Fiction Friday: Work-in-Progress from “Slippery Slope”

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By Leslie Lindsay

 

Friday’s around here are sort of a “rotating” theme.  It may be that they revolve around a season, upcoming holiday, kids’ decorating/party planning, etc.  Which is all fine and dandy, but I need to focus more on my fiction writing. 

Sooo…that means that every Friday I plan to post a little blurb from my current fiction project.  You can comment on what you like, what you don’t, suggestions for improvements, twists, etc.  I’d love your feedback.  Are you game?  Good.  Here goes:

[From work-in-progress, working title, “Slippery Slope.”  This is original work.  Do not borrow, use, or make your own.]

I park my van alongside the road and get out.  With shaky legs, I wander around the yard, dry patches of grass crunching under my feet.   I let myself into the backyard. Dogs bark and sprinklers sputter, watering the parched lawns.  I feel like an intruder, but somehow like I belong here, like I am laying stake to my claim. 

They are home, I can tell by the way the golden light flows out from the windows, the alternating pattern of the television—shining blue, white, and black images against the walls.

I peer inside, a quick glance.  No sign of Steve or Beth, just stuff.  A fleece jacket thrown over the couch, a plate with old, oozed-out rubbery cheese sits on the coffee table and shoes are scattered about the room.  

A neighbor approaches me, “Can I help you?”  He asks, friendly yet somehow concerned.

“Oh!”  I jumped, my cheeks warming, “Uh…I’m just a friend.”  I look down at my ensemble. Flannel pajama bottoms, clogs.  I attempt to walk around the front of the house, not to look like such the peeping Tom I am. 

“You live around here, then?”  He asks, cocking his baseball cap up on his forehead.  “Haven’t seen you around before.”

“Yeah…well, I am an old friend.  A very old friend.  “Steve and Beth…they asked me to stop by while they were away.”

He nodded, a smirk spreading across his face, “Well, they’re home, not gone that I know of.   I just saw Steve come in from a bike ride awhile ago.” 

The pit of my stomach drops a bit at the mention of his name. 

I nod, my throat closing in on me, small beads of perspiration forming on my hairline.  I reach up and feel for my stitches.  “I must have gotten my weekends mixed up….”

Gosh, I feel like an idiot!  

“What’s the date?” 

The neighbor shoves his hands in his pocket, and withdraws a cell phone.  Tapping it to life, he reads, “uh…the 14th.” 

I tilt my head on the side, “Oh, silly me,” I force a smile.  “It’s really not till next weekend that they wanted me to check up on the house.” 

Smiling and nodding to the neighbor, I continue walking towards the front of the house, heading to my van. 

He glares at me, albeit a bit suspiciously but trails off to his own home.  I glance back at him over my shoulder, a wave of relief rushes over me. 

I proceed closer to my van.  Bold, brazen and uncaring, as if propelled by a force other than my own, my legs carry me to the front porch of Steve’s home. 

That’s all for now…thoughts?  Ideas?  Feelings?  What did you like/not like?  What should happen next?  Welcoming all comments. 

2 responses »

  1. I’m impressed that you’re still able to work on your fiction even though your little ones are home for the summer! Me, not having so much luck. I’m as always on an apraxia binge though. Reading & writing everything I can get my hands on. Anyway – I like it!! It captured my attention, which is what all good fiction should do.

    • Yes, I am trying…but it’s hard! Life sure can get in the way of a career in writing. I find if I make it a consistent routine, I can do it. Thanks for your feedback, Tori. Much appreciated!

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