I just wrapped up the A-Z Challenge and Camp NaNo yesterday, so I guess it’s time to jump into something else. (Take a break? I’m sorry, I don’t know what those words mean). I’ve done Story a Day the last few years. In fact, today’s story is a lead-in to one I’m planning to flesh out from two stories I wrote for last September’s edition: Looking Up & Slanting Sunlight. Today’s prompt was:
Write a story about someone who leaves the house for work, and on the way has some kind of accident.
This is the Main Character. The accident can be anything from spilling coffee on an interview suit to getting hit by a car.
The story is written in three parts of approximately 300 words.
The first part will be told from the point of view of a family member, friend, or lover who shares a home with and loves the Main Character, but knows his or her flaws (POV Character 1).
The second part will be told from the point of view of someone (a waiter at a diner, the lady who works security at an office building) who sees the Main Character occasionally, but isn’t a friend (POV Character 2).
The third part of the story is from the point of view of someone who has only just met the Main Character for the first time during or just after the accident. This character (POV Character 3) can be involved in the accident, or only a bystander.
Lissa watched as Bree seemed to fly through the apartment. She wasn’t sure her roommate ever seemed to slow down. “Just calm down, Bree,” she said from her place on the couch. “You’re not even late.”
“I am calm,” her roommate said, barely glancing at Lissa. “And I will be if I don’t get out of here in the next couple minutes. I still have to stop and get Mr. Colson’s coffee on the way to the office.”
Lissa laughed and shook her head, her eyes rolling slightly. “Leo isn’t going to fire you if you’re late with his special coffee. You could show up without it, and he still wouldn’t fire you.” Bree’s cheeks flamed, but she turned away. “And I’ve told you, Bree, you don’t have to refer to my brother as Mr. Colson in this apartment. He’s just Leo.”
The other woman shook her head and only seemed to move faster. “He wouldn’t fire you for being late,” she said then let out a sound of triumph and held up the heeled shoe she’d obviously been searching for. “But, I’m not his twin sister. And I’ll certainly never get a promotion if he doesn’t think he can depend on me.”
“Oh, trust me,” Lissa said, her lips curling up, “he’ll give you that promotion. He wants you to stick around.”
Bree stumbled a bit as she put on the high heels, her face turning even redder. She turned away and grabbed her purse. “I’ll be back tonight,” she said without another word about her boss.
Lissa waited until the door had closed behind her roommate again. She grabbed her phone and brought up her brother’s number. “What is it, Lissa?” he asked. “I’m just getting to work. I’ve got a lot to do today.”
“If you plan to offer Bree that promotion, I’m pretty sure she’d be open to your conditions. I brought you up, and she got all flustered. Trust me, she wants it, too.”
“Good,” he said, and she could nearly hear the smug smile in his voice. “That’s good.”
Lissa smiled as she hung up the phone. Yes, it was. She liked her roommate, but she loved her brother. Having the two of them would be perfect.
“Hey, Bree,” Tiso said as the woman came into the coffee shop. “I wasn’t sure you’d make it in today. You want the usual?”
“I’m running behind, but yeah. Thanks, Ti.”
“Not a problem,” they said as they started getting the fancy coffee and a simple tea ready. Bree got the same thing every morning, unless she wasn’t working, so it wasn’t difficult to remember the order. “Everything okay? You seem frazzled.”
“Like I said, I’m running behind. But, I didn’t want to show up without the boss’s coffee.”
So, the tea must be Bree’s. It’s what they’d figured, judging by what they knew of Bree. Not that it mattered, but Tiso liked knowing these little things about the regular customers.
Just like they knew there was something more bothering Bree than just running a little late. There’d been something bothering her almost every morning this week. They didn’t know Bree well enough to dig into what it was, though. They did know enough to see Bree didn’t present the same on weekends as during the work week. Which made Tiso wonder if anyone knew Bree’s true self.
Instead of digging for that, Tiso put the cups in a carrier for her and slid them across the counter.
“Have a good day,” they told her then looked past to greet the next customers coming up.
“I’m sorry,” a little voice squeaked just as Tiso saw the drink carrier tip over. Right onto the front of Bree’s dress shirt.
“Do not run,” Nita’s father reminded her as they headed into the coffee shop.
“I know, Daddy,” she said. “You tell me every time.”
He tugged gently on one of the pigtails he’d put her hair into before they’d left the house. “They why do you end up running every time?”
“I don’t every time,” she said and pushed through the door. She saw one of her favorite people behind the counter and rushed toward them. “Tiso,” she called, “wait til you see this.” And she started to spin on one foot just like she’d learned in class the night before.
But, halfway through the turn, she ran into something and looked up. That something was a person. “I’m sorry,” she squeaked out and jumped back. But, it was too late. The drinks had spilled down the person’s shirt. “I’m so sorry.”
“Nita, I told you,” her father said, coming up behind her.
“I wasn’t running, Daddy. I was spinning.”
From the sound of his sigh, he didn’t see the difference.
“I’ll buy you new drinks,” he said. “Just give me a minute.”
“No,” the person said. “I have to get to work. It’s better if I show up on time without coffee than late with nothing.”
“You won’t be late or have nothing. Tiso is fast. We’ll get you on your way in a minute.”
“I really should just go,” the person said.
Nita studied them as they shifted away from the dropped drinks. “I really am sorry,” she whispered.
They smiled down at Nita. “It was an accident. It’s fine.”
“Here’re your drinks, miss,” Nita’s father said.
Nita was still watching them and caught the person’s wince. “Daddy,” Nita said. “You know better. Aunt Jen hates when people call her mister. You’re supposed to ask, not just assume.”
Tiso grinned at her. “You’re a good girl, Nita. You better get on your way to work, Bree.”
Bree smiled at them and picked up the drinks. “Thanks, Ti. I’ll see you Monday. Same time, same place.”
They chuckled and waved then looked back at Nita. “I know. A hot chocolate—weirdo, it’s blazing out— and an iced tea for you, Jeremy. I’ll get them right up.”
Nita glanced back at Bree as they headed out the door. “I think Aunt Jen would like Bree,” she said.
Tiso laughed. “Looks like you’ve got a little matchmaker on your hands, Jeremy. What are you going to do with her?”
“That’s what I ask myself every day.”
Nita stuck her tongue out up at her father, but she held on to his hand. She knew the answer to that. He’d keep her.
I may end up rewriting this from Bree’s POV for the opening of the fleshed out story.