Sunday, June 23

Show Off Your Skills-Prompt/List, 6/23/13, Ian Andrews

Using this list of words for a prompt write a story.

  • Apartment
  • Brother-in-law
  • Cello
  • Driver
  • Earthquake
  • Level
  • Paint
  • Rule
  • Step-father
  • Trade


Ian Andrews

I slammed the door to my apartment. "Fuck you, Aaron!" I yelled through the doorway at my Brother-in-law. I could hear him in the hallway cursing, and suddenly he began kicking at the door. I engaged the deadbolt and as I leaned my back against the door as if to brace it, I could feel the reverberation of his kicks like an earthquake violently shaking my body. He stopped.  I listened, pressing my ear against the door. He was gone.

My heart was racing but soon, as I settled into my couch, the erratic beats within my chest started to level off. Three flights below from my open window, I heard the slam of a taxi door (most likely Aaron still seething). The driver peeled away, tires screeching for the briefest of seconds.  I imagined that somehow the taxi driver had been infected by Aaron's rage.

I thought back to the party. Harold, my Step-father, was stumbling drunk. This was not uncommon. In fact, it would be more fair to say it was rare when he wasn't drunk. Mother had only one rule: no hitting on other women. She knew he would never cheat on her. He was too loyal of a man. But he did become a bit more frisky when he'd really tied one on.

I sat in the corner staring at the wall, as if watching the paint dry. I was never big on weddings. It all seemed like a big waste of money. But my Step-sister Carol was beautiful. It was her beauty that caught my attention, drawing me from my reverie. Her white gown flowed with an unearthly elegance. She seemed to walk in slow motion. They entered the dance floor, Carol and Aaron. A cello began playing. and then it was joined with other instruments. A soft melody swam through the room.

I don't know if it was the melody or the fact that I too had been drinking, but I suddenly felt the urge to tell Aaron the truth. Of course, any rational person would have realized this was the exact worst time in the world to tell your new Brother-in-law that you were in love with his wife who also happened to be your Step-sister. I suppose tonight, misery was my trade.

I sauntered onto the dance floor, hearing gasps and mumbles of confusion from the onlookers. Brazenly, I wedged myself between them, my back to Carol, and I pushed Aaron away. "You don't deserve her. I know all about you and that girl from the country club." I pointed my finger in his face. "I followed you one night and saw you and her fucking behind the stables. How dare you do that to Carol, you son of a bitch?!"

Aaron stared in awe, dumbstruck. I could hear Carol begin crying from behind me. Then she ran out of the room sobbing. The entire ballroom was silent then suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my cheek. I was sitting, not standing any longer. I could see stars move around my field of vision. I held my fingers to my cheek and pulled my hand away only to find blood. Aaron towered over me now with a look of murder burned onto his face.  I sat, waved my hand out, still struggling to orient myself from the blow. Then, with renewed vigor, I jumped up and made a run for the exit.  I sped through the audience, pushing and shoving until I found the main entryway. I drove into the door, swung it open, and took off into the night. Aaron had followed.

We both must have ran a mile; in tuxedos no less. I imagined a strange mob scene from an old Empire City film. As I rounded the corner, I saw my apartment building in plain view. I raced inside, not bothering with the elevator. My legs and arms were burning with fatigue but my adrenaline helped me up the three flights until I found my door. Slamming my key into the lock, I turned for a split second and saw Aaron sprinting down the hall toward me.

I slammed the door to my apartment.