For today’s task, write another 500 words today. I was asked on Facebook if you should be writing a short story or novel, and it’s up to your story, I suppose. Just write 500 words–wherever that leads you.
Here’s my attempt at another 500 words:
“Who is that,” Doug asked. “Who am I hoping to see?”
“Don’t play dumb,” Sherry said. “I know that this whole ritual, this annual event at the restaurant is not about us. It’s always been about her–and you looking for her.”
“Her, her,” Doug said, stacking and unstacking papers on his desk. “Who is her?”
“Are you going to make me say her name? Are you going to make me say, ‘Rachel?'”
Doug stopped stacking and unstacking his papers. “Her,” he said flatly. Then, he spun his chair and stood up in one fluid motion–his back to Sherry. “Rachel.”
“You’ve always loved her more than me,” she said as she looked at her hands in her lap. “It was her that you were waiting for when we met that day.”
Doug remembered the day. He had been waiting for Rachel. They made reservations and he waited and waited. After a time, he stood outside to look for her and ran into Sherry by coincidence.
As if reading his thoughts, Sherry said, “It’s my fault she didn’t show.”
“I always loved you,” Sherry said. “Ever since that first double date in the city. You were with Rachel, and I was with your friend…”
“Yes, Marcus. What a bore,” exclaimed Sherry. “He kept talking about molecules and strands.”
“Well, he’s a scientist,” said Doug. “I’m not sure what else he’d talk about. And it’s not like you’re exciting or anything. What’s this about your fault that Rachel didn’t show.”
Sherry sighed. “I told her you were a monster to scare her away, but that didn’t work. She said she knew a side of you that no one else knew. But I had something on her that she didn’t want anyone to know. So that’s what I used.”
“You can call it that,” said Sherry. “Okay, it was that. It was blackmail.”
“What did you have on her?”
“Nothing extremely important for people who’ve lived a bit.” Sherry stood up and walked to the window again. “But for a young woman, it was a big deal. I’ll let you use your imagination.”
Doug picked at the books on his bookcase that were at eye level. He had his back to Sherry, and Sherry had her back to him.
“Anyway,” said Sherry. “I told her not to show for your date. I knew it was going to be a big one, because Rachel was so excited talking about it. In fact, I told her she should leave town, or I would tell you her secret–and at the time, it seemed like such a big secret.”
Sherry turned around to face Doug’s back. “You don’t even know how much of a fiend I am, dear.”
Doug spun and responded, “What do you mean by that?”
Sherry smiled and said,”A year after that missed date, when we had our first ‘anniversary’ at the restaurant, Rachel did show. She entered the restaurant and saw us. She hesitated by the door and then left.”
That’s another 500 words. Good luck with yours!
Remember: Don’t worry about finishing your story. Just start writing and let your characters take you wherever they may.
*****Get started in writing!
Click here to learn more.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and an award-winning fiction writer. That said, he’s known more for his poetry than his fiction. In fact, he’s the author Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere. He’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.
Find more tasks for this challenge here: