RebeccaTDickson.com and Laura Howard are pleased to bring you a weekly writing prompt that kicks you in the ass. Your assignment: Let go and have fun, goddammit. No editing. No second thoughts. And absolutely no using the delete key. We want your guts on the page.
This week’s “Just Write” prompt is:
“I wake up, roll over and gaze through an open window. I see… “
The gauntlet has been thrown. Read the prompt and you’re off. Remember, don’t think too hard. Just write.
And here’s my bit (click the week 9 link above for more info):
I wake up, roll over and gaze through an open window. I see rain pelting what passes for a patio in the complex of condos that I live in. It had yet to commit to a typical Oregon shower yet. Just a tease of what could be. It’s dark, and the only reason the sliding door was open was for relief from the heat seeping up from the apartments below. In the three years I’ve lived here there has never been a need to turn on the heat at all. Across the alley way, Gregor entertained some of his friends. For them to be there meant the bars were closed.
My sister, on her only visit here, commented on the dangers of sleeping with the windows and patio door open. Any pervert could get in and rape and murder me. I laughed her concern; we’re thirty stories up-there’s easier targets much lower than me. And the concern about Gregor and his friends, I waved off with an explanation that they were gay. The only thing that was danger was beauty products and fridge, although one of them admired some my dresses a bit too much. Stacy never cared for living here. She preferred Beaverton, where the city council had fought the federal government’s farmland reclamation act. Where houses still stood and people hadn’t been herded into condos. Pressure was on though, without the technology farms of Hillsboro to protect them it was a matter of time. Even Hillsboro succumbed and made farmland available. Nestling the fenced and guarded acreage amongst their high tech businesses and the condos built to house their employees.
I had fallen asleep on my couch, an array of electronic components sprawled on the coffee table and floor around me. My last boyfriend had awoken a love of electronics within me. A hobby with a growing skill set that lasted long after his death in one of the Saudi wars. An orange blip flashed incessantly in the corner of my eye, a check and –focus, the blip turned into a message hanging out in space in front of me. A message from Mary, a coworker who had concerns about the meeting with Phil tomorrow. We all worried over our meetings with Phil now that the lottery was active.
Every employee had to take part. It was required by the Colony Agency, a necessary evil to fight over population. Every business had to pick one out of every one hundred employees to go to Mars. Well, if they were lucky, otherwise it was the mines around Saturn or the terraformers of Venus. It was supposed to be fair and equitable. Random chance on the given day meant either fresh air for another year or a long ass trip to your next home. No one volunteered anymore, they had all gone years ago. Now it was just us Earth lovers left to push off the island. But Phil made arrangements, if you were cute and likeable, you got a meeting. Perform well for the meeting and you’re name wasn’t included. Fight doing the meeting and your name was called and you and your family were off. I had started last year, so was exempt from the lottery but had seen some of the women go through. The fear before, the broken anger afterwards. The desire to keep a job and remain on Earth overpowering the need for self respect. It was illegal, Phil was risking getting sent himself. The very least it would be Mars, if they were really pissed at him, it would be Mercury. Mary was upset as she hadn’t told her husband, any complaint to the courts would have led to immediate termination by the company, also illegal, but by the time everything gets to court, enough time has passed that if you haven’t found another job, the unemployment provision would see you on a trip to Mars anyway. It’s what Phil counted on, no one wanting to go or wanting the risk of being sent.
I responded that she needed to tell her husband and risk the courts. To not do something she would regret. It was her second year in the department and she was two months into a marriage after a whirlwind romance. She had hoped that being married would save her but it didn’t. She was young and beautiful and Phil wanted another taste. He had scheduled my meeting for three days from now and was looking forward to the ‘first of many’. That he normally doesn’t meet with someone my age-the chauvinistic bastard- but he was willing to make an exception. I was thirty two and still at least fifteen if not twenty years younger than him. I had known it was coming, the way he had looked me when I was hired was enough to warn me. I had hoped that my maturity would turn him off, but no, I was wrong. My first action on getting the email had been to lose my lunch in the ladies minutes after Mary had done the same. Apparently it had made us sisters in arms. At first I considered quitting, trying my luck at finding a new job. But the market was too tight. And quitting would not solve the problem for everyone.
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