and raped and killed her.” His voice started to quaver. “It’s all my fault. If only I had let her take her car.”
“Oh my God, that’s what Charlie was talking about and that is the rapist he was warning me about! But I don’t get it. What does any of this have to do with Charlie being a dirty cop?” Liz asked.
“I think Charlie had a run in with that driver over a drugs bust and somehow he found out about Meg, which is why he killed her. The rape was just to cover his tracks to suggest it was the serial rapist who is still out there.” Liz was now between a rock and a hard place, not knowing what to do. “Look, ” Peter said. “You shouldn’t be here. He should not have brought you when he’s on duty. He’s put you in danger, even if you stay in the car. Come with me, my car is round the corner and I’ll take you home, which I should have done in the first place.” Liz reached for her bag and as they were just about to get out of the car, they heard shots. ‘Officer down!’ came across the radio and Peter and Liz looked at each other in horror…………………………..
I have been nominated by Di to continue this story
Very soon it was apparent that the policeman hit was Charlie. Liz was in a shock at how things had changed rapidly and now the person she was thinking of as a potential mate was accusing the Charlie of being dishonest and corrupt. Charlie, who had “ rescued” her from an embarrassing situation was killed in an encounter with a drug addict with a firearm in his possession.
She had had enough trauma and drama to last her a long time. She flagged a taxi, bid Peter a frosty goodbye, and left the scene.
Next time she’ll only accept a date from a person she has actually met and not someone from a dating site.
The story is now at more than 2300 words so I thought it’s time to end it.
Thanks everyone for participating in this saga. And Marla for starting this story.
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