Dread is definitely my least favourite thing to write, because I am not sure I completely Capture it. Well I am sure and I really don’t!
But anyway I thought I would give this a go!
My character was: An anxious 30 year-old woman, who comes from a wealthy background, lives in a remote farmhouse and tends to work too hard.
My setting was:
- street corner in a bad part of town
I am sure that most people would find this quite easy, but the sense of anticipation is something that I really struggle with. So, story I ended up with was more about fleshing out the character than it was about what the challenge was about! Never mind, I had fun working with the character anyway 🙂
I have written the following:
Natasha went to put her cell phone in her pocket after she had hung up on the important business call she had taken. She looked up as she did so, and realised she had been paying more attention to the contents of the phone call, rather than the important thing where she had been walking. Realising she had taken a wrong turn somewhere, she turned on her heel in order to walk back the other way.
It was then Natasha realised she had managed to walk to the bad area of town, which is somewhere that a girl like her definitely did not want to be. She probably should have taken out her phone and rang for somebody to come and pick her up. Natasha knew she should have taken the work car, in order to be driven back to her large house. She did live in the middle of nowhere, after all.
However, this was not really the area somebody wanted to take out their expensive -looking cell phone. Natasha hugged her laptop bag close to her chest as she tried to give a fake air of confidence as she walked down the road.
It did not help she was an incredibly anxious person, and was almost inviting something bad to happen to her because of the way she moved. Everybody she saw was suspicious, and she expected to be mugged at the very least.
When the man approached her, her throat seemed to just about dry up from the terror she felt. Despite the fact she really wanted to scream, the only noise that left her mouth was a small squeak. “Please don’t hurt me.”
The man’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline. “I was only going to ask you if you had any spare change…”
“Oh… Oh right, I am sure that I can help you out.” Natasha took some deep breaths to calm herself before transferring a trembling hand to her purse. “How much is a meal around here?” She attempted to give him a smile as she continued to dig in her wallet for some coins.
He stepped towards her menacingly. “I think you have just given me a better idea.”
Natasha pushed the entire bag towards him. “Take it, take it all!” She saw her opportunity and bolted around the street corner she was standing on. She wanted to cry as her feet pounded the pavement putting distance between her and the potential assailant.
At that moment the phone rang, reminding her that it was still in her pocket. With shaking hands she pulled it out to answer, hoping it would enable her would be able to get help. However, as soon as she recognised the voice of her secretary her business head returned, and work turned out to be more important.
The fact that her purse was gone was the least of her worries, because the only thing she had lost was money. The laptop was still in its bag; safe.
Written for: Dan Alatorre