Today’s Story-a-Day May prompt was to write about characters wanting to go in different directions. I considered various scenarios–the couple traveling and wanting different destinations, the arguing between friends deciding to stay home or go out, the debate whether the fellowship should go through Moria or over the mountains. Lots of stories have this basic premise–this way or that? Even if it isn’t characters arguing which way to go, it is the main character arguing with herself to answer the call to adventure or rush out of the wardrobe back to familiar safe spaces.
As someone chronically indecisive, these debates speak to me. Even now I don’t know which way to go, how to put my writing into the world, whether I missed the path to choose or need to hack my own through the underbrush. As far as a so-called successful writing career goes, I suspect I missed the turn. But we’ll see.
In the meantime, here’s a portion of today’s writing. Thanks for reading.
The evening had gone awry. It’s how Lindy Monroe and Addison Kai found themselves handcuffed together and standing in front of an elevator at the Grand Merveille Hotel.
“Your choices got us into this,” Lindy said, checking to make sure her earrings were still dangling from her ears. “So excuse me if I can’t trust your choices to get us out.”
Addison scowled and looked back over her shoulder. “This is not my fault. And I know the city. You don’t.”
Satisfied her earrings were in place, Lindy mashed the button a few more times. “I’m not some country bumpkin.”
“You won’t even take the stairs! We’re standing here like lost ducks.”
Lindy groaned. “Why is this elevator taking so long?”
“Maybe it sees you rushing around and has decided, no thanks!” Addison would’ve crossed her arms over her chest but because of the handcuffs, she couldn’t. “If it had its way, it probably wouldn’t even let you in.”
“If I had my way, I’d push you down the levitator shaft.”
Addison jerked her cuffed arm up between them, making Lindy wince. “Go ahead,” she said.
The elevator then arrived, but it took an agonizing second before it creaked open. “Finally.” Lindy rushed forward, pulling Addison along.
“Should’ve taken the stairs,” Addison muttered. She leaned against the wall and paid more attention to the elevator’s details than she had when they’d been going up.
“Where we’d still be. It takes a long time to go down 110 floors.” The doors closed. With a lurch, the elevator moved.
“I look forward to the looks on people’s faces when they get on here with us.”
Lindy snorted. “I don’t think we have to worry about that.”
They stood in silence for several floors. Lindy cast a sideways look at Addison. “We’re going straight through the lobby and flagging down a taxi. Or whoever we can find with a car. Okay? Got it?”
Addison focused on the elevator buttons, some of which were cracked.
“And we go back to where this all started.”
The elevator jerked to a stop and opened, but no one was there. The doors creaked closed again. Addison shook her head. “That makes no sense at all. The first thing to do is to get these damn cuffs off. We find maintenance and somewhere there’ll be something to cut these things.”
“In a minute I’m going to think you like being stuck to me.”
“Ha. You always were delusional. No. But we cut these apart and you’re going to run off and I’m not having you leave me until I say so.”
“It’s still dumb to take an effing taxi. I know my way around.”
“It’s 3 am. I’m not trudging through alleys in the dark.” Lindy looked up at the decreasing numbers over the elevator door.
“Oh my god. Whatever. I decide how we’re doing this.”
“I won’t leave you.”
“Of course you will. Why wouldn’t you?”
Addison shrugged. “How did you ever think this was going to work? You don’t trust me.”
Lindy shifted her weight from one foot to the next. They were almost at the lobby. “Are you ready?”
“I told you. I’m not going through with your plan. I’m going the other way and you’ll have to knock me out and drag my body with you if you want otherwise.”
Addison laughed. It was the first honest laugh she’d had in days. “You can’t knock me out and you know it.”
The elevator reached the lobby and bounced before coming to a complete stop. “We’ll just have to see what happens, won’t we?” Lindy replied.
The doors creaked open and they were both surprised by what awaited.