This is the first in my weekly short story series. I’m holding weekly votes for the writing prompt of these shorts in my VIP Facebook Group. Here’s the original prompt that won last week:
A girl steps into the mind of other people as she sleeps. She sees and experiences what they do.
Here’s the story I came up with. It has a sort of graphic novel feel to it and a superhero vibe. Check it out…
NOTE: These are just for fun and therefore aren’t professionally edited. I did self-edit, but please excuse any errors. If I do officially publish these stories, errors will be fixed.
Night Chaser #1 | Diner Dash
The beat pulsed through me. My nightly release from the reality of my world washed over me like a clean and warm shower. My body moved to the rhythm of the music while dipping and rising in the sea of other dancers. Bright lights of the club flashed and faded with each clap of the track.
I ran my fingers through my hair and swung my head from side to side. The movement traveled down my body and into my hips. A kind of high came over me as it often did on the dance floor.
This was my ritual. My calm before the storm. In a few hours, I’d be in a very different mood. So I savored the feeling of no worries and no fear.
The phone in my back pocket vibrated.
Time to go.
I finished the song and walked out of the club. I hailed a cab and told the driver my address. He nodded and stepped on the gas as I looked out the window. I wondered where I’d end up tonight. A dark alley? A convenience store? A dirty bar with dirtier patrons?
It didn’t matter. Every night was the same, now. I was cursed to look through the eyes of a victim as I slept, only to wake up and try to save them—or avenge them.
The lights of the city whizzed by as the cab drove. Soon I’d be home, but only for a little while.
The halt of the car snapped me out of my daze. I paid the cabby and was out the door before he could say anything. My feet hit the steps leading up to my narrow townhouse sandwiched between two other identical houses and more still on either side.
Mine was the only one with a red door. I opened it and my cat greeted me as she often did. She wanted food, of course.
“Hello, Matilda,” I said to her. She was my only roommate.
She sidled up to me and let out a meow that turned into a purr. I pet her furry little head and then walked to the kitchen to get her what she wanted.
As soon as she was satisfied, I climbed the stairs to my bedroom and changed into my black, skintight pants and a black, long-sleeved shirt. I slid my feet into the boots I wore at night, slipped on the mask that covered the upper part of my face, and laid down to go to sleep.
The items weren’t exactly the most comfortable pajamas, but I needed to be ready to go right when I woke up.
Before I got into bed, I checked my phone. I’d missed a call while at the club and had a voicemail. It was from Patrick. We’d gone on a few dates recently.
“Abby, it’s Patrick. I wish you’d tell me what’s going on. I thought we had something going. If you don’t want to see me again, I understand, but I think I deserve some sort of closure. Anything is better than nothing. Anyway, I guess this will be the last time I call. I hope to hear from you, but I don’t expect to. Bye.”
He was right. We did have something, but he wanted late-night dinners and romantic evenings. I just couldn’t do that. I sighed and deleted the voicemail. I should’ve just told him some lie to give him closure. He seemed to be giving up, now. I’d just let him go quietly. I couldn’t deal with it right now. I yawned and rested my head on my pillow.
The club dancing made it easy for me to fall asleep quickly . . .
Suddenly, I was in a diner dressed as a waitress. A gun was pointed at my head and the man holding it yelled, “Put all the money in the bag! And don’t forget the tips in your apron!”
I had no control over the person my mind inhabited, so I went along for the ride as she complied. I looked through her eyes for a clue as to where I was. Finally, I saw it on the nametag of one of the other employees. Starlight Diner.
I knew exactly where that was. I pulled myself out of the dream and jumped out of bed. I flew down the stairs and out the backdoor. In one swift move, I uncovered my motorcycle, pulled my helmet over my head, and hopped on. She started up immediately, and I sped out of the parking spot and into the alley, heading straight for the diner as fast as I could.
Less than five minutes later, the diner came into view. The man with the gun was about to walk out the door. My tires screeched as I hit the brakes and to a stop in front of the man, set my kick-stand, and threw off my helmet. I swung my leg over the seat and walked toward him.
