Today’s writing prompt and my response.
The first day of this week’s challenge.
She felt for the lock in the dark
Rain squalled against the houses, ripped leaves from the footpath trees. Beneath the fried street lamps, Eve’s only illumination were flashes of lightning. She splashed through puddles, shoes and legs soaked. Her handbag slapped against her drenched raincoat, the hood useless against the downpour. A crash of thunder sent her heart thudding. She drew a shivering breath.
The rotten end to a rotten day. If she’d left work on time, she would’ve been home, dry and warm, before the storm rolled in. Everyone else had buggered off early, the whispers of dangerous weather warnings rolling around the office like wind-blown autumn leaves.
Eve had been buried in her game software. A glitch which wouldn’t fix itself, and no one she could ask. Not in this new role given to her because of her special expertise.
‘You should go home, Eve.’ A colleague stood over her shoulder, his coat fastened, rucksack over his shoulder. ‘They’re talking about diabolical winds and sheeting rain. There’ll be flooding everywhere.’ He frowned at her.
No, he was frowning at the screen. Eve blanked it, half-turned her head. ‘I won’t be long, Colin, just finishing this up.’
‘This’ was due to be presented to the marketing team tomorrow, and it had to be right. Perfect. Eve’s higher pay packet depended on it.
‘Don’t stay long.’ Colin shook his head and followed the crowd into the lift.
Eve should have taken his advice. She’d tried all kinds of tricks, but the glitch wouldn’t unwind. She’d sorted some of it, but it was far from perfect and there was no way her tired brain would solve it tonight. She’d sleep on it, come in early tomorrow. With a reluctant sigh, she’d straightened up, stretched and finally stood up from her desk. Wind-driven rain had pushed her to the tube, and more had met her when she came out at her station.
She squinted through water streaming down her face. She was here. Unlatching the front gate with numb fingers, she hurled herself onto the narrow porch. Fumbling in her bag, she pulled out her keys, felt for the lock in the dark, and slipped in the key.
It wouldn’t turn. She jiggled it. Come on, come on, let’s get out of this storm. Another turn, calmer, and the lock clicked. A hefty push, and Eve was inside. Slamming the door behind her, she leaned against it, getting her breath back and luxuriating in the relative silence. And the dryness.
Another sheet of lighting lit the hall through the porch window.
The thunder which followed drowned Eve’s scream.
Go to day two here.
Find Cheryl’s flash fiction and short stories here!