Monday, June 13, 2011

Prompt #23

[You love him
You love him more than this
You love him, and you cannot
You can't resist.]

            She stood straight, still, the rock big enough for her feet and that was all. Her eyes were pressed closed.
            “You’ll have to choose sooner or later,” the voice carried a hint of boredom.
            Don’t look. Don’t look. Don’t look. She remained like a statue.
            “Perhaps I could help you, give you some incentive,” his tone sent a shiver down her spine. “Yes, I have the most perfect idea.”
            She waited, her breathing shallow.
            “Open your eyes.”
            Her eyelids parted a hair, allowing the view of the rocky wall in front of her. She began tracing the cracks with her mind.
            He sighed and his clothes rustled as he shifted position. “Better than nothing, I suppose, but you’re going to have to look up here.”
            She stopped at a crossing between two of the tiny fissures, took a deep breath, and craned her neck backward.
            He sat in an intricately carved chair perched on a ledge so high he could have reached up and touched the ceiling. His face set back in the shadows but the hourglass caught the light. Watching her closely, he flipped it.
            “This should give you an hour, but it could be less,” he was trying to hold back laughter.
            Her mouth fell open just as the first grain of sand hit the bottom of the hourglass. It snapped closed with the third. After the fifth, she looked down with eyes wide open.
            The great pile rising up on the right, about halfway up her lonely rock pillar, caught her attention immediately: designer clothes and purses, expensive paintings, gold plates and bed frames and rings and anything else you could think of, a pool table, what looked like a Bentley, enough money to break her fall easily.
            She wrenched her eyes away. Catch, catch, there’s always a catch.
            The stone walls on her left were covered with spikes of different lengths and sizes, cutting off that half of the pit. She peered between them, trying to glimpse the bottom. Something moved.
            “Hello?” her soft words echoed.
            More movement, and then there was a face staring at her. A scream fizzled on her lips, blocking the air from her lungs.
            “Robert?” It scratched her throat coming up.
            “Chesney, is that you?” He tried to stand up but the spikes pressed in too close, a warning.
            Her hands flew to her face, fingernails digging into her cheeks. What am I going to do? What can I do? A sob escaped her.
            “You have about half your time left,” excitement bubbled through his words.
            She glanced up at the hourglass and began to rock, her eyes going from left to right.
            All I have to do is choose one. Jump into it and that’s it. Robert reached up, grasped a spike, pulled away with a wince. That’s it.
            “Did I mention what happens if time runs out? No? Well, I was thinking of adding on a third choice, maybe housewife to a slub, and it’ll no longer be a choice because you’ll be forced to take it. Of course, that’s only if you run out of time,” he began to hum.
            Take the money. You’d be dead before you got to Robert anyway. She shoved the thought away, her eyes focused on the sand slipping through the hourglass.
            Tears welled up in her eyes and her bottom lip began to bleed between her teeth. She sunk to her knees, her feet dangling over the edge.
            Hardly any sand remained in the top of the timer.
            It’s the logical thing to do.
            Her eyes met Robert’s and he nodded, a sad smile on his face.
            Just do it already!
            The last grain fell and Chesney lunged.
            She landed on the cavern floor as if she had merely taken a step. She ran her hands over her stomach in amazement, not a scratch. Then she looked around for Robert. The pit was empty, even the spikes gone. A line appeared between her eyebrows.
            “You made a good choice, dear.”
            She gaped in horror as Robert stood up from the throne and tucked the hourglass inside his coat.


  1. It's definitely not one of my better ones.

    The thought behind it was that she had to choice between living it large or death with the man she loves. The love probably didn't come off well.

  2. Oh... I was just confused at what was going on. Now that you've pointed that out, I can see that. It could just be me though...what have other readers said?

  3. There haven't been any other readers yet. You do know that when I posted this story, I had just finished it?

  4. I love your description, however I have to admit I'm not sure what was happening either. Seems like she was trying to decide whether to save Robert or herself. Then of course Robert turns out to be the one who made her make the decision. But yeah, not quite sure what the implications are for her fate now :)

  5. No I liked that - saw the choices - the twist was that Robert was the tempter/devil/whatever on the throne - but she made her choice (of course she will have to kill Robert now lol!!!!!)

  6. At least if I'm confusing, I'm confusing with style, right? XD

  7. If we had a name or something about the decision maker, it would make it more obvious at the end. I thought it was a twist that Robert had the hourglass. It was like he tested her love.

    Interesting slice.

  8. If we had a name or something about the decision maker... Are you saying that the end is too much of a throw in this sentence?

    By the way, thank you for commenting on so many of my posts, Theresa. ^^ I probably won't be reading as many of yours for the net month or so because I'm on vacation.