Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The accidental trespasser

This weeks’ challenge from terribleminds and Chuck Wendig, was to use a random fantasy generator. It gave you five options at a time. I seemed to get lots of armies of orcs for some reason, but in the end, I chose ‘A stiff trespasser is afraid of her uncontrollable powers.’ Less than one thousand words. My effort is 979.
No idea what to call it… oh, oh, I know. The accidental trespasser. That’ll work!

The accidental trespasser
He was half asleep in front of the TV when he heard a noise like a rushing wind and then a thump from the vicinity of his kitchen. He lived alone and didn’t even own a cat so his first thought was that someone was trying to break in. He froze and listened intently.
Then, he heard a metallic crash followed by a muttered swear word.
Nope. They had already broken in. That was the sound of the cookie tin he had left too close to the edge of the kitchen counter hitting the floor.
He rose, looked around for a weapon, realised he didn’t have one and decided to investigate anyway. He tiptoed for the door. He rejected the surprise shouting approach, or calling out ‘who’s there?’ inanely.
He peered in the doorway and got a glimpse of a woman trying to pick up the broken biscuits and put them back into the metal container. She was tidying up? Some thief.
He glanced past her. The door looked undamaged and still latched. That was weird. The back of her head looked familiar. Wait a second… he knew her. She lived next door. She was the aloof, unfriendly type of neighbour who never acknowledged his smiles or waves.
“What are you-?”
“EEK!” She emitted a startled screech noise and dropped the tin again.
He probably could have just shouted at her and terrified her less.
“You’re home!” she squeaked at him.
“Yeah… duh.”
She looked around like a frightened rabbit. “You’re not supposed to be here.”
“It’s my home. I can be here. The question is what are you doing here?”
“I don’t know,” she wailed. “I was just standing in my kitchen, thinking of the view I can see into your kitchen from my window and the next thing, I was over here!”
“What?” She could see into his kitchen? He wondered if she had ever caught sight of his midnight milk raids; he was usually naked.
“I know it doesn’t make sense and I can’t even believe it and I am the one saying it.”
“Ah… okay.”
“You don’t believe me!” She looked wildly around. She was going to run for it; he knew it. The door was still locked so she glanced towards the hallway. She tried to dash across in front of him and he made a grab for her. He had no idea what he was doing; he just didn’t want her to leave before she had explained herself. He had just got hold of the top of her arms when there was that wind rushing sound again and a dizzying gamut of images swept past his eyes. He shut them to stop feeling sick and he clung to her. They stopped with a jolt almost enough to throw them off balance.
“Oh, no!” she wailed.
He opened his eyes carefully. They were at the park. Standing in the fountain.
“What the hell just happened?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I told you that.” She looked down and realised rather belatedly that he had no shoes on and that his jeans were wet to the knee. “Oh, no. And now you’re all wet.”
“Well, you are, too. Should we try and get out of here before anyone notices?”
He kept his hand gripped firmly around the top of her arm in case she tried to disappear on him again. They waded to the edge of the fountain, ignoring the gooey squishy things underfoot. A small boy pointed and laughed and he glared at him until he ran back to his mother.
He helped her step over the wide stone rim. He walked over to the grass to wipe his feet. She sat on the rim.
“Why are we at the park?” he asked her.
“I like the park,” she replied as she emptied water out of her shoes. “I come here a lot for peace.”
“Were you thinking of the park? When you tried to run?”
She paused and frowned as if she was trying to think. “Oh, I think I might have been.” She stood and slid her wet shoes on with a grimace.
“You think?” he asked.
“Are you criticising me?”
“Heck, no. Just trying to work out what happened.” The thought occurred that she could flash off and leave him here without a way of getting home. He reached over and grabbed her arm again.
She stared at his hand as if she had laser eyes.
“Ha,” he said. “That didn’t work.”
She frowned at him. “What do you mean?”
“You looked at me as if you wanted me to burn. I don’t think you have that superpower.”
“Super power?” she repeated.
“How else do you explain moving almost instantaneously to a place you are thinking of? You’re the Nightcrawler.”
“Excuse me?”
“Comic book character. X-men?” he tried.
“Never seen it.”
“No, not the movie, the comics.”
She still looked blank.
“Blue guy, with three fingered hands, a prehensile tail and adhesive hands and feet.”
She glared at him. “You’re the only one with adhesive hands,” she accused.
He rolled his eyes. “He teleports. That’s the point.”
“Oh, I see.” She seemed to think about it. “So you think I go to the place I am thinking of?”
“Yeah. Like my kitchen. And why were you thinking about my kitchen?”
She just stared at him and blushed.
He put his hand over his eyes and muttered to himself. Crap. She had seen him. “So for God’s sake, don’t think of anywhere-”
His words were cut off with another rushing sound.
His feet were burning on hot asphalt. He hopped in place for a second before a blared horn, followed by a stream of abuse from a cab driver told them to get out of the middle of the road. The cab was yellow.
“We’re in New York.” He sighed resignedly.
© AM Gray 2013

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