Reddit’s WritingPrompts subreddit recently attempted to do a Guaranteed Critique Week where people would submit responses to a daily writing prompt for critique. Unfortunately /u/fetfet50, the moderator who was undertaking the effort, had to cancel the week after day 2 due to a family emergency – their family is in my thoughts and wishes. The first writing prompt generated a 3,100 word short story from me – more to shop around – but the second one was limited to 250 words. Since the GCW is over I’m posting the shorter piece here, in hopes that you think it’s neato-frito and, you know, buy a book or even just a novella.
The prompt was: “There is a knock at the door. You weren’t expecting anyone today.” I’m not typically a fan of first-person storytelling, but here we are.
Blinking. Can’t stop blinking. The room’s like a strobe light and I can’t stop wheezing. Mouth is dry. Skin’s crawling. Shouldn’t have slept with her. She was rotten and there are maggots squirming under my skin. Try to get them out but I just bleed and bleed and bleed. All my towels are covered in blood. How do I get it out again? Can’t remember. Can’t remember much. Need to smoke.
Better. Knocking now, though. Someone knocking, knocking, knocking at my door. Won’t stop. Little pig little pig let me in. It’s going right through my skull. No one should be coming by. No one at all. I bought the glass off of Surly Cue yesterday. No one should be coming by here. My teeth are grinding and they feel like they’re going to break. Snap. Crumble. Who the fuck is at the door? I pull back the curtains to peek out but I can’t see anything. Cops? Motel security? Someone here to silence me? Fuck. Where’s the gun? Not on the dresser, not by the bed, not on the mini fridge. Find it in the bathtub. Stupid. Really fucking stupid. Check the chamber and there’s four rounds left. Perfect. Sneak up to the door. Thumb the safety off. Hand goes onto the doorknob like I’m squeezing my first tit.
Knocking, knocking. See how you like this.
Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin.