Monday, July 20, 2009

My July Writing Prompt

Well, here's what I came up with. And here's my hook (a little weak I think):

Marissa hates her job, hates her life, and learns a little too late that changing herself might just improve it all for the better.

The movie theater was dark, cold, and empty just like the rest of my life. I hated this place. I kept telling myself “find another job, Marissa, and life will improve” but I was a pansy. And I was uncomfortably comfortable. Here, I knew what to expect. I knew how hard I had to work. Life was routine and I hated change. So much to the point of driving myself to the Land of Discontent and running out of gas.

The smell of stale popcorn and dirty urinals was something I never got used to though. Sweeping up the crumbs of leftover concessions from the late night flick, I stuffed empty soda bottles and boxed candies that were not from our movie theater into the trash bag. “Cheap, broke ass people.”

Of course, I was a hypocrite. I’d be damned if I was going to pay a quarter of my salary for tickets and snacks when I could halve it by going to the local gas station and smuggling it into the theater with my large Louis Vuitton rip off.

I dumped the last of the filth into the trash can just when the theater lights clicked off. My breath caught and I froze with the dust pan still stuck over the bin. “Joey?” Wonderful, he’d probably forgotten I was here. He had a knack for that, though I’m convinced he does it on purpose and just likes to play stupid.

“Joey, turn the lights back on, I can’t see.” Nothing happened for a few heartbeats and then the gentle buzz of the emergency lights glowed by the screen. I sighed, set the broom and dust pan against the trash and decided I was done working for the night. I was scheduled for the morning shift anyway and could finish cleaning up then.

Halfway down the stairs, which had lost their fancy glittering orange light, a moving shadow caught my eye. “Joey?” I paused on the middle platform and strained my eyes to see in the dim lighting. Stupid horror flick that had just played was getting to me. I shook off the jitters and forced my feet to move, even if it felt like I was wading through my mom’s homemade maple syrup.

I made it to the bottom of the steps and sighed to myself. I was such a loser. I turned to walk up the ramp and out the theater when something snatched my shoulder. I screamed as if I were one of those doomed chics in the horror movies. The laughter cut me short and I spun around and gave a slug into Joey’s shoulder.


He rubbed at his shoulder with a smirk I badly wanted to smack off of his face. “Wanna go grab a bite to eat?”

“It’s nearly three a.m. No. I want to go home and sleep.” I turned to leave.

“Should of guessed as much.”

I stopped, knowing better than to let him get to me. But I was tired and it was easy to piss me off. I spun back around. “What does that mean?”

“It means you’re predictable, Marissa. You never do anything. It’s why your life sucks so much.”

I scoffed, despite the sting in my chest at the truth of his words. “Whatever. Listen, I’m tired, okay? Maybe tomorrow night.”

“Sure.” He gave me a cocky grin and I rolled my eyes. “Can I walk you to your car?”

“No. Leaving me alone would be my preference.” Man I was in a crappy mood. It wasn’t that Joey didn’t have anything going for him. His lean build and messy dark hair spoke volumes to my attract-o-meter, but I’d been working with him long enough to know Joey and commitment didn’t go together. And I was tired of one-night-stands.

“Suite yourself. See ya tomorrow.”

I left the theater with a cold stone crushing the pit of my stomach. Maybe I should go grab a bite to eat tomorrow night with him. It wouldn’t hurt. Who said anything had to happen, anyway? I pulled out my car keys from my pockets, I hated bringing my purse into work with me, and fumbled around for the right one. Footsteps crunched gravel behind me and I sighed. Joey was nothing less than persistent tonight.

I glanced over my shoulder to tell him to leave. Instead, my heart ripped a path down to my navel and my scream was muffled beneath a gloved hand. I kicked and squirmed with all the strength I had. A bit down on the hand, the taste of leather filling my mouth. The muscular arm wrapped around my body only dragged me back faster, the hand over my mouth nearly suffocating me.

My heels struck the gravel in my attempts to struggle free. Pebbles kicked up all over the place and I hoped maybe Joey would hear my struggle. All hopes were shattered when the shing of a knife caught my ear, and the glisten of a blade shined under the single lamp post on the other end of the parking lot. Shit.

Survival mode kicked in and I scratched and bit harder. I kicked faster. I squirmed mercilessly. The guys strength was unfathomable. My muffled screams sounded puny in my ears and with one swift blow, an agonizing pain blossomed in my chest and spread through the rest of my body. I felt myself crumple into my murderer. I felt distant, far from my body even with the pain that ruled it. Fleeting memories of childhood or dreams of the future didn’t plague my mind like I thought would happen when death came to me. Instead, all I could think of was how things might’ve been different if only I would have just said yes to getting a bite to eat. Damn, my death sucked as much as my life had.


  1. Awesome, Christa! I had goosebumps at the end.

  2. You took off with that prompt! yay

  3. Boredom is a great motivator. Unfortunately, sometimes even empty movie theatres prove to be too crowded. Read more at (Day #24 exercise). Now off to read Christa's.


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