He seemed frozen for a moment, but it didn’t last long. He raised the gun in his hand, but before he could get a shot off, I grabbed it and landed a blow to his arm. He dropped the weapon and tried to grab me around my neck. I wriggled out of the grasp before he could lock it down. I kept hold of his wrist and yanked it in the wrong direction.
An audible snap hit the air as he yelled out in pain.
His foot kicked out at me but missed. I swept his legs out from under him. He landed on his back and looked like he wanted to get back up, so I punched him in the head for good measure. He went down like a rock.
The waitress I’d connected minds with earlier ran out of the diner to see what was happening. The distraction came at a bad time.
A slight clink sound reached my ears just before pain shot up my leg from my foot. The low-life had stabbed the top of my foot through my boot. I half groaned, half grunted before I bent down and grabbed the knife out of his hand. We struggled, but there was much he could do with his limp wrist. While I pulled on the knife handle with my left hand, I punched him a few more times with my right.
Simultaneously, he fell unconscious and let go of the knife. I was tempted to stab him in the foot, but seeing as how I already broke his wrist, I tossed the knife to the ground near the gun.
“I called the police,” the waitress said.
I looked up at her. “Good. He belongs in jail. I’ll stay ’til I hear sirens. I want to make sure he stays down.”
“Thank you,” she replied.
I grabbed the bag of money from around the guy’s neck and tossed it over to her.
“Make sure you get your tip money out of there before the cops show. Tell the other waitress to do the same. They might hold it as evidence if you don’t.”
Her eyes questioned how I knew her tip money was in there, but her mouth stayed quiet. She nodded and dug out a few bills. Sirens drew near. I limped over to my bike and hopped on. It wasn’t going to be a fun ride. I started her up and sped off as red and blue lights flashed in my rearview mirrors.
In another five minutes, I neared the alley to my place. I cut the engine and coasted to a stop on the small cement pad I normally parked on. I didn’t want to draw attention from the neighbors.
Blood soaked the right footrest. I covered the bike and decided to wash it off in the morning. After a few painful steps to my back door, I made my way inside.
Matilda greeted me again as I tumbled to the linoleum floor of my laundry room and kicked the door shut with my good foot. I gave myself a few minutes to rest on my back and then pulled myself up to a sitting position against the washer. More blood dripped from my boot. I needed to see the damage.
I carefully untied the boot and slowly removed it. Pain shot up my leg again, but I pushed through. The sock was stuck in place by the wet blood. I grabbed a pocket knife I kept in my left boot and carefully cut it off.
The wound gushed more blood. Luckily, I’d done some laundry that day, so I opened the dryer and found a hand towel. I wrapped it tightly around my aching foot. As I did, I realized that not only was my foot cut badly, one of the bones was broken. I could feel it move around in a way it wasn’t supposed to.
I banged the back of my head on the washer in defeat. I couldn’t handle this wound on my own. If I wanted it to heal fast and heal right, I’d need a professional. I knew who to call, but my cell phone was all the way upstairs.
After a deep breath, I tied the towel down and grabbed the broom the was within reach. I used it to pull myself up and as a walking stick to get to my bedroom. Each step sent pain up my leg, but I finally made it to the top of the stairs and into my room.
My cell phone was right where I’d left it. Before I knew it, the number was dialed in and I hit “send.” I looked at the clock as it rang Lydia. It was late, but she was an emergency room doctor who kept odd hours. She picked up on the third ring.
“Hello?” she asked. It had been months since we last spoke.
“Lydia, it’s Abby. I need your help. Can you come to my house right away?”
Did you like this short? Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.
Also, make sure you vote for your favorite prompt in the poll this week. Voting happens only in my VIP Facebook Group, so join and cast your vote in the current poll by Friday at 3pm Central.
Any prompts that don’t win will be in the vote the following week. Any prompt that gets zero votes for three consecutive weeks will be pulled and replaced. Some prompts, like this one, may have the potential to be a series, and therefore will be eligible to be chosen again for the next installment of the series.