This writing prompt comes courtesy of my friend Nick. He started me off with this bit of writing below. And I found this image for further inspiration and wrote about 500 words on it and now I’m out and need to let it stew in my head a bit more. I’ve figured out who she is and the world she lives in. Now I just have to figure out how to tell the audience more, and to do it in the tone and voice that were already established (which I think may be a struggle for me).
Comments/Critiques welcome — for all the none of y’all that read this thing.
It gathered outside, visible from the window of her.. not her home, but her shelter? Maybe home now. This one had lasted a while. Maybe home now. Not forever, though.
She stood and watched for a while, as much as she could stand. The haze hurt to look at for too long. Like staring into a lightbulb. Like trying to solve a magic eye puzzle in dim light on a moving train. She watched anyways.
Still didn’t understand it. The vagueness to its shape. The way it distorts the colors seen through it. The way it moves, like people did when people were a thing, but not like people at the same time.
Didn’t matter. As long as she didn’t draw attention it would leave her be. Usually did, at least.
Sometimes, she got the feeling that they were watching her, the way you would watch a particularly curious ant. You don’t care if the ant sees you, because its so inconsequential, but for whatever reason, in that moment, its movements, its actions have gotten your attention so you watch it and as long as it isn’t too interesting, you don’t stop what you’re doing. Like an ant, she couldn’t help catching their attention, but unlike an ant, she could make sure she wasn’t interesting enough to hold on to it. There was an art to it and it was an art she’d gotten very good at, just like predicting when the storms were coming, well in advance of actually seeing them. If you saw the storms and you were out, it either meant a lot of pain or death. At least for her.
The storms didn’t seem to bother it, them. Lightening and wind and rain and dirt that moved so fast they could put holes in metal, nevermind the times it actually hailed. Savagely magnificient, she watched the storms almost as much as she watched the beings who ignored them.
That had been why she’d come up from underground in the first place. To see the tempest rage. To make sure that the aboveground structure was still holding up. She didn’t really like the underground refuges she found. Usually they were old tunnels, sewers, sometimes a tornado shelter. The problem was, they often just ended up forming wind tunnels that suctioned everything up (or through) or drains that the tempests dumped rain and dirt inside. This was her second shelter that was both above ground and below. In the last one, a storm had come by and collapsed the top — leaving her stuck underground for over a week, trying to claw her way free.
She’d tried to make sure that wouldn’t happen here, leaving the aboveground bare, so there were only the walls. Coming to check that the walls weren’t shaking too much. Not that there’d be anything she could do if they were. What was she going to do? Run into the storm? Unlike the beings outside, she couldn’t survive in them. They’d tear her to shreds.
It wasn’t like she didn’t know this but coming upstairs assauged the fear a little, made it feel a little less claustrophobic when the storm would eventually chase her back underground, just in case. Because it would get bad enough that the walls would shake and the walls were thin enough that some of the debris might penetrate. This was another thing she’d learned firsthand and first aid supplies weren’t easy to come by.
So she took a seat and watched the beautiful things that could kill, would kill her without even noticing. She relaxed and let her eyes dance with death until it became time to go below, to rest, and make plans for when the storm and the being were gone.