When I took my first college level creative writing class, there was on specific exercise we did was create a short story from just one sentence. The sentence we were given was “Mary closed the door and placed the candle on the table”. This is a revised version of that story. I changed the name for personal reasons.
Myndra closed the door and placed the candle on the table. Thunder shook her apartment building as lightning clashed across the sky. With the power knocked out from an earlier strike, the night was darker than ever. As she turned on her shower the droplets that rained were warm and welcoming. After casting away her clothes, she stepped in and slid the door closed as the water embraced her. The small candles flame cast dancing shadows around cozy bathroom walls. She closed her eyes as she turned to face the gentle cascade of water.
To the young lady stumbling down the sidewalk blocks from her house, the night was cold, cruel, and unforgiving. The rain felt like icy tendrils as they ran down her back through drenched shirt. The thunder claps startled her, the lighting strikes blinded her, albeit temporarily. Her arms were folded and pressed to her body to stop from shuddering, unsuccessfully. No one could her sobs, she knew no one would care. The moment she hit the concrete, struck by one last straw, her mind nearly gave up. She had ignored a cracked heel on her shoe in her haste to leave a lost battle of a broken relationship. This shattered soul let herself lay upon the cold stone and simply cry.
“Are you ok?” asked Myndra in a worried tone. She had seen a young woman take a quick fall as she stood under the awning of her apartment building, while having a short smoke. Strolling across the barren street she noticed the girl just laying on the cold hard sidewalk and wondered if something horrible had just happened. Half away across she started to jog. With a trembling hand she reach out and took a firm hold on the fallen girls shoulder. “Hey”, was all she could get out as the seemingly dormant body shrieked and lashed at her. Both had now been spooked past the point of reason and a short nearly harmonic set of screams cried out for a brief second. The following moment seemed to pass as minutes when their eyes finally met.
Clouds had parted every so slightly, just enough to shine the moons rays through the storm. Ebon hair was accented with stands made silver from moonbeams. The eyes she was staring into had created a respite from this night’s grief filled torment. She reach up and her hand was met by a soft, strong grip. She allowed herself to be helped up. “You’re drenched and shivering, come up to my room and dry off” came a voice that was soothing. A weak nod of her head was all she could muster.
The pair walked back across the empty road, the pouring rain had deterred most travelers on this soon to be auspicious night. Myndra placed a comforting arm around the slender shoulders of her new found companion. The notion of consolation seemed to be welcomed by this trepid soul. She picked up her candle from just inside the doors of her building. Lighting it had been a slight challenge, but her persistence and not completely soaked lighter finally ignited the already charred wick. Myndra led the way up a single flight of stairs, easily navigated by candlelight. She was grateful not to be one of the poor sods on the sixth floor.
“My names Kayla, by the way” her voice was nearly horse from the agitation of this evenings events. “I appreciate your kindness”.
“I’m Myndra, nice to meet you” was her reply to the first words uttered by this beautiful dove who now stood in her dark home.
Kayla gazed around the small apartment seeing a pattern of black and white photos and posters, who’s contrast was only altered by a single pair of light pink ballet shoes hanging on a pillar between a tiny kitchen and humbly furnished living room. Several candles cast dancing shadows. She sighed, taking in breath and exhaling heavily, letting the new scenery placate her previously frantic thoughts. All she could do was smile slightly. She sat down on the futon, as requested. Looking up, she was relieved to see Myndra’s gaze meet her own again, reassuring and consoling. Her host was tall and lithe, long dark hair hung low and straight from the rain. She was reminded of Morticia Addams, her smile widened just a bit more at the thought. (to be continued)