A Flash of Red

Today won’t be pictures. Today I will focus on my other passion… writing. Especially fiction writing. I do well with my own stories, but seem to stretch to write fiction.

I feel like it’s a muscle I have to flex. It’s weak and unused, a little work out won’t hurt it, and maybe I’ll have a gun one day.

This week’s prompt for Red Writing Hood is based on dramatic entrance, courtesy of Webook. Write a short story based on this prompt:

An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate-glass window. The driver’s door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out.

For a split-second her jumpy eyes take in the glass shards, the frozen figures with chutes of amber, and the stoic illuminated paintings lining the walls. Then, she ran.

Her legs scramble for purchase over the slick floor. Feet crunching over millions of crystal fragments, digging into the bottom of her new red sneakers. She darted over the top of the broken window rim and hit the sidewalk. She found traction and soared. Red shoes flying with her gray hoodie flapping at her back. She heard the faintest of gasps from the porcelain people she left behind, but she couldn’t think about them as she made for a destination unknown.

She didn’t know where, only that she had to get away from the destruction of this place as fast as possible. It wouldn’t be hard for them to spot and they would be on her tail. Again. Stupid to take that wrong turn and hit the gas instead of the brake. Stupidstupidstupid. She knew better. She wasn’t new to running, or car jacking for that matter. She didn’t mean to break the law, but she had to survive. If they found her, and locked her away, she wouldn’t be able to find Sam.

Sam was the only one who could help. He had kind eyes. He gave her a nice meal and the new red shoes. She could tell him what she saw and what happened to her parents.

She listened to feet and breath smack and wheeze over the dark sidewalk. Listening for movement; of cars, sirens, and that other sound – the click of the gun cock. She shuddered in her sprint, but didn’t miss a step. A scuffling from a dark corner sent her in a scurry down the nearest alleyway, and behind a dumpster. She bent down out-of-breath. Gasping and listening desperately. Her unwashed hair beaded sweat on her gray shirt, the dirty blond strands splayed darker from the moisture, short and to her chin, it didn’t bother her at this point. She focused on breathing. She listened to her heart pound, and closed her liquid brown eyes, also beading – with tears.

Viciously she wiped her face, and squeezed the tears away. There was no time for it. She had a vastly important message. One that could save lives. She was the only hope and she had to stay sharp. She could not afford any more mistakes. She just had to get out of this. She withdrew the crumpled picture of Sam from the pocket of her faded black jeans. He was handsome with soft curls of brown hair, and brilliantly blue eyes. His smile brought her fond memories of swings and laughter. An innocent time. Numbers were printed neatly on the back. Still readable. An address. She had to get there, no matter how far, no matter which way, no matter what law she had to break to do it.

The sound of tires crunching over gravel creep slowly by the alleyway entrance. She moved her thin arms and legs into a wicked crouch. Poking her red shoes under a box, slipping the hoodie over head and borrowing down. The car inched by flashing a spotlight over the dumpsters. She stayed unmoving until it was far past and she could no longer hear the quiet engine purr.

Time to move.

Do I Have Fleas or What?

Thank goodness, my fingernails are  chewed short, otherwise I’d look like I got into a fight with a couple of cats and LOST. I’ve got a tube of Cortaid in one hand. The other hand is scratching away, like an old mangy dog.

Seriously, I have NO idea what is wrong with me. I thought it might be the new bottle of soap I got at Costco. It’s Neutrogena brand,  possibly I’m allergic to an ingredient used in it’s making, or maybe even my detergent. I checked and I didn’t buy the clear brand. It was a  lavender fragrance.

However, my HEAD is also itching. I KNOW I didn’t put detergent, nor body wash on my head.  Surely, I’m not turning into the bubble kid. I’ve been working out. Am I, all the sudden, allergic to my sweat?

Tuesday night, I was itching so incredibly bad, I am sure other students in Italian class were happy to be sitting away from me.  I was using my black ball point pen. I’d unclick the ink and and scrape with the metal tubing. Arms,  legs, then back. One time I forgot to unclick the pen and had black marks all up and down my arm.  How embarrassing!

Sometimes, there are tiny bumps, like really small ant bites,  but mostly nothing at all.  Just bright red squares of skin, irritated by fingers clawing it. I even woke up digging at my back in my sleep.

I thought, at first, it might be dry skin. I bought some Aveeno intense body cream. You know what? It hasn’t helped either. Twelve bucks down the drain.

My last resort is Benadryl, and I do mean last. Benadryl turns me into a monster. Seriously,  like my mother when we were little and she’d wake up from her nap. Angry, crazy-eyed, and on the war path. (shudder)

I wish I could say the itching was isolated to a certain place, but it’s not. Just today, here is how it went. Woke up with my lower back itching. Then, my arms were itching. Since I’ve been at my desk, my arm, left hand, left ear, right inner elbow, left side neck, and right side head have been on fire. It stings they itch so bad.

Do you feel like you have bugs crawling on you? Poison ivy? Ants in your pants? I do. I need some major itchy owie or a day in an oatmeal bath.

So, don’t mind me, apparently I’m allergic to AIR. At least typing keeps my fingers busy.

If you have secret remedies, please share. I am about five seconds away from checking myself into the funny farm.