Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Donnor Drive (Red Writing Hood)


Prompt: Write a short piece that begins with the words, "This was absolutely the last time" and ends with "She was wrong."

****************

This was absolutely the last time she was going to rush out the door simply because he "needed her". This time he hadn't even bothered to call. Nope, all she got was a cryptic text, "Meet me at 7 Donnor Drive." What was it this time, she wondered, another hair brained real estate scheme? They'd been down that road before. And had the loans to prove it. Thank God for short sales or they'd probably owe their first born child. Not that they had a first born child. Yet. Oh, no. They had to get rich first. Always about the money, never mind her biological clock that just kept tick tick ticking away.

The GPS on her phone announced that she'd arrived. She parked in front of the decrepit old house and double checked the address. This was it, 7 Donnor Drive. The house stood haughtily in the deepening dusk, the peeling paint and broken beams barely masking the majesty that once was. A lone rocking chair stood abandoned on the front porch, rock rock rocking away. He must have been there recently. Probably went inside.

She stepped out of the car, double checking her purse to be sure she had tossed the keys in, and hit the lock button. Her high heels sank into the mossy grass as she walked up to the door and she swore under her breath, mumbling to herself, "New shoes, should've taken time to stop home and change." Whatever. She would see what the big hurry was, announce the place a complete dump, and head home to swap the pencil skirt and heels for sweats and her old, stained but comfy Nantucket sweatshirt.

Climbing the old, rotted stairs proved dangerous. Her heel stuck in the third step and she had to pull hard to remove it. She heard the sound of tearing wood and stared at the hole she had widened with her shoe. Yep, he picked another winner. She shook her head and sighed heavily, making her way gingerly to the front door. The deep red color reminded her of blood and a chill passed over her. She shook it off, reached out, and turned the knob. The door swung in easily and she stepped into a narrow entryway, stairs to her right, doors to her left.

"Hello? Daniel?", she called to her husband, fully expecting an answering "Hullo!" followed by him walking in and flashing her his customary grin. The grin that meant she probably would drop everything and run next time he called. The grin that meant they'd probably be paying for his get rich schemes until their hair was white and their mouths toothless. Only then would she be able to resist that grin.

But there was no response. She called out again, as loudly as possible, and again was met only with silence. "Okay", she wondered aloud, "will you choose door number one or door number two?" Hollering for him one last time, she shrugged and chose the stairs.

Darkness was newly fallen and she flicked the light switch by the bottom of the staircase. No luck. Pulling her cell phone out of her pocket, she used the meager light to make her way up the staircase. Another narrow hall with more doors. Lovely. She called for Daniel again. This time she heard a scraping sound from behind one of the doors. Was it door number four on the left? She wasn't sure. She walked down the hall, her heels click click clicking away.

"Daniel?", she called out as she opened the door to number four on the left. She saw movement in the corner of the shadows and breathed a sigh of relief that she had found him. "Daniel, it's not funny. Come on, I don't like this place." She walked deeper into the room, confused and frustrated over his continued silence. This wasn't like him at all but he'd had his fun, she'd found him, and now she could veto the house and they could go home.

Something caught the toe of her shoe and she tripped, landing hard on one knee. She looked down and saw his cell phone, open on the floor, her "OMW" text still displayed. She looked up and into the eyes of a stranger.

She had been sure this was yet another scheme of Daniel's. She had thought she would humor him and head home for a take out dinner and a carton of ice cream in front of the TV. She had thought they would grow old together and maybe, just maybe one of those get rich quick schemes would work. She had thought she had a life ahead of her.

She was wrong.

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