Story-a-Day. Near collapse.


I do not have the energy for this, but I wrote something anyway. I didn’t look at today’s prompt though. Instead, I thought about the character I’ve been writing about for the least few days and gave her a nemesis. This is a just a fragment for now. With luck, I’ll catch up on my sleep and feel more energized tomorrow. We’re almost at the end of this madness, people! Thanks for reading!

Kyla pretended to read the paper in her hands as she casually leaned against the cabinet. An innocent observer would think it an accident when Kyla’s elbow slid against the ring of keys and pushed them off. The keys dropped between the cabinet and the wall. But there was no observer innocent or otherwise.

Kyla yawned, stretched, and set the paper down. In her head she rehearsed her lines—oh no! Did I do that? Why, I must’ve been so absorbed in my reading I didn’t realize. Gosh, I am sorry. How long did it take you to find your keys? I do hope you weren’t late. Berenice wouldn’t believe a word of it, but that hardly mattered. Everyone else would, and everyone else would scold Berenice for her temper.

Cheered up for the first time in days, Kyla headed outside to sit on the bench swing and wait. The sinking sun cast gold light across the grass and stretched the shadows. A few fireflies made themselves known. It was the prettiest evening in ages. Too bad Berenice wasn’t going to notice the colors in the sky or the breeze in her hair. She noticed so little when raging.

Kyla pushed her feet into the ground and then let the momentum send the swing forward and back. She kept her eyes on house. A light flicked on in the front room. Berenice. She’d look for her keys on the counter. Not finding them she was sure to go to the kitchen. Then back to her bedroom. Then she’d return to the front room and check on the shelves. She check her coat pockets and her purse. She’d shout through house, “Has anybody seen my keys?” Eventually she’d probably think to look between the cabinet and the wall, but they’d be hard to dig out. She’d need to find a stick of some kind. She’d have to lie flat on the floor and her clothes would be coated with dust. Kyla laughed. Berenice would get to where she was going, but precious time would be lost. She’d be late. And being late would ruin everything.

The front door swung open and Berenice bounded down the front steps. “See ya later, Ky!” she shouted before getting into her car.

Kyla frowned. That hadn’t taken any time at all!

She marched back inside and dropped on the floor. Peering under the cabinet, she spotted the key ring. She reached but couldn’t quite get the keys back. On her stomach, she pressed her face against the cabinet’s edge as she tried harder to rescue the keys. Frustrated, she cursed and sat up.

Her aunt walked into the room. “What on earth are you doing?” she asked. “Look at you. You’re covered in cat hair.”

Kyla’s black sweater had picked up a wild amount of fur and lint from the floor. “Goddamn it.”

“No cursing, young lady,” her aunt said. “You can go straight to your room.”


“No buts. You know how I feel about foul language.”

“Fine.” Kyla stood. “Just tell me when Ber’ll be home.”

“I’ll tell you no such thing! Now go!”

And hating her cousin more than ever, Kyla stomped down the hall. At least in her room she’d be able to think. She’d devise another a plan. She’d come up with a better plan to ruin everything Berenice wanted. It was only fair.

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