Writing 101, Day Two: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)

Prompt from here.
A tribute to tonight’s World Cup semifinal (hey, it’ll be 3AM Jakarta time when it plays).

Tomorrow we’re going to have the presidential election and everyone else is waiting for that, but really I’m more on the edge on the Brazil vs Germany match.

Placing one foot after another through the steps upstairs, he huffed each time his knee stings. The mug in his hands quivered unstoppably, almost making the iced coffee spill due to his arm shaking like the legs of a newborn deer.

‘Damn my leg!’ John Watson in BBC Sherlock once said.

That was exactly what he wanted to scream out. But then again his wife was upstairs with enough problems on her own and being a bored retiree didn’t mean he has the right to add to it.

She smiled at the sight of him. The dim lights illuminated her face, adding sparks to her eyes. He shot a smile back as he stepped on the second floor and joined her sitting on the couch, an old jersey of his laid across the leather arm as a reminder of the good old times.

‘Just in time,’ she said excitedly as she pulled the mug out of his hand to take a sip and brought her attention back to the television across the room.

The old man took a deep breath and leaned back. The fan hanging on the ceiling was creaking as it tries its hardest to keep working and the paint has turned a bit yellowish. The flowers on the wallpapers had faded a bit, leaving cloudy patterns behind instead of the peony petals it used to bear. The air was humid even though the window was open – the only square hole in the wall that allowed them to see the rare starry night every once in a while.

Then he heard them:
The voice of the commentator.
The voice of the crowd cheering.

He snapped his eyes back on the screen and saw the green field.
The scorching sunshine.
The running players.
The grand stadium.

In that instant, he could almost feel the wind blowing against his face.
The sound of forty-thousand supporters cheering in his ears.
The texture of the grass under his shoes.

In that instant, the pain on his knees were no more.
In that instant, he was back on the field.
And in that instant, he was back where he belonged.


Writing Challenge: Flash Fiction #2

Prompt from here.
A very old thing.
Two words: wartime grimness.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The soldier with jet-black hair stormed into the tent as he heard the echoing gunshot through the rain of bullets, expecting the worst.

He stopped at the sight of his friend curling by the corner.

The slightly younger man was holding a gun against his own head, pale-faced and trembling in terror. He screamed his name at the top of his lungs, then ran and threw a sharp jab on his face, knocking him out. Worked up, he jerked his head at the direction where the unconscious man previously locked his eyes on.

A man was sitting still on his desk with eyes wide open and a hole in his forehead. Orders from the higher-ups, obviously. It wasn’t a strange thing anymore in that kind of situation. Thousands of bodies mangle everywhere in the hellhole and a whole body was quite a fortunate condition to find someone in, so the reason must have been something else.

It hit him as soon as he looked down:

A young woman of twenties was spread on the ground, a bullet hole in her chest.
And what tore him apart wasn’t the horrible sight alone. It was the bulge on her stomach, and the fact that she was still spluttering blood all over her dirty clothes.

It took him one second to freeze on his track.
Two seconds to take out his guns with a shaking hand.
And another three to steady his aim.

One. Two. Three.

Writing Challenge: Flash Fiction #1

Prompt from here.
#1 is to compensate the atmosphere of #2 that I will post after this.

“Are you sure about this?” he mumbled.

But the blonde girl next to him merely smiled.
“Don’t tell me it’s your first?” she smirked, tugging at her sleeves.

The redheaded lad shook his head frantically and fumbled at his seat, desperately searching for something to hold on to. He gulped audibly.

Apparently God didn’t hear his prayer (it made him wonder ‘what sin did he commit earlier to deserve this?’).

“Ready?” she said, grinning.
“No,” he whimpered, closing his eyes.

With that, she stepped on the gas pedal and the car screeched its way out of the parking lot.

Writing Challenge: Great Expectations

Prompt from here.
If you could guess whose faces I imagined when I wrote this you are very, very good. Or you’re in the same universal fandom with me. Off we go now.

A crumpled piece of paper was stuck into her fist right in front of the vintage bookstore she loved. Caught off guard! The redheaded culprit lost himself in the crowd before she realised what was happening. How humiliating it was to the twenty-year old claiming to be the best in the business. Cursing the downside of being off duty, the brunette girl continued to walk briskly until she reached her doorstep. She paused for a moment and bent down, pretending to tie her shoelaces while glancing around for any sign of flaming crimson. Nothing. He was fast and he was no idiot, but nor was she. She knew what it meant.

The little thing in her hand was a message. It was a classic hit-and-run, the easiest and the most desperate attempt of communication between people like them. Some call them assassins. Some other call them sweepers. They call themselves professionals, just because the amateurs boasting about the profession weren’t even worth the title.

The brunette girl stood up straight and pushed open her door just to find the sewing needle she put on the hinge lying on the floor. Break-in. Her hand flew to the holster resting on her belt as she altered her stance. Slowly but sure she stepped inside, closing the door behind her. The note could wait. She pocketed the scrap of paper and readied her aim as she delved further into the drawing-room, careful to not step on anything …until all of sudden something moved in the corner of her eyes.

The next thing she heard was a silenced shot. Oh, she knew the sound so well. It was her silencer. She had used it on almost every job she had, and she remembered every single body dropping right after she heard that familiar sound – only this time the only one falling down was her own.

There was the shade of crimson she was looking for. There was the very same flaming red hair that slipped her that unread note. She tried talking. Once. Twice. No word came out – only gasps for air as she hit the floor, blood spluttering out of her lips. He was fast, and he was no idiot. Apparently, she was. Her amber eyes wandered to his blue ones as he wiped his gun clean, smiling down at her.

‘I tried warning you,’ he chuckled, ‘really, I tried. I was hoping you’re as smart as people said.’ He kicked the gun off her hand and bent down to search her pockets. Tears dwell in her eyes. The pain stung and everything began to blacken. She hated it. She hated the feeling of being handicapped in the worst way one could’ve imagined. Where had she gone wrong?

The young man finally pulled out the note out of her pocket, unfolding it with a sigh. He held the scrap in front of her to read.

They are coming for you.

There was where she went wrong. The message was clear. He did try to warn her. She thought too much and too long. Everyone else had told her that her brains would be the death of her, but she didn’t expect it to come this soon. Once again the girl on the floor choked, her perforated lungs screaming for air. Her eyes rested on the first and last mistake she made as she heard his footsteps heading to the front door.

The house went back to its original silence within seconds, the still body of its owner stained with a darker shade of red